Roman Terms
Cursus Honorum
"Path of Honor" -- The career path that aristocrats followed. All positions were elected, and one had to fulfill the obligations and time-in-position of each before being eligible to progress to the next position.
Flamen
Priests dedicated to serving a single deity.
Flamen Dialis
The most important of the flamen. He was the priest of Jupiter. The Flamen Dialis was forbidden from doing several things, including touching a goat, riding a horse, eating beans, and getting his hair cut by a slave
The Gracchi
Two brothers (Tiberius and Gaius) who represented the concerns of the plebeans in the Roman Senate after the Third Punic War. They argued unsucessfully to distribute the wealth gained by Rome after the wars among the people, especially those who had fought in the war. They were killed (at different times) for their beliefs. After their deaths The Social War between the Plebeans and Patricians erupted.
Pax Romana
"Roman Peace" -- The first 200 or so years of the Roman Empire are often refered to as this because there were virtually no wars, and ideas and items were shared with everyone across the Roman world. It was a time of great thinking, freedom, and peace.
Pontifex Maximus
The head of the state religion of Rome. This title is now held by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. All of the Roman Emperors and Julius Caesar held the title.
Praetorian Guard
An elite group of soldiers who guarded the Emperor and acted as the Police of Rome. Augustus formed this group to protect his family. After the death of Augustus they became freelance soldiers and gained power, assasinating Emperors they believed to be "unfit" and vitrually deciding who would rule the Empire. Think of them as the Gestapo of the Roman Empire.
Rex Sacrorum
"Sacred King" -- A man who acted as a king during religious events that required a king. The position was created during the early Roman Republic.
SPQR
"Senatus Populusque Romanus" ("The Senate and People of Rome") -- Popular on Roman standards and banners
Vestal Virgins
Six women chosen by the Pontifex Maximus who served as the priestesses of Vesta and kept her sacred fire burning in the Temple of Vesta in Rome. They came from patrician families, and served for thirty years starting around age six--ten years of learning, ten of serving, and ten of teaching. The Vestal Virgins were given places of honor at all public events. If a Vestal Virgin failed to keep her vow of chastity she was burried alive.

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