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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115 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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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
215 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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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569 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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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: ...
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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 ...
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263 views

What did the Greeks and Romans think of large breasted women? [closed]

From what I know, the Greeks and Romans held men with large penises in contempt as in their eyes; they allegedly couldn't control their sexual urges while men with smaller ones where approved because ...
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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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854 views

Who is this person depicted on the “Ianua Nova” Latin textbooks?

My old Latin text book from school was called Ianua Nova and had a gentleman depicted on the front cover who looked like this: I do not remember (if I ever knew) who he is. Considering that it is a ...
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Did Hellenic-Romans have Ancient Greek heritage?

I had the results of my "true ancestry" back. You upload DNA data and they compare it to DNA obtained from ancient burial sites. Interestingly, I had a strong match to "Hellenic-Roman", but nothing ...
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Why did Rome adopt Greek culture?

Initially, I understand the Macedonians had a Greek culture (Art, Religion, etc) because they were Greek. But then the Romans dominated the Macedonian Empire and adopted their culture too, and that ...
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What was the population of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Is there a way to (at least) estimate the population of "SPQR" for the following years? AD 50 AD 100 AD 150 AD 200 AD 250 AD 300 AD 350 AD 400 Do you know any reliable sources?
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What was the architectural predecessor of Roman triumphal arches?

Roman triumphal arches (fornix, ianus, then arcus triumphalis) are generally categorized into two main types: those with a single arched opening (e.g. Arch of Titus) and those with three openings (e.g....
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588 views

Was the “drowning man prays to God, but ignores the boats God sends” joke/tale known in Ancient Roman times?

This is a rather famous joke/morality tale, with multiple version. The following one was taken from here: A storm descends on a small town, and the downpour soon turns into a flood. As the waters ...
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How many times did the the sacred fire of Vesta die?

The sacred fire of Vesta was a sacred eternal flame in Ancient Rome, tended to by the Vestal Virgins. Except once a year for the kalendae (first day of March), extinguishing the sacred fire resulted ...
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Did the Romans leave any technical instruction manuals behind?

Did Romans write instructional manuals on architecture, building etc.? I am curious as to why so much of the Roman's knowledge of architecture and construction was lost in medieval times, especially ...
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575 views

What is the meaning of the quadruple symbols combination on a possibly Roman monumental piece?

During my visit to a village central western part of the Asia Minor I saw monumental pieces. Which were emplaced on some part of the buildings by villagers. I see a sword, sickle (hook), pickaxe, and ...
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Where can I find a scan of the translated “De re militari” in Bulgarian?

De Re Militari was translated into English, French and Bulgarian before the 15th century. Where can I find a scan of the Bulgarian translation?
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How far did the Roman Empire ever try to extend its reach (but fail)? [closed]

What was the farthest the Roman Empire ever ventured? I have seen maps of the farthest extent of the Roman Empire, but I cannot say I have ever seen a map of the farthest known extent to which the ...
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387 views

Did the Roman testudo protect the sides of the formation?

I have seen several images like these, where the soldiers in testudo formation hold shields above their heads and to their sides as well. The soldiers standing in the extreme left or right column of ...
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How alcoholic were ancient Greek and Roman wines, before and after dilution?

My understanding is that people in ancient Greece and Rome used to dilute their wine before drinking it. Do we know the ABV values for diluted and undiluted wines? EDIT: I realize there is a similar ...
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What is the difference between galli and metragyrtai?

I have occasionally heard of the galli, castrated priests of Kybele in Rome. Now, I noticed that Greek Lexika also refer to another type of said Godess’s priest, namely a metragyrtes (ΜΗΤΡΑΓΥΡΤΗΣ). ...
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How was the Pandidakterion organised?

How was the Pandidakterion organised? Wikipedia:Pandidakterion states that the Pandidakterion lacked 'corporative structure'. I do not understant exactly what the corporative structure is and how was ...
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Were Roman males ever named after their mothers?

We know that Roman men often named sons after them, and daughters were usually given the feminine form of their father's name. But are there any records or evidence that a Roman man was ever given the ...
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314 views

Did they use nicknames in ancient Rome?

Praenomens in ancient Rome seemed to have been rather limited, especially by the time of the empire. There must've been cases where close friends or cousins and the like would've had the same ...
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Could women make contracts in ancient Rome? [closed]

I'm writing a story and the main character is a wealthy widow who runs the estate for her rather lazy son. Could women in ancient Rome (specifically the 3rd Century Empire) legally make contracts, or ...
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1answer
326 views

Why was Roman painting so inferior to the sculpture and architecture of the same period?

Compared to sculpture, surviving examples of Roman painting are relatively few. Most of them are in the form of frescoes or mosaics. Still, what gives? While Roman sculptures and reliefs are highly ...
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What sources describe the ending of the right to murder family members in 1st century BC Rome?

The right to murder family members ended in the first century BC, although, even then, they kept a few exceptions. Now, the law said, fathers could only murder their sons if they’ve been convicted of ...
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Why did Romans use the sesterce in written monetary records when the coin itself was so rarely used?

In the vast majority of cases, Roman writers and government officials recorded amounts of money (money donated, value of items bought/sold, amount given in wills, etc.) in sesterces. Given that the ...
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1answer
203 views

Who was the first woman to be made a god by Rome's senate?

Cleopatra, consort to Julius Caesar was worshiped in Egypt as a living embodiment of the Egyptian goddess Isis, but she was never recognized as such by the Senate of Rome. Julius Caesar was ...
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Why didn't the ancients produce purple dye via admixture?

A great deal of prestige is attached to the colour purple - the hue of bishops and emperors alike - and, if you've read a little about the ancient world, you'll probably have heard the story ...
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What actually happened in Greek and Roman temples of healing?

Greeks first had temples of healing under Apollo, and when Apollo as the god of healing was displaced by Asclepius, these temples ended up as asclepeion. The Romans adopted this idea of temples for ...
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Who was this Roman General/figure of authority who, on his deathbed, named these two regrets?

In my undergrad I took a Roman History/Culture class and remember the professor mentioning someone who died naming two regrets: He once told a secret to a woman He once spent a day idle/doing nothing ...
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Are there depictions of horsemen in Roman Republic other than on the coins?

I wonder if there are depictions of horsemen who sit on the horses, with the horses that have two fore (front) hooves up in the air other than on the coins made in the time when Rome was a republic. ...
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What is the origin of “Crévier's supplement” in William A McDevitte's 1850 translation of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri?

The 1850 translation (by William A McDevitte) of Book 41 of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri (available on the Perseus website at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0149%...

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