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

4
votes
2answers
93 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
184 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
95 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
130 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
198 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
292 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
119 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
386 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
65 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
119 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
98 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
3answers
283 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
127 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
169 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
249 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
266 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
43 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
152 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
177 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
225 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
165 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
510 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
105 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
110 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
191 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
8k 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
352 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
252 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
1k 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
836 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
349 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
280 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
360 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
101 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
567 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
445 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
1k 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
74 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
553 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
299 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
107 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
170 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
184 views

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. ...
2
votes
0answers
249 views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
179 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 ...