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 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 ...
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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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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 was the architectural predecessor of Roman triumphal arches?

Roman triumphal arches (fornix, ianus, then arcus triumphalis) are generally categorized into two main types: those with a single arched opening (e.g. Arch of Titus) and those with three openings (e.g....
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What happened to the imperial archives stored at the Tabularium?

The Tabularium in Rome was used to house the archives of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, these archives do no longer exist. What happened to them?
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Ancient Roman Slang

Is anyone able to recommend a book or website which lists slang from Ancient Rome? As an example, how would a Roman say the equivalent of "it's screwed up"? There are many ways of saying this in ...
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157 views

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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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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95 views

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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339 views

Did the Romans use any other materials to reinforce their concrete?

I have been reading about Roman concrete (300BC-300AD) and how it has greater strength than current concrete mixtures. So far, my research has shown that they did not use re-bar in their structures. ...
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190 views

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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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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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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108 views

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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108 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 ...
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140 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 ...
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Was Mussolini's March on Rome inspired by ancient history?

As is well-known, Mussolini was very fond of ancient Rome. I am wondering whether he got the idea for the March on Rome from ancient examples. Indeed, marching on Rome to drive home a political ...
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191 views

A comparison between the reforms of Athens and Rome

Question: What made it possible that, during the times of Solon, Athens underwent reforms characterized by isonomia, — that is, equality among citizens, — whereas their approximately contemporary ...
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First Century (or earlier) gesture signifying peace between two parties?

I am working on a painting set in the first century which shows a military group confronting another group in the Middle East. I am trying to find a gesture which the leader of one army would make ...
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What was the Constitutional Basis for Gaius Julius Caesar's Dictatorship

In the early republic, a dictator was usually appointed for a reason such as presiding over an election or defending the city against a foreign invasion. I remember reading somewhere that Sulla's ...
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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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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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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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What factors led to the differing attitude to (civil) engineering projects between Roman and Russian armies?

While this might sound like a bit of a leap (i.e., why should Roman armies and Russian armies have any similarities), the Romans were considered as one of the first civilizations to use as models (if ...
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114 views

Would a Syrian King have worn the toga after the Edict of Caracalla?

As you may know, the Edict of Caracalla granted citizenship to all freeborn citizens of the Roman Empire. I'm writing a novel set several decades after this edict, and one of the characters is a ...
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118 views

Did emperor Nero have a food taster?

After the Pisonian conspiracy, if would make sense for Nero to have someone test his food for poison before eating it. But I cannot find evidence of food tasters for Roman Emperors. Any help would be ...
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Which Roman towns (outside of Italy) have been very well preserved?

Are there Roman towns within Europe, North Africa and/or the Middle East that have been very well preserved? I am not referring to a specific temple, theater or stadium, but actual towns/(or small ...
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When was AUC first attested?

Ancient Romans generally identified years by the names of their consuls. When was AUC, ab urbe condita, or any of its various abbreviations first used? It was very popular in the Renaissance but it ...
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985 views

Why did the Lead Dart replace the Pilum?

As I understand it, early through to mid Roman Armies use the javelin style Pilum. I've read that the late Roman army used Lead Darts, or Plumbata, in the same or a very similar fashion. Was the ...
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188 views

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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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 ...