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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Is there an instance where Rome adopted a weapon to win a war?

I thought I had read that Roman soldiers had adopted crossbows to defeat the Pythagoreans. However after Google and Wikipedia, I can't find support for this. Or was there some other example where the ...
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84 views

What are the symbols on the Tomb of the Priestess of Isis along Via Appia

A couple of years ago, I had the good fortune to ride along the Appian Way and admire the old tombstones still standing along the old Roman road. (Highly recommended for any Roman history buff!). I ...
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Were Roman marching songs still bawdy during principate/dominate?

We know from writers such as Suetonius in his Vita Divi Iuli that legionnaires would sing some quite raunchy and bawdy tunes, even during a triumph of their leader. There were open allusions to ...
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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 ...
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Did war chariots ever actually have blades on the wheel hubs?

Several movies depict Greek and Roman war chariots with sharp, sword like blades protruding from the hub in the centre of the wheels. Was such a design just theatre on the part of the movies or is ...
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Why did we never found any elephant skeletons in the Western Alps?

It is widely assumed that the carthaginian general Hannibal Barcas crossed the Western Alps some 2200 Years ago with an army of men, horses and elephants in direction of Italy and the Roman Republic. ...
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What is the reason that not all roman emperors named a month after them?

As far as I know, Julius Caesar and Augustus named the fifth and the sixth months, respectively, after themselves, but why didn't Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero do the same while there were ...
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189 views

What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
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126 views

What did Ostian script look like?

What did Ostian script look like? I've seen some drawings in Origin of the Serif and I'd like to learn more. But when I tried googling I wasn't able to find anything: all I got were false positives. ...
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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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317 views

Are the Dacians and the Getae the same people?

Are the Dacians and the Getae the same people? When Caesar and Trajan refer to their enemies above the Danube, do they refer to the same people or different people? Furthermore, how do Goths fit in? ...
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How much of an impact did the Roman emperors' civil wars have on their decision to debase the coinage?

From Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell: "Civil war remained a common event, ...the economy collapsed, as successive emperors massively devalued the coinage to pay for their wars." Other sources say ...
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Did some Roman/Pompeiian houses have atria for slaves?

According to Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Vettii) the House of the Vettii brothers had two atria, one specifically for slaves. Servants' quarters are to one side off ...
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Polite forms of address in Ancient Rome

My Latin dictionary only lists ere for sir, which is how a slave would address his/her master. But how would a lower status Roman address a person of higher status - for instance, a wage-labourer to ...
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Which roman emperors were not born in Rome? [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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Where did Hannibal cross the Pyrenees?

Hannibal's passage through the Alps has been extensively studied, regarding the route chosen and logistics involved in passing a large army through difficult terrain. Before that, Hannibal would have ...
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371 views

How did the Romans supply water in winter?

Roman aquaducts are famous, but didn't the water freeze during winter? Where did the cities get their water during winter? EDIT: running water doesn't freeze as easily as motionless water, which ...
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111 views

What percent of the Roman Republic's population were citizens in various centuries? [closed]

Does anyone have any sources mentioning the percentages of citizens at various times, or the populations of citizens and corresponding total populations so I can calculate percents? I looked at dozens ...
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How does the amount of equipment carried by various historical infantries compare?

I've heard many statements amount the weight of supplies and munition carried by soldiers of various historical forces. In particular, I've heard many comments about the amount that the British ...
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What status and rights did a Roman freedwoman have?

When a slave was freed by a Roman citizen, he became a Roman citizen himself, although with certain legal disabilities: eg, he could not stand for public office, he could not join the army, and was ...
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Where did Roman senators mostly live in the time of Tiberius or Caligula?

My understanding is that under the Republic the Palatine was the most popular place for senators and their families, but from the time of Nero the Imperial family more-or-less took over the Palatine. ...
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What happened to the imperial archives stored at the Tabularium?

The Tabularium in Rome was used to house the archives of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, these archives do no longer exist. What happened to them?
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How common was decimation in the Roman army

I know decimation happened a lot in the Roman army, but I find it hard to imagine generals like Marius, Scipio and Caesar, who all had the unwavering loyalty of their troops, practicing it.
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Is there any documented criticism of the brutality of the Colosseum from citizens at the time?

I recently watched a documentary on the Roman Colosseum that described some of the brutal and cruel violence that took place. The documentary explained that for the citizenry, the violence was ...
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221 views

What was the primary reason for the rise and success of the Roman republic / empire? [closed]

The Roman republic and its successor, the Roman empire, were extremely successful. The territory of the empire did encompass several times the size of the early republic. What was the primary cause ...
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Is this a Caesar silver coin

A friend showed me a coin he found a number of years a go, but it is hard to identify if it is a Roman coin. (having problems updating the image) Can someone help me identify when it is from?
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When did the Roman forum fall into disuse?

The Roman forum is reported to have already been falling apart in 8th century by a anonymous traveler, according to Wikipedia. The question is, with the Visigothic and Byzantine conquests of Italy, ...
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What did an ancient Roman certificate of land ownership look like; or, what did it consist of?

Suppose you're a landowner in Germania, just west of the Rhine. It is the 2nd Century A.D. You own a number of farms, a couple of good houses, maybe some slaves, some of whom are on the verge of ...
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If I were a well-to-do ancient Roman, could I make money by investing in the construction of an aqueduct?

One incentive for wealthy Romans to finance construction of aqueducts was, of course, glory. One's name would go up on the wall somewhere, and down in history, too. However, there was more to ...
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383 views

The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables on slavery

I have just been reading the Roman Twelve Tables, and am deeply confused. In Table VI, it states: Law VII. Where anyone demands freedom for another against the claim of servitude, the Prætor shall ...
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1answer
224 views

How were provincial Roman accounting and taxes handled under Hadrian?

Levies were put on entire provinces payable by their governors, and what they taxed and how much, was up to them. Suppose you're the governor of a province that has a large city in it. Living in ...
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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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Were Roman gladiators ever enlisted into the military?

Were Roman gladiators ever enlisted into the actual Roman military? I have heard of Roman soldiers becoming gladiators but not the other way around. I imagine this would only happen if the Roman ...
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Was the use of imperial nicknames in ancient Rome meant as an insult?

A few Roman emperors are commonly known by nicknames. I'm thinking specifically of the Emperors Gaius (Caligula) and Antoninus (Caracalla.) These nicknames were never in official use, at least while ...
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Did women in ancient Rome wear corsets, and if so, what were they made of?

Breast bands and other kinds of support were used. The history of the corset as we know it, however, begins in the 1600's, according to Wikipedia. I find this hard to believe. Perhaps this is because ...
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How did the Romans discover dry cleaning?

It seems that the Romans would dry clean their laundry with ammonia derived from urine. Considering the source of the ammonia, and the smell of pure ammonia, I find it hard to believe that this ...
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What did ancient Romans use instead of shampoo?

Urban Romans, we're told, took a bath every day. They did not use soap. Instead, they oiled themselves and scraped off the oil, along with the dirt, with strigils. What did they do about their hair, ...
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1answer
107 views

What's inside the Arch of Constantine?

Does the Arch of Constantine in Rome have an interior? (I'm not speaking of the empty space formed by the arch itself, but rather of the massive stone structure which forms the arch.) The Wikipedia ...
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1answer
172 views

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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129 views

Were quaestors in the Roman Republic entitled to lictors/fasces?

I apologise if this is too basic a question, but Wikipedia seems to contradict itself! It says here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaestor that a Quaestor was entitled to one lictor and one fasces, ...
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1answer
99 views

What Was the Constitutional Basis that Made Pompey “Consul Without Colleague” for 52BC

From my understanding, the Senate had no prerogative in naming a consul. At best they could appoint an interrex among themselves. What was the constitutional basis that enabled the Senate to appoint ...
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What was the Constitutional Basis for Gaius Julius Caesar's Dictatorship

In the early republic, a dictator was usually appointed for a reason such as presiding over an election or defending the city against a foreign invasion. I remember reading somewhere that Sulla's ...
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In ancient Rome, did a lot of people feel guilty about owning slaves?

Do we have historical evidence which shows whether significant number of people felt guilty about owning (without necessarily abusing) slaves in the ancient Roman era, e.g. 1-2 century AD?
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Ancient Roman Slang

Is anyone able to recommend a book or website which lists slang from Ancient Rome? As an example, how would a Roman say the equivalent of "it's screwed up"? There are many ways of saying this in ...
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Examples of Romans repeating early stages of the cursus honorum

In some special cases, Romans held lower offices than some they had already held, for example Quaestor while having been a consul before. I understand that senators, expelled by the censors for ...
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1answer
158 views

Penalty for patricide in Ancient Rome

This question is prompted by an earlier question on Roman law, which seemed to suggest that only treason was punishable by death for citizens. I did ask this as comment, but have got intrigued. I am ...
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154 views

How frequently were girls adopted in Ancient Rome?

Looking over Wikipedia's article on adoption in Ancient Rome, I notice that it mentions that adoption of females "was much less common" than adoption of males. I don't see any sources for that ...
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Did the Romans have writing desks?

I am just rekindling my interest in Ancient Rome, and reading Rome:Its people, life and customs by Ugo Enrico Paoli. He goes into considerable detail about tables, but only dining tables. There is a ...
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The role of science in enabling the survival of civilisations [closed]

The Claim asapScience has a video about the role of science in the society. In their video, they claim: When we look to history we see that ignoring science has led to the crumbling of societies. ...
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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 ...