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L’ultimo discorso di Costantino XI – TRIBUNUS


Il 29 maggio del 1453 cade Costantinopoli, l’ultimo baluardo di Roma – anche se la caduta finale è a Trebisonda, ultimo avamposto bizantino dotato di un suo Protettorato, non sotto il regno dell’imperatore bizantino, nel 1462. Qui è disponibile il discorso finale che l’imperatore legittimo Costantino XI fece il 28 maggio, la sera, poche ore prima della disfatta.

Dopo più di 2.200 anni, il nome di Roma cadde definitivamente e fu consegnato alla Storia. Nel sangue, ovviamente, come tutti gli eventi salienti di quell’impero.

“Nobilissimi capitani, illustri demarchi e generali, valorosi commilitoni e tutti voi miei onorevoli e fedeli sudditi!

Sapete bene che l’ora è giunta: il nemico della nostra fede vorrebbe opprimerci ancora più crudelmente dalla terra e dal mare con ogni mezzo a sua disposizione, per paralizzarci se potrà, come un serpente in procinto di sputare veleno; ha fretta di divorarci, come un leone selvaggio.

Per questa ragione vi scongiuro di combattere da uomini con cuori coraggiosi, come avete già fatto fino ad oggi, i nemici della nostra fede.
Io affido nelle vostre mani questa illustre e rinomata città, Regina delle Città e vostra patria.

Sapete bene, fratelli, che condividiamo quattro ragioni per le quali preferiamo la morte alla sopravvivenza: primo, la nostra fede e devozione; secondo, la nostra patria; terzo, l’imperatore, unto dal Signore; e quarto, i nostri parenti e amici.
Bene, fratelli, se dobbiamo combattere per una di queste ragioni, sarà ancora più degno morire per tutte e quattro.

Se Dio concederà la vittoria agli infedeli a causa dei miei peccati, metteremmo a rischio le nostre vite per la santa fede, che Cristo ci ha donato con il suo sangue. Questa è la causa più importante per la quale combattere. Quale profitto c’è nel guadagnare l’intero mondo e nel perdere la propria anima?
In secondo luogo, saremmo privati di una così rinomata patria, insieme alla nostra libertà.
Terzo, perderemmo un impero una volta conosciuto ma oggi umiliato, piccolo ed esausto, e sarebbe governato da tiranno e un uomo empio.
Quarto, saremmo separati dai nostri carissimi figli, mogli, parenti…”.

The Imperial Roman Armies defeat the Goths – The last phase of the Gothic War in Italy – Novo Scriptorium


Su NovoScriptorium la fase finale della guerra bizantina in Italia contro i Goti, voluta da Giustiniano I di Costantinopoli, prima sotto il comande del generale Belisario e poi sotto Narsete. Qui la prima parte, qui sotto un estratto – in inglese:

When the generals of Justinian marched against him, to finish the war by the capture of Verona and Pavia, he won over them the first victory that the Goths had obtained since their enemies landed in Italy. This was followed by two more successes; the scattered armies of Witiges rallied round the banner of the new king, and at once the cities of Central and Southern Italy began to fall back into Gothic hands, with the same rapidity with which they had yielded to Belisarius. The fact was, that the war had been a cruel strain on the Italians, and that the imperial governors, and still more their fiscal agents, or “logothetes”, had become unbearably oppressive. Italy had lived through the fit of enthusiasm with which it had received the armies of Justinian, and was now regretting the days of Theodoric as a long-lost golden age. Most of its cities were soon in Baduila’s hands; the lmperialists retained only the districts round Rome, Naples, Otranto, and Ravenna. Of Naples they were soon deprived. [A.D. 543.] Baduila invested it, and ere long constrained it to surrender. He treated the inhabitants with a kindness and consideration which no Roman general, except Belisarius, had ever displayed. A speech  which he delivered to his generals soon after this success deserves a record, as showing the character of the man. A Gothic warrior had been convicted of violating the daughter of a Roman. Baduila condemned him to death. His officers came round him to plead for the soldier’s life. He answered them that they must choose that day whether they preferred to save one man’s life or the life of the Gothic race. At the beginning of the war, as they knew well, the Goths had brave soldiers, famous generals, countless treasure, horses, weapons, and all the forts of Italy. And yet under Theodahat—a man who loved gold better than justice—they had so angered God by their unrighteous lives, that all the troubles of the last ten years had come upon them. Now God seemed to have avenged Himself on them enough. He had begun a new course with them, and they must begin a new course with Him, and justice was the only path. As for the present criminal being a valiant hero, let them know that the unjust man and the ravisher was never brave in fight; but that according to a man’s life, such was his luck in battle.

Such was the justice of Baduila; and it seemed as if his dream was about to come true, and that the regenerate Goths would win back all that they had lost. Ere long he was at the gates of Rome, prepared to essay, with 15,000 men, what Witiges had failed to do with 100,000. Lest all his Italian conquests should be lost, Justinian was obliged to send back Belisarius, for no one else could hold back the Goths. But Belisarius was ill-supplied with men; he had fallen into disfavour at Court, and the imperial ministers stinted him of troops and money. Unable to relieve Rome, he had to wait at Portus, by the mouth of the Tiber, watching for a chance to enter the city. That chance he never got. The famine-stricken Romans, angry with the cruel and avaricious Bessas, who commanded the garrison, began to long for the victory of their enemy; and one night some traitors opened the Asinarian Gate, and let in Baduila and his Goths. The King thought that his troubles were over; he assembled his chiefs, and bade them observe how, in the time of Witiges, 7,000 Imperial soldiers* had conquered, and robbed of kingdom and liberty, 100,000 well-armed Goths. But now that they were few, poor, and wretched, the Goths had conquered more than 20,000 of the enemy. And why ? Because of old they looked to anything rather than justice: they had sinned against each other and the Romans. Therefore they must choose henceforth, and be just men and have God with them, or unjust and have God against them.

Baduila had determined to do that which no general since Hannibal had contemplated: he would destroy Rome, and with it all the traditions of the world-empire of the ancient city—to him they seemed but snares, tending to corrupt the mind of the Goths. The people he sent away unharmed—they were but a few thousand left after the horrors of the famine during the siege. But he broke down the walls, and dismantled the palaces and arsenals. For a few weeks Rome was a deserted city, given up to the wolf and the owl [A.D. 550].

For eleven unquiet years, Baduila, the brave and just, ruled Italy, holding his own against Belisarius, till the great general was called home by some wretched court intrigue. But presently Justinian gathered another army, more numerous than any that Belisarius had led, and sent it to Italy, under the command of the eunuch Narses. It was a strange choice that made the chamberlain into a general; but it succeeded. Narses marched round the head of the Adriatic, and invaded Italy from the north. Baduila went forth to meet him at Tagina, in the Apennines. For a long day the Ostrogothic knights rode again and again into the Imperialist ranks; but all their furious charges failed. At evening they reeled back broken, and their king received a mortal wound in the flight [A.D. 553].

Flavius Belisarius: The African campaign – The first Italian campaign – Novo Scriptorium


Su NovoScripitorium un lungo articolo che dettaglia la campagna militare di Belisario, generale di Giustiniano I.

Justinian declared war on King Gelimer the moment that he had made peace with Persia, using as his casus belli, not a definite re-assertion of the claim of the empire over Africa—for such language would have provoked the rulers of Italy and Spain to join the Vandals, but the fact that Gelimer had wrongfully deposed Hilderic, the Emperor’s ally. In July, 533, Belisarius, who was now at the height of his favour for his successful suppression of the “Nika” rioters, sailed from the Bosphorus with an army of 10,000 foot and 5,000 horse. He was accompanied, luckily for history, by his secretary, Procopius, a very capable writer, who has left a full account of his master’s campaigns. Belisarius landed at Tripoli, at the extreme eastern limit of the Vandal power. The town was at once betrayed to him by its Roman inhabitants. From thence he advanced cautiously along the coast, meeting with no opposition; for the incapable Gelimer had been caught unprepared, and was still engaged in calling in his scattered warriors. It was not till he had approached within ten miles of Carthage that Belisarius was attacked by the Vandals. After a hard struggle he defeated them, and the city fell into his hands next day. The provincials were delighted at the rout of their masters, and welcomed the imperial army with joy; there was neither riot nor pillage, and Carthage had not the aspect of a conquered town.

The triumphal entry of Belisarius into Constantinople with his captives and his spoils, encouraged Justinian to order instant preparations for an attack on the second German kingdom, on his western frontier. He declared war on the wretched King Theodahat in the summer of A.D. 435, using as his pretext the murder of Queen Amalasuntha, whom her ungrateful spouse had first imprisoned and then strangled within a year of their marriage. The king of the Goths, whether he was conscience-stricken or merely cowardly, showed the greatest terror at the declaration of war. He even wrote to Constantinople offering to resign his crown, if the Emperor would guarantee his life and his private property. Meanwhile he consulted sooth-sayers and magicians about his prospects, for he was as superstitious as he was incompetent.

Next spring King Witiges came down with the main army of the Goths—more than 100,000 strong—and laid siege to Rome. The defence of the town by Belisarius and his very inadequate garrison forms the most interesting episode in the Italian war. For more than a year the Ostrogoths lay before its walls, essaying every device to force an entry. They tried open storm; they endeavoured to bribe traitors within the city; they strove to creep along the bed of a disused aqueduct, as Belisarius had done a year before at Naples. All was in vain, though the besiegers outnumbered the garrison twenty-fold, and exposed their lives with the same recklessness that their ancestors had shown in the invasion of the empire a hundred years back. The scene best remembered in the siege was the simultaneous assault on five points in the wall, on the 21st of March, 537. Three of the attacks were beaten back with ease; but near the Praenestine Gate, at the south-east of the city, one storming party actually forced its way within the walls, and had to be beaten out by sheer hard fighting ; and at the mausoleum of Hadrian, on the north-west, another spirited combat took place. Hadrian’s tomb—a great quadrangular structure of white marble, 300 feet square and 85 feet high—was surmounted by one of the most magnificent collections of statuary in ancient Rome, including four great equestrian statues of emperors at its corners. The Goths, with their ladders, swarmed at the foot of the tomb in such numbers, that the arrows and darts of the defenders were insufficient to beat them back. Then, as a last resource, the Imperialists tore down the scores of statues which adorned the mausoleum, and crushed the mass of assailants beneath a rain of marble fragments. Two famous antiques, that form the pride of modern galleries—the “Dancing Faun” at Florence, and the “Barberini Faun” at Munich—were found, a thousand years later, buried in the ditch of the tomb of Hadrian, and must have been among the missiles employed against the Goths. Thorough usage which they then received proved the means of preserving them for the admiration of the modern world.

The Manliness of War in the Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) Empire – Novo Scriptorium


Su NovoScriptorium un lungo post – in inglese, obviously – che tratteggia lo sviluppo storico degli eserciti romani e bizantini rispettivamente nel tardo impero e nei primi secoli ancora romani dell’Impero d’Oriente. Tutto ciò è messo in relazione col concetto di virilità e mascolinità vigente allora nelle file delle armate imperiali. Un estratto:

By the second and the third centuries, however, Roman men’s military roles were being redefined. What scholars call the crisis of the third century played a part in this transformation. The twofold threats of external invasions and crippling civil wars ignited by rival claimants to the purple, challenged the Empire’s military capabilities and created the necessity for reform. Establishing control over the frequently rebellious Roman forces represented a key step in quashing this chaos. Those in power entrusted the states’ defence to a professional army of mixed descent that fought its battles mostly on the Empire’s outer fringes. The imperial authorities also sought to curtail the threat presented by mutinous regional military commanders.

The Emperor Diocletian (ruled 284-305), carved the provinces into smaller more manageable administrative units and increased the number of imperial leaders, first to two then to four. In a further effort to curb the threat of usurpation and create a more effective fighting force, the “senatorial amateurs”, who had often used their military commissions merely as an obligatory step in their political careers, were no longer required to fulfil their military duties. Sometime during Diocletian’s reign, serving in the army became hereditary, and the sons of soldiers and veterans were obligated to follow their fathers’ example. Though not strictly enforced, a law from 364 (Codex Theodosianus 15.15) forbade all Roman civilians the use of weapons.

Even though men from the upper classes continued to serve as officers and provide a vital reserve of civil and military leadership upon whom the government could call in time of crisis, many wealthy aristocrats chose instead to pursue comfortable lives in one of the Empire’s major cities or on their provincial estates. In the fourth century, “elite” citizens’ roles in the military decreased even further, and to meet its recruitment needs the army, at times, depended on the enrolment of foreign troops.

While it is notoriously difficult to determine with any certainty either the size of the Late Roman/Early Byzantine army or the percentage of Romans serving compared to non-Romans –particularly within the non-officer corps– the foreign component was never as high as some historians suggest. The majority of soldiers throughout the Byzantine period were “Roman”.

Estimates vary on the Late Roman and Early Byzantine armies’ exact numbers. Recent suggestions for approximately 500,000 as the total for the combined forces of the fourth-century army and 300,000 for the sixth-century Byzantine forces—including frontier troops, fleet, and the field army—seem reasonable (Whitby, “Emperors and Armies”, W. Treadgold, “Byzantium and Its Army”). Whatever the exact tallies, we are dealing with a significant number of eligible Romans serving in the military. The non-Roman element in the Eastern Roman army in positions of command held steady at less than a third during the fourth and the fifth centuries. After the fifth century, the foreign component of the Byzantine army declined to perhaps a fifth of the overall total. This shift was due to a combination of legislative efforts to monitor recruitment and financial reforms undertaken during the reign of Anastasius I, which made military service much more attractive. Indeed, conscription which had been prevalent in the fourth century, by the close of the fifth century had been abandoned.

The idea of the emperor as the embodiment of Roman martial prowess and idealised manliness in the Later Empire was ubiquitous. The relationship between masculinity, military virtues, and the emperors’ divine right to rule were never far beneath the surface of this imagery. By concentrating notions of heroic masculinity into the figure of the emperor, imperial ideology fashioned a portrait of the ideal emperor as a model of “true” manliness for all aspiring men to emulate. This paradigm reflected the increasing domination of state ideology by the imperial family and its direct supporters, and it helps to highlight the Later Roman emperors’ growing autocratic power. Though far from a move towards the “Oriental despotism” argued for in the older historiographical tradition, the reigns of Diocletian and his successors witnessed the growth of a more elaborate court ceremonial, along with an increased promotion of the emperor in literary and visual portrayals as an authority reliant predominantly upon divine assistance (at first that of pagan divinities, and then the Christian God) for his clout.

Famous Eastern Roman (‘Byzantine’) physicians – Novo Scriptorium


Su NovoScriptorium un articolo che illustra la grande capacità organizzativa bizantina della Sanità, dagli ospedali ai servizi sanitari e a tutto ciò che è collegato col concetto di Salute, concetti che sono stati sviluppati nei nostri giorni e che sono alla base del moderno Sistema Sanitario.

The Byzantine Empire lasted for over 1100 years and the organization of a functional health care system was undeniable merit of Byzantine medicine.

In Byzantium, hospitals functioned near monasteries. The administrative head of the entire institution was called the nosocomos. Two doctors and a lot of assistants, who learned, not helped, were working in each section.

Women were cared for by a woman doctor, and at night there was a service call.

Two inspectors were visiting the hospital day and night inquiring whether patients are satisfied or have any complaint to make.

Each hospital had a dispensary in which worked two doctors and a number of assistants.

There were specialized hospitals – e.g. hospital doctors in Mangane dealt exclusively with diseases of the digestive tract.

Nurses were instructed on the spot and formed health care professionals’ associations.

Doctors were trained in two ways, individually or in groups ie in school.

Generally, medical profession was transmitted from father to son.

Medical schools were established around hospitals and one of the doctors acted as a teacher. Students were practicing in hospitals or clinics. Education was free. Teachers were chosen very carefully and students had to accumulate a lot of experience before start practicing as physicians. This period of training was called kronia.

After the training, the student had to pass proficiency exam and answer question of a maestro, the head of the school or the emperor’s physician, bearing the title of actuarios.

The candidate who passed the examination received as a sign of promotion a medal or badge to distinguish himself from impostors.

Medical practice was based on the theory of the four humors.

In therapy, Byzantine physicians used, along with the old remedies, new exotic ones, made from the three regna. An important role was played by diet recommendations. There were used curative and preventive diets, but there were also exaggeration. Doctors used to recommend to their patients diets according to different seasons, months, professions or social class.

In order to master these diets and astrological data, doctors had to read a lot and collect many books. So, they had copies of classical medicine textbooks and many copybooks of diets and complicate recipes.

Hospitals sheltered vast libraries with valuable medical works.

Justinian ascends to the Imperial throne – The “Sedition of Nika” – Novo Scriptorium


Bellissimo articolo che ripercorre la parabola di Giustiniano I, imperatore di Costantinopoli e ultimo reale imperatore romano; all’interno della trattazione – in inglese – le caratteristiche della sua persona e del suo regno, che tratteggiano un personaggio magnifico anche nei suoi difetti.

Justinian was a hard and suspicious master, and not over grateful to subjects who served him well; he was intolerant in religious, and unscrupulous in political matters. When his heart was set on a project he was utterly unmindful of the slaughter and ruin which it might bring upon his people. In the extent of his conquests and the magnificence of his public works, he was incomparably the greatest of the emperors who reigned at Constantinople. But the greatness was purely personal: he left the empire weaker in resources, if broader in provinces, than he found it.

Justinian did a great legal work — the compilation of the Pandects and Institutes. His private life was strict even to austerity. All night long, we read, he sat alone over his State papers in his cabinet, or paced the dark halls in deep thought. His sleepless vigilance so struck his subjects that the strangest legends became current even in his life-time.

The empire when Justinian took it over from the hands of his uncle was in a more prosperous condition than it had known since the death of Constantine. Since the Ostrogoths had moved out of the Balkan Peninsula in 487 A.D., it had not suffered from any very long or destructive invasion from without. The Slavonic tribes, now heard of for the first time, and the Bulgarians had made raids across the Danube, but they had not yet shown any signs of settling down—as the Goths had done—within the limits of the empire. Their incursions, though vexatious, were not dangerous. Still the European provinces of the empire were in worse condition than the Asiatic, and were far from having recovered the effects of the ravages of Fritigern and Alaric, Attila, and Theodoric. But the more fortunate Asiatic lands had hardly seen a foreign enemy for centuries.  Except in the immediate neighbourhood of the Persian frontier there was no danger, and Persian wars had been infrequent of late. Southern Asia Minor had once or twice suffered from internal risings, but civil war left no such permanent mark on the land as did barbarian invasions. On the whole, the resources of the provinces beyond the Bosphorus were intact.

There were more than 300,000 lbs. of gold in store when Justinian came to the throne. The army was in good order, and composed in a larger proportion of born subjects of the empire than it had been at any time since the battle of Adrianople. There would appear to have been from 150,000 to 200,000 men under arms, but the extent of the frontiers of the empire were so great that Justinian never sent out a single army of more than 30,000 strong, and forces of only a third of that number are often found entrusted with such mighty enterprises as the invasion of Africa or the defence of the Armenian border. The flower of the Roman army was no longer its infantry, but its mailed horsemen (Cataphracti), armed with lance and bow, as the Parthian cavalry had once been of old. The infantry comprised more archers and javelin-men than heavy troops: the Isaurians and other provincials of the mountainous parts of Asia Minor were reckoned the best of them. Among both horse and foot large bodies of foreign auxiliaries were still found: the Huns and Arabs supplied light cavalry, the German Herules and Gepidae from beyond the Danube heavier troops.

Istanbul – Litfiba


Lasciamoci andare, per pochi istanti, in piccole essenze di gocce e ricordi, mentre quasi tutto intorno sfuma e odora…

Emperor Zeno’s reign; the last German danger in the East – Novo Scriptorium


Su NovoScriptorum le fasi finali della legalità imperiale romana d’Occidente, intorno al 476 d.C., quando le relative insegne imperiali furono riconsegnate a Costantinopoli. Da notare come l’imperatore orientale, Zeno, non riconobbe il nuovo Re d’Italia e anzi, come cercasse di restaurare l’impossibile, aprendo così la porta alla politica traianea di Giustiniano I, circa mezzo secolo dopo.

The line of ephemeral emperors who reigned in Italy over the shrunken Western realm had ended in 476 A.D., when the German general Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, and did not trouble himself to nominate another puppet-Caesar to succeed him. By his order a deputation from the Roman Senate visited Zeno at Constantinople, to inform him that they did not require an emperor of their own to govern Italy, but would acknowledge him as ruler alike of East and West; at the same time they besought Zeno to nominate, as his representative in the Italian lands, their defender, the great Odoacer. Zeno replied by advising the Romans to persuade Odoacer to recognize as his lord Julius Nepos, one of the dethroned nominees of Ricimer, who had survived his loss of the imperial diadem. Odoacer refused, and proclaimed himself king in Italy, while still affecting—against Zeno’s own will—to recognize the Constantinopolitan emperor as his suzerain.In 488 A.D. it occurred to Zeno to offer Theodoric the government of Italy, if he would conquer it from Odoacer. The Ostrogoth, who had harried the inland of the Balkan Peninsula bare, and had met several reverses of late from the Roman arms, took the offer. He was made “patrician” and consul, and started off with all the Ostrogothic nation at his back to win the realm of Italy. After hard fighting with Odoacer and the mixed multitude of mercenaries that followed him, the Goths conquered Italy, and Theodoric—German king and Roman patrician—began to reign at Ravenna. He always professed to be the vassal and deputy of the emperor at Constantinople, and theoretically his conquest of Italy meant the reunion of the East and the West. But the Western realm had shrunk down to Italy and Illyricum, and the power of Zeno therein was purely nominal.

SANDRO BATTISTI, “L’IMPERO RESTAURATO” | La poesia e lo spirito


Da LaPoesiaLoSpirito presento di nuovo, visto lo spunto di ieri, una recensione al mio L’impero restaurato, romanzo che ha vinto in tandem il Premio Urania 2014. Alcuni estratti dalla critica di Giovanni Agnoloni. Che ringrazio.

Il tema di fondo, ovvero l’interazione tra la dominante e intrusiva personalità dell’imperatore dell’Impero Connettivo Totka_II e Giustiniano, imperatore romano d’Oriente, e la sua consorte Teodora, oggetto delle sue mire sessuali (ovviamente, per un tramite mentale), è essenzialmente un pretesto – sia pur articolato con grande dettaglio – per esplicare al massimo le potenzialità dell’intuizione creativa di Battisti: un impero retto da immortali che attingono a una sapienza ancestrale il potere che consente loro di reggere – e mutare – le sorti di sistemi di potere succedutisi nel corso della storia “rettilinea” (anche) della Terra. E, nel far questo, si servono di soggetti postumani – come il plenipotenziario Sillax -, ovvero uomini che hanno progressivamente rinunciato a parti del loro holos biologico per lasciare spazio a integrazioni meccaniche, sintetiche e perfino puramente energetiche, tali da prolungare pressoché indefinitamente il loro ciclo vitale.

In particolare, qui, l’aspetto interessante sta nella fascinazione irresistibile che Totka_II subisce da parte dell’avvenente moglie di Giustiniano. Quasi un’“invidia” della mortalità e della sia pur transitoria bellezza che essa porta con sé. Inoltre, dal punto di vista terrestre – e perciò di una circoscritta finestra spaziotemporale – è estremamente significativo il modo sottile e trasversale in cui Totka_II e i “suoi” intervengono nelle vicende umane: con lievi ma inequivocabili sfrangiature di ambiente e di atmosfera, segnali di allarme che rimandano a un oltre di eventi che sfuggono alle limitate facoltà terrene. È qui che la fantasia di Sandro Battisti si spinge nei territori della (o confinanti con la) fisica quantistica, con un’implicita apertura alla teoria del multiverso.

Il fascino segreto di questo romanzo breve sta nella sua capacità di raccogliere ed esprimere tutti questi spunti con un linguaggio poetico che è figlio di un’ispirazione “canalizzata”, “ricevuta”, non costruita a tavolino o frutto di gagliarde tecniche di editing. È espressione di una narrativa autenticamente lirica, che attinge al territorio del mito, confermando la portata archetipica – e filosofica – del movimento connettivista.

The foundation of Constantinople – Novo Scriptorium


Su NovoScriptorum – in lingua inglese – un bel post che narra della fondazione di Costantinopoli; il modo di rendere estremamente longevo un impero che doveva per forza riassettarsi per sopravvivere ai tempi, Costantino I lo aveva trovato. Un estratto:

Constantine, whose victory over his rivals had been secured by his talents as an administrator and a diplomatist no less than by his military skill, was one of those men whose hard practical ability has stamped upon the history of the world a much deeper impress than has been left by many conquerors and legislators of infinitely greater genius. He was a man of that self-contained, self-reliant, unsympathetic type of mind which we recognize in his great predecessor Augustus.

Though the strain of old Roman blood in his veins must have been but small, Constantine was in many ways a typical Roman. Born by the Danube, reared in the courts and camps of Asia and Gaul, he was absolutely free from any of that superstitious reverence for the ancient glories of the city on the Tiber which had inspired so many of his predecessors. Italy was to him but a secondary province amongst his wide realms. When he distributed his dominions among his heirs, it was Gaul that he gave as the noblest share to his eldest and best-loved son: Italy was to him a younger child’s portion.

There had been emperors before him who had neglected Rome: the barbarian Maximinus I. had dwelt by the Rhine and the Danube; the politic Diocletian had chosen Nicomedia as his favourite residence. But no one had yet dreamed of raising up a rival to the mistress of the world, and of turning Rome into a provincial town. If preceding emperors had dwelt far afield, it was to meet the exigencies of war on the frontiers or the government of distant provinces. It was reserved for Constantine to erect over against Rome a rival metropolis for the civilized world, an imperial city which was to be neither a mere camp nor a mere court, but the administrative and commercial centre of the Roman world.

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Giacomo Ferraiuolo

Avevo un sogno e l'ho realizzato.

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Per informarsi su fumetti, film, serie tv, cartoni, musica e tutto ciò che è pop

Inchiostro e Sanguenero

È impossibile non comunicare. (Primo assioma della comunicazione. Scuola di Palo Alto)

Stregherie

“Quando siamo calmi e pieni di saggezza, ci accorgiamo che solo le cose nobili e grandi hanno un’esistenza assoluta e duratura, mentre le piccole paure e i piccoli pensieri sono solo l’ombra della realtà.” (H. D. Thoreau)

L'occhio del cineasta

La porta su un'altra dimensione

La Sindrome del Colibrì

The more you know, the less you fear (Chris Hadfield)

Terracqueo

MultaPaucis

Il maestro dei sogni

"Tutti siamo fatti della stessa sostanza dei sogni"

Il Bistrot dei Libri

"Un libro ben scelto ti salva da qualsiasi cosa, persino da te stesso" Daniel Pennac

Astro Orientamenti

Ri Orientarsi, alla ricerca del nostro baricentro interiore

Fantasy al Kilo

L'osteria del Fantasy e Sci-Fi

Medio Oriente e Dintorni

Storie, cultura e sport dal Medio Oriente e e Dintorni

Gli Archivi di Uruk

Database di genere in italiano

ˈGŌSTRAK

In Absentia Lucis Tenebrae Vincunt

PostScripts

Il Blog di Francesca Sabatini

BREAKFAST COMICS

Best Comics & Graphic Novels / I fumetti da leggere almeno una volta nella vita. Sponsored by CSBNO

La Via del Caos

Cambiare il modo di vedere il mondo per migliorare sé stessi

Aquilone di pensieri

And into the fields I go to lose my mind and find my soul

3... 2... 1... Clic!

E’ un’illusione che le foto si facciano con la macchina… si fanno con gli occhi, con il cuore, con la testa. (Henri Cartier-Bresson)

B-Movie Zone

recensioni di film horror, thriller, gialli, poliziotteschi, sci-fi, exploitation, erotika

I tesori di Amleta

Qualcosa appare e scompare tra tanto buio e luce

VOCI DAI BORGHI

Laudabunt alii claram Rhodon aut Mytilenem...

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