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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Were Romans 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 ...
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Similar names 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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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 ...
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What Was The Economy Like in Ancient Rome for the Working-Class? [closed]

As a current member of the working-class living in the United States, I am wondering what was the economy like during Ancient Rome, particularly during the time of Jesus Christ. As you probably know, ...
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Why was Roman painting so inferior to the sculpture and architecture of the same period?

Compared to sculpture, surviving examples of Roman painting are relatively few. Most of them are in the form of frescoes or mosaics. Still, what gives? While Roman sculptures and reliefs are highly ...
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What is the source for “The right to murder family members ended in the first century BC”

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 ...
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Why did Romans use the sesterce in written monetary records when the coin itself was so rarely used?

In the vast majority of cases, Roman writers and government officials recorded amounts of money (money donated, value of items bought/sold, amount given in wills, etc.) in sesterces. Given that the ...
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Who was the first woman to be made a god by Rome's senate?

Cleopatra, consort to Julius Caesar was worshiped in Egypt as a living embodiment of the Egyptian goddess Isis, but she was never recognized as such by the Senate of Rome. Julius Caesar was ...
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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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What actually happened in Greek and Roman temples of healing?

Greeks first had temples of healing under Apollo, and when Apollo as the god of healing was displaced by Asclepius, these temples ended up as asclepeion. The Romans adopted this idea of temples for ...
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Who was this Roman General/figure of authority who, on his deathbed, named these two regrets?

In my undergrad I took a Roman History/Culture class and remember the professor mentioning someone who died naming two regrets: He once told a secret to a woman He once spent a day idle/doing nothing ...
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Are there the 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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What is the origin of “Crévier's supplement” in William A McDevitte's 1850 translation of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri?

The 1850 translation (by William A McDevitte) of Book 41 of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita Libri (available on the Perseus website at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0149%...
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How did the Druids learn the Greek language by the time of Caesar's campaign in Gaul?

In Latin class, we are translating parts of Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. One thing that struck me as odd is how Caesar describes the customs of the Gauls, especially in Book 6, where he ...
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Are there any exemplars of the 'trope of the exiled poet' prior to CE 8?

For a class of mine I'm writing a paper on Ovid's Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, where I argue that underneath Ovid's lamentation of his exile and praise for Augustus, he immortalizes himself as the ...
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What ancient Roman(s) wished houses were made of transparent walls?

What ancient Roman(s) wished houses were made of transparent walls? source:St. Joseph Cafasso's The Priest: The Man of God: His Dignity and Duties p. 50: a Roman of ancient times wished his house ...
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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. ...
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How did the Romans salute the Republic?

Are there any known phrases that were used by Romans to celebrate or cheer for the Republic? I've searched for some phrases I came up with, like Ave Res Publica, and some other derivatives I've ...
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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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How did Roman law change between Justinian and Basil II?

What were the ways in which Roman law changed between under the rule of Justinian I (with his Corpus Juris Civilis and the rest of his Legal Order) and under the rule of Basil II? I am interested in ...
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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 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 ...
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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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Did ancient Romans have a religion that involved a “fish hat”?

This question is related to the Mesopotamian god "Dagon" and how he may have been represented in ancient Rome. According to some sources, gods and goddesses that were worshiped in ancient Mesopotamia ...
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Were Roman public roads built by private companies?

According to a civil engineer (video in Spanish), the Appian way was built as a concession. This is, it was built by a private "company", paid by the state. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not clear ...
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Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.?

We know that the Roman Empire became a Christian state. Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.? What punishment was prescribed (if it was illegal)? If it was punishable, who could ...
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Where did the following reference originally arise from?

In his 1725 work Principi Di Una Scienza Nuova (known in English as The New Science; link to the CUP modern edition), Giambattista Vico wrote that: For Hebrew began and remained the language of a ...
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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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What is the most common calendar for pre-Julian dates?

When I read some date of event that happened before introduction of Julian calendar by Caesar, what calendar that date is more likely to refer? Proleptic Julian calendar or proleptic Gregorian ...
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What is meaning of 4 letter abbreviations in Roman names like Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus?

I am reading about Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 47) and cannot find meaning of T. f. T. n. in his full name as written in Wikipedia, "Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus." All I have found is a ...
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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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What was the difference in the minds of the Romans between human sacrifice and gladiator games?

The Romans eventually outlawed human sacrifice to the gods, but gladiator games were practiced until the Roman Empire became Christian. How did the Romans consider the gladiator games different?
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Fermat's statement about the ancients: How serious was he?

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 ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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How did the Romans mint coins?

I would like to understand how the Romans minted coins. Mining, smelting and refining are no mystery; I can envision ways in which uniform coin-blanks might have been made : but the big problems are (...
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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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Did the Roman Empire have penal colonies?

I've been searching for an answer for a question on Christianity Stack Exchange about the fate of St. John the Apostle. Tradition says he found himself exiled to a Roman penal colony on Patmos. ...
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What was Masada's Roman ramp steep angle?

One thing that puzzled me about the story of Masada, is the ramp for the ram. The angle looked bizarre to me. I suppose it wore out over the years by the harsh winds, and maybe floods, but from ...
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Stonehenge-like olive presses?

What are the olive presses referred to in Gregory S. Aldrete's History of the Ancient World A Global Perspective? It mentions olive presses in North Africa that look so much like Stonehenge they were ...
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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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How is this pattern from Pompeii also in Cappella Sansevero?

The labyrinth tiles in Capella Sansevero where built between the mid 1760s to c. 1771 (according to http://www.museosansevero.it/floor/?lang=en). They look like this: I saw the same pattern in Villa ...
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Where did the Roman money involved in the spice and luxury trade end up?

In the book "The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean" by McLaughlin, which is a very interesting read, he states that annual bullion going to buy luxuries in India was around 50-100 million sesterces ...
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helmet change from Greek to Macedon, Rome and Medieval period

Why did Roman helmets not cover the mouth like their greek counterparts? Did individual soldiers need to shout commands? Same for companion calvary Boeotian helmet vs that of medieval knights.
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What is the science behind lead not contributing to the fall of Rome?

Did lead poisoning contribute to the fall of Rome? skeptics stack exchange I actually have had a couple professors in my time comment on how Roman leaders may have had lead poisoning which caused ...
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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), right,...
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When did we stop diluting wine?

In ancient Rome, wine was drunk diluted with water, as discussed in this question. When did it become common practice not to dilute wine, but to drink it as is? I tried to look, and found nothing ...
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Did people 'go to the beach' for pleasure in classical antiquity?

Swimming in the sea was necessary for many in ancient Rome or Greece, but did they do it for recreation?
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Could the Circus Maximus audience distract the racers?

I have been trying to research about the spectators of Circus Maximus. I know there were different colored factions. But my question is; "Were spectators able to throw items at racers to hit them or ...
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How was Hadrian's decree banning circumcision enforced? Were there mandatory body check or something similar?

Roman Emperor Hadrian issued a decree outlawing circumcision around 132 CE, under penalty of death. I am curious as to how such a decree may be enforced, given that circumcision/castration practices ...

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