Written on Apr, 11, 2017 by in ,

The emperor Constantius had precipitated the conflict between Symmachus and Ambrose by removing the altar of Victory that had been placed in the Senate chamber by Caesar Augustus himself. Later, the emperor Gratian escalated the assault by stealing imperial funds meant for the cults and disbanding the priesthoods. Symmachus solicited several succeeding emperors to have the venerable objects returned. In …

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Written on Apr, 04, 2017 by in ,

“He’s written a well-received commentary on Saint Paul,” continued the Consul, “for those of you unfamiliar with such spiritual matters…”  The guests laughed at the gibe. “…you may read it now.”  He backed away, and from behind him came twenty-five boys, none older than ten. They wore white tunics and silver sandals. Each carried a book, and each came to …

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Written on Mar, 28, 2017 by in ,

Female domestics in green dresses offered bowls of walnuts, honey-coated almonds, cakes baked with pistachios, fish-stuffed African olives, and fried goat cheese. Male domestics in short violet tunics tenderized the spitted roasts with prongs and dribbled savory pepper-oil that crisped the flesh black in the flames. Bottles of other expensive spices lay conspicuously strewn about. The single large serving table …

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Written on Mar, 22, 2017 by in ,

*** The office of Consul was one of the most ancient, but had become an expensive honor. Even so, every senator wanted it. The Consul sponsored games. He gave his name to the year. During imperial ceremonies, had the privilege of standing quite close to the eunuchs who surrounded Emperor Honorius. The Consul for the year was the patriarch of …

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Written on Mar, 14, 2017 by in ,

Chapter III The evening arrived along with another message. Eucher dismissed the tribune and tossed the newly delivered scroll to the couch. “Another order.” “Will you ignore this one, too?” asked Gallus. “What am I to do? Now that Arcadius is dead, the East is open for the taking, and Father wants it back. In this age of new wars …

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