The Roman Empire was a vast empire, centred around the city of Rome, that lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD (West); 1453 AD (East).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
123 views

“Ancient knowledge” in Western Europe during Empire's fall

We know that the dawn of the age of Renaissance and the dusk of the Middle Ages were accelerated by the fall of Byzantine Empire and the transfer of a big chunk of "Ancient Knowledge" from Greece to ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Is this article on Nero even remotely accurate?

Weev's livejournal Some of the problems in this article is that while Nero was blond and blue eyed it ignored that he was spotted and potbellied not to mention a known sexual deviant. The claims in ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

Origin of “The grass did not grow where Attila had passed” [closed]

Legend says that where Attila's horse passed grass did not grow again. For example, a variant of this quote can be found on Biographay.com's entry on the man. What was the first use of this phrase or ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

What were the key difficulties for the Romans in the conquest of Germanic tribes? [duplicate]

Rome had expansionist policy from its early days since the Dacian conquest by Trajan. During these several centuries, Rome took on powerful and established powers such as Carthage, Macedon, Selucid ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Where can I find demographic information for the Roman Empire? [closed]

Where could I find data series concerning population and immigration numbers in the Roman Empire? Is there even any information regarding this subject?
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Was the divinity of Roman Emperors taken as seriously as the actual Pagan Gods by other religious communities?

Apotheosis of Roman Emperors and their close relatives after their death was a common practice in the Roman Empire. I understand that it wasn't a meaningless ritual, there was an elaborate Imperial ...
4
votes
4answers
203 views

Is the name of “Diocletian” just a coincidence?

Ok, so apparently the splitting of Rome into two sections was the fault of a guy named "Diocletian". His first order was to split the empire into two. Is it just a coincidence that his name begins ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
146 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
213 views

How did the Romans build their armies for the First Punic War?

The Romans built a great and vast empire, my question is what were some of the military techniques they used to build, train, and use their army? Specifically during the period of the First Punic War. ...
3
votes
3answers
303 views

Was Jesus unique from the point of view of contemporaries? [closed]

Was in the time and place when Jesus preached, common for someone to do so in the manner Jesus did it? (Of course, Jesus was unique, even from the point of view of someone who completely disbelieves ...
-4
votes
1answer
126 views

Is there any relationship between 666 and Roman numerals? [closed]

I just realised that 666 is DCLXVI in Roman numerals (all numerals in sequence from largest to smallest). I have checked wiki but there was nothing mentioned about it. Are there any theories or ...
7
votes
1answer
413 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Was construction work involving hydraulic cements in ancient Rome restricted to the summer season?

Are Italian winter temperatures reliably warm enough for processing of opus caementicium ? Was building activity seasonal for other reasons?
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Was Constantinople the pinnacle of Roman city building? [closed]

As someone born in Constantinople, I have always heard stories and legends about the city. I am curious about the one I really like, whether it has any truth in it, or a total legend? It goes like ...
4
votes
0answers
122 views

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?
4
votes
4answers
304 views

How did 2nd century Romans decide where to build Hadrian's wall?

How did 2nd century Romans decide where to build Hadrian's wall? It is located exactly at the narrowest east-west section of the island. They had no laser theodolites, lenses, aerial observation ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Was Caligula popular with the general Roman population?

Was Caligula, the Roman Emperor, popular with the general Roman population after his illness a few months into his reign?
2
votes
4answers
172 views

Did Roman statutory law in the 1st century allow for crucifixion of non slaves?

Did Roman statutory law in the 1st century allow for crucifixion of non slaves? I knew a Roman law scholar who claimed it did not, ergo Christ could not have been crucified but must have been ...
7
votes
2answers
258 views

What happened to the belongings of fallen Roman soldiers?

It seems that soldiers in Rome were very well paid, even after all their running costs and other expenses were removed. What I'm curious to know is where would a soldier have kept his excess funds, ...
2
votes
1answer
281 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Contract in Roman law [closed]

I am really interested in Roman law, especially in obligations and contracts. Well, I know the most of theory, and historical information, evolution and so on. But now I am interested in real life ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

What is the oldest graphic depiction of Attila?

Wikimedia Commons has two images from the Chronicon Pictum, dated around 1360. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Attila_the_Hun Is there anything (coin, portrait, bust, statue) older than that?
2
votes
1answer
186 views

What was the equivalent of “Shoulder Arms, Fire!” for archers in Ancient Rome?

Up until firearms were invented, armies used archers for similar purposes. A well-timed volley, when one can't see the sky for the flying arrows, can have a demoralizing effect on the enemy in ...
3
votes
1answer
259 views

What was the cost of buying Silk in the Roman Empire

Is there any information extant of the cost one would pay for silk in the Roman Empire. Was it difficult for one to find silk to even buy? If that value fluctuated, and if it can be known, I am ...
11
votes
1answer
176 views

How did Romans organise their files?

I know how they wrote the information down: Documents, like legal contracts, were usually written in pen and ink on papyrus. Books were also written in pen and ink on papyrus or sometimes on ...
9
votes
3answers
517 views

Roman Legion composition

I've always read that the typical roman legion composition had the first line covered by the hastati followed by, in order, principes and triarii. Any sources I've always bumped into, and, of course, ...
2
votes
2answers
108 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. ...
44
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

When were both minuscule and majuscule letters used for the first time in the same Latin manuscript?

I understand the first minuscule script appeared in the Latin alphabet in the 3rd century - "New Roman cursive". My question is: when did a script used both minuscule and majuscule letters in the ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Why did Emperor Constantine believe he was a instrument of God?

I recently watched a lecture by a professor at Yale who mentioned Constantine's belief that he was a instrument of God, but the academic doesn't really explain why Constantine believed he was an ...
1
vote
4answers
11k views

Did the Romans ever encounter the Vikings?

Did the Romans ever scout Scandinavia for possible conquest? Or was trade ever done between them?
8
votes
1answer
362 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
899 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,...
-1
votes
1answer
94 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
301 views

When and where, exactly, did the concept of a male god eating grapes orginate?

I am sure you have seen, somewhere, of a male god eating grapes or in some classical romantic settings, a half-naked woman putting grapes in the mouth of a half-naked man. I am very curious, where and ...
3
votes
1answer
382 views

What would be the GDP of the Roman Empire?

I understand that this particular question is hard to answer. However, do there exist any historical record to how much was the GDP of Rome at some period? If not, could you give me a speculation or a ...
8
votes
3answers
304 views

What was the most northern region/city in the Roman Empire that spoke Greek as the native language?

My understanding is that prior to the migrations/invasions of the Goths, Huns and Sklavenoi into the Balkan peninsula, Greek and Latin where the most common native languages, alongside other steadily ...
3
votes
2answers
382 views

How did criminal law work in the Roman Empire?

I have old memory from when I was in little school: During the Roman empire, criminal law was very "flexible". You could kill nearly anyone in the Empire, as long as you were able to pay a fee to the ...
1
vote
0answers
107 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
628 views

Why didn't the Romans use the army to repel the siege of Rome in 410? [duplicate]

I would like to know why the Romans, the emperor Honorius in this case, didn't use the Roman Army (i.e. Legion). According to the Notitia Dignitatum, there were still many Legions around the Western ...
6
votes
2answers
485 views

Freedom of speech under Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, a philosopher king, took steps toward free speech (wiki): The emperors permitted free speech, evidenced by the fact that the comedy writer Marullus was able to criticize them ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What were the insignia of the Western Roman Empire and what happened to them?

When Romulus Augustus was deposed by Odoacer, it is said that the "Imperial Insignia" was sent to Constantinople. I always wondered what kind of object(s) this was and if it survived in any form. If ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Who were these two conspirators against Titus?

Suetonius has this to tell us in Chapter 9 of his biography of Titus: When two men of patrician family were found guilty of aspiring to the throne, he satisfied himself with warning them to ...
8
votes
3answers
578 views

Why was the government expenditures of the Roman Empire very low compared to modern governments?

I was trying to compare the military spending of the Roman empire in the 1st century with modern military spending and how much of a burden that was to Roman people. The Wikipedia page of the ...
6
votes
3answers
308 views

How big a factor was the failing economy to the downfall of the Roman Empire?

How large a factor was the economy failing and Rome facing bankruptcy to their downfall when you compare it to the likes of political corruption and the rise of Christianity?
7
votes
1answer
111 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

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 ...