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

8
votes
3answers
304 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
580 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

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.
8
votes
2answers
779 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
888 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
662 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
634 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
362 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
347 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
258 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
413 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
476 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
308 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?
6
votes
1answer
639 views

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?
6
votes
2answers
788 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
488 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
382 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
269 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
632 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Which roman emperors were not born in Rome? [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 dynasties/...
5
votes
3answers
141 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
271 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
901 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 game,...
5
votes
0answers
147 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
139 views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
304 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
546 views

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 experience....
4
votes
1answer
272 views

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.
4
votes
4answers
203 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
127 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
1answer
145 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

What were the key difficulties for the Romans in the conquest of Germanic tribes? [duplicate]

Rome had expansionist policy from its early days since the Dacian conquest by Trajan. During these several centuries, Rome took on powerful and established powers such as Carthage, Macedon, Selucid ...
4
votes
1answer
121 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
122 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?
3
votes
3answers
304 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
175 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 ...