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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34
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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 ...
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Did the Romans have writing desks?

I am just rekindling my interest in Ancient Rome, and reading Rome:Its people, life and customs by Ugo Enrico Paoli. He goes into considerable detail about tables, but only dining tables. There is a ...
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What was special about ground foods for sacrificial meals?

To avoid repetition, I use 'pabulum' to mean food products ground for sacrificial meals. [Etymonline:] [...] immolare "to sacrifice," originally "to sprinkle with sacrificial meal," from ...
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Why didn't Romans conquer/explore the African Atlantic Coast?

I know that the Romans, when their empire was at its peak around the 1st and 2nd century AD, controlled the northern coast of Africa and had the Sahara desert as some kind of natural "wall" ...
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Which is the earliest surviving inscription of “SPQR”?

I have looked around a bit, and was wondering if there was any information about what could be the earliest surviving and accessible (for public) inscriptions which included the Latin initialism SPQR (...
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Why did the scutum fall out of use?

Wikipedia says By the end of the 3rd century the rectangular scutum seems to have disappeared. Why did the rectangular scutum design fall out of use? Why was the shield design not commonly used ...
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What territories were lost or abandoned after Trajan?

It is generally acknowledged that the Roman Empire reached its geographical zenith during Trajan's reign. Listening to the highly interesting History of Rome podcast I didn't notice any major ...
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5answers
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In ancient Rome, did a lot of people feel guilty about owning slaves?

Do we have historical evidence which shows whether significant number of people felt guilty about owning (without necessarily abusing) slaves in the ancient Roman era, e.g. 1-2 century AD?
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Why did Emperor Nero kill his mother and others?

Why did Nero kill his own mother? Was it true that she was dangerous to the point where it was "her life or his?" Did he have "good" reasons (in the sense of being understandable or acceptable at the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Did the Latins see the Etruscans as a plague? [closed]

I've read that Latins considered the Etruscans as a plague. However, it seems that the Etruscans (being peaceful merchants) were more civilized and educated than the Latins.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Did germophobia exist in classical antiquity?

I know nothing of the cleaning habits of the Greeks, but about Rome Mary Beard (2015) says that doctors knew that going to the public baths with an open wound would likely result in gangrene, so it ...
14
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When was the first time Rome was mentioned in outside records (and specifically, in Greek ones)?

Most information that we have on the history of ancient Rome came from Roman records themselves. However, I'm curious about the first extant document where the city was unequivocally mentioned by ...
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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: ...
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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 ...
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What was the importance of the patrician class in the Roman Empire?

This is a question that has puzzled me in my research of the history of the Roman Empire. During the Roman Republic the Patrician class was obviously of paramount importance, & history of the ...
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What did the Greeks and Romans think of large breasted women? [closed]

From what I know, the Greeks and Romans held men with large penises in contempt as in their eyes; they allegedly couldn't control their sexual urges while men with smaller ones where approved because ...
6
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What sources describe the ending of the right to murder family members in 1st century BC Rome?

The right to murder family members ended in the first century BC, although, even then, they kept a few exceptions. Now, the law said, fathers could only murder their sons if they’ve been convicted of ...
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6answers
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How quickly could the Roman legions march? How did it compare to their cavalry?

In the history of Rome there are numerous instances of legions being marched up and down Europe, from Spain to Rome and from Rome to Syria. I'm interested to know how quickly these armies could move? ...
52
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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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3answers
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Did Anglo-Saxons make use of large-scale, non-military Roman ruins?

There are plenty of examples of the Anglo-Saxons using Roman ruins as part of their defensive and domestic architecture (i.e. Alfred building burhs that incorporated some Roman walls and roads). I am ...
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3answers
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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....
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Who is this person depicted on the “Ianua Nova” Latin textbooks?

My old Latin text book from school was called Ianua Nova and had a gentleman depicted on the front cover who looked like this: I do not remember (if I ever knew) who he is. Considering that it is a ...
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What was the average height of Roman men and women?

On a field trip to Philadelphia as a child I visited Betsy Ross' house. I was only 11 at the time and yet my head almost reached the ceiling. The tour guide said that Americans used to be shorter than ...
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1answer
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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), ..., ...
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Why did Rome adopt the Greek culture?

Initially, I understand the Macedonians had a Greek culture (Art, Religion, etc) because they were Greek. But then the Romans dominated the Macedonian Empire and adopted their culture too, and that ...
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Did Hellenic-Romans have Ancient Greek heritage?

I had the results of my "true ancestry" back. You upload DNA data and they compare it to DNA obtained from ancient burial sites. Interestingly, I had a strong match to "Hellenic-Roman", but nothing ...
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How did later Roman emperors like Aurelian, Claudius II and Constantius Chlorus reconcile their humble origins with their position?

Most emperors of the Crisis of the Third Century, especially Claudius II and later, were of the Balkan peasantry and "barracks emperors." Were they even literate? How did they make speeches to the ...
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How common were private bathing facilities in Late Republican Rome?

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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Was the “drowning man prays to God, but ignores the boats God sends” joke/tale known in Ancient Roman times?

This is a rather famous joke/morality tale, with multiple version. The following one was taken from here: A storm descends on a small town, and the downpour soon turns into a flood. As the waters ...
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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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Are there depictions of horsemen in Roman Republic other than on the coins?

I wonder if there are depictions of horsemen who sit on the horses, with the horses that have two fore (front) hooves up in the air other than on the coins made in the time when Rome was a republic. ...
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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 ...
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Did the Romans leave any technical instruction manuals behind?

Did Romans write instructional manuals regarding architecture, building etc.? I am curious as to why much of the knowledge regarding how to build was lost in medieval times, especially since there ...
9
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2answers
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What is the historical evidence for asserting Huns were one and the same as Xiongnu?

This question is very close to a previous question, Who were the Huns and/or Xiongnu?, but I hope it is clear that I'm not asking the same point. In fact, I'm asking about the common assumption such ...
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1answer
281 views

Is Dalmatia often disregarded or largely overlooked when studying the history of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Dalmatia, the present-day Croatian coastal region, has some of the most well preserved Roman ruins and sites in the world, perhaps rivaling the South of France, Turkey/Asia Minor, as well as most of ...
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What Roman legions in Hispania revolted against Caesar before the battle at Munda?

I was debating an interesting topic recently about Pompey's legions in Hispania and why they hadn't fought alongside him against Caesar at Pharsalus. Now Caesar forcefully convinced most of them to ...
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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 ...
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Are there any Vandal or Goth relics or monuments in Rome?

The Vandals and Goths ruled Rome for several years after the fall of the empire. Did they leave any relics, monuments or buildings that can still be seen?
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Why were gravediggers, actors and former gladiators (but not slaves) banned from the Colosseum?

According the website Colosseum, some people were banned from attending events at the Colosseum. The same information is given on the Wikipedia Colosseum page which cites the book Rome: An Oxford ...
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Where can I find a scan of the translated “De re militari” in Bulgarian?

De Re Militari was translated into English, French and Bulgarian before the 15th century. Where can I find a scan of the Bulgarian translation?
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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 ...
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What did the Jews during the First Jewish-Roman War know about other anti-Roman revolts?

The first Jewish-Roman War started in 66 CE. When I read about it, it sounds so futile: you have a group of zealots (literally and figuratively) revolting against a professional army from the period's ...
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How far did the Roman Empire ever try to extend its reach (but fail)? [closed]

What was the farthest the Roman Empire ever ventured? I have seen maps of the farthest extent of the Roman Empire, but I cannot say I have ever seen a map of the farthest known extent to which the ...
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2answers
253 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 ...
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Did the Roman testudo protect the sides of the formation?

I have seen several images like these, where the soldiers in testudo formation hold shields above their heads and to their sides as well. The soldiers standing in the extreme left or right column of ...
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Why didn't the ancients produce purple dye via admixture?

A great deal of prestige is attached to the colour purple - the hue of bishops and emperors alike - and, if you've read a little about the ancient world, you'll probably have heard the story ...

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