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On this day in AD79 Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum

On the day that an earthquake rocks central Italy, two thousand years ago Vesuvius shattered countless ancient lives.

On this day in AD 69 the Roman emperor, Otho, died by his own hand in Rome

Text by Mike Welbourn He was born Marcus Salvius Otho at Ferentium (modern-day Ferento) in Etruria on 28 April, 32. His family was one of the leading clans of the town and were apparently descendents of Etruscan royalty. Otho’s father, Lucius, seems to have been a courtier and close ally of both Tiberius and Claudius. …

On this day in AD 193 the Roman emperor Pertinax was assassinated at Rome

Text by Benedict Segal Publius Helvius Pertinax was born at Alba Pompeia in Liguria on 1 August, 126 the son of Helvius Successus, a man of humble origins who may have been a freedman. His mother’s identity is unknown. Pertinax received a basic Roman education, which led him initially to become a teacher before joining …

On this day in AD 4, Gaius (Julius) Caesar died in the province of Lycia, aged 23 or 24.

Text by Harry Tanton Image by Mint Imperials Gaius was the eldest son of Augustus’ close friend and loyal ally, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, and the emperor’s only daughter, Julia the Elder. He was born in Rome in 20 BC. Lacking a biological male heir, in 17 BC when Gaius was only three years old, Augustus …

On this day in AD14 Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, died aged 76 (Part II)

Text by Mike Welbourn Image © Mint Imperial In the first part we looked at Augustus’ rise to power. In this second part, we look at his time as emperor. Augustus thus came to enjoy an unassailable and unimpeachably legal pre-eminence. Beyond establishing a long period of peace and stability after decades of civil war, Augustus undertook …

On this day in AD14 Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, died aged 76 (Part I)

Text by Mike Welbourn Image © Mint Imperial In this first part we look at Augustus’ rise to power. In the second part, we will look at his time as emperor. Augustus had risen to power in the aftermath of the assassination in 44 BC of his great-uncle and adoptive father, the dictator Julius Caesar. In concert with Marc Antony, …

2027 years ago today: Augustus took the title Pontifex Maximus

Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, took the title “pontifex maximus” and combined in himself political and religious leadership.