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Concept: Roman Republic

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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

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It is now universally accepted that utilization of lead for domestic purposes and water distribution presents a major health hazard. The ancient Roman world was unaware of these risks. How far the gigantic network of lead pipes used in ancient Rome compromised public health in the city is unknown. Lead isotopes in sediments from the harbor of Imperial Rome register the presence of a strong anthropogenic component during the beginning of the Common Era and the Early Middle Ages. They demonstrate that the lead pipes of the water distribution system increased Pb contents in drinking water of the capital city by up to two orders of magnitude over the natural background. The Pb isotope record shows that the discontinuities in the pollution of the Tiber by lead are intimately entwined with the major issues affecting Late Antique Rome and its water distribution system.

Concepts: Classical antiquity, Roman Republic, Western Europe, Middle Ages, Rome, Decline of the Roman Empire, Roman Empire, Ancient Rome

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Authors often convey meaning by referring to or imitating prior works of literature, a process that creates complex networks of literary relationships (“intertextuality”) and contributes to cultural evolution. In this paper, we use techniques from stylometry and machine learning to address subjective literary critical questions about Latin literature, a corpus marked by an extraordinary concentration of intertextuality. Our work, which we term “quantitative criticism,” focuses on case studies involving two influential Roman authors, the playwright Seneca and the historian Livy. We find that four plays related to but distinct from Seneca’s main writings are differentiated from the rest of the corpus by subtle but important stylistic features. We offer literary interpretations of the significance of these anomalies, providing quantitative data in support of hypotheses about the use of unusual formal features and the interplay between sound and meaning. The second part of the paper describes a machine-learning approach to the identification and analysis of citational material that Livy loosely appropriated from earlier sources. We extend our approach to map the stylistic topography of Latin prose, identifying the writings of Caesar and his near-contemporary Livy as an inflection point in the development of Latin prose style. In total, our results reflect the integration of computational and humanistic methods to investigate a diverse range of literary questions.

Concepts: Grammar, Fiction, Linguistics, Roman Republic, Scientific method, Writing, Ancient Rome, Literature

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A collection of more than 1800 carbonized papyri, discovered in the Roman ‘Villa dei Papiri’ at Herculaneum is the unique classical library survived from antiquity. These papyri were charred during 79 A.D. Vesuvius eruption, a circumstance which providentially preserved them until now. This magnificent collection contains an impressive amount of treatises by Greek philosophers and, especially, Philodemus of Gadara, an Epicurean thinker of 1st century BC. We read many portions of text hidden inside carbonized Herculaneum papyri using enhanced X-ray phase-contrast tomography non-destructive technique and a new set of numerical algorithms for ‘virtual-unrolling’. Our success lies in revealing the largest portion of Greek text ever detected so far inside unopened scrolls, with unprecedented spatial resolution and contrast, all without damaging these precious historical manuscripts. Parts of text have been decoded and the ‘voice’ of the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus is brought back again after 2000 years from Herculaneum papyri.

Concepts: Philodemus, Roman Republic, Philosophy, Ancient Rome, Roman Empire, Mount Vesuvius, Epicureanism, Villa of the Papyri

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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

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To develop and validate a novel comorbidity score (multisource comorbidity score (MCS)) predictive of mortality, hospital admissions and healthcare costs using multiple source information from the administrative Italian National Health System (NHS) databases.

Concepts: Validation, Health economics, Roman Republic, Epidemiology, Health insurance, Clinical trial, Medicine, Cohort study

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An association between parity and thyroid cancer risk has been investigated in a number of independent studies but yielded contradictory findings. The aim of this study was to explore the association between parity and thyroid cancer risk. The population-based cohort study in Lithuanian was conducted. The study dataset based on the linkages between all records from the 2001 population census, all cancer incidence records from the Lithuanian Cancer Registry, and all death and emigration records from Statistics Lithuania for the period between 6 April 2001 and 31 December 2009. Cox’s proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) for parity, age at first birth, number of children, place of residence, education, and age at census. The cohort of 868,105 women was followed for 8.6 years, and 1775 thyroid cancer cases were diagnosed during the study period. The significantly higher thyroid cancer risk was observed among parous women (HR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.20, 1.75) and in women with 1, 2, and 3 children, after adjusting for the possible confounding effects of relevant demographic variables. The findings of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that parity might be associated with the risk of thyroid cancer in women.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Roman Republic, Epidemiology, Statistics, Hazard, Cohort study, Population, Demography

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Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a disease with rising prevalence and considerable geographical variation. To describe the prevalence, spatial and time distribution, baseline characteristics, response to treatment, outcome and the validity of GLOBE score in a large cohort of Greek PBC patients as an independent validation of this score has not been done so far.

Concepts: Time, Disease, Physics, Universe, Roman Republic, Space, Geography, Epidemiology

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Family-Centred Care (FCC) is recognized as an important component of all paediatric care, including neonatal care, although practical clinical guidelines to support this care model are still needed in Italy. The characteristics and services for families in Italian NICUs show a lack of organization and participation.

Concepts: Roman Republic, Pregnancy, Infancy, Neonatal intensive care unit, Infant, Intensive care medicine, Pediatrics