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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How tall was the average Italian Roman in the late Republic/early Imperial period? [duplicate]

I've seen word of a study using bodies found from around 500 BC to 500 AD that gave average heights for women about 155 cm and men 165 cm, but this seems to me to be a wide range of time and area. By ...
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What language did Gaius Julius Caesar speak with Cleopatra?

What language did Gaius Julius Caesar (GJC) speak with Cleopatra? My thoughts: GJC spoke Latin. Cleopatra spoke many languages, including Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Egyptian, Greek. Or did they need a ...
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Who was the tallest Roman ever found?

Was Maximinus Thrax the tallest Roman known to have ever lived? I am suspecting there might be taller specimens. Or maybe there aren't and he is simply the tallest.
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Did the Roman Republic really have 60 legions?

A common claim is that during the last civil war of the republic, the combined legions of Antony and Octavian totaled 60 legions. Another variant is that Octavian alone commanded 60 legions after ...
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Were the Romans Trojans or Latins? [duplicate]

I was reading the Aeneid by Virgil and it looks like the Romans allegedly descended from the Trojan soldier Aeneas. The book then explains how this soldier fathered generations that fathered someone ...
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What is the "bag on a stick" Hercules is holding in this picture?

The picture in the upper right of this page depicts Hercules/Heracles (or is it King Erystheus?) sitting on a chair or a throne, with the Nemean lion's skin and a club. Archaeolovers clarifies why ...
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Were freedmen part of the "familia"?

In LINGVA LATINA A Companion to Familia Romana Second Edition by Jeanne Marie Neumann, an unofficial companion to the Lingva Latina course, she states that: When a master manumitted … a slave, that ...
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Were there "Taxes Paid" slave tattoos in the Roman Empire?

In this video, YouTube: Did Ancient Romans Use Tattoos? @ 4:35, the presenter mentions a "Taxes Paid" tattoo. I understand it's just YouTube but I believe this creator doesn't typically ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 — ...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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593 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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