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In about 165 AD, the Roman Empire encountered a foe they could not crush – the start of the Antonine Plague. The plague swept through all levels of society; the healthy were just as likely to contract the disease and die as the infirm.  And although 70% of those who contracted the disease survived, they …

  • August 19, 2020
  • Interesting
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“Is any man afraid of change?  What can take place without change?  What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature?  Can you take a bath unless the wood undergoes a change?  Can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change?  Can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change?” …

  • August 10, 2020
  • Serbia
  • Comments Off on The Plague that Killed the Emperor
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August 7, 626 was a defeat for the Slavs, who had been attacking the walls of Constantinople under the command of the Avar army. But it was a victory, too. When the Slavs abandoned the siege, they melted back into the Balkans, where they had begun to settle.  From this point in history, they would …

  • August 7, 2020
  • Culture , Culture
  • Comments Off on Slav Defeat, Slav Victory

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Cleopatra VII Philopater, mistress of Julius Caesar, wife of Marc Antony, Pharaoh of Egypt, killed herself on 12 August 30 BC.  With her death the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt ended. Except, actually, it didn’t. Cleopatra was, genetically, Egyptian-in-name-only.  The Ptolemaic Dynasty came to power in Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 …

  • August 4, 2020
  • Macedonia
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There was a slaughter. From 303 a series of edicts from the Roman government rescinded the rights of Christians in the Empire and demanded that everyone sacrifice to the gods.  Those that didn’t conform were killed – although this was enforced to different levels in different places.  Illyricum and Thrace, the Balkan areas of the …

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Roman ruins are everywhere in the Balkans. The Romans, after the Batonnian Uprising, repopulated the province of Illyricum with their own people.   The region was first pagan, and St Paul himself preached through Illyricum.  By the year 300, 10% of the Roman empire was Christian.  In the last gasps of a pagan majority, the …

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It would probably straighten up a few things in popular culture if the Balkan contribution to ruling the Roman Empire were more well known.   Obviously the Romans were in the Balkans and they ruled the Balkans; they left tons of evidence. But for more than two hundred years the Balkans also ruled the Romans, …

  • July 1, 2020
  • History
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The mightiest empire of antiquity, and arguably the mightiest empire the world has ever seen, was in decline in the third century AD.  Not just in decline, but rapidly falling apart at the seams.  Barbarians were invading, the peasants were revolting, the currency was debased, the plague surfaced, and Roman rulers were busy amusing themselves …

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