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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 ...
  • 211
1 vote
0 answers
112 views

What early sources other than the books of Maccabees and Josephus are there for Judean rebellions under Antiochus IV?

Other than the books of Maccabees and Antiquities of the Jews (book XII) by Josephus, can anyone help me by pointing me to other early (3rd century or earlier) sources for the Judean rebellions under ...
  • 183
2 votes
1 answer
154 views

Why did Hadrian put Jupiter's statue in Beith Hamikdash?

The third Roman Jewish war happened 'because Hadrian put Jupiter's statue in Beith Hamikdash' (Temple in Jerusalem). Why would he do so? I've heard that originally his relationship with his Jewish ...
5 votes
1 answer
351 views

Why do ancient Jewish sources increasingly downplay Rome's role in Jerusalem's destruction?

Josephus, the (in)famous Judeo-Roman historian, in his pivotal account of the Jewish-Roman war, seeks to persistently and systematically distance the Romans from any moral responsibility in the Temple'...
  • 1,155
1 vote
0 answers
94 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

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 ...
  • 21
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 — ...
  • 167
-3 votes
1 answer
285 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 ...
  • 1,776
8 votes
1 answer
626 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 ...
  • 37.8k
0 votes
0 answers
69 views

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 ...
  • 49
10 votes
2 answers
332 views

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 ...
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

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: ...
  • 249
10 votes
1 answer
456 views

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 ...
24 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
  • 2,259
5 votes
1 answer
610 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
265 views

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). ...
  • 2,660
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
  • 655
2 votes
2 answers
653 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 ...
  • 655
2 votes
0 answers
123 views

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 ...
  • 655
35 votes
4 answers
11k views

What is the difference between the Ancient Greek religion and the Ancient Roman religion?

What is the difference between the Ancient Greek religion and the Ancient Roman religion? My question is about, not cultural differences, but conceptual differences." Wikipedia doesn't compare them. ...
  • 491
23 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
  • 655
2 votes
0 answers
142 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 ...
  • 655
39 votes
6 answers
8k views

How serious was Fermat's statement about the ancients?

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 ...
  • 1,748
5 votes
1 answer
318 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,...
  • 1,277
32 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
  • 2,576
9 votes
1 answer
676 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), ..., ...
7 votes
1 answer
440 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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?
  • 39
11 votes
2 answers
780 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 ...
  • 3,598
21 votes
4 answers
9k views

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,...
  • 2,576
4 votes
1 answer
563 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
130 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 ...
  • 43
6 votes
1 answer
311 views

Antoninus Pius coins

I have looked all over online and cannot find this specific coin. Can anyone help? We believe they are of Antoninus Pius, but I can’t identify anything on the back, although I believe the winged ...
1 vote
1 answer
383 views

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. ...
  • 3,270
25 votes
2 answers
5k views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
332 views

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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
321 views

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 ...
  • 1,641
4 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
518 views

What coin/pendant is this and is it worth any money?

This was found a long time ago by my neighbour who has now passed it on to me. It has NAX IOIA on the coin with what I believe to be a kings or gods face on one side and some grapes and vines on the ...
4 votes
2 answers
501 views

What impact did the migration of Germanic tribes have on languages in the rest of Europe?

I am currently looking for information about the migration of the Germanic tribes, and especially it's effects on European languages, or other languages. Google Search provided me information about ...
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Were there any Roman villas in Britain which were used rather than destroyed after the Romans left?

As noted in the post Are there any ideas as to what the English landscape was like before the arrival of the Angles? , the infrastructure and buildings which the Romans left behind gradually fell ...
6 votes
2 answers
604 views

What Roman institutions were obsolete by the end of the Republic?

Background: Recently I've been reading about the Roman Republic, specifically about its last century of civil war and disorder, and I've noticed that some historians say that the Republic fell because ...
  • 1,641
24 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to identify this coin with a bust on one side and the letters S and C on the other side?

I believe this coin is Roman but I'd like that confirmed. Can anyone give an approximate date and any other information possible (maybe difficult as it is quite worn). It measures between 2.5cm and 2....
3 votes
1 answer
384 views

Did the Palmyrene Empire actually own territory beyond the Euphrates?

On the Wikipedia article for the Palmyrene empire. It shows an image of the empire in 271 that includes territory beyond the Euphrates in Northern Mesopotamia. However the article mentions nothing ...
  • 555
28 votes
2 answers
5k views

What evidence is there of the vision aids people used before the invention of eyeglasses in about 1286?

The Wikipedia article on glasses says ‘scattered evidence exists for use of vision aid devices in Greek and Roman times’ but only cites the example of Nero’s emerald. This article on Magnifying ...
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why didn't the Roman Princeps restructure or dismantle the Praetorian Guard?

Why did the princeps/emperors of various dynasties prior to Constantine the Great (d.337 AD) allow the Praetorian Guard to continue to amass such power and repeatedly cause trouble, including palace ...
  • 273
12 votes
1 answer
666 views

How much did the culture of Anatolian Gallic settlers differ from their kin in Gaul?

It is known that some Gallic tribes emigrated to Anatolia in Roman era. In Livy's History of Rome, 38.16 - (cited from a reddit article), it is mentioned about their arrival to Anatolia by an ...
  • 343
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was the largest ancient theatre?

If I was to be more specific, can anyone name the largest ancient Greco-Roman theater-(excluding the Roman amphitheaters, such as the Coliseum in Rome and Verona, as well as the amphitheater in ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
287 views

How would Zenobia's associates and servants address her?

After Zenobia's army annexed some of the neighbors' lands, and especially after her conquest of Egypt, how would they address her? Would they use some sort of honorific? If so, what would it be?
  • 3,315
9 votes
3 answers
707 views

Did a ritual of pushing 60-year-olds off a bridge really exist in Archaic Rome?

I've read about the archaic Roman practice of killing 60-year-olds by pushing them off a bridge, in a book by historian Eva Cantarella, namely Perfino Catone scriveva ricette - I greci, i romani e noi ...