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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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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195 views

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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616 views

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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120 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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176 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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132 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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106 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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4answers
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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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410 views

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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84 views

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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168 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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162 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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1k views

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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2answers
107 views

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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2answers
416 views

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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4answers
8k views

Why didn't Roman emperors have harems?

Harems were common in the Orient; the Chinese emperor, the Ottoman sultan, and the Mongol emperor all had many wives. Roman Emperors did not have a similar custom. Why is the harem common in the ...
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209 views

Did Ancient Rome use lead styli?

Is wikipedia correct to say: The original form of "lead pencil" was the leaden stylus used by the ancient Romans, who also used it to write on wood or papyrus by leaving dark streaks where the ...
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1answer
158 views

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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240 views

How was the Roman Princeps Senatus appointed?

In Republican Rome, the princeps senatus (~head of the senate) was supposed to have been nominated by the censors, who were elected every 5 years for 1 and a half years. What happened when the ...
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5answers
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Why did Greeks and Romans dilute their wine?

I’ve gathered that ancient Greeks and Romans watered their wine heavily, up to 90% water. Roman-era Talmudic sources speak of wine not being fit to drink until it had been watered (although mixtures ...
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183 views

Did the Roman senate immediately send new governors after the death of proconsuls/propraetors?

I would like to know whether the Roman senate sent replacements for deceased governors (due to illness, accident, war, ...) immediately after hearing of their death or was content to entrust the ...
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2answers
242 views

Did the Thracian Rhomphaia ever clash with a Roman Gladius?

From what I understand, the Odrysian kingdom became a client state of Rome after the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC). Did the Thracians (Odrysian or otherwise) ever clash with the Romans in a ...
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5answers
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Why did the Roman military start to favour swords over the spear phalanx?

Up until the rise of the Roman Republic, the Greek phalanx was considered the dominant form of military tactics. Evolution had simply favoured longer and longer spears: by the time of Alexander, ...
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Is there any evidence of arachnophobia in ancient history?

Are there any sources that would tell us whether (any) ancient Greeks or Romans were afraid of spiders?
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872 views

Why didn't Romans fight in a single line formation?

I read that historically, Romans fought in checker board formation, composed of 3 lines. But I play Rome Total War and in the game, that deployment means a nice recipe for high casualties. In the game,...
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478 views

Why didn't the senate of Carthage reinforce Hannibal in Italy?

During the second Punic war, Hannibal Barca fought in Italy for 14 years, and yet the Romans managed to bring the war to Africa. How is that possible, especially after battles such as Cannae? If ...
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2answers
915 views

What documentary evidence is there that Roman crucifixion victims were completely nude?

(A few days ago, a user posted a couple good questions about the historic practice of crucifixion in Ancient Rome on the Christianity SE. Unfortunately, they posted the questions as an answer to this ...
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2answers
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When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
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359 views

Which Roman emperor destroyed a weaving machine?

A slave created a revolutionary weaving machine which needed many less slaves to produce fabrics. The machine was so amazing that it was presented to the Emperor of Rome himself. That emperor was very ...
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3answers
2k views

Did the Romans ever deploy troops to, or try to conquer, Ireland?

The Romans obviously conquered Ireland's nearest neighbor, Britain (at least the southern part of it), but they seem to have stayed away from Ireland, at least as far as I am aware. Is this the ...
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422 views

Why did the original Carthage never become a Roman city?

Carthage fell to the might of Rome, I think it was, three times in total. They were completely defeated and accepted some pretty horrible terms of surrender. And yet they maintained their self ...
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272 views

What happened to the stuff stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans?

In the year 66 CE, the Jews in Roman Palestine rose up in revolt against the Roman occupation. Four years later , the Romans sacked Jerusalem, leveled the city, killed everyone inside, razed the ...
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Why do Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus cite Pytheas in disbelief?

According to the wikipedia page on Germanic tribes, (direct quotation) The first news about the Germanic world are contained in the lost Pytheas work. It is believed that Pytheas travelled to ...
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368 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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7k views

Could women be crucified under Roman law?

(A few days ago, a user posted a couple of good questions about the historic practice of crucifixion in Ancient Rome on the Christianity SE. Unfortunately, they posted the questions as an answer to ...
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225 views

Did Archimedes have any students?

We know that Archimedes learnt a lot from his father, Phidias (who was an astronomer) and most likely studied in Alexandria, alongside other great contemporaries such as Eratosthenes of Cyrene and ...
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What were Greek and Roman sails made from?

I have found that Vikings used sails made from wool: http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/en/research/maritime-technology/woollen-sailcloth/#.VctQLvlVhBc But can anyone tell me what the sails of ancient ...
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In Ancient Rome, did certain citizens lack any obligations of service or duty? [closed]

municipal (adj.) [...] from Latin municipalis "of a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "free town, city whose citizens have the privileges ...
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Name of the ancient law that forbade naming/publicising the name of a criminal?

I think it was a Roman law, and it said that when a horrific crime was committed, the criminal could not be named, and anyone who disobeyed would suffer capital punishment. I can't remember the name, ...
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3answers
361 views

Why do more historians state Rome was a superpower, than Persia? [closed]

Persian Empire was older and larger (I am not sure about this) than the Roman Empire. However, when it comes to the title of Superpower, many historians say Rome was the world first true superpower. ...
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650 views

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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6answers
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Why did the scutum fall out of use?

Wikipedia says By the end of the 3rd century the rectangular scutum seems to have disappeared. Why did the rectangular scutum design fall out of use? Why was the shield design not commonly ...
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104 views

Roman empire mediation and protection [closed]

The few times that long-lasting peace has been achieved on mankind's history generally coincide when enemies learn to resolve their differences under a common system of rules and values. The Roman ...
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3answers
1k views

Were Roman emperors officially considered kings of Egypt?

On this statue of Augustus (image is from Wikipedia), he is depicted wearing the traditional dress of Egyptian pharaohs: I wonder whether Roman emperors were officially declared kings of Egypt or ...
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1answer
127 views

Were there rules about the number of retainers for the Achaemenid Empire?

In Rome, magistrates (and later the emperors too) each had a fixed number of lictors, according to the rank of the office they held. Is a similar regulation of the number of retainers according to ...
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563 views

Where was the cultural inheritance of the Greco/Roman world/antiquity preserved?

In school and later in media (this is northern Europe) I was/am always told that it was the arabs/muslim world that preserved the science, technology, literature, art, culture etc from the Greek and ...
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676 views

Was hitchhiking common in Ancient Rome?

I am writing a story about a soldier who survived from an ambush and he hide several days.then he walked to a village, While he is on the way(walking on a road) he saw a caravan ... so my question is ...
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59 views

Who wrote about Hermes Mercury?

Which Latin writer wrote about the assimilation of Greek gods? I need more concretely for Hermes-Mercury. Which Latin writer said (assumed) that Hermes was identified with Mercury? I can find this ...