Questions tagged [ancient-rome]

Ancient Rome was a civilization centred around the city of Rome, that lasted from the 8th century BC to 476 AD (West); 1453 AD (East).

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Fermat's statement about the ancients: How serious was he?

I am extremely interested in the idea that there was a period in time when, at least in the west, people looked upon the ancients (Romans/Greeks) as possessors of wisdom that had been lost. Fermat ...
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When did the Roman consular year begin during the Republic and Empire?

In which month did the Roman consular year begin, and how has this beginning shifted throughout the Roman state's existence? A full list of changes in chronological order would be appreciated. In ...
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What is the etymological origin of the Marsi, the ancient Italic people?

The English Wikipedia article does not provide any etymological explanations on the demonym. The Italian article, which is marked as "recommended", points the name's origin to the Italic deity Mamerte,...
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How did the Romans mint coins?

I would like to understand how the Romans minted coins. Mining, smelting and refining are no mystery; I can envision ways in which uniform coin-blanks might have been made : but the big problems are (...
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Did ancient Romans anticipate the fall of Rome?

Background: The Fall of Rome The Roman Empire collapsed as a political entity in several stages during the 5th, 6th, and 7th century CE. Specifically, these are: the crossing of the Rhine by the ...
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Did the Roman Empire have penal colonies?

I've been searching for an answer for a question on Christianity Stack Exchange about the fate of St. John the Apostle. Tradition says he found himself exiled to a Roman penal colony on Patmos. ...
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What was Masada's Roman ramp steep angle?

One thing that puzzled me about the story of Masada, is the ramp for the ram. The angle looked bizarre to me. I suppose it wore out over the years by the harsh winds, and maybe floods, but from ...
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Stonehenge-like olive presses?

What are the olive presses referred to in Gregory S. Aldrete's History of the Ancient World A Global Perspective? It mentions olive presses in North Africa that look so much like Stonehenge they were ...
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Is there any evidence that Cleopatra and Caesarion considered fleeing to India to escape the Romans?

In a book, Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal, I saw a claim made by the author which says that Cleopatra and her son Caesarion wanted to flee to India to evade Roman arrest. Sanjeev Sanyal ...
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How is this pattern from Pompeii also in Cappella Sansevero?

The labyrinth tiles in Capella Sansevero where built between the mid 1760s to c. 1771 (according to http://www.museosansevero.it/floor/?lang=en). They look like this: I saw the same pattern in Villa ...
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Where did the Roman money involved in the spice and luxury trade end up?

In the book "The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean" by McLaughlin, which is a very interesting read, he states that annual bullion going to buy luxuries in India was around 50-100 million sesterces ...
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helmet change from Greek to Macedon, Rome and Medieval period

Why did Roman helmets not cover the mouth like their greek counterparts? Did individual soldiers need to shout commands? Same for companion calvary Boeotian helmet vs that of medieval knights.
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What is the science behind lead not contributing to the fall of Rome?

Did lead poisoning contribute to the fall of Rome? skeptics stack exchange I actually have had a couple professors in my time comment on how Roman leaders may have had lead poisoning which caused ...
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What evidence do we have to claim the Ancient Romans kept African grey parrots as pets?

The book Birds: Myth, Lore and Legend by Rachel Warren Chadd and Marianne Taylor states: [...] The Ancient Romans, who kept both Rose-ringed Parakeets and African Greys (Psittacus erithacus), right,...
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When did we stop diluting wine?

In ancient Rome, wine was drunk diluted with water, as discussed in this question. When did it become common practice not to dilute wine, but to drink it as is? I tried to look, and found nothing ...
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Did people 'go to the beach' for pleasure in classical antiquity?

Swimming in the sea was necessary for many in ancient Rome or Greece, but did they do it for recreation?
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Could the Circus Maximus audience distract the racers?

I have been trying to research about the spectators of Circus Maximus. I know there were different colored factions. But my question is; "Were spectators able to throw items at racers to hit them or ...
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How was Hadrian's decree banning circumcision enforced? Were there mandatory body check or something similar?

Roman Emperor Hadrian issued a decree outlawing circumcision around 132 CE, under penalty of death. I am curious as to how such a decree may be enforced, given that circumcision/castration practices ...
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Are there any ancient sources clearly testifying a frozen Tiber river in the year 398, 396, 271, and 177 BCE?

Multiple sources, ranging from Wikipedia to journal articles over the years (such as this one), record a series of severe winters which caused the Tiber river to be frozen in the above-listed years. ...
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What is the earliest depiction of a crane?

Various sources on the internet - such as Crane (machine), A History Of The Crane and The sky is the limit: human powered cranes and lifting devices - state that the Ancient Greeks were the inventors ...
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Why did the baths of Bath need a hypocaust?

Bath, England has 3 natural hot springs. The Romans built a place of worship and a thermae around the springs. Why did Bath need a hypocaust if the water was already 47C hot just from the geothermal ...
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How did the ancient Romans count with their fingers?

This joke was supposed to be funny: A Roman walks into a bar, holds up two fingers and shouts "Five beers, please!" But disregarding the funniness, it made me actually think about the real system ...
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What would the Arch of Titus have looked like painted?

The Arch of Titus is a famous attraction in Rome, built by the Roman Emperor Domitian in 82 CE, in honor of the great military conquest of his older brother, Titus. Perhaps the most famous part of ...
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Does anyone know what type of structure this is?

I came across this picture taken at an ancient Roman site (name & location not provided) and was wondering what kind of structure it is. I've searched for fountains, wells, milestones, and ...
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Formation of underground layers of Rome

I have recently came across several news articles (for example) from various decades, talking about existing underground structures in the city of Rome, which used to be above ground at some point of ...
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Why Marcus Aurelius did not restore the Roman Republic? [closed]

I'm wondering why Marcus Aurelius, who could be considered as one of the most wise emperors of Roman Empire, did not restore Roman Republic constitutions? I read somewhere that the functionality of ...
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What happened to the coins In ancient Greece and Rome when monarchs changed?

Were there any instances in the ancient periods of Greece and Rome, where the succeeding monarchs/state leaders refused to acknowledge the coins issued by the preceding monarch, i.e., decreed the ...
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Is there an edition of Gibbon's *Decline and Fall* that has been annotated by a modern historian?

I like reading old history texts. I also like knowing accurate history (to the degree that we know it). Is there an edition (abridged or not) of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ...
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Were Trojans the ancestors of the Romans?

Such an hypothesis should be possible to test. I know that graveyards dating back to the pre Roman civilization of Latium can be found : those who allegedly were the descendants of Trojans. ...
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Do we have a notion of how common private bathing facilities were, in Rome at late Republican times?

For example, there are small private bathtubs in Pompeii, but this is about 150 years later and in a period that practices were changing, as more people became wealthy enough to have such things. My ...
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Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

Do we have any surviving texts or references to texts with Romano-Celtic authors and how common were 'non-Greco-Italian' (I'm not sure of the best term for that) authors? Specifically within the Roman ...
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Did emperor Nero later regret his treatment of early Christians?

Did emperor Nero later, any time before his death, regret anything that he did to the early Christians? Is there any evidence that documents his opinions on his actions?
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Why did the Romans only name some months and number others?

There's a lot of sources on the internet which are happy to tell you that the Roman year originally had 10 months (Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, ...
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Who first published Marcus Aurelius' Meditations?

Marcus Aurelius wrote the famous book of philosophy Meditations while on campaign in Pannonia. The writing was personal and intended for his eyes and reflections for he himself to meditate on and was ...
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Was the reign of Galba covered in the missing books of Tacitus' Annals?

The surviving books of Tacitus' Annals end off midway through the year AD 66 (during Nero's principate). Had the rest of the work survived, would the Annals have ended in June 68 (Nero's death) or ...
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What is the history of the Roman ogee shape?

I have a small wood shop and make various tables/frames and other wood related items. A common tool I use is a plunge router which is an electric device which spins a router bit to make interesting ...
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Need help identifying 2 old coins? Struck coins, one with two standing human figures facing each other

Can anyone tell me what these 2 coins are ? How can I safely clean them?
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What cult images are likely to be found in a Second Punic war era Roman field camp?

Were cult images (e.g. statues of gods) carried by a Roman army (or its commander) around 200 BC? If so, which gods? And were would they be kept while in camp? (I am not referring to items individual ...
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What was the legal process of raising a legion in late Republican Rome?

I've read some about both the Roman army and the Late Republican period, but realized that, while I understand well enough how legions worked in the field, I have only a very incomplete idea of who ...
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Earliest surviving SPQR inscriptions?

I have looked a bit around, and was wondering if there was any information about which could be the earliest still surviving and accessible (for public) inscriptions which included the Latin ...
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Why didn't the Germanic tribes harry the Roman troops to distraction when Caesar built the bridges across the Rhine?

The two bridges across the Rhine river are considered among the greatest military engineering achievements in the ancient world. Caesar's Bridge across the Rhine, the first two bridges to cross the ...
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Why did the ancient Romans use groups of eight?

The Ancient Romans had weeks of eight days, called nundinae, miles consisting of eight stadia or furlongs, and their smallest military unit was the contubernium, consisting of eight men. What ...
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What evidence is there for inventions by slaves or former slaves in Ancient Rome?

The article Slavery in the Roman Empire claims that Slaves are...reported to have made several important inventions. A number of slaves and freedmen did achieve some measure of fame and fortune: ...
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Where were ancient Romans supposed to dispose of their waste and garbage?

On page 35 of Gregory Aldrete's Daily Life in the Roman City he states "The majority of sewage that found its way into the system did not come directly from latrines [...] Most waste was dumped in the ...
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Was every Roman citizen part of a curia?

In a book by German historian Klaus Bringmann, I read that during the regal period, the whole population was divided into three tribes. He furthermore states that each tribe was divided into 10 curiae ...
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In ancient Rome, could free-born Romans become slaves?

In the article Roman Slavery, Kenneth Tuite of the Classics Department at the University of Maryland states quite categorically that Romans could not be slaves: Although a class system existed, ...
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Was Rome exporting its trash to Egypt as an early example of recycling?

During the time that Egypt was a Roman province, it shipped large quantities of grain to Rome until 330 AD. The article Trade Routes and Commercial Products of Roman Pompeii says: Egypt was ...
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How did Christianity replace Roman Paganism and other ancient religions?

Christianity seems to have been the first world religion that was interested in and successful with establishing itself as not only the state religion of but practically the only in an empire - namely,...
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How was the Roman army in fact organized during Caesar's campaigns in Gaul?

I'm finding contradictory descriptions about how Roman legions were organized during the Gallic Wars (58-50 BC). An appendix on Roman military organization in The Landmark Julius Caesar highlights ...
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After the fall of the Roman Empire, where did their armor go? Was it used by any dark ages forces?

It is my understanding that the plate armor manufactured in the time after the fall of Rome was far inferior to anything that the Romans used in their legions. (Of course, if I am wrong on any of this ...