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32

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 ...


24

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 ...


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 ...


19

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


12

Famously, the Ancient Egyptians knew a lot about sexuality, gynecology and genitourinary infections. Nevertheless, according to this article, there are no unambiguous description of STD's in the medical papyri of Ancient Egypt (though many reported symptoms suggest gonorrhea and some suggest pelvic infections). The same source notes that the Old Testament ...


12

This is a complex matter (some authors like Delbruck thought that the classical numbers are very inflated) but one may point out to logistics - classical states were much better able to extract and stockpile resources (human and material) than high medieval polities with their fragmented political authority and erratic currency. As for the Romans' ...


12

The early medieval Welsh had several folktales and legends which survive in versions written down in the 12th century, but which refer to the Romans. The best known example is probably the Dream Of Emperor Macsen, whose title character is derived from Magnus Maximum, commander of the Roman army in Britain in the late 4th century.


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

I would suggest reading Book 1 of The Gallic Wars (link has both English and Latin if you want to see the untranslated text), which is as much a political history of the conquest of Gaul as it is a military history. Julius Caesar starts the book with a description of the political landscape at the time: All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which ...


10

Performing first a search for all occurrences of "German" and then of "civiliz" in The Gallic Wars suggests that the most relevant passage is from Chapter 24 from Book 6 (my emphasis): Chapter 24 And there was formerly a time when the Gauls excelled the Germans in prowess, and waged war on them offensively, and, on account of the great number of ...


10

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 ...


9

Greek was in wide usage as the lingua franca of the Near East. It also has the benefit of actually surviving Roman rule, in the same capacity, all the way till the Late Antiquity. The Romans themselves read and spoke Greek. Thus, Greek works have had a much greater chance of surviving simply from a great, wider, and more durable distribution. The Etruscan ...


8

The first thing to note is that fashions changed rapidly in ancient times, just like they do today and one "Phoenician" might be wearing something completely different than another one. Also, a foreigner who was doing business in Rome normally would dress just like the Romans. Wearing foreign garb in Augustan Rome would not be a recipe for success. Also, ...


7

It is known that coins were minted in the first years, if not the first, of the new Emperor's reign. The populace often learned of a new Roman Emperor when coins appeared with the new Emperor's portrait. Some of the emperors who ruled only for a short time made sure that a coin bore their image; Quietus, for example, ruled only part of the Roman Empire from ...


7

There is some reason to believe that the Lapis Niger includes a contemporary reference to the king, and it dates from thge period associated with the monarchy. It could be argued that the use of 'rex' here is purely religious - just like in Greece the word continued in use for religious purpose long after the political institution was left heind. However ...


7

Greco-Roman polytheism in Rome survived the 455 CE sacking but it is unclear at what point traditional roman paganism transformed into hybrid Christian heresies versus any retention of religious purity. Secret cults by virtue of being secret are both hard to track and likely to mutate in isolation over time. In so far as Roman beliefs fed back into the ...


6

The only (to my knowledge) province that Rome brought under its control primarily based on a resource need was Egypt. Egypt, and to a lesser extent, north Africa, were the so-called "granary of Rome". Egypt was a necessary supplier of grains in a time where Rome (the city) and the standing army were growing, and an increasing number of citizens was relying ...


6

@Felix's answer is the key, but there is also the secondary fact that medieval warfare tended to be more highly specialized than the classical. The increased emphasis on heavy cavalry meant a lot more emphasis on a very 'expensive' form of soldiers: ones who needed more training, supplies and support staff than either barbarian tribal levies or big masses of ...


6

One theory is that the early kingdom period was actually a period of Etruscan domination which the Roman mythmakers (whose work is reflected in Livy) later reworked as the tale of the Tarquinian dynasty. An interesting discussion of this can be found in the book The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars by Tim Cornell. ...


5

Well, Roman citizens were given a grain ration, which certainly would have helpful to those who were unemployed. It wasn't means-tested, though, so it wasn't limited to the poor and unemployed. "In the 120s BCE however, one politician named Gaius Gracchus proposed a controversial law, the lex frumentaria, which meant that the state started providing ...


5

Roman soldiers generally did not fight with their lovers by their side. Remember, Roman soldiers weren't even allowed to marry during for the first two centuries of the Principate. Periodic scandals involving officers abusing their subordinates were attested in the armies of the mid and late Republic. Valerius Maximus, the main source of these incidents, ...


5

Your guess is correct. Bathing in Rome was one of common daily activities. While nowdays bathing is seen as strictly private activity, bathing in Rome was public activity. Rich Romans could afford themselves bathing facilities in their villas, while other classes bathed in thermaes, public facilities for bathing, similar to nowdays spas. They were owned by ...


5

I am not sure about legends (are there any specifying Rome's foundation year? I suspect it might be in the form of "X years since the sack of Troy"). But since your question also asked about "ancient Roman scholars" and "ancient Roman sources"... During most of the Roman Republic, years were named based on who had been elected to the consulship for that ...


5

I would have to say no, but there is quite a bit of primary literature about the attire of prostitutes in ancient Rome. The more scholarly debate on Roman prostitutes' attire is the dispute as to whether prostitutes in Rome wore togas as a distinctive garment, and much of the contemporary texts distinguishes only between matrona (a "respectible" woman) ...


5

Even the legends make no such statement. Aeneas and his followers travel to Latium, the area near the site of Rome and mix with the population. Later, Romulus and Remus, of the line of the Kings of the Latin town of Alba Longa found Rome. According to myth, the Kings of Alba Longa are linked to the Trojans. Julius Caesar's family traced their heritage ...


5

To answer the question about Hadrian's Wall directly, Gildas mentions the conquest and loss of Britain to the Romans, including the construction of the wall, in De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae ("On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain"). I am not sure exactly when it was written, but Gildas dies in roughly 570. Gildas was British and spent a great deal of ...


4

Most city states never grew past that stage because they limited participation to the citizens of the city. At some point these few thousand aristocratic families loose impetus and the decline set in. Rome was rather a mongrel city from the start, picking up its people from a mix of Latin and Etruscan folks. As a small state in a region with larger ones, ...



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