By Philip Haythornthwaite
In January 1794 the French ‘Army of Italy’ was once commanded through common Dumerbion and he said a very good debt to his 25-year-old commander of artillery – Napoleon Bonaparte. The French Revolution had led to significant alterations within the army procedure, conscription created a countrywide military and new strategies and tasks allowed an officer of such promise as Napoleon to upward thrust fast during the ranks.
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To consolidate his position in the Roman power game, Caesar needed a major military command. This he received with a mandate to govern the province of Gallia Narbonensis, a southern swathe of modern France stretching from Italy to the Pyrenees, from 59 BC. Caesar raised troops and in the following year entered Gaul proper (modern France) to head off an invasion of Helvetic tribes from Switzerland and subsequently to bring other tribes to heel. What started as an essentially defensive effort soon became a full-blown campaign of conquest.
The question of the Mafia remains an open sore. The publication in 2006 of Gomorra, a chilling and personal account of the Naples Camorra by journalist Roberto Saviano, showed just how deep the problem goes. Although Sicily’s Cosa Nostra grabs many of the headlines, the Camorra is Italy’s biggest organised crime group (if this mix of warring clans can be considered a single entity). Known to its own members as The System, it is involved in everything from drugs and arms trafficking to illegal industrial waste disposal.
Return to beginning of chapter AUGUSTUS & EMPIRE Octavian was left as sole ruler of the Roman world and by 27 BC had been acclaimed Augustus (Your Eminence) and conceded virtually unlimited power by the Senate. In effect, he had become emperor. Under him, the arts flourished. Augustus was lucky in having as his contemporaries the poets Virgil, Horace and Ovid, as well as the historian Livy. He encouraged the visual arts, restored existing buildings and constructed many new ones. During his reign the Pantheon was raised and he boasted that he had ‘found Rome in brick and left it in marble’.