Battle of Pydna

Ancient Rome

The Roman Empire, which at times included much of the known world, came into being following the five centuries of the Republican period in the history of Rome. The Roman Empire was founded in 27 B.C. and existed as a unified entity until approximately A.D. 480. During this period, the Roman Empire extended from the Middle East to the British Isles. The Roman Empire is remembered for its influence of language, law, military operations, and culture. The Roman Empire was ruled by a succession of emperors, and a 200-year period of peace that began with the reign of Caesar Augustus is known today as the “Pax Romana.”

Roman troops under Governor-General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus massacre Druid priests at Anglesey, Wales, in ad 60.

Ancient Rome

Gaius Suetonius Paulinus

By Eric Niderost

The name Gaius Suetonius Paulinus doesn’t ring across the centuries from the annals of Roman military history like the names of Julius Caesar, Tiberius Nero, or Scipio Africanus. Read more

Hannibal leads his Carthaginian army, mounted on elephants, against the Romans in this 16th-century painting.

Ancient Rome

Hannibal And The Failure Of Success

By Steven Weingartner

Although Hannibal Barca has rightly been hailed as one of history’s greatest military commanders, his reputation for greatness is based largely on his performance in the first three years (218-202 bc) of the 16-year conflict known as the Second Punic War. Read more

Byzantine forces led by Narses won a decisive victory over the Ostrogoths at the Battle of Vesuvius in 553. The resourceful septuagenarian proved an able statesman and general.

Ancient Rome

Narses the Eunuch

By Peter L. Boorn

On January 18, ad 532, a 54-year-old eunuch by the name of Narses, described by Agathias, a contemporary chronicler, as “small in stature and of abnormal thinness,” entered alone into the Hippodrome of Constantinople carrying a bag of gold. Read more

Ancient Rome

Drusus the Elder: Hero of Rome

By P. Lindsay Powell

On a sultry summer night in 9 BC, 29-year-old commander of Augustus Caesar ’s army in Germania bolted upright in his cot, dripping with sweat. Read more

Ancient Rome

Jugurtha: Numidian King, Roman Enemy

By William Stroock

Jugurtha, king of the desert nation of Numidia, was a long-time antagonist of Republican Rome. Over more than a decade of war, he was a bold and cunning battlefield commander who used swiftness and determination to make fools of Roman consuls, even as the Romans were systematically conquering his country. Read more

A modern illustration shows Roman legionnaires on the march. The front ranks typically charged into battle, stopping to hurl their pilum before closing with the enemy using their gladius. In the melee, they used their scutum to knock their opponents off balance.

Ancient Rome

Roman Armageddon at Pharsalus

By William E. Welsh

The snow-capped peaks of the Ceraunian Mountains stared down on the sturdy barks hunting for a suitable place to land on the coast of Epirus on January 5, 48 bc. Read more

Pompey led troops to victory in a series of battles and actions that neutralized threats to Rome’s interests in Asia Minor.

Ancient Rome

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus

By Ludwig Heinrich Dyck

Gnaeus Pompey was one of the pivotal Roman leaders during the last decades of the Republic. He was born into an old and wealthy provincial family from Picenum on September 29, 106 BC. Read more

Parthian cataphracts armed with long spears known as kontos assail Roman legionaries at Carrhae.

Ancient Rome

Roman Disaster at Carrhae

By Ludwig Heinrich Dyck

Gigantic clouds of dust rose from the sun-baked plain. The ground shook under the hoofs of thousands of cavalry. Read more

The night before the battle, Marius posted 3,000 legionnaires in a nearby wood with orders to attack the tribesmen while they were assailing the Roman fort. The plan worked perfectly, and Marius sallied out to finish off the disorganized enemy troops.

Ancient Rome

Roman Revenge at Aquae Sextiae

By John E. Spindler

In the evening hours on a midsummer day in 102 bc, Roman Consul Gaius Marius decided that tomorrow was to be the day to confront the barbarians. Read more

Ancient Rome

Roman General Sulla

By Peter L. Boorn

When Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix was governor of Cilicia in 95 bc, he received an embassy from the Parthians. Read more