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The Parthian War: Round 2

Contributed by David Verne

The new king of Armenia, Tigranes, has been sending raids into Parthian territory. Vologases, the Parthian king, has finished dealing with internal revolts and attacks against his eastern borders, and now brought his full attention what used to be a low priority. Announcing that his brother Tiridates was still the king of Armenia, he marched his army west. Negotiations between the Romans and Parthians broke down, and the war was back on. Corbulo stayed in Syria with three legions to defend the province and sent an aristocrat, Lucius Paetus to Armenia with two legions. After several minor and easy victories, Paetus marched towards the Armenian capital of Tigranocerta, which had been occupied by Parthia, but was unable to reach it before winter forced him to withdraw westward. Volagases tries to invade Syria, but Corbulo has heavily fortified the border. Volagases withdraws and prepares for an invasion of Armenia in the spring. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by David Verne
I've heard a saying that war is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. One of the most dangerous things to happen to a military force is to grow lax and become lulled into a false sense of security. With his easy victories during this year's campaign, Paetus will not be ready for what comes in the spring.

The Baths of Nero

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

This year Nero finally completes his bath. It convered an area of 208 yards by 131 yards. This bath would stay in used into at least the 5th century, and needed only one restoration to survive this long. It is believed to be the first of the "Imperial-type" complex of baths, which would be repeated by future august figures attempting to enshrine their and their family's name and honor throughout history, sometime successfully, sometimes not. This bath ws supplied by the Aqua Virgo, which was one of the 11 aqueducts used to supply Rome with water, and was completed in 19 BC.

My Take by Southpaw Ben
Not to be confused of the Baths of Nero in Pisa, which was a misnomer from the mideival period, the baths of Nero were rebuilt by Alexander Severus somewhere between 227 and 229, and were renaimed the Baths of Alexander in his honor. Today their locations is shown by the Piazza della Rotonda, and contains a fountain constructed in 1575 by Pope Gregory XIII, and redone in 1711 into its current appearance. As an American it is hard for me to truly appreciate just how many layers of centuries of history exist and are well documented in the old world, as compared to the US where our "Old" cities are from the 1700's.

Nero gets a Divorce

Contributed by David Verne

Nero has been carrying on an affair with Poppaea Sabina. She was the wife of one of Nero's friends who she divorced several years ago. Poppaea convinces Nero to divorce his wife Claudia Octavia, and he does on grounds of infertility. He marries Poppaea twelve days after the divorce and banishes Claudia to the island of Pandateria. Nero is shocked by the backlash from the population, who liked Claudia and can't believe he divorced her. There are demonstrations in Rome where statues of Claudia are paraded through the streets. Nero is so frightened that he agrees to remarry her but secretly orders her execution. News reached Rome several days later of Claudia's "suicide", but everyone knew what had happened. This was the beginning of Nero's slip on power. [4] [5]

My Take by David Verne
Everyone has a breaking point. Governments can only do so much before people get sick of it and put a stop to it. It was at this point in Nero's reign that several Senators started a conspiracy to assassinate him.

See Also


  1. Tacitus, Cornelius. The Annals. 
  2. Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press. 
  3. Duncan, Mike (August 16, 2009). Burn it to the Ground.
  4. Tacitus, Cornelius. The Annals. 
  5. Duncan, Mike (August 16, 2009). Burn it to the Ground.

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