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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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Was homelessness common in ancient Rome? [closed]

My guess would be either it existed or perhaps the law was very harsh and so such people were perhaps enslaved or imprisoned. Or maybe the absence of power other than that provided by humans and ...
releseabe's user avatar
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Was it known in ancient Rome and Greece that boiling water made it safe to drink and if so, what was the theory behind this?

I believe wine was mixed with water because it tasted better than plain water -- it had the positive side effect of killing bacteria. But if no wine was available, was plain water drunk? Did people ...
releseabe's user avatar
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What was the relationship between Italy and the other provinces in the republican period?

It is often said that during the republican period the provinces were ruthlessly exploited by their ruling magistrate, that the senate had no consideration for the provinces, and that Augustus changed ...
16π Cent's user avatar
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Is reconstructing a historically accurate Julian Calendar possible?

I understand that after the Julian Calendar took effect in 45 B.C., leap years were mistakenly added every three years rather than every four years. To correct for this, Augustus suspended leap years ...
warriorfortruth's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
254 views

Did Caesar comment on the intellectual curiosity of the Gauls?

On p.147 of Morgenthau's Politics Among Nations, he writes: The trait of intellectual curiosity which Julius Caesar detected in the Gauls has remained throughout the ages a distinctive character of ...
HAL's user avatar
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2 answers
143 views

Did the Roman Empire lie? [closed]

Some modern countries, including the US, Russia, and the UK in particular are blamed (by the other side, where Russia is confronted to US+UK) to be particularly lying in politics, using their powerful ...
porton's user avatar
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1 answer
156 views

Where is the primary source for the Byzantine Office of Barbarian Affairs?

The Byzantine Office of Barbarian Affairs refers to the agency the Byzantines had to spy and deal with foreign affairs. I've seen this information across many sources (Wikipedia and blogs) but I can't ...
Lucien Jaccon's user avatar
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Is there an English translation for Excerpta de Legationibus, Constantine?

I'm looking into primary sources about the Huns by Priscus of Panium. The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire, R.C Blockley directed me to to Constantine's Excerpta de ...
MaximeJaccon's user avatar
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In Ancient Greece or Rome, could a slave (not an ex-slave) themselves own slaves, apart from the fictional Eumaeus (Odyssey Book 14 lines 450-453)? [duplicate]

In Homer's Odyssey the swineherd Eumaeus is a trusted slave of Odysseus' family, having been bought by Odysseus' father Laertes. Yet we are told in Book 14, lines 450 - 453, that Eumaeus himself owns ...
Timothy's user avatar
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Did Octavian Augustus have a famous horse?

Did Octavian Augustus (the founder of the Roman empire) have a famous horse like Bucephalus, and if so, do we know that horse's name?
Carbophile's user avatar
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1 answer
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Did Romans collect notes/minutes/protocols of Senate meetings? Ditto Greeks?

Did Romans have official note-takers of important meetings, such as Senate debates? If so, did any of them survive? Similarly for Greeks. Plato's "Apology" is the closest thing to minutes ...
Michael's user avatar
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Do any sources besides Livy record the first incident of serial murder by prominent Roman women in 331 B.C.?

Titus Livy lived during the turn of the first century A.D. and in Book 8, Chapter 8 of The History of Rome, he relays the story of some sort of plague that was ravaging Rome in 331 B.C., afflicting ...
Curious Layman's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
239 views

How were streets lit at night, before street lights were invented? [closed]

For example, how were the streets of ancient Greek cities and of ancient Rome lit at night? I suspect that street lights as we know today didn't exist in ancient Greece and Rome, so there were other ...
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12 votes
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What are "stripes" in relation to ancient Roman slaves?

I'm reading the Cambridge medieval history collection, specifically the chapter on Roman law (Justinian and earlier, vol2, ch3), and there is this sentence pertaining to serfs: And for some offences, ...
Matt's user avatar
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Are there any open-source 3D reconstructions of Ancient Rome?

I was wondering if there are any open-source i.e. crowdsourced projects generating 3D models of Ancient Rome during the Republic and Imperial Times? I’m especially interested in the area of the Forum ...
Narusan's user avatar
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What was the physical appearance of Theodoric I, the King of the Visigoths?

What was the physical appearance of Theodoric I, the King of the Visigoths? Although there are paintings portraying him as blonde, I haven't come across any sources that provide a description of his ...
Lr1's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why are Spanish cultures labeled as 'Latin' today, but Italian and eastern Europe cultures aren't?

Based on my limited understanding, I'm just wondering what had to have happened to make the area of the largest Latin speaking civilization (ancient Rome) no longer be later attributed to being 'Latin'...
hamstar's user avatar
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Is there a relationship between the Roman/fascist salute and the gestures of the Roman emperor in the Colloseum? [closed]

Last October I went to visit Rome and enjoyed a tour through the Coliseum. Our tour guide told a number of stories about the Coliseum, most of which sounded plausible enough. However, one thing seemed ...
Lara's user avatar
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1 answer
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Did ancient Romans converse with statues for inspiration?

Recently I encountered a passage from a book The Mask of Socrates by Paul Zanker There were passionately cultivated Romans who sought in such statues conversation partners, who used them, as Seneca ...
d_e's user avatar
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Which text asserts that "An assembly with no minority/opposition should be dissolved"?

This 19th century Jewish work, section 20 of Benjamin Aryeh Hakohen Weiss's "Even Yekarah”, refers to an ancient gentile text (this usually means Ancient Greece, but not necessarily) which ...
Zarka's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
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Did early imperial China have a "uniform, multilevel administrative bureaucracy" that the Romans did not?

I'm reading Fukuyama's "The Origins of Political Order", and on pages 92-93 he makes the following claim (emphasis my own): But most important, the state that emerged in China was far more ...
Trisztan's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
231 views

Did the Romans ever get the idea to pardon Jesus or expunge the conviction when they adopted it as the state religion in 380, Edict of Thessalonica?

Given the premise of Jesus as being an innocent man being wrongfully convicted, wouldn't the very legally minded Romans or other jurists have the idea that the government should delete the conviction ...
R-Obsessive's user avatar
28 votes
1 answer
7k views

Did Romans complain about sundials?

In the episode History of Timekeeping from the excellent "You're Dead to Me" podcast, the host states that some Romans complained about the increasing use and public visibility of sundials ...
Amos Joshua's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
191 views

Did Roman prosperity peak right on the eve of collapse (in particular c. 399)?

John Rapley and Peter Heather (Why Empires Fall, 2023, in Ch. 1 "Party Like It's 399"): Rural population densities, and consequently overall agricultural output, reached maximum levels in ...
user103496's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
351 views

What was the average height of men and women in pre-Roman Gaul?

I was having a discussion with my friend on how much taller Celts and Germanics were to Romans and it dawned on me that we had no idea how tall Celts actually were. I'm referring to the period when ...
SuperYoshikong's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
656 views

Were grapes luxurious food in Ancient Rome?

We always see in historical movies that a Roman emperor is sitting on his throne and a concubine feeds him with grapes. My question is that is this historically true? Were grapes so expensive that ...
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4 votes
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With money we will get men, said Cæsar, and with men we will get money

In Notes on Virginia, Jefferson wrote: With money we will get men, said Cæsar, and with men we will get money. I'm interested in where this was sourced. I don't expect that Jefferson was quoting or ...
Charles's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
549 views

Were the names of the 10 months in the ancient Roman Calendar originally named after ordinal numbers?

I was wondering what the original names of the months in Latin? The earliest one that I can find is from TimeAndDate:Roman Calendar: Months in the Republican Calendar Month Names Number of Days ...
Tim's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Was there a love affair between Faustina the Younger and Avidius Cassius?

I recently watched episode 1 of season 1 of the Netflix series "Rome". According to that episode, Faustina the Younger (Marcus Aurelius's wife) had a love affair with the Roman general ...
user1387866's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
318 views

Who organised elections in the ancient Roman Republic?

I keep researching ancient Rome for my story world: alternative history where Rome has survived till the near future. I remember from my primary school history course (and it was my favourite course) ...
Krišjānis Liepiņš's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
125 views

Did Roman Consuls have advisors like senior officials of modern governments (ministers/secretaries) have?

I have begun working on an alternative history story where the Roman Empire has survived to the present/near future. There are a few historical turning points where different decisions were made, each ...
Krišjānis Liepiņš's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
269 views

Why is this column in Pompeii constructed in two parts?

I found columns like this in Pompeii The top and bottom are constructed from different materials, and in not quite the same shape. What happened here? Has it been partially reconstructed? Is this a ...
spraff's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
489 views

Roman Empire Netflix Map

Netflix's recent series, called "Roman Empire", has this miniature for the Portuguese language: We can recognise this as a map of the Roman Empire, especially during the early Principate ...
Elederete's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
135 views

What did publicani markings on slaves sold out of the empire look like? [duplicate]

In this video, YouTube: Did Ancient Romans Use Tattoos? @ 4:35, the presenter mentions some "taxes paid" tattoo or branding for slaves sold outside of the empire. Do we have any evidence of ...
Matt Watson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
266 views

How do we know when Nero was born?

If I go onto Wikipedia, I can see an answer of when he was born. But I can't really follow the sources. How do historians know when Nero was born?
Kyle Johansen's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
172 views

How were Ceasar's troops supplied with food during the Siege of Alexandria?

During the Siege of Alexandria, Julius Ceasar and a few thousand troops were stuck in the royal quarter of Alexandria for several months, with a local army surrounding them. Did the royal quarter have ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
220 views

Why is syncretism mostly described through an "interpretatio graeca", rather than any other polytheism? [closed]

Ancient Greeks such as Herodotus thought other culture's gods (e.g. Egyptian) are actually same deities as theirs, just having different names. For example, Plutarch said Not different gods for ...
Vito's user avatar
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-2 votes
2 answers
315 views

When did Pontius Pilate rule?

The most precise years for his rule I've seen is 26/27 AD to 36/37 AD. Has someone gotten it down to at least a precise year?
Maximus1987's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

How aware were the latter Greek-speaking Romans (ERE: Byzantines) of the early history of Rome?

To what extent were residents of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire aware of the early history of Rome, its legendary founding, the monarchy, the republic and early empire? Did they have access to ...
Jos's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
357 views

Did the polytheist Greeks or Romans call their priests “father”?

I assume not, but perhaps it has just escaped me, because I am so used to this form of address from the Greek Orthodox Church. There might be texts showing that some of them did, or texts commenting ...
Ludi's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
301 views

What prevented the Romans from naval expansion? [closed]

Now, I have a very poor understanding of history (my high school didn't even have a history class), so if I'm missing something please point it out. The ancient Roman Empire was pretty large for its ...
user1642529's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

When did subtractive notation become common for Roman numerals?

The additive notation of Roman numerals for 4 and 9 is IIII and VIIII. The subtractive notation is IV and IX. Wikipedia doesn't go into detail about which form was known and popular during which ...
Daniel Darabos's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
319 views

Roman armies seem to dislike fighting at night, Livy called it dishonourable. Skulking about. (Ennius, Scaenica, 254-7) Why?

The query is in relation to Roman preference to erecting a secure camp at the end of each day and disparaging comments made regarding opposing forces who us e the night to their advantage. For example ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
808 views

How many Jews lived in Rome in the period immediately before (and during) the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE)?

I have been researching some of the events that occurred during the Jewish-Roman wars in ancient Israel. I have tried to find approximate population records of the Jews before and during the period of ...
Curiosity's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
248 views

How was the Roman Empire officially referred to by contemporaries throughout the 1st to 6th centuries AD?

I understand that the notion of state in the specified period was different from the modern one and maybe was gradually changing over time. However, I still believe that contemporary sources ...
Eldritch Sandwich's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
874 views

How would a Roman soldier address his superior officer? Reversely, how would a superior officer address a lower ranking Roman soldier?

Let's pretend for a second there is a legionnaire named Marcus and a centurion named Augustus. Would the legionnaire refer to his superior officer as "Centurion Augustus"? Or would he say &...
Ruby's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
12k views

How did ancient Roman family names survive to current day use?

Family names in Ancient Rome were in disuse after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. Still some of them are in current use, for example, my grandmother's last name "Cicero&...
Claudia's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did Lucian of Samosata make this joke on purpose?

This is going to be a bit of a niche question, so bear with me. Recently I've been reading the work of famous satirist Lucian of Samosata. He's pretty funny, but the thing is, I can't read the ...
Andrea's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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What is the origin of the Roman hand-laying ritual which the word "assert" traces back to?

According to the OED 2nd edition (and OED 1913, L&S, and Gaffiot) the earliest known attestation of the word assert is a Roman hand-laying ritual: assert, v. (əˈsɜːt)[f. L. assert- ppl. stem of ...
Michael's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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What was the estimated weight of transport wagons (plaustra) in 1st through 3rd century Rome?

I am writing a paper about land transport using oxen carts and wagons in central Italy during the High Empire (late 1st century BC to early 3rd century AD), including some computing simulations of ...
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