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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21
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3answers
3k views

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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1answer
245 views

Who originally described Attila as “Attila The Hun”

He has been known as "Attila The Hun" for centuries; however, who originally described Attila as "Attila The Hun"? Does this description date back to Roman times or was it invented during a later ...
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1answer
811 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 ...
16
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1answer
787 views

What evidence is there for chain stores or restaurant chains in Ancient Rome?

In his book City, David Macaulay creates a fictional Roman city called Verbonia to show how a 'typical', planned Roman city was started from scratch. Although Verbonia and thus its characters are ...
9
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1answer
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Did any prominent Romans openly question the crucifixion of 6,000 slaves along the Appian Way following the defeat of Spartacus?

While the Wikipedia article on the Third Servile War has a few details on the effects of the slave revolt (e.g. less harsh treatment, reduction of the number of slaves on the latifundia), it says ...
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2answers
597 views

Sourced List of Ancient Roman Values

I need a listing of some of the most influential ancient Roman virtues for a book I'm writing. There is a great list, just what I need, here on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue#...
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5answers
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How did the Romans do division?

How did Romans do division in their numeral system? Was it by repeated subtraction or did they know anything faster?
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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 ...
3
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1answer
284 views

Did the Palmyrene Empire actually own territory beyond the Euphrates?

On the Wikipedia article for the Palmyrene empire. It shows an image of the empire in 271 that includes territory beyond the Euphrates in Northern Mesopotamia. However the article mentions nothing ...
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76 views

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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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 ...
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1answer
506 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 ...
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787 views

Why didn't the Roman Princeps restructure or dismantle the Praetorian Guard?

Why did the princeps/emperors of various dynasties prior to Constantine the Great allow the Praetorian Guard to continue to amass such power and repeatedly cause trouble, including palace coups? It ...
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1answer
473 views

How much did the culture of Anatolian Gallic settlers differ from their kin in Gaul?

It is known that some Gallic tribes emigrated to Anatolia in Roman era. In Livy's History of Rome, 38.16 - (cited from a reddit article), it is mentioned about their arrival to Anatolia by an ...
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1answer
226 views

Did they have a word for psychopath in ancient Rome?

The word psychopath only dates back to the 19th Century. It is difficult to imagine, given the Romans' sophistication level in all kinds of matters, that they could not differentiate among various ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
473 views

Did Romans piss into aqueducts as a joke?

Are there any historical references to this being done? Either for fun, as revenge of some kind or for any other reason? If this was common practice; did anyone try to prevent it from happening or ...
3
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2answers
921 views

Was Apollo's birthday December 25th according to the Romans?

I recently heard in an online lecture by Dr. Martin Blinder that the Romans had considered Apollo's birthday to be December 25th. I'm having trouble finding a source that validates this statement
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2answers
264 views

How would Zenobia's associates and servants address her?

After Zenobia's army annexed some of the neighbors' lands, and especially after her conquest of Egypt, how would they address her? Would they use some sort of honorific? If so, what would it be?
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585 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 ...
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2answers
426 views

Did a ritual of pushing 60-year-olds off a bridge really exist in Archaic Rome?

I've read about the archaic Roman practice of killing 60-year-olds by pushing them off a bridge, in a book by historian Eva Cantarella, namely Perfino Catone scriveva ricette - I greci, i romani e noi ...
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3answers
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Was there any kind of detective in Ancient Rome?

Searching through some Wikipedia articles, I could only find that the city of Rome itself had vigiles (firefighters and policemen), and only in imperial times. There is no mention of detectives, be ...
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Why, in ancient battles, did being encircled mean defeat?

Why, in ancient battles, did being encircled mean defeat? The classic example of that is the Battle of Cannae, where 80,000 Roman infantry were surrounded by 40,000 Carthaginian infantry. Every ...
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2answers
356 views

Ancient Greek or Roman Teenaged Suicide for Glory

I'm trying to track down an anecdote I remember hearing many years ago about a ancient Roman (or Greek) teenager who attempted to immortalize his name by a particularly flashy act of suicide. The ...
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1answer
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What was the original colour of the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre)?

Most of the remains of Roman buildings that we see today are white, merely because paint decays much faster than the structure of the building which is naturally whitish. Looking at many of the ...
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Did Roman unmarried men have a preferred hand and finger for wearing their seal ring?

I have read that, generally, Roman men during the Empire would wear only one ring at a time. For instance here: http://m.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-clothing/roman-jewelry.htm An unmarried one ...
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Why was “consumption of gypsum” seen as relevant medical problem following 'De Materia Medica'?

"It [lye ash] is also drunk against the consumption of gypsum and the bite of the spider." But why would consumption of relevant amounts of gypsum occur in the first place? https://en.wikisource.org/...
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Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
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1answer
219 views

Major power shift in Gaul circa 350 B.C

I realize this is a little before history and therefore interpretive. I recall reading something about a shift that took place in Gaul, some time before the Romans came there. It may have been around ...
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1answer
222 views

Who were some Greek Plebeian Gentes, especially from Magna Graecia?

I'm looking for foreign influences on the Plebeians. Who are some Plebeian Gentes that were Greek, perhaps from Magna Graecia or Sicily? I vaguely recall reading about one from Campania, who came in ...
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1answer
246 views

Did the Greeks and Romans use reputational incentives to induce people to pay more tax?

I read the following tidbit in a monologue here. It sounds interesting and plausible but I couldn't verify it: Let me tell you a little bit about providing people with the opportunity to ...
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1answer
519 views

What did ancient countries call themselves? [closed]

Especially non-European nations -- I'm under the impression that the names given to these countries, e.g. "the Maurya Dynasty", "the Qin Dynasty", "the Akkadian Empire", "the Old Kingdom of Egypt", ...
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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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1answer
105 views

Why is (the best) soot to be taken from glassmakers, according to Diocorides' “Materia Medica”?

"Fuligio pictoria [soot] that the painters use is taken from the glassmakers, as that is the best." (Diocorides, De Materia Medica 5-182) http://www.cancerlynx.com/BOOKFIVEWINES.PDF While glassmaking ...
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395 views

Why did Constantius Chlorus decide to become a Flavius?

I have noticed that virtually all Roman emperors after Constantine were called Flavius Something. A quick lookup in wikipedia confirms this and even more: During the later period of the Empire, the ...
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What ships did pirates use in ancient Greece and Rome?

I imagine they did not have the funds to buy or build heavy military ships, so I wonder what did they use. Did they re-purpose civilian ships?
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Do we have examples of Roman freedmen becoming wealthy? [closed]

I was curious to know more about this, found on Wikipedia: "Other freedmen became wealthy. The brothers who owned House of the Vettii, one of the biggest and most magnificent houses in Pompeii, are ...
6
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1answer
939 views

How were political factions in the late Roman republic different from political parties today?

I've read that in the 1st century BCE, Rome came to be dominated by a dispute between two political factions: the Optimates, representing the traditionalist patrician families, who wanted to lock down ...
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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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487 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 ...
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2answers
647 views

Did the food economy of the late Roman republic rely on foreign imports, or was it more localized?

I'm curious to what degree Rome of the late republic was fed by imports as opposed to local goods. (Rome in this case meaning the city and the Italian peninsula, as opposed to her client states and ...
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0answers
180 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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Was Marc Antony with Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon?

Question I had always been told that he was, and Plutarch's Life of Antony certainly seems to imply as much. But I just read a passage in Adrian Goldsworthy's book, Caesar's Civil War 49-44 BC, ...
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Constantine the Great created the Chi-Rho from the Greek word for “Christ”. Why choose Greek over Latin, even though he was Roman?

Upon emerging victorious after the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine the Great created the Chi-Rho from the first two letters of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ meaning "Christ". Given that ...
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3answers
607 views

Was Carausius the grandfather of Magnus Maximus?

According to Wikipedia, and Geni.com, the British usurper Carausius c. 286 is the grandfather of Magnus Maximus c. 383. This would chronologically make sense, but is a little bizarre. From what I ...
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1answer
340 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 ...
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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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1answer
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Rules to correctly write an ancient Roman date

So the background is that I am working on some code to translate a Gregorian date to an Ancient Rome date. Upon Googling ancient roman dates I have the formula down pretty solid. However, I keep ...
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1answer
391 views

Were taxes from senatorial provinces and imperial provinces sent to their respective treasuries in the Roman Empire? (Under the rule of Augustus)

I read that Augustus imposed a rule that revenue from imperial provinces went to the imperial treasury, and the revenue from senatorial provinces went to the senatorial treasury. Is there evidence to ...
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0answers
182 views

Is Livy to much of a romantic to be considered credible? [closed]

If you compare, for example the writings between Titus Livius and his Greek counterpart from a century earlier, Polybius, does Livy prove himself credible with his fantastical writing styles and ...