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Concept: Augustus


Migration within the Roman Empire occurred at multiple scales and was engaged in both voluntarily and involuntarily. Because of the lengthy tradition of classical studies, bioarchaeological analyses must be fully contextualized within the bounds of history, material culture, and epigraphy. In order to assess migration to Rome within an updated contextual framework, strontium isotope analysis was performed on 105 individuals from two cemeteries associated with Imperial Rome-Casal Bertone and Castellaccio Europarco-and oxygen and carbon isotope analyses were performed on a subset of 55 individuals. Statistical analysis and comparisons with expected local ranges found several outliers who likely immigrated to Rome from elsewhere. Demographics of the immigrants show men and children migrated, and a comparison of carbon isotopes from teeth and bone samples suggests the immigrants may have significantly changed their diet. These data represent the first physical evidence of individual migrants to Imperial Rome. This case study demonstrates the importance of employing bioarchaeology to generate a deeper understanding of a complex ancient urban center.

Concepts: Augustus, Emigration, Roman Republic, Immigration, Human migration, Roman Empire, Europe, Ancient Rome


The archaeological excavations carried out in 1999 in the Collatina necropolis of the Roman Imperial Age (1st-3rd centuries AD) (Rome, Italy) discovered the skeletal remains of two adult males with evidence of paranasal lesions. Both individuals showed postmortem damage in the frontal bone, through which it was possible to macroscopically detect an oblong new bone formation. In both specimens, radiological examination of the defects' morphology showed new pediculated-based bone formations. Radiology also confirmed the presence of benign osseous masses arising from the right frontal sinus and interpreted as osteomata. Their dimensions did not exceed 10 mm, so that mechanical complications and compression of the adjacent structures could be ruled out. The osteomata of paranasal sinuses are rarely reported in paleopathology, since they can be discovered only incidental to bone breakage or radiography. Hence, the evaluation of their occurrence in past populations represents an important challenge. The two cases presented here show direct and rare evidence of frontal sinus osteomata dating back to the Roman Imperial Age.

Concepts: Trajan, Augustus, Intramembranous ossification, Roman Republic, Ancient Rome, Skull, Bone, Roman Empire


Over three centuries after the 1711 discovery in the choir of Notre-Dame in Paris of a square-section stone bas-relief (the Pillar of the Boatmen) with depictions of several deities, both Gaulish and Roman, the blocks comprising it were analyzed as a symbol of Parisian power, if not autonomy, vis-à-vis the Roman Empire. Variously considered as local, national, or imperial representations, the blocks were a constant object of admiration, interrogation, and speculation among antiquarians of the Republic of Letters. They were also boundary objects - products of the emergence of a Parisian archeology dated from 1711. If this science reflected the tensions and ambiguities of a local regime of knowledge situated in a national context, it also helped to coordinate archeological work between different institutions and actors. This paper would like to assess the specific role played by the Pillar of the Boatmen as a fetish object in this process. To what extent could an archeological artifact influence this reshaping of urban representation, this change of scales? By following the three-century career of the pillar’s blocks as composite objects, which some have identified as merely stones or a column, it is possible to understand the multiple dimensions that defined the object as archeological - as an artifact that contributed to the relocating of the historical city center - and the multiple approaches that transform existing remains into knowledgeable objects.

Concepts: Augustus, Domitian, Troy, Roman Republic, Ancient Rome, Europe, Archaeology, Roman Empire


Julius Caesar (100 - 44 BC) was one of the most charismatic political figures in history. Best remembered for his military achievements, he was also a writer, historian and statesman. Through his constitutional reforms, he played an important role in the events that led to the end of the Roman Republic and the birth of the Roman Empire. Historical sources reveal that Julius Caesar suffered from headaches, seizures and personality changes. In this essay, we highlight the life of Julius Caesar, with emphasis on the potential origin of his sickness. Although a definitive diagnosis obviously cannot be made, as new published studies showed a possible cerebrovascular etiology, a new hypothetical diagnosis is presented.

Concepts: Second Triumvirate, Battle of Actium, Mark Antony, Ancient Rome, Augustus, Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, Roman Empire


Galen of Pergamum was the physician of Roman Emperors and contributed to our early understanding of medicine and anatomy. Herein, we present a short biography of Galen and review his multiple contributions to medicine and anatomy.

Concepts: Hippocrates, Tacitus, Augustus, Pope, Roman Emperor, Commodus, Roman Empire