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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36
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2answers
6k views

When and why did garum disappear?

Garum or liquamen was, apparently, extremely popular in classical Rome, consumed by rich and poor on a daily basis, almost on par with bread. It was also known to other Mediterranean civilizations. ...
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(How) did the Republican Romans refer to previous decades or centuries?

Nowadays we can speak of, say, "the 1970s" or "the 18th century," and it conjures up that era's zeitgeist, fashions, etc. It's true that such things changed more slowly in the ...
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What attempts were made to limit Roman-era water pressure/flow 'theft' by code, pipe length, and expanders and by whom?

I am searching for more knowledge as to what limitations were placed upon delivery to in-house water supply systems during the Roman Era. These limitations could have been via code, pipe size, pipe ...
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1answer
279 views

Which person is portrayed in this statue?

I was visiting the Capitolini Museum in Rome last week and this statue caught my attention, It was sad that I couldn't find more information about it but I hope someone could identify it or give more ...
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Did classical Romans have preferences for slaves based on ethnicity or racial characteristics?

I have read of Greeks who were valued as tutors, secretaries, etc, presumably because they were literate and other races (barbarii) tended not to be. Are there any historical records of general Roman ...
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Which building is shown on p. 159 of "Roma descritta ed illustrata" (seconda edizione)?

On Wikimedia Commons, the following illustration of a building presumably located in Rome is shown ("p. 159" refers to the pagination of the source PDF file, see below): Source: The ...
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84 views

Are the sources in Flora Unveiled correct?

According to the book, Flora Unveiled: The Discovery and Denial of Sex in Plants by Lee Taiz and Lincoln Taiz published by Oxford, Chapter 8: Plant sex from Empedocles to Theophrastus (pg 213), the ...
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92 views

Did Hadrian conspire to kill Trajan? [closed]

Some years ago I read a novel trilogy about Trajan's life and in the last book it shows the bad relationship Trajan had with Hadrian, and how Trajan was planning to designate as successor an African ...
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1answer
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Which of the Roman wars was the most important and riskiest for Rome? [closed]

The Roman republic and later empire existed for quite some time and there was quite a few wars, but if I where to look up the most important ones, which would they be? Understood in the way that the ...
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156 views

Did travelers need a pass to travel in Greco-Roman Egypt, particularly in and out of Alexandria?

I am writing a story in which people travel by boat in Greco-Roman Egypt (27 bce), and am wondering if there were internal controls on travel, or if people were pretty much free to come and go as they ...
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85 views

Greek/Roman play in which a woman encourages a pregnant slave to marry a slave owner and pass off the baby as his?

I can’t for the life of me remember which play this is, or indeed whether it’s Greek or Roman? There’s presumably a lot more to the plot than this, but all I remember is that a young woman is sold ...
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1answer
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When did Romans give sticks to children to beat an enemy traitor?

I'm pretty sure I one time read a story along these lines: The Romans were at war with some other nations (maybe during the early days of the Republic?). A traitor from the opposite camp abducted ...
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4answers
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What was the pound (unit of weight) initially equal to?

Studying history, you can often come across the old non-metric units of measurement. And while usually by a name of a unit one can understand what was taken as its basis, in the case of the pound, ...
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1answer
185 views

Where were there fractal structures in ancient Rome?

I am looking for some examples of fractal or fractal-like structures and patterns in ancient Rome. I did some research but did not find much. On this topic I only found this article Scipedia.com where ...
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Leading up to ‘fall’ of western Roman Empire did advanced quarrying engineering stop or gradually fade?

I know Roman Empire didn’t suddenly disappear it was more gradual. Romans used advanced techniques to build their fantastic buildings. I guess to expand on my question I've seen examples of advanced ...
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1answer
158 views

Have there been female legionaries or gladiators? [closed]

Did ancient Rome ever have female legionaries or gladiators? Either officially or because they disguised themselves as man would count for an answer. If not, has the idea ever been discussed in ...
3
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1answer
259 views

Did Cato the Elder think destruction of Carthage was more important than anything else for Rome?

Cato's known for always ending his speeches in the Senate on any topic whatsoever with "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam", conventionally translated as "Furthermore, I ...
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104 views

Were the Jews allowed to move back to Rome right after the death of the Emperor Claudius?

The Emperor Claudius deported all the Jews from Rome at some time before 49AD. As far as I know, this fact is reported to us by Suetonius and Paulus Orosius. Even the Bible tells us about it: And ...
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2answers
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Why did the governments of the distant past last longer than those of the present/recent past? [closed]

For example, Rome and Egypt existed for massive amounts of time that pretty much any modern nation could not. Is this a selection bias on my end (comparing the most successful empires of the past to ...
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2answers
682 views

What are the best primary textual sources I could point to regarding the existence of Julius Caesar? [closed]

I recently got in a discussion with a man claiming that there is more reliable historical proof of the existence of Jesus Christ than of Julius Caesar. On face value, this claim seems ridiculous — ...
3
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1answer
507 views

How did the Romans handle "fatbergs" in their sewage system?

In Britain, another "fatberg" has caused trouble in the sewage system, this time in Birmingham. If this happens when we have modern technology and tools, and is pretty complicated to get rid ...
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44 views

How effectively did Romans rotate/relieve lines with the cohort system? [duplicate]

There is a similar question on Reddit and the original poster of the question uses a YouTube video to demonstrate the point. That video showcases a rotation of Roman infantry in a cohort. According to ...
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1answer
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Is there an objective measure of decadence?

I came across this article about how the modern (western) world is decadent. I am not necessarily convinced by the arguments that it puts forward, but I was wondering if there is an objective measure ...
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143 views

How would you find and get introduced to a patron in old Rome?

As the question said, how would you get introduced to a Patron in old Rome? Would you merely go to the Roman version of the town hall and inquire about which people were available as patrons and then ...
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132 views

What was the salary of high ranking Roman government officials during the Principate?

During the Roman Principate, the Roman Empire was divided into two parts: Senatorial Provinces and Imperial Provinces. Senatorial Provinces were governed by propraetors and proconsuls, who received no ...
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What caused the Roman phallus symbol to fall out of use?

In a lot of old Roman artifacts from statues to jewelry to even oil lamps, The phallus is often a prominent feature. From what I gather, it was used as symbol of power and protection. However, when ...
7
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1answer
327 views

Were there any Jewish members of the Roman Senate?

A Jewish presence in Ancient Rome has been attested to from even before the Roman conquest of Judea. It was possible for prominent individuals to acquire Roman citizenship and at least under the ...
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0answers
167 views

Do we know how much the Aurelian Wall would have cost to build?

I've been reading about the Aurelian Wall and it's very fascinating, though I wonder how much, in denarii, sestercii, or other, it would have cost the Romans. Is there any way we could possibly ...
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136 views

What ancient sources discuss the importance of the Sacred fire of Vesta and why it needed to stay alight?

Dionysius of Halicarnassus in Roman Antiquites touches on, in brief, that the entiguishing of the flame was an omen for the destruction of the city. There are many indications, it seems, when a ...
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2answers
419 views

Did the Babylonian priesthood flee to Pergamum?

I'm reading Brent Winters' The Excellence of the Common Law right now, which relies heavily on the idea that the priesthood of Babylon fled to Pergamum when Babylon was conquered in 539 BC. The ...
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3answers
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Where in the sources does it say that Syagrius claimed to be "merely governing a Roman province"?

I have read on Wikipedia:Soissons and elsewhere that Syagrius, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Soissons, always claimed to be merely the ruler of a Roman province rather than the king of an ...
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How were Patrician families determined during the Roman Kingdom/Republic?

I'm looking for some clarification on how patrician families were determined considering their outsized influence on Roman history. I read some sources state that a patrician family is a family that ...
16
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1answer
950 views

Why did Pausanias travel to Greece?

Pausanias wrote his Description of Greece in the first century AD, which remains a priceless resource for classicists and archaeologists to this day. I've made a quick perusal of the text itself, as ...
29
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1answer
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What is the significance of barley as opposed to wheat in Ancient Rome?

Recently, I was reading about the Roman Army's use of decimation, and the Wikipedia article repeatedly mentions that after the application of this punishment, soldiers would have their wheat rations ...
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0answers
105 views

Were the political attacks on the Gracchi brothers unique events? Or was street violence already common?

The deaths of the Gracchi at the hands of their political foes seemed to herald the increasing streets violence that would characterize the Roman Civil War and decline of the Republic, as more ...
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1answer
242 views

What did the Greeks call their gods while under Roman rule? [closed]

I read this question and it made me think. The Romans "inherited" the Greek gods, they just gave them new names, but what happened in actual Greece after the Roman conquest of Greece? Did ...
19
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1answer
2k views

What are all fantastic creatures on The Nile mosaic of Palestrina?

The Nile mosaic of Palestrina is a mosaic originally constructed in the ancient Roman age, in Palestrina in Italia. It depicts an imaginary scene from Egypt, showing various fantastical animals, such ...
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1answer
822 views

Why did Mettius Fufetius not join the Veiites in directly attacking the Roman King Tullus Hostilius?

I came across the story of Mettius Fufetius, the Alba Longan counterpart to Tullus Hostilius, and how he betrayed Rome when he secretly told Veii, an Etruscan rival city, that he would deploy his ...
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1answer
294 views

Did the Roman government attempt to hide the collapse of the empire? [closed]

Did the late Roman government lie about the borders of their empire? Has this ever been argued by Roman historians? This question is different from this one. Michael Kulikowski refers to the Notitia ...
8
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1answer
257 views

Did Post-Marian Republic or Imperial Legion cohorts have specific skill levels?

Here and here and numerous other places I've looked online state that Roman Legions divided their infantry into cohorts based on skill, and that all legions had their cohorts identically manned. The ...
8
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1answer
586 views

What kind of missile flew with such speed in 1st century BCE?

Lucretius in De rerum natura, book 6 verses 310 tries to explain the nature of lightning. Apparently he says that a body moving quickly through the air acquires some heat. The Latin verse is: non ...
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1answer
676 views

What is the purpose of this Roman siege tactic as shown in this Illustration?

When browsing Wikipedia, I came across this illustration that displays some of well known siege weapons of Roman empire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_engine#/media/File:Roman_siege_machines.gif ...
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1answer
370 views

How deep would a Roman Marian cohort's battle line be, in a melee?

Are there any estimates for how deep a Roman battle line was, under Marius, at the level of a cohort? Whether the line was 3, 6, or another number of ranks deep? I'd suppose 3 would be a minimum, and ...
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0answers
127 views

What factors led to the differing attitude to (civil) engineering projects between Roman and Russian armies?

While this might sound like a bit of a leap (i.e., why should Roman armies and Russian armies have any similarities), the Romans were considered as one of the first civilizations to use as models (if ...
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63 views

As Rome began to decline is there any contemporary accounts from time as to the cause? [duplicate]

I guess fall of Rome seems amazing to me in that they had things we recognise in modern states Militia, ability to buy property with paper rather than gold and manufacturing. As decline began as there ...
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2answers
265 views

What's known about Tullia's son?

Tullia was the daughter of the great Roman politician Cicero. She had a few marriages and according to English Wikipedia she had two sons, the first one of which died the same year it was born. Tullia ...
14
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1answer
299 views

When was the first time Rome was mentioned in outside records (and specifically, in Greek ones)?

Most information that we have on the history of ancient Rome came from Roman records themselves. However, I'm curious about the first extant document where the city was unequivocally mentioned by ...
23
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2answers
5k views

Are there historical texts in England querying where Roman structures came from?

I watched a film recently called King Arthur, showing London post Rome (guessing set in Middle Ages with modern-ish buildings but still with some Roman buildings / walls showing. It got me thinking: ...
10
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1answer
264 views

When did Cicero Minor die?

Cicero Minor (full name: Marcus Tullius Cicero Minor) was the only son of the great Roman politician Cicero. They both served as consuls, Cicero in 63 BC and Cicero Minor in 30 BC. The years that ...
18
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1answer
330 views

What was the importance of the patrician class in the Roman Empire?

This is a question that has puzzled me in my research of the history of the Roman Empire. During the Roman Republic the Patrician class was obviously of paramount importance, & history of the ...

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