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).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How did Roman armies survive in the desert?

I'm writing a novel set in the third century. A general is marching his army through the middle of the Syrian Desert. How did Roman armies with tens of thousands of soldiers survive in the arid ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

Who kept Roman peculium records?

This is effectively a Roman banking question but specifically with respect to the custody and record keeping of slaves wages. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities indicates a need for a lot of ...
11
votes
2answers
615 views

Did ancient Romans have a religion that involved a “fish hat”?

This question is related to the Mesopotamian god "Dagon" and how he may have been represented in ancient Rome. According to some sources, gods and goddesses that were worshiped in ancient Mesopotamia ...
51
votes
2answers
12k views

Were Roman public roads built by private companies?

According to a civil engineer (video in Spanish), the Appian way was built as a concession. This is, it was built by a private "company", paid by the state. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not clear ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.?

We know that the Roman Empire became a Christian state. Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.? What punishment was prescribed (if it was illegal)? If it was punishable, who could ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

Where did the following reference originally arise from?

In his 1725 work Principi Di Una Scienza Nuova (known in English as The New Science; link to the CUP modern edition), Giambattista Vico wrote that: For Hebrew began and remained the language of a ...
1
vote
0answers
116 views

Question on names in ancient Rome

I'm writing a novel set in 268 AD and the character is called Marcus Piavonius Victorinus, one of the many upstart military emperors during the Crisis of the Third Century. I've heard that by this ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

What is the most common calendar for pre-Julian dates?

When I read some date of event that happened before introduction of Julian calendar by Caesar, what calendar that date is more likely to refer? Proleptic Julian calendar or proleptic Gregorian ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

What is meaning of 4 letter abbreviations in Roman names like Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus?

I am reading about Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 47) and cannot find meaning of T. f. T. n. in his full name as written in Wikipedia, "Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus." All I have found is a ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why didn't Caesar move against Sextus Pompey immediately after Munda?

I am very familiar with the story of the Civil war and the various players in it. I have read the sources from Livy, Suetonius, to more modern authors but none has ever answered why Caesar did not ...
6
votes
1answer
384 views

What was the difference in the minds of the Romans between human sacrifice and gladiator games?

The Romans eventually outlawed human sacrifice to the gods, but gladiator games were practiced until the Roman Empire became Christian. How did the Romans consider the gladiator games different?
34
votes
6answers
7k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

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,...
6
votes
3answers
246 views

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 (...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

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. ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

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 ...
31
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
409 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

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.
2
votes
1answer
369 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
136 views

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,...
7
votes
1answer
376 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

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?
3
votes
2answers
257 views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
389 views

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. ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
277 views

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 ...
38
votes
2answers
11k views

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 ...
15
votes
1answer
454 views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
261 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
743 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
296 views

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
340 views

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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

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. ...
6
votes
1answer
183 views

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 ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
299 views

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?
8
votes
2answers
369 views

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, ...
9
votes
1answer
398 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

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?
7
votes
1answer
175 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
454 views

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 ...