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).

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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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190 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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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, ...
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207 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
143 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?
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168 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 ...
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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 ...
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153 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 ...
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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, ...
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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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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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96 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 ...
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2answers
177 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 ...
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Did the Romans ever encounter the Vikings?

Did the Romans ever scout Scandinavia for possible conquest?Or was trade ever done between them?
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321 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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209 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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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271 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 ...
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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 ...
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291 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 ...
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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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479 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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499 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 ...
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281 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?
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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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162 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 ...
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131 views

Would Plutarch be considered a historian by modern standards?

I've been reading his "Parallel Lives" and it's clear part of the goal is to tell how some fundamental characters lived, so people can know their stories, but the other part is to set and reinforce a ...
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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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Did it make sense for the Roman Empire to build a great wall? [closed]

Both Roman Empire and Han dynasty had to defend their northern boarders against powerful enemies, so both of them had the motivation to build a great wall along their northern boarders. Roman Empire ...
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Why travel to one's birthplace for a Roman census?

The Gospel According to Luke says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his parents had to travel to their place of origin for a census: 1 Now in those days, a decree went out from Caesar ...
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152 views

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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335 views

Why weren't Germans acceptable as Roman Emperors?

Romans of various ethnicities ultimately rose to be Emperor, such as the Illyrians during the Crisis of the Third Century, of which a notable example is Aurelian. But as far as I know, no Germans did ...
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207 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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When did the nobles of Europe revert to being “ordinary” citizens? [closed]

From what I've read about citizens of the Roman republic and early empire; the privileges they enjoyed, appear to have been somewhat similar to those of later medieval nobility (separate legal status, ...
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What kind of device is pictured on this Roman mosaic from Villa Tellaro, Sicily?

Based on numismatic evidence, this is dated in the second half of the fourth century CE
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When did the Greeks stop calling themselves “Roman”?

I've been reading a lot about the Byzantine Empire recently, and one of the things I see pointed out over and over again is that "Byzantine" is a term coined by historians, not by the people ...
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When did the Romans finally acknowledge that they were living in an empire?

The Romans, during the time of the Republic, were a famously anti-monarchical society. There are plenty of stories of Roman politicians gaining favor by refusing crowns, or condemning kings, etc. As ...
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Roman gladiator games

So I am watching Mankind the Story of All of Us, and in the 3rd episode it describes Roman gladiatorial games. The documentary claims that the Gladiatorial games were free for everyone to watch. It ...
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669 views

How is the Byzantine(Eastern Roman) different from Western Roman?

At peak time Roman Empire was superpower of the world but It have two Empires at same time. Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) Western Roman Empire My Question is who was more powerful then other. ...
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Why is Titus known as Titus?

Why is the Roman emperor Titus known as Titus? Usually we don't refer to a Roman by his first name (praenomen). And it's not as if it serves to distinguish him from his predecessor (and father) or his ...
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Age of Britons in A.D. 43

I have been doing a lot of research on the Roman invasion of Britain and have come across a many number of problems with information. My question is how old specific people were in 43 AD, I have ...