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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11
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2answers
462 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 ...
12
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2answers
479 views

Earliest surviving SPQR inscriptions?

I have looked a bit around, and was wondering if there was any information about which could be the earliest still surviving and accessible (for public) inscriptions which included the Latin ...
11
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Why didn't the Germanic tribes harry the Roman troops to distraction when Caesar built the bridges across the Rhine?

The two bridges across the Rhine river are considered among the greatest military engineering achievements in the ancient world. Caesar's Bridge across the Rhine, the first two bridges to cross the ...
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630 views

Why did the ancient Romans use groups of eight?

The Ancient Romans had weeks of eight days, called nundinae, miles consisting of eight stadia or furlongs, and their smallest military unit was the contubernium, consisting of eight men. What ...
10
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1answer
367 views

What evidence is there for inventions by slaves or former slaves in Ancient Rome?

The article Slavery in the Roman Empire claims that Slaves are...reported to have made several important inventions. A number of slaves and freedmen did achieve some measure of fame and fortune: ...
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1answer
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Where were ancient Romans supposed to dispose of their waste and garbage?

On page 35 of Gregory Aldrete's Daily Life in the Roman City he states "The majority of sewage that found its way into the system did not come directly from latrines [...] Most waste was dumped in the ...
12
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1answer
326 views

Was every Roman citizen part of a curia?

In a book by German historian Klaus Bringmann, I read that during the regal period, the whole population was divided into three tribes. He furthermore states that each tribe was divided into 10 curiae ...
51
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1answer
9k views

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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1answer
221 views

Was Rome exporting its trash to Egypt as an early example of recycling?

During the time that Egypt was a Roman province, it shipped large quantities of grain to Rome until 330 AD. The article Trade Routes and Commercial Products of Roman Pompeii says: Egypt was ...
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4answers
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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,...
10
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1answer
241 views

How was the Roman army in fact organized during Caesar's campaigns in Gaul?

I'm finding contradictory descriptions about how Roman legions were organized during the Gallic Wars (58-50 BC). An appendix on Roman military organization in The Landmark Julius Caesar highlights ...
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3answers
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After the fall of the Roman Empire, where did their armor go? Was it used by any dark ages forces?

It is my understanding that the plate armor manufactured in the time after the fall of Rome was far inferior to anything that the Romans used in their legions. (Of course, if I am wrong on any of this ...
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1answer
333 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 ...
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1answer
338 views

Was the high consumption of (red) wine in Ancient Rome preventive of scurvy? [closed]

With daily consumption of wine estimated to be about 1 liter/day based on production, vitamin c requirements may be about covered. Was that a reason why these enormous consumption levels were thought ...
4
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1answer
75 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 ...
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1answer
503 views

Did Ancient China use lead in their food/water industry as much as the Romans?

The Romans used lead a lot. Water pipes might be the most famous, but there were lead plates and lead vessels to prepare food or drink too. Apparently lead was an inevitable byproduct of silver ...
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1answer
13k views

Did the Romans eat breakfast?

This BBC article, citing the food historian Caroline Yeldham, says Breakfast as we know it didn't exist for large parts of history. The Romans didn't really eat it, usually consuming only one ...
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1answer
972 views

Was Roman expansion & casus belli as just as they claimed?

Every time I read about Rome conquering some other land or nation, it always says that they were the ones attacked and then won that fight. And I find it a bit too convenient and Rome's greatest ...
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3answers
4k views

Why did post-Roman rulers abandon tax-paid army?

According to C. Wickham's The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000, pages 102-104, in 5th century rulers abandoned Roman tax-paid army in favor of medieval feudal one, which was ...
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1answer
256 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. ...
9
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1answer
360 views

How and when was the Temple of Trajan destroyed?

From Wikipedia article on the Temple of Trajan in Rome: The Temple of Trajan was a Roman temple dedicated to the emperor Trajan and his wife Plotina after his deification by the Roman Senate. ...
8
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2answers
645 views

Why were Roman dice elongated?

According to this article, Roman dice did not always have the modern cube-shaped form: [I]n contrast with modern dice, they weren’t always exactly cubes. Sometimes they were noticeably a bit ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
250 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 ...
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702 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 ...
14
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1answer
724 views

Did ancient Rome have slave hunters?

The Roman economy was heavily reliant on slaves, which means they had a LOT of them, which would lead one to conclude that at least some of them would run away. So who hunted escaped slaves? Did Rome ...
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1answer
372 views

How did early Rome mobilize?

I have read that before the reforms of Marius, Rome produced her armies by conscripting them from the citizens by drawing of lot, with every recruit owning his own equipment. My questions are about ...
8
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1answer
361 views

What kinds of goods were commonly smuggled in the Roman Empire up to the end of the 3rd century AD?

In April 2012, LIVESCIENCE reported on the discovery of a 3rd century AD ship which sank near Trapani, Sicily. According to the report, Her cargo, officially consisting of assorted jars once ...
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1answer
3k views

Do we know any Roman debtor being cut to pieces in line with the 12 Tables?

The Twelve Tables state: ... Meanwhile they shall have the right to compromise, and unless they make a compromise the debtors shall be held in bonds for sixty days. During these days they shall ...
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1answer
121 views

Could equestrian prefects sit on sella curulis?

Were prefects of less than important provinces of the early principatus (like Pilate) allowed to sit on the ivory curule seat, or sella curulis, that curule magistrates and promagistrates used while ...
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1answer
107 views

Were debts owed or outstanding debts factored into the Roman census?

In the Roman Republic were debts and loans taken into account by the Censors when calculating the worth of a citizen's property? If yes, how were these checked?
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1answer
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What did ancient Romans wear when sleeping?

What type of clothes did ancient Roman citizens wear at bedtime? Did they wear anything at all? I would like to focus on the late republican period, around 50-27BC. As a bonus, I would love to make ...
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4answers
890 views

What was different about the “right” (recto) side of papyrus sheets compared to the other side?

Usually only one side of papyrus sheets was used to write on in classic antiquity. What is the difference between the two sides of a sheet, and why would you write on "recto" only?
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1answer
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Did classical Romans wear any sort of swimwear?

Say that a classical Roman decided they wanted to go for a swim in a lake or at a beach, and they expected other people to be able to see them. Would they have worn some sort of swimwear or gone nude? ...
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258 views

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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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 ...
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1answer
164 views

Is there historical evidence on what might have been a maximum hair length for males in 1st century Judea?

I am interested in getting a better idea of what a maximum acceptable hair length might have been for Jewish men in the Roman province of Judea (i.e. Israel). Because the province at the time was ...
7
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2answers
634 views

Was there a time when it was easier for slaves than citizens to access state-sponsored medical facilities in Ancient Rome?

The Wikipedia article Medicine in Ancient Rome has this to say on the first hospitals in Rome: The Roman medical system saw the establishment of the first hospitals; these were reserved for ...
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1answer
236 views

Edmund Burke vs Thomas Paine [closed]

Historical figures are regularly assigned designations left or right. As Edmund Burke, and Thomas Paine were leading antagonists with these designations at the latter half of the 18th century. Here ...
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1answer
150 views

Punishment for deserting lictors

Assume the following scenario: In the late days of the Roman Republic a consul is assaulted on the streets of the city by an angry mob, abetted by his political enemies. His lictors run away, leaving ...
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1answer
289 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 ...
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3answers
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Did the Romans install offensive statues in the temples of conquered territories?

In her book Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Princeton professor and religious scholar Elaine Pagels notes that when the Romans conquered a new territory, ...
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2answers
370 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 ...
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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. ...
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1answer
294 views

What was Marcus Aurelius's view of and interactions with Christianity?

I know that Christians were persecuted during Marcus Aurelius's lifetime. I believe he mentions them only once in his Meditations, in which he scorns them. But that's really all I know about the ...
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1answer
711 views

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

As noted in this post, the infrastructure and buildings which the Romans left behind gradually fell apart, mostly abandoned and used as sources of building materials for other constructions. However, ...
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1answer
489 views

How could the Roman sestertii/sesterces be converted into modern terms (say 2017 US$)?

Of course, the value of the sesterti must itself have fluctuated over the centuries it was in use. And so if I must narrow it down, I am particularly interested in its value during the time of ...
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473 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 ...
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1answer
210 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 ...