Hot answers tagged

72

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, ...


20

The question is illogical because there was no such thing as a viking in the days of the undivided Roman Empire or of the Western Roman Empire. A viking is defined as a Scandinavian pirate or sea raider during the period of about 795 to 1100 AD at the widest. It is always incorrect to capitalize viking and use it as an ethnic word instead of an ...


19

The scholarly consensus is almost unanimous on this point: Luke is simply wrong. There are a number of reasons why the account provided by Luke cannot be taken seriously; these reasons include contradictions between Luke and the external historical evidence, Luke's obvious misunderstanding of how censuses were conducted, Luke's misunderstanding of ...


13

Ireland was not a threat to Rome By the time the Romans had reached Britain, their empire covered most of western Europe and their resources were becoming stretched. For most of the time they spent in Britain, they were more concerned with holding on to what they had rather than expanding further. Caesar invaded Britain in BCs 55 & 54 to see what was ...


11

The Romans were good surveyors. Vitruvius described surveying tools and methods in a book that was still used in the Middle Ages, hundreds of years after it was written. By laying out stakes at fixed distances and using a plumb with simple sighting rods, it is very easy to lay out squares, lines, triangles, etc., and to measure the distances between ...


10

Yes and no. This is one of the questions addressed in Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan. From what I can see of the reviews, it does a good job (for an "accessible" popular book) of representing the current state of scholarly historical research on the historical Jesus. According to Aslan, there were the following people ...


7

To invade Ireland, the Romans would first have needed to gain full control of either Wales or the Clyde estuary in Scotland, something they never succeeded in doing. The Romans very much wanted to conquer Ireland, because the Irish were a constant source of weapons and "rebellibus" support to the Scots and Welsh for attacks on Roman communities. During the ...


7

Definitely, Crimea (Chersonesos) or some place in its surrounding. Crimea's south coast was part of Roman Empire in 47 BC - 330 AD, and also a part of the Byzantine Empire later.


7

On my opinion, this statement "When we look to history we see that ignoring science has led to the crumbling of societies" is not confirmed by history. Societies, or civilizations come and go and there is no evidence that this is somehow related to the development of science. Science, in its present form, was mostly created by the Hellenistic Greeks, and ...


7

The technology to determine the narrowest point in northern England is as nothing compared to that necessary for supplying Roman towns with running water and baths, as with the Nimes Aqueduct in Southern France, shown here at the Pont du Gard crossing of Gardon River. The Fontaine d'Eure, at 76 m (249 ft) above sea level, is only 17 m (56 ft) higher ...


6

I presume you're not talking about the Byzantine half of the Roman Empire here. Those ties are well known. So, taking the subject line of your question, Romans of the western half of the Roman Empire meeting Vikings would be impossible because Rome fell before the label Viking was generally applied to Scandinavians. Taking the text of your question, the ...


6

It is Vespasian. In the Life of Vespasian from Chapter 18 of Book 8 of The Twelve Cesars by Suetonius, it says: Some one offering to convey some immense columns into the Capitol at a small expense by a mechanical contrivance, he rewarded him very handsomely for his invention, but would not accept his service, saying, "Suffer me to find maintenance ...


6

The Angus Maddison Project provides the following GDP per capita (in 1990 GK international dollars) estimates for regions within the Roman Empire in the year 1 CE: Population-weighted average is probably somewhere around 700*. There were around 45.5 million people in the Roman Empire in the year 14 CE. So 45,500,000 * $700 = $31,850,000,000. * Note ...


6

Vegetius wrote after the professionalization of the Roman armies, the Marian reforms. The original Hastati, Principes and Triarii referred to degrees of wealth(and thus equipment) and experience of the troops in the unit. After the reforms these distinctions became meaningless as the troops where state-equipped. At the time when Vegetius wrote the roman ...


6

Jesus was not a Roman citizen. He was not one of the provinciales because he was not born in Roman province (Iudaea). "The Closing of the Western Mind" by Charles Freeman, chapter 8, says he was born and lived almost entire life in Galilee, which was part of a "puppet state" ruled by a king (e.g., Herod Antipas). Jesus came to Iudaea between 29-33 CE, most ...


6

It's a sistrum and a bowl (patera or phiale) used for libation. The sistrum, a musical instrument used as a rattle, isn't restricted to the cult of Isis; you may encounter it also in the context of the cult of Mithras, too. See also the Encyclopedia Britannica on the sistrum. For the sistrum, cf. this statue of Isis: Photo taken by Marie-Lan Nguyen ...


5

There were three common methods. The first and most common was to use a diploma which is two boards sandwiched together with leather thongs. Papyrus is very fragile, so if you had something valuable written down you needed a binder like this to protect it. Also, writing can be done right on the boards themselves, not even using paper. Many diplomas had wax ...


5

I recall that one of the positions within the legion was responsible for pay. A quick websearch turned up nothing. A slightly more exhaustive search turned up two different answers Signifer: Each Centuria had a Signifer (59). He was responsible for the men's pay and savings, and the standard bearer for the Centurial Signum, a spear shaft decorated with ...


5

Measuring, surveying, and map making are ancient practices by the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Druids, Chinese... pretty much everyone knew how to trace and measure lines and angles over a long distance. Surveying is based on geometry, in particular triangles, and that was all well known at the time. By the time Hadrian's Wall was begun (122 AD), Euclid's ...


4

The town of Novigrad may be the most northern town of Greek origin. Reputedly it was originally founded by the Greeks as Neapolis (new city).


4

Well, the Menorah was seen later (according to one testimony): Most likely, the menorah was looted by the Vandals in the sacking of Rome in 455 CE, and taken to their capital, Carthage. The Byzantine army under General Belisarius might have removed it in 533 and brought it to Constantinople. According to Procopius, it was carried through the ...


4

This is just speculation as i cannot back it up with any hard data but there might be a few causes: Dacia went an intensive colonization process after it's conquest by Traian causing a big chunk of population to be foreigners. This coupled with the lack of written tradition in the native dacians and the need for a now mixed population to effectively live ...


4

I'd say Half-Uncial (3rd Century AD) and Carolingian (9th Century AD) scripts; as it says in the Wikipedia text for the latter, Clear capital letters and spaces between words – norms we take for granted – became standard in Carolingian minuscule [...] So it was the first time both capitals and minuscules were used in a standard way (instead of ...


4

The Romans had two institutions that the Eastern rulers lacked: monogamy, and primogeniture. Monogamy meant that even wealthy Romans would have only one wife. One might have plenty of mistresses on the side, but these weren't "wives. Which led to the next thing, primogeniture. That is, inheritance of the family line by the one and only oldest son, begotten ...


4

The quote seems to be resting its entire thesis on a neglect of science being the cause of the collapse of the Roman Empire. If they had other good examples of this thesis in action, they probably should have used one of those instead. There are hundreds of different theories for the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire floating around. Its one of the ...


3

The frontline was still quite long: a maniple typically consisted of 120 soldiers arrayed in 3 ranks of 40 men when engaged in battle. each line had about 10 maniples and neighbouring maniples had a space of a maniple between them. That makes the frontline 19×40 = 760 men wide. Lets say that each man had a "personal space" of 1,5 meter (which is not ...


3

Leaving aside the questions whether Scandinavians during the first centuries CE could be called "vikings", the answer is that they did encounter them. The Cimbrians were a people who invaded Italy and fought the Romans about 100 BCE. The Cimbrians are said to have come from the Cimbrian peninsula, identified with Jylland in Denmark. As for Roman invasions ...


3

This question cannot be answered. No sufficiant primary or secondary sources exist. We know that Constantine made this opinion known in public (great tool to rally the troops) but whether or not he believed it personally cannot be known from extan sources.


3

Constantine had a dream about God telling him to put crosses on his soldier's shield and he did and his soldiers won the battle even though they were outnumbered 2:1. He converted and therefore thought he was an instrument of God to stop persecution of Christianity in Rome and legalize it.


3

The Roman numeral system was "designed" for calculating using an abacus. One wrote out the number by the values of each channel (we picture an abacus as a wood frame with wires holding columns of beads for counters but the Romans would usually have used a table, a "TV-tray" if you will, covered with ample sand, running a finger down for the lines, and ...



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