Ancient Rome was a civilization centred around the city of Rome, that lasted from the 8th century BC to 476 AD (West); 1453 AD (East).

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What freedoms did basic Roman citizens have?

Simple question, thanks for your time. I am just wondering what freedoms did the most basic of citizens have (when there was an emperor, not the senate). I don't really need an explanation; a list ...
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Who founded Rome?

According to myth ". . . the Trojan refugee Aeneas escape[d] to Italy and found[ed] the line of Romans through his son Iulus, the namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty." Aside: Livy (1797). The ...
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Did Roman prostitutes wear purple dresses?

Reading a wikipedia page about prostitution (it is in spanish; I haven't checked if the english says the same) it is said that prostitues wore purple dresses. Was this generally true?
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Was Julius Caesar a hippie?

I was reading the question What was the hippie movement? Why did it decline? when I noticed this comment by Oldcat: There is even a story of Julius Caesar wearing a long fringe sleeved tunic to ...
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Individual mobility in Greco-Roman world

As we know, the Greeks and later also the Romans built street networks to connect their settlements to each other. For me, this fact raised an issue: How did the Greeks and Romans move between their ...
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165 views

How is the year “753 BC” given in ancient legends about the founding of Rome?

According to tradition, the founding of Rome by the legendary figures Romulus and Remus occurred in the year "753 BC". Of course, ancient Roman scholars would not have referenced that date using the ...
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264 views

How regularly did the Romans bathe?

I guess the answer may be different for rich people who had their own baths and others who visited the public baths.
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322 views

Did Romans know about China?

Could there be a possibility that some Romans knew that there was a country north east of India? Because as far as I know the Romans traded with Indians.
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Did Caesar hold proconsular imperium for his entire governorship?

In order to hold a governorship during the late Roman Republic the magistrate needed to be a pro magistratu, specifically proquaestor, propraetor or proconsular. Since Caesar was appointed his ...
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Why haven't Etruscan texts survived?

In Wikipedia it's claimed that Etruscan Civilization had a rich literature, but only one Etruscan text has survived. And AFAIK at the same moment we have many Ancient Greeks texts roughly from the ...
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293 views

Classical battle sizes vs medieval battle sizes

Why did classical battles did tend to be larger than medieval ages? One particular example I am thinking of was the battle of Stamford bridge, which had around 30,000 participants, compared to the ...
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120 views

What differentiated Rome from other Mediterranean (e.g. Greek) city states? [closed]

What was the reason Rome was able to rise to such heights in the ancient world compared to say, the Greeks? How could they come such a long way and became the masters of the known world at the end ...
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Virtus romana vs homosexuality

When I took latin classes, I remember studying texts about the virtus romana. When you were a man in Rome, it seems like you were expected to be the first in battle, to be courageous, and to have many ...
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172 views

Testudo formation vs ballista?

We have a related modern question: WWI trench tactics using shields? But if we move back into antiquity, are there accounts of the testudo formation withstanding ballistae bolts? Could it?
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Difference between legions at the end of the Roman empire and around the beginning of the Roman Empire

I'm currently searching for some information about the Roman legions. Around the time of Julius Caesar and Augustus the legions seem to be more organized and were structured with the same type of ...
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273 views

Unemployed people in ancient Rome

How did ancient Rome deal with the unemployed? (I mean not the idle by supposed laziness, or vagabonds). Did they at some point have free citizens who were unemployed, in the sense that they wanted ...
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Julius Caesar's view on Celts and Germans

I encountered an interesting quote on the English Wikipedia page for Germania some time ago, which seems to have persisted, albeit without citation. I was hoping someone could find a reliable source ...
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272 views

Were early accounts of ancient child prostitution accurate?

Well I'm doing a research about the history and background of Child Sexual Abuse and due to the few sources related to the topic, I've been stucked ,but recently a I found this book "The Encyclopedia ...
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How did the Roman army go from constantly losing battles in the middle of the 3rd century to winning almost everything?

During the middle of the 3rd century (crisis years) the roman legions seemed to be beaten left and right by the Goths, Sassanians and numerous Germanic tribes. Then suddenly with the arrival of the ...
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118 views

Were Christians really burned for lighting by Nero? [closed]

I presume after fire of Rome Nero persecuted Christians. But it is the form of persecution which interest me since Tacitus writes Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the ...
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Roman era clothing (Egypt + Carthage)

In 2014, it is 2000 years ago that Emperor Augustus died. To celebrate this, we are doing a huge project (Historical Walking Dinner) in which we re-enact certain groups of the Roman population in that ...
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How did Rome's legal system work?

How was it decided if a case should be tried in Rome or in the province by the governor of that province? was the governor always the judge or were there exceptions? who were the lawyers? I know a lot ...
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79 views

How exactly were the titles of the Roman emperors passed on to their heirs

I understand that the emperors held their office not under the one title "emperor" but under several different titles, all the major magisterial positions of the Republic. So, how did all these titles ...
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Is there any evidence of STD's in ancient times?

Are there any ancient texts that show or imply that their authors knew that certain diseases were spread through sexual activity? It seems like sexual contagion was recognized in the 16th century ...
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269 views

What happened to cities in the Western Roman empire after the fall of Rome? [closed]

What were the transitions, How long did each transitional period last.
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When were Roman Emperor's faces placed on coins?

During an emperor's reign, were coins (i.e. sestertii) minted the year they became emperors, the year they stopped being emperors, or right in the middle?
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Provinces and Dioceses in the late roman empire contrasted with those of the church

I have been frustrated by the following issue. In the structure of the late roman empire, provinces were grouped into diocese, which were in turn grouped into praetorian prefectures. The civilian ...
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Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
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Was Marcus Marcellus faced with Viridomarus or Britomartus?

I seem to have come to a discrepancy, as I'm sure a lot have, concerning the event in which Marcus Claudius Marcellus is supposedly meant to have slain the King of the Insubres in 222 B.C.E. Plutarch ...
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What were the business models of real estate development in ancient Rome?

I just watched Mary Beard's documentary about the Romans. One thing I'm curious about is that some of the models of living of the Romans seemed to be quite similar to today's: e.g. that there were ...
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141 views

What were the civic privileges created for the Jews by Porcius Festus?

Festus inherited all of the problems of his predecessor in regard to the Roman practice of creating civic privileges for Jews. Only one other issue bedeviled his administration, the controversy ...
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Who were the candidates in the consular elections for 80 BC in Rome?

Wikipedia describes the political process of 80 BC thus: Near the end of 81 BC, Sulla, true to his traditionalist sentiments, resigned his dictatorship, disbanded his legions and re-established ...
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255 views

Was Rome obliged to expand its territory whether it wanted to or not?

If we assume that the trend to empire existed for generations before Julius Caesar was assassinated: Was the very expansion that eventually doomed the Roman Republic/Empire economically or ...
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Why were Arians outnumbered on the First Council of Nicaea?

Constantine was baptized by an Arian bishop a few years after the Council of Nicaea. His sons were Arians. At least the leadership of the Visigoths that sacked Rome where Arians. That was in 410, only ...
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What rules of the ancient Roman game 'Harpastum' are known?

I have heard of the ancient Roman game known as Harpastum. What rules of this games are known? I have two particular principal points of interest, how were points scored and what happened (i.e. was ...
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332 views

Which roman emperors were not ethnically Latin? [closed]

The Roman empire being a long-lived empire and over a large area is likely to have had some dynasties/emperors that were not ethnically Latin/Italian, is that in fact the case? If so which ...
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Why was the water in roman fountains cold?

Why was the water from some aqueducts that fed the water to ancient Roman fountains(nasoni) cold?
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Why did the Romans incorporate and rename the Greek pantheon? [closed]

I have read on occasion that they kept the pantheon out of admiration and/or to keep the peace with the newly conquered Greeks, but I have never seen any hard evidence or writings that say this in in ...
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Which nation on Earth has been under foreign rule the longest? [closed]

The Philippines was under Spanish rule for over 333 years. After the Battle of Manila Bay and the Treaty of Paris (1898), rule of the Philippines was transferred from Spain to the USA. From a brief ...
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Why are there naked ancient statues? [duplicate]

I don't know a lot of Roman history, but I noticed in some of their statues, naked people. Their sexual organs are shown and obivious to people. Here's a simple google search. Was it normal back then ...
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Did Ancient Roman insulae reach more than 10 storeys?

High-rise apartments flourished in classical antiquity. Ancient Roman insulae there and in other imperial cities reached 10 and more storeys. Beginning with Augustus (r. 30 BCE-14 CE), several ...
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Did Josephus question the date of the destruction of the First or Second Temple?

In Flavius Josephus's War of the Jews, in Book 6, Chapter 4, he described the day that the Second Temple burned. He then consoles himself by saying that all good things must come to an end, but then ...
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What roman legions in Spain revolted against Caesar before the battle at Munda?

I was debating an interesting topic recently about Pompey's legions in Spain and why they hadn't fought alongside him against Caesar at Pharsalus. Now Caesar forcefully convinced most of them to join ...
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200 views

Ancient Christianity

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
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Why was a 10-year old kid appointed consul?

This guy was appointed consul in the Eastern Roman Empire in 491 when he was 10 (ten) years old. As far as I know this was a rather irregular proceeding - I don't recall other cases where children ...
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When did Rome recognize the Christian church as a judical person?

It is known that since Augustus new collegiums (judical persons) could be established only by the senate's decree. It is known that under the late empire the church operated as a collegium. As such, ...
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What was the role of the college of consuls in Ancient Rome?

Wikipedia says: By law, only three persons were required to create a legal collegium; the only exception was the college of consuls, which included only the two consuls. I wonder what was ...
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234 views

Why do people still leave flowers at the Temple of Julius Caesar?

I visited Rome recently and did an audio tour through the Colosseum and Roman Forum archeological sites. In the Roman Forum there is the remains of the Temple of Caesar, where Julius Caesar was ...
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Do there exist busts/statues of all the roman emperors until the fall of the West?

I recently visited the impressive Hall of Emperors section in the Capitoline museum in Rome. I had assumed that it would display busts of all the emperors of Rome, but in reality it was obvious that ...
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New theory on origins of modern-day Romania?

I watched a documentary which basically claims that modern-day Romanians are not the descendants of Rome, but that the Romans and the Romanians share a common ancestor with the same language. One of ...