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 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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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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400 views

How did the Romans build straight roads that stretched very long distance?

I once read that the Romans were masters of building roads that stretched long distance 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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0answers
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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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74 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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Were Roman emperors officially considered kings of Egypt?

On this statue of Augustus (image is from Wikipedia), he is depicted wearing the traditional dress of Egyptian pharaohs: I wonder whether Roman emperors were officially declared kings of Egypt or ...
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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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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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2k views

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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326 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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285 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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429 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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210 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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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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5answers
813 views

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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1answer
258 views

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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457 views

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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510 views

Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?

Who were the Hun people who made several appearances in Eurasian history? Were they Finno-Ugric, Paleo-Siberean, Mongolic or Turkic? Were the Hun who attacked Roman Empire extensions of the Xiongu, ...
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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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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 ...
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What was the life expectancy of an ancient roman child and adult?

I'm assuming the average life expectancy of a Roman did not change very much between 500 BC - 500 AD (?), as there was probably no significant progress in medical knowledge or nutrition. Do historians ...