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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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What is the historical impact of glass? [on hold]

I've been having some trouble understanding the importance of glass in the ancient times(BCE). What was glass' importance then?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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, ...
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258 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 ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
312 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 ...
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2answers
341 views

Earliest surviving SPQR inscriptions?

I have looked a bit around, and was wondering if there was any information about which could be the earliest still surviving and accessible (for public) inscriptions which included the Latin ...
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Why didn't the Germanic tribes harry the Roman troops to distraction when Caesar built the bridges across the Rhine?

The two bridges across the Rhine river are considered among the greatest military engineering achievements in the ancient world. Caesar's Bridge across the Rhine, the first two bridges to cross the ...
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466 views

Why did the ancient Romans use groups of eight?

The Ancient Romans had weeks of eight days, called nundinae, miles consisting of eight stadia or furlongs, and their smallest military unit was the contubernium, consisting of eight men. What ...
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1answer
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What evidence is there for inventions by slaves or former slaves in Ancient Rome?

The article Slavery in the Roman Empire claims that Slaves are...reported to have made several important inventions. A number of slaves and freedmen did achieve some measure of fame and fortune: ...
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1answer
389 views

Where were ancient Romans supposed to dispose of their waste and garbage?

On page 35 of Gregory Aldrete's Daily Life in the Roman City he states "The majority of sewage that found its way into the system did not come directly from latrines [...] Most waste was dumped in the ...
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1answer
244 views

Was every Roman citizen part of a curia?

In a book by German historian Klaus Bringmann, I read that during the regal period, the whole population was divided into three tribes. He furthermore states that each tribe was divided into 10 curiae ...
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1answer
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In ancient Rome, could free-born Romans become slaves?

In the article Roman Slavery, Kenneth Tuite of the Classics Department at the University of Maryland states quite categorically that Romans could not be slaves: Although a class system existed, ...
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1answer
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Was Rome exporting its trash to Egypt as an early example of recycling?

During the time that Egypt was a Roman province, it shipped large quantities of grain to Rome until 330 AD. The article Trade Routes and Commercial Products of Roman Pompeii says: Egypt was ...
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How did Christianity replace Roman Paganism and other ancient religions?

Christianity seems to have been the first world religion that was interested in and successful with establishing itself as not only the state religion of but practically the only in an empire - namely,...
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1answer
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How was the Roman army in fact organized during Caesar's campaigns in Gaul?

I'm finding contradictory descriptions about how Roman legions were organized during the Gallic Wars (58-50 BC). An appendix on Roman military organization in The Landmark Julius Caesar highlights ...
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After the fall of the Roman Empire, where did their armor go? Was it used by any dark ages forces?

It is my understanding that the plate armor manufactured in the time after the fall of Rome was far inferior to anything that the Romans used in their legions. (Of course, if I am wrong on any of this ...
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Did Ancient Romans use metal thimbles? What were they like?

The Romans didn't have forks, so they picked the food with their hands. It is known about the rich that after every course they wiped them and received from their slaves pots with perfumed water to ...
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1answer
156 views

Was the high consumption of (red) wine in Ancient Rome preventive of scurvy? [closed]

With daily consumption of wine estimated to be about 1 liter/day based on production, vitamin c requirements may be about covered. Was that a reason why these enormous consumption levels were thought ...
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1answer
54 views

Where did Cicero talk about Plato's Menexenus Funeral Oration?

I'm writing a paper on Aspasia--ancient Greek woman rhetorician--and in Plato's Menexenus he attributes a funeral oration to her. I found references in a couple of places to Cicero saying that the ...
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280 views

Did Ancient China use lead in their food/water industry as much as the Romans?

The Romans used lead a lot. Water pipes might be the most famous, but there were lead plates and lead vessels to prepare food or drink too. Apparently lead was an inevitable byproduct of silver ...
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1answer
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Did the Romans eat breakfast?

This BBC article, citing the food historian Caroline Yeldham, says Breakfast as we know it didn't exist for large parts of history. The Romans didn't really eat it, usually consuming only one ...
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1answer
549 views

Was Roman expansion & casus belli as just as they claimed?

Every time I read about Rome conquering some other land or nation, it always says that they were the ones attacked and then won that fight. And I find it a bit too convenient and Rome's greatest ...
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Why did post-Roman rulers abandon tax-paid army?

According to C. Wickham's The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000, pages 102-104, in 5th century rulers abandoned Roman tax-paid army in favor of medieval feudal one, which was ...
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When was Sura in the Roman Empire?

I am curious about this statement: Sura was under Roman control in the time of Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) and Ptolemy (c. 100-170 CE) but was conquered by the Sasanian king Shapur I in 253 CE. ...
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1answer
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How and when was the Temple of Trajan destroyed?

From Wikipedia article on the Temple of Trajan in Rome: The Temple of Trajan was a Roman temple dedicated to the emperor Trajan and his wife Plotina after his deification by the Roman Senate. ...
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Why were Roman dice elongated?

According to this article, Roman dice did not always have the modern cube-shaped form: [I]n contrast with modern dice, they weren’t always exactly cubes. Sometimes they were noticeably a bit ...
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What is the oldest road tunnel in the world?

At the Furlo Pass in the Apennines, the Via Flaminia passes through a tunnel built in 76 - 77 AD during the time of Emperor Vespasian, replacing an earlier tunnel. The tunnel built during the time of ...
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2answers
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Is Josephus account of destruction of Temple considered reliable?

I'm currently finishing up "The Jewish War" by Josephus. Josephus describes the lengths that Romans went to preserve the temple. On the one hand, I know Romans had rather a synthetic approach to ...
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1answer
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How much more productive was Aegyptus in comparison to Africa Proconsularis in classical antiquity?

On the one hand, the Wikipedia page on Africa Proconsularis states, with no references, that it "produced one million tons of cereals each year, one-quarter of which was exported." On the other, the ...
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2answers
567 views

Why didn't Caesar hire free men to do slave work?

So one of Caesar's significant policies in Roman politics was helping the peasants have land and work to make a living. Wonder why didn't he push laws that restricted the use of slaves and made those ...
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1answer
398 views

Did ancient Rome have slave hunters?

The Roman economy was heavily reliant on slaves, which means they had a LOT of them, which would lead one to conclude that at least some of them would run away. So who hunted escaped slaves? Did Rome ...
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285 views

How did early Rome mobilize?

I have read that before the reforms of Marius, Rome produced her armies by conscripting them from the citizens by drawing of lot, with every recruit owning his own equipment. My questions are about ...
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What kinds of goods were commonly smuggled in the Roman Empire up to the end of the 3rd century AD?

In April 2012, LIVESCIENCE reported on the discovery of a 3rd century AD ship which sank near Trapani, Sicily. According to the report, Her cargo, officially consisting of assorted jars once ...
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1answer
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Do we know any Roman debtor being cut to pieces in line with the 12 Tables?

The Twelve Tables state: ... Meanwhile they shall have the right to compromise, and unless they make a compromise the debtors shall be held in bonds for sixty days. During these days they shall ...
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1answer
96 views

Could equestrian prefects sit on sella curulis?

Were prefects of less than important provinces of the early principatus (like Pilate) allowed to sit on the ivory curule seat, or sella curulis, that curule magistrates and promagistrates used while ...
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1answer
99 views

Were debts owed or outstanding debts factored into the Roman census?

In the Roman Republic were debts and loans taken into account by the Censors when calculating the worth of a citizen's property? If yes, how were these checked?
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1answer
691 views

What did ancient Romans wear when sleeping?

What type of clothes did ancient Roman citizens wear at bedtime? Did they wear anything at all? I would like to focus on the late republican period, around 50-27BC. As a bonus, I would love to make ...
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4answers
849 views

What was different about the “right” (recto) side of papyrus sheets compared to the other side?

Usually only one side of papyrus sheets was used to write on in classic antiquity. What is the difference between the two sides of a sheet, and why would you write on "recto" only?
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Did classical Romans wear any sort of swimwear?

Say that a classical Roman decided they wanted to go for a swim in a lake or at a beach, and they expected other people to be able to see them. Would they have worn some sort of swimwear or gone nude? ...
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How did the Romans remove graffiti?

There is plenty of evidence that people painted or etched graffiti in Ancient Rome. I was curious whether and how the authorities removed the graffiti, did they paint over it or wash it off (and ...