Italy

The modern country of Italy corresponds more or less to what was referred to in ancient times as Italia, also referred to by modern commentators as the Italic peninsula. In the north, the region was inhabited by Celts, Ligurians, and other assorted peoples. Etruscans lived in what is today Tuscany.

Actual Italic-speaking peoples lived in Umbria, Marche, Latium, and other regions in the central and southern parts of the peninsula. The Greeks founded important cities in Southern Italy and Sicily from the eighth century BC onwards. The Greek presence became so influential that the Romans would later refer to that area as Magna Graecia or “Great Greece”. In addition, the Carthaginians also founded cities in the western parts of Sicily.

Rome was originally one of many city-states on the Italic peninsula. It managed to slowly seize control of the entire region, subjugating the Etruscans, the other Italic peoples, the Greeks, the Sicilians, and the peoples living in the Po Valley and other territories on the Italic side of the Alps. Rome would slowly engulf the entire Mediterranean and become the largest empire the world had thus far seen.

Food insecurity in Early Rome

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Food insecurity in Early Rome

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Responsibility for solving food crises often falls to a community’s leaders. Early Rome was no different, and in the first centuries of the Republic suffered from, and solved, the problem of food scarcity.

Odysseus the foreigner

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Odysseus the foreigner

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With headlines again filled with stories of immigrant abuse and immigration in the United States, it is worth taking a look back at one of the most famous “foreigners” from the ancient world: Odysseus.

Virgil’s Aeneid

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Virgil’s Aeneid

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Joshua Hall, Matthew Lloyd, and Josho Brouwers talk about the epic poem Aeneid, composed by Rome’s greatest poet, Virgil.

Regulus and the Bagradas Dragon

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Regulus and the Bagradas Dragon

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When the Romans decided to invade Africa in 256 BC to bring an end to their war with Carthage, they supposedly encountered more than just Punic elephants and a cunning Spartan condottiero.

Sarcophagus of the Brothers

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Sarcophagus of the Brothers

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A large fragment of a marble Roman sarcophagus portrays the deceased as a generally fortunate man who had been happily married.