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).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
46
votes
5answers
19k views

How did the Roman state verify citizenship?

How were ancient Roman citizens identified, and how did officials make sure that their identity wasn't fake? I.e., did they maintain some kind of citizens registry, or did they have some kind of ...
50
votes
6answers
14k views

Why did the Roman military start to favour swords over the spear phalanx?

Up until the rise of the Roman Republic, the Greek phalanx was considered the dominant form of military tactics. Evolution had simply favoured longer and longer spears: by the time of Alexander, ...
22
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
907 views

Was Julius Caesar a hippie?

I was reading the question What was the hippie movement? Why did it decline? when I noticed this comment by Oldcat: There is even a story of Julius Caesar wearing a long fringe sleeved tunic to ...
15
votes
1answer
975 views

Did the Romans melt down looted golden objects or did they keep them intact?

The most famous such object is, of course, the Menorah which is reported to have surfaced up later in Constantinople via Carthage, so it seems to have been kept intact. But I am wondering if there ...
85
votes
2answers
14k views

How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

I've tried to find some information about it, but failed. Let's say there is an educated slave living in a relatively rich household of Rome. What would prevent him from fleeing, going to some smaller ...
50
votes
2answers
8k views

Where did the Romans store their cash?

In the era before banking was invented, where did wealthy Romans store their cash? The emperor probably could store it somewhere in the imperial palace thanks to the Praetorian guard, but what about ...
41
votes
7answers
37k views

Why did Greeks and Romans dilute their wine?

I’ve gathered that ancient Greeks and Romans watered their wine heavily, up to 90% water. Roman-era Talmudic sources speak of wine not being fit to drink until it had been watered (although mixtures ...
19
votes
4answers
4k 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,...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the last historical mention of people worshipping the Roman gods?

Today, there are many polytheists and neopagans who worship the ancient Roman gods. They are, however, a very new development, and not the descendants of an unbroken line stretching back to the Roman ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Buddhists in ancient Alexandria and Rome

I came across this quote in an interview with British philosopher Jonardon Ganeri: What I would add is that philosophy did not have a single origin, but many origins around the world, and each of ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How did Rome's legal system work?

How was it decided if a case should be tried in Rome or in the province by the governor of that province? was the governor always the judge or were there exceptions? who were the lawyers? I know a lot ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the evidence to claim that political order in ancient Rome was sufficiently different under “kingdom”, “republic” and “empire”?

Traditionally the following stages are counted for the political order of the Ancient Rome: Kingdom Republic Empire (subdivided into Principate and Dominate) The "kingdom" is usually regarded as ...
22
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why was ancient Christianity more successful than the Roman pantheon and Judaism in gaining followers?

Around the 1st century AD, the three biggest religions in the Roman empire were the Roman pantheon, Judaism, and Christianity. Why was Christianity so much more successful in gaining and keeping ...
7
votes
1answer
366 views

Was the ancient Roman King ( i.e. rex) elected for eight years?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. The rex was indeed elected (or perhaps acclaimed would be better term) by the people at the suggestion of the Senate, as far as I recall but I do not ...
19
votes
6answers
13k views

How quickly could the Roman legions march? How does it compare to the mobile 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? ...
16
votes
4answers
8k views

How does the amount of equipment carried by various historical infantries compare?

I've heard many statements amount the weight of supplies and munition carried by soldiers of various historical forces. In particular, I've heard many comments about the amount that the British ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Roman era clothing (Egypt + Carthage)

In 2014, it is 2000 years ago that Emperor Augustus died. To celebrate this, we are doing a huge project (Historical Walking Dinner) in which we re-enact certain groups of the Roman population in that ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the status of specialized workers during the Roman times?

It's obvious that people in the Senate or people with political power would be considered of higher status, while ordinary plebs, such as farmers, would have a lower status. However, where exactly ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Is this theory on origins of modern-day Romania plausible?

I watched a documentary which basically claims that modern-day Romanians are not the descendants of Rome, but that the Romans and the Romanians share a common ancestor with the same language. One of ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Classical battle sizes vs medieval battle sizes

Why did classical battles did tend to be larger than in the medieval period? One particular example I am thinking of was the Battle of Stamford Bridge, which had around 30,000 participants, compared ...
21
votes
2answers
84k views

Average height of Ancient 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

How regularly did the Romans bathe?

I guess the answer may be different for rich people who had their own baths and others who visited the public baths.
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What was more expensive to lose in a gladiatorial fight: a gladiator or a rare animal?

We know that, aside from man-to-man combat, gladiatorial fights would often pit human gladiators against wild animals. Is there any documented historical evidence that would show what was a bigger ...
9
votes
2answers
596 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
780 views

Is this true that the requirement to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged?

Is this true that the requirement to worship and to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged? I just encountered a statement that this requirement was put ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
6
votes
1answer
263 views

Formation of underground layers of Rome

I have recently came across several news articles (for example) from various decades, talking about existing underground structures in the city of Rome, which used to be above ground at some point of ...
4
votes
1answer
513 views

What was the relationship between slaves and poor Romans needing jobs in Rome's labour market?

In ancient Rome's labour market, what was the relationship between slaves and Romans who needed jobs to survive (wage slaves)? What market forces determined the jobs done by slaves versus those done ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Did war chariots ever actually have blades on the wheel hubs?

Several movies depict Greek and Roman war chariots with sharp, sword like blades protruding from the hub in the centre of the wheels. Was such a design just theatre on the part of the movies or is ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What did ex-Gladiators do after being freed?

What did ex-Gladiators do after being freed? Did they stay near to what they knew or chose completely unrelated professions and prospered?
9
votes
2answers
489 views

What jobs were available for migrants from the country to Rome?

I've read that the during the late Roman republic and early empire there was a great migration from country to urban living. Historians estimate in peninsular Italy 15%-20% of the population lived in ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
7
votes
1answer
823 views

Which nation forced Romans to change their armor?

I remember reading somewhere that at a certain point in history thanks to archaic steel an enemy of Rome had swords that could cut through armor with ease causing a large change in Roman military but ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables on slavery

I have just been reading the Roman Twelve Tables, and am deeply confused. In Table VI, it states: Law VII. Where anyone demands freedom for another against the claim of servitude, the Prætor shall ...
3
votes
0answers
276 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
344 views

What proof would a Roman patrician have of his status?

Consider this scenario. You're a Roman patrician, born and raised in Rome. Your parents have retired to their villa in Sicily which you have personally never seen. Suddenly word arrives that they're ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

When did the Roman consular year begin during the Republic and Empire?

In which month did the Roman consular year begin, and how has this beginning shifted throughout the Roman state's existence? A full list of changes in chronological order would be appreciated. In ...