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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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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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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Why did overestimated coins led to inflation and well-estimated coins to deflation?

It is said in Debt, the first 5,000 years by David Graeber (chapter 4, note 2) that when the value of metal coins represented exactly their weight, the result was deflation. The author says that when ...
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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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Why the Romans were unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
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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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276 views

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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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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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 ...
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767 views

What role did the Eastern Roman Empire play in the fall of the Western Roman Empire?

What role did the Eastern Roman Empire play in the fall of the Western Roman Empire? Did the Eastern Empire actually contribute to the fall of the West? Was the Eastern Roman Empire able to help the ...
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Gibbon Edward biography in czech or slovak language [closed]

I searched something about Edward Gibbon in czech or slovak language, but I wasn´t successful, because everything that I found was in english and also it was in UK. Nothing in Slovak or Czech ...
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275 views

Was it widespread practice to grant freedom to slaves in early Roman Empire?

If a citizen owned a slave, he or she could free him / her. The Wikipedia article gives some reasons for doing this: Slaves were freed for a variety of reasons; for a particularly good deed toward ...
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Were there punishments in the Roman Empire for not believing in the official religion?

In popular culture Christians were being killed in the Colosseum because they did not want to accept the Emperor as a god. An example can be Quo vadis novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, who won the Nobel ...
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Why was Jesus crucified (historically?) [closed]

Some said that He was crucified because he punched and kicked things around in the temple. Would that be plausible? Some said that He was crucified because the religious leaders were jealous of his ...
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What is the 'rank switching' done by Roman Legionnaires in HBO's 'Rome' called, and did it actually happen?

I'm talking about the formational fighting show in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJO2UfG9KcI Where did the show's creators get the source material? If so, what was it called, when did ...
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480 views

Are there ancient historical sources which have been permanently lost?

I'm in a Year 11 Ancient history class studying Rome, and whenever I look over ancient sources on wikipedia, there is always a list of lost works, and occasionally a sentence describing how ...
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225 views

What kind of crew members did ancient artillery teams consist of?

According to what I understand from Pieter's answer to the question "Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?", he said that since 2,000 years ago until now, ...
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620 views

Which roman emperors were not ethnically Latin? [closed]

The Roman empire being a long-lived empire and over a large area is likely to have had some dynasties/emperors that were not ethnically Latin/Italian, is that in fact the case? If so which ...
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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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Short or long Roman numerals?

TL;DR: Is 1995 correctly written as MVM, or as something more like MCMLVL? MCMVC? MCMLXLV? MCMLXXXXV? From what I recall from my Latin classes (European highschool...), you are not supposed to write ...
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How did the Roman state verify citizenship?

How were ancient Roman citizens identified, and how did officials make sure that their identity wasn't fake? I.e., did they maintain some kind of citizens registry, or did they have some kind of ...
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How much of an impact did the Roman emperors' civil wars have on their decision to debase the coinage?

From Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell: "Civil war remained a common event, ...the economy collapsed, as successive emperors massively devalued the coinage to pay for their wars." Other sources say ...
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Ancient statue I found near my place

I have found an ancient statue covered in the ground. I am from Haifa, Israel. There are no old buildings nearby. Here is its photo; I don't know what it is! I would like to know what period this ...
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What form of home address did Romans use?

Were the buildings in an ancient Roman city numbered, named or something else? How would they tell each other where they lived? Were the numbers painted on the walls? Did they have apartment numbers? ...
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1answer
83 views

What uncertainties and questions surround the death of Attila?

Merriam-Webester's Concise Encyclopedia says Attila died on his wedding night, possibly murdered by his bride. What uncertainty does the word possibly imply there about the death of Attila?
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Was the Byzantine follis larger than the Roman (and why, if yes)?

Today I saw in a museum a row of coins minted by Roman emperors. The last four coins were of the follis kind, belonging to Constantine the Great, Constantius II, Anastasius and Justinian I. . The ...
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393 views

Internal customs in the Roman Empire

Did Romans pay customs on goods transported within the Empire? Is there any information available about the rates and the rules? For instance, what would a Roman citizen arriving in Alexandria have to ...
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How much tax did Romans pay?

According to this guy The Jewish rebellion in A.D. 66 that ignited the war with Rome was by no means inevitable. Judaism was a legal religion in the Roman Empire, and Nero's own empress, Poppaea, ...
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Were Roman emperors in the first century AD shown as holding stars in their hands?

The New Testament Book of Revelation starts with an image of the exalted Jesus holding several stars in his hand. I read in a commentary that there were coins at that time which showed Roman emperors ...
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What is the origin of the myth of St. Valentine?

There seems to be a story floating around about St. Valentine being martyred for performing weddings. Here's a representative version: Valentine became famous for marrying couples who were in love ...
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1answer
443 views

Did the Romans melt down looted golden objects or did they keep them intact?

The most famous such object is, of course, the Menorah which is reported to have surfaced up later in Constantinople via Carthage, so it seems to have been kept intact. But I am wondering if there ...
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434 views

Could senators visit Roman Egypt?

I recall reading that there was an unwritten rule to the effect that Roman Senators under the Empire were forbidden to visit Egypt without an express permission from the Emperor, on pain of death. ...
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691 views

Where did the money come from to build the Colosseum?

Where did the money come from to finance the building of the Colosseum?
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282 views

How accurate and detailed were geographical maps created and updated by the Romans?

Knowledge is power, and having superior geographical knowledge vs. your imperialistic enemies and competitors was probably a big advantage in the middle ages. Some specific examples would be knowledge ...
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Did the roman conquerors have directives/guidelines to either integrate or assimilate foreign tribes/folks?

It is likely that Romans made no distinction between today's terms integration and assimilation. They did everything that was necessary for the expansion of the Roman empire and worked from ...
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Where did the Romans store their cash?

In the era before banking was invented, where did wealthy Romans store their cash? The emperor probably could store it somewhere in the imperial palace thanks to the Praetorian guard, but what about ...
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1answer
370 views

Did the Romans pour wine down wells for health purposes?

I've heard some kind of story that after the Romans would conquer a new village or city, they would pour wine (or other alcohol?) down the wells to kill the bacteria and make it safe for future ...
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Did the communication lag become a problem for the ever expanding Roman Empire?

There is a dispute among historians over whether the Roman Empire collapsed because of its increasing size and system-imminent flaws which were not suited for this size. The bigger the territory, the ...
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State budget spending of Roman Empire

What can be said about the state budget (aerarium + fiscus + a.militare + etc) spending of the Roman Empire at the time of Augustus, say 14 A.D.? Can it be estimated in sesterces?
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Who proposed the motion that gave Gaius Julius Caesar the title Augustus?

In 27 BC, the Senate gave Gaius Julius Caesar the title Augustus. I am assuming that as the senate gave him that title, the motion must have been proposed by someone at the senate floor. Do we know, ...
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Did the Huns contribute to the Great Migration of Germanic Peoples into the Western Empire?

I just listed to this episode of the British History Podcast (which is excellent I might add). During the podcast, the podcaster states that climate change was a major contributor to the Anglo Saxons ...
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393 views

How would a large kingdom be ruled?

Genghis Khan, Alexander etc. are rulers who had kingdoms which were larger than most of the countries now. How would they have ruled their countries efficiently when it would take weeks for ...
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How Was Roman Military Equipment Created and Distributed

When discussing the logistics of Roman armies, I usually see consumables and seigework discussed the most. However, I've been wondering about how the arms, armor, and tools were created and ...
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What Was the Political Condition of the Region that Encompasses the Modern Russian State in the time of the Roman empire?

What was the political system of the peoples living in what is presently the Russian state during the time of the Roman empire? Also, was there any communication between these peoples and the Roman ...