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71

One key lies in their treatment of illegitimacy, or bastardy. In Roman society, as is typical of the West in general, illegitimate children had no formal link to their fathers. This was true from the earliest times, and lasted well into the Imperial period before a softening of the laws occurred in the second and third centuries.1 In the Roman setting, ...


44

In Antiquities of the Jews, the ancient historian Josephus reported an incident where the Emperor Tiberius explicitly ordered a woman to be crucified: Mundus had a freedwoman, who had been made free by his father, whose name was Ide, one skillful in all sorts of mischief ... Tiberius inquired into the matter thoroughly by examining the priests about it, ...


40

Banking existed in the era of the Romans and earlier. In ancient Greece and Asia Minor temples served as a sanctuary where individuals could make deposits for safekeeping. This practice continued with the Romans (see this article titled "Temple Banking In Rome"). For instance, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus was the largest depository in Asia and served as ...


35

Many writings from this time period mention Roman Britain. Notable examples include the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, both of which mention Rome. These date to around the 9-12th centuries and the 8th century, respectively. There are also pseudohistorical works that speak of Rome, such as the fantastical 9th-century ...


34

Well, I suppose it's a matter of means plus motivation. If you're educated - read/speak Greek and Latin etc - then you'd be valuable, and only the psychopathic master would mistreat a valuable peice of property. And you'd need money to get away - some slaves were relatively wealthy, but stealing from your master would be dangerous, the penalties could ...


33

They were not supermen by any means :) But yes, temperatures were higher, by more than 1 degree (Kent and Wales were famous for their wines, right now it's far too cold there for that for example). And don't forget that in the Roman era, wars were fought in summer almost exclusively, later expanding into spring and autumn as the conscript army was replaced ...


29

The most notable non-Christian Roman critic of gladiatorial games was likely the Stoic philosopher Seneca. Of course Christians like Tertullian had good reason to speak out against bloody spectacles in general, and some of the conquered peoples living under Rome took less joy in the games than did the Romans. But for the most part, even enlightened Romans ...


29

Actually, the Romans used the same phalanx everyone else did for a very long time. Past Hannibal. The essence of winning a phalanx battle is to attack the flank of the phalanx. One may achieve that many ways, hence the many ways phalanxes were formed in particular battles - adapted to the width of the battlefield usually, though if one's enemy overdid that, ...


28

Ancient Rome had land deeds and registrations. Most of it has long since been lost, but there are still plenty of examples. Note that Roman rule lasted a long time and stretched across three continents; unsurprisingly, the exact details of the system in place differed across time and space. For example, there is a land deed found among the papyri excavated ...


24

Suetonius has this to report about Tiberius, the second emperor and the third Caesar: [H]e at first played a most unassuming part, almost humbler than that of a private citizen. Of many high honours he accepted only a few of the more modest. He barely consented to allow his birthday, which came at the time of the Plebeian games in the Circus, to be ...


22

You will find some cost/price data here: List of Prices in Medieval England Image of the Armour data: Expensive is a relative and subjective term, the best that can be done to answer the question as asked is to compare the prices with typical incomes/pay. For such a we find that a labourer would earn 1-4 pence per day (the lower pay is earlier the higher ...


21

Although, as you say, a rich slave might be able to engineer an escape, most slaves were not rich and not educated. Slaves could generally be immediately recognized by their dress. Although there were no laws mandating dress for a slave, they tended to wear clothing which set them apart. For example, no slave could wear the toga, so if a man is wearing a ...


21

According to A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic, and a citation of antiquities scholar Ph. Leveau in particular, Roman aqueducts were mostly publicly funded, and although some may have had private funding, it was not for-profit. Aqueducts were very costly to construct. So why and how did the Romans do it? Under the Empire, aqueducts ...


20

Educated people in the European Middle Ages knew Latin and read the Roman classics. They were thus very well informed about the Roman Empire. Even uneducated people were keenly aware of the contents of the Bible (through sermons, passion plays, for example). The Roman Empire figures very prominently in the New Testament narrative (Caesar Augustus, Pontius ...


20

Short Answer: His army was too small to either assault or securely besiege Rome Rome itself remain defended by two legions and a large, conscriptable population Marching on and laying siege to Rome was beyond his logistical capacity He cannot realistically defeat Rome while her Latin and Italian allies remained loyal The traditional analysis is that ...


19

In terms of specific individuals, the Sramana gymnosophist known as Zarmarus or Zarmanochegas is usually identified as a Buddhist (though this is not definite - part of a greater confusion over whether the Sramana mentioned in classical sources referred to Buddhists or not). He was dispatched by an Indian ruler to meet with Augustus, and killed himself by ...


18

Roman Infantry There were two types of Roman infantry: the light and the heavy infantry. The average heavy infantryman had a helmet, a mail coat, greaves, a shield, a spatha(broadsword), five weighted darts, and a javelin (pilum). The pilum was five to six feet long with a tip of iron, weighing nine ounces. The total weight of the pilum ranged between ...


18

The short answer: they were very aware of the Roman empire and its past glory. Long answer: This questions gets to the problem of "What was England Like in the 9th Century?" If you can answer this question well, you can get an idea of whether the average person would known of Rome, or how much they would have known. I would suggest as a starter looking at ...


17

I don't have a good citation for this - the wikipedia article provided by @kubanczyk is relatively decent, and highlights the role of the censor, which is probably the state oriented solution to the question. I think the question relies on modern assumptions. Roman citizens would never have needed to prove their identity. Set aside for the moment the urban ...


17

This is a subject of some dispute, but perhaps the most common view is that Hannibal probably crossed the Pyrenees via the mountain passes of modern Le Perthus. He crossed the Pyrenees by the Col du Perthus, a relatively low pass near the eastern end of the mountains near the eastern end of the mountains near the Mediterranean Sea. The Col du Oethus is ...


16

This is an addition to Mike Rodney's answer. The Twelve Tables, traditionally written in 450 BC, were some of Rome's most ancient laws. The majority of Table III deals with banking. In particular Law I says that bankers can't steal deposits; Law II forbids usury†; Laws V through X concern treatment of delinquent debtors. So banking was common enough 2500 ...


16

According to The Dawn of European Civilization by G. Hartwell Jones (1903), slaves in Rome were "looked upon as fit for nothing but the cross, the stake, or the arena" [for gladiatorial combat]. In Rome, the "principle that the slave was destitute of legal rights" applied. Improvements in their status were slow to come. The position of the home-born ...


16

It was probably approximately 155cm for women, and about 168cm for men. We have direct evidence for this from analysing the skeletal remains of the Romans. For example, in a study [1] of 927 adult male Roman skeletons between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, Professor Geoffrey Kron of the University of Victoria found an average of 168cm. This is corroborated by ...


15

Urine was also widely used for improvement of leather. It was quite natural to try and put in it something else. Hmm... But I wouldn't call it "dry clean" :-) Ancient cultures had so few chemical reagents to try, that they tried everything on everything. For example, they hardened steel in urine, too. Tried multiple materials to see what urine is the best ...


15

Well alcohol does have a strong anti-bacterial effect,and adding water to wine was a way to create more drink as there was very little clean drinking water. During the fermentation process many microbes die, eventually the yeast too dies in the anaerobic environment. I think adding water to wine and letting the two mix for a while would kill a significant ...


15

They did know. Roman knowledge of China is attested in the Geographia, work of the famous Claudius Ptolemy. Which is not to say, however, that the Romans knew much at all about the Han Empire (or vice versa, for that matter). For instance, Ptolemy's map of the Far East coastline is rather distorted: In Chinese records, the Han Emperor first received ...


15

There is very little truth to this claim, if at all. The fall of Rome is conventionally dated to A.D. 476. By then China had long been overran by steppe nomads. Since 439, the North China plains - heartland of Chinese civilisation - have been united under the Northern Wei Dynasty. This was a nomad empire, founded by a Mongolic tribe known as the Xianbei, ...


15

Ancient Mediterranean sailcloth was made of a fine linen, which was written "linon" in Greek and "lintea" in Latin. Many ancient literary sources mention this, for example, Aeschylus, Virgil, Homer, etc. There is a book, "Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World" (1995) by Lionel Casson that goes into detail about ancient ship technology.


14

This (fun) site assumes 10 miles per day, while adding the necessary disclaimer "it depends". However, I was not able to confirm this number in the cited source: John Pebbie's The Roman War Machine seems to refer to "10 miles" only in specific relation to a march undertaken by Caesar's army on its final approach to the Battle of Sabis. The same book ...


14

The Premise is a bit off here. During the Crisis of the 3rd Century as well as after, the Roman army usually could win a set-piece battle over barbarians or the Persians. The difference was that the Roman army usually wasn't around where these incursions happened, and the tribes could run amok without much opposition. With the distractions of the Civil ...



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