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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Why were proconsular appointments so staggered under the Principate?

Ronald Mellor, in an article about the new Flavian elite (Mellor, Ronald. "The New Aristocracy of Power." In: Flavian Rome: culture, image, text (2003) edited by Boyle and Dominik: 69-91.) rather ...
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Is chain mail expensive?

I've read many textbooks and talked to plenty of people who explained to me that making thousands of rings, then interlocking them is terribly expensive. This confuses me because history had Vikings ...
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How democratic was the ancient republic of Rome? [closed]

So in ancient Rome Republic elections where done every year and two consuls were elected, however I see sometimes the same consuls elected again and again, same seems to happen with the senators. ...
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Why were the military and civil powers split in the Late Roman Empire?

The administration of the Dominate (aka Later Roman Empire) was different in many ways from the Principate (aka Early Roman Empire). In most cases it is rather clear why the various reforms had to ...
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Was the site of Rome and Constantinople chosen for featuring “seven hills”? [closed]

Both Rome and Constantinople were located on seven so-called hills. Rome was capital of the Roman state, and maintained that status into the imperial era; Constantinople was founded as a new capital. ...
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how did the Cynics of Greece and Rome eat

How did the Ancient Cynics like Diogenes eat during their time? I know they only believed in eating natural foods but don't know how they procured it. If they didn't believe in wealth, they could not ...
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220 views

Did the Great Wall of China help cause the fall of the Roman Empire?

I recently came across a saying that "Rome fell essentially because China built the Great Wall" (to protect itself against the Xiongnu people, if I remember correctly) in a lecture series on peoples ...
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83 views

What is the earliest archaeological evidence of silk presence in Ancient Rome?

And are there any archaeological data about silk in pre-Imperial Rome?
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321 views

What happened to all the notable Roman families?

What happened to the numerous (patrician) families of Rome? Like the Gens Julia for example. There are no ancestors today leading back to them like for example the famous Medici family from ...
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Forms of address of Roman Magistrates under Constantinus

In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon mentions that Roman magistrates under Constantinus the Great had such titles as; your Sincerity, your Gravity, your Excellency, your ...
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How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

I've tried to find some information about it, but failed. Somehow it doesn't seem to be important enough to write about it. Let's say there is an educated slave living in a relatively rich household ...
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66 views

Detailed dimensions of the Colosseum

I know that the Colosseum is about 189x156 meters, and 48 meters high, but I am having trouble finding any information on the dimensions of each of the 4 rows of seating. To be exact, where each row ...
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Why did the senate of Carthage not sent reinforcements to Hannibal in Italy?

During the second Punic war, Hannibal Barca fought in Italy for 14 years... 14 years! yet the Romans manage to bring the war to Africa. My question is, how is that possible? Specially after battles ...
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Why didn't Hannibal attack Rome after the Battle of Cannae?

Hannibal Barca defeated 8 Roman legions in the Battle of Cannae. At that time Carthage also had control over Hispania. Why did Hannibal not seize Rome at that time?
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Average height of Ancient Roman Men and Women?

On a field trip to Philadelphia as a child I visited Betsy Ross' house. I was only 11 at the time and yet my head almost reached the ceiling. The tour guide said that Americans used to be shorter than ...
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122 views

Division of Rome and Its Eventual Decline

What was the effect of dividing Rome into three separate administrative states around 44BC? How did this contribute to the fall of the empire?
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Were the Medieval Britons aware of the existence of the Roman Empire?

I would like to know if the medieval people in Britain, by around 800 AD, knew that there was an empire that ruled Britain several hundreds of years before. Otherwise, were there any myths, legends, ...
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Are there any extant original first-century manuscripts of any of Josephus' works?

It has been claimed that there are no surviving originals of any of Josephus' works. I have not found any help through Google, and so I wonder if anyone can give me any information about this, along ...
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293 views

What is the last historical mention of people worshipping the Roman gods?

Today, there are many polytheists and neopagans who worship the ancient Roman gods. They are, however, a very new development, and not the descendants of an unbroken line stretching back to the Roman ...
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Is there contemporary evidence for the Roman Kingdom?

The early history of Ancient Rome is notoriously poorly documented. The Gaul Sack of Rome (390 BC) has destroyed much early written records. What evidence do we have that remains of the Roman Kingdom? ...
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Tiberius Gracchus' strategy after Punic Wars [closed]

Did Tiberius Gracchus' strategy as tribune worked towards the best interests of the Republic, given the political, social, and economic climate after the Punic Wars?
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60 views

Why didn't Tiberius Gracchus seek the consulship?

Tiberius Gracchus tried to push through his reforms programme while holding the magistracy of a tribune of the plebs. I wonder, though, why he did not try to get elected as consul (very likely given ...
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201 views

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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219 views

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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415 views

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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162 views

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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247 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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438 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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649 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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63 views

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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213 views

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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655 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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151 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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158 views

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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196 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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591 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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479 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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155 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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1answer
113 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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786 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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1answer
213 views

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 ...