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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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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What is the origin of Gladiatorial Games?

There are several accounts of Gladiatorial Games being organized during the Roman period, but are there any indications that they existed before the Romans? Please include references.
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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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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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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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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 there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
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How rich were carpenters in the Roman province of Iudaea in the 1st century AD?

According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, Joseph of Nazareth (Matthew 13,55). Apparently carpenters were not among the wealthy. Be that as it may, how rich could a ...
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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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How did the Romans build straight roads that stretched very long distances?

I once read that the Romans were masters of building roads that stretched long distances in a straight line like the Fosse Way road in Britain. I never thought much of it until I watched Canada & ...
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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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Jewish diaspora in the late antiquity

Is it possible to estimate the distribution of Jews in the variety of cities they settled in the aftermath of expulsion from Palestine by Adrian in 135 AD and in the following few centuries of the ...
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Did the Romans have winter uniforms?

Standard ancient Roman uniform consisted of a tunic, a cloak and sandal-type boots, resulting in a look like this. Now, this is all very well for Mediterranean climates but I really cannot fathom how ...
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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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863 views

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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1answer
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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257 views

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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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 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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671 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 ...
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Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?

In 1980 E.P.Thompson published an interesting paper called *Barbarian Invaders and Roman Collaborators *. Among other subjects he consdiers there the leakage from Rome to its enemies of technical ...
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Was Julius Caesar a hippie?

I was reading the question What was the hippie movement? Why did it decline? when I noticed this comment by Oldcat: There is even a story of Julius Caesar wearing a long fringe sleeved tunic to ...
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Are the quantities of gold that the Roman empire looted vs mined known?

I am having trouble finding this information: the quantities of looted vs mined gold by the Roman empire. How much they looted from the Dacians? How much they looted from the Jews? And how much they ...
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Did Romans know about China?

Could there be a possibility that some Romans knew that there was a country north east of India? Because as far as I know the Romans traded with Indians.
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How accurate is quantitative evidence included in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico?

Two pieces of evidence in relation to Caesar's Comentarii de Bello Gallico currently seem to suggest two different conclusions as to the authors veracity in reporting numbers. One is from a comment ...
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In what language did Caractacus deliver his speech to the emperor Claudius?

In The Annals, the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus wrote about the British chieftain Caractacus and how he was captured by the Romans. According to him, Caractacus was taken to Rome along with his ...
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148 views

Christian and Etruscan end of times [closed]

I believe I've read somewhere, that the Etruscans (anymore knows any sources?) devoted ever more thought to the afterlife, as the Roman republic encroached on their territory. Similarly the Romans ...
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249 views

Why did the Emperors leave Rome?

When I'm reading more about the late Roman Empire most of the time I read that the Roman emperors resided in Ravenna instead of Rome itself. Was there a reason why the emperors of the late Roman ...
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Difference between legions at the end of the Roman empire and around the beginning of the Roman Empire

I'm currently searching for some information about the Roman legions. Around the time of Julius Caesar and Augustus the legions seem to be more organized and were structured with the same type of ...
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How did the Emperor Titus die?

How did Titus die? Do we have any historical sources that are less fanciful than the Babylonian Talmud, quoted below? Are there any other records of his symptoms prior to death? According to ...
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Where were the western legions when the Roman empire fell?

Whenever I read about the collapse of the western half of the Roman empire, I get a feeling of total collapse, as if no legions existed there anymore. The collapse of the empire would also mean no ...
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523 views

Were Christians really burned for lighting by Nero? [closed]

I presume after fire of Rome Nero persecuted Christians. But it is the form of persecution which interest me since Tacitus writes Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the ...
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When did Rome recognize the Christian church as a judical person?

It is known that since Augustus new collegiums (judical persons) could be established only by the senate's decree. It is known that under the late empire the church operated as a collegium. As such, ...
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670 views

Roman Gladiators using an axe

I used to work for a company and we would go around doing gladiator reenactments, it was great and fun, however one thing that the boss always said was that if I could find a reference to any ...
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What would slaves in the Roman Empire call their masters?

I need to make a video for a history class on the Roman empire and the rise of Christianity, but there are many things that I cannot find. If you answer, thank you.
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Pedophilia in ancient Greek and Roman culture

This question is inspired by an answer to: When did homosexuality become unacceptable in Europe? I have heard from many people that pedophilia was widely practiced in ancient Greek or Roman cultures. ...
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When were Roman Emperor's faces placed on coins?

During an emperor's reign, were coins (i.e. sestertii) minted the year they became emperors, the year they stopped being emperors, or right in the middle?
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Mouse as an Ancient Remedy - Official Critique [closed]

The mice has been extensively used in ancient times as a healing remedy; Claudius Galenus (AD 129-200) quoted from Cleopatra’s book on cosmetics: “The following is the best of all, acting for fallen ...
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Roman navy propelled by animals instead of human rowers?

I have read one brief account of military planning around the time of Roman emperor Constantine the Great (272 – 337) whereby the Roman navy's rowers could have been substituted by animals (source ...
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Was the Roman Empire based on a 'plunder economy'?

It has been stated by Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke that: The economy of the Empire was a Raubwirtschaft or plunder economy based on looting existing resources rather than producing anything ...
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679 views

Nero and the Great Fire of Rome 64AD

I have always been fascinated by the history of ancient Rome and this is one of the topics, I always wanted to know a little bit more about. The rumor about Nero himself giving the order to burn down ...
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325 views

Why was a 10-year old kid appointed consul?

This guy was appointed consul in the Eastern Roman Empire in 491 when he was 10 (ten) years old. As far as I know this was a rather irregular proceeding - I don't recall other cases where children ...
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Why were the Huns so successful at siege warfare but the Goths were not?

I am listening to Mike Duncan's podcast titled "The History of Rome" and in it he mentioned that it is kind of a mystery that the Huns were so successful at siege warfare but the Goths were not. Both ...
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Origin of Diocletian's tetrarchy

I have always been impressed by the elegance, symmetry (and relative modesty) of the tetrarchy founded by Roman emperor Diocletian (245 - 316). Is it something that was invented at the time or does ...