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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185 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 ...
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Which were the most entrepreneurial AND prosperous cities in different eras? [closed]

[For what I mean by "an entrepreneurial and prosperous city," see the bulleted points below.] We're looking for a name for a research project. We're trying to be creative with the name and one of the ...
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Are there examples in ancient history of honor killing?

I thought I had found two examples of honor killing in ancient literature, although people online have disagreed with me. In Livy, the killing of Verginia by her father Verginius in ancient Rome ...
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Which months were added during the Roman Empire?

I was recently reading a book when I came across a line Two months were added in our calendar today for the Roman empire. I did some research on Wikipedia and concluded three months were added ...
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218 views

If archaeology shows that people abandoned the ancient Trojan region around the 6th century BC, why do we have so few written evidences of that?

My professor told us that people lived around the location of ancient Troy up to the beginning of the 6th century BC and moved away mostly because they couldn't deal with prices in Neorion Harbour. ...
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In ancient Rome what could 'childhood innocence' save a child from being punished for?

The "Innocence of a child", you know, that thing that lets curious little kids sneak onto the white house lawn and not immediately get shot or whatever. In ancient Rome (lets say during the republic ...
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What was the largest battle fought by ancient Rome?

What was the largest battle, by number of participants, in which ancient Rome took part? Not counting sieges. A quick Google search reveals nothing authoritative, but some discussion threads mention ...
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722 views

Why didn't the Romans set up breeding mechanisms as a main source to supplement their population of slaves instead of relying on defeated enemies? [closed]

By the time of the Flavians there were large reductions in the supply of slaves, both those peacefully imported from outside the Empire and those captured in military campaigns. It was a time of ...
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The Goths and The Roman Empire (Alaric) [closed]

When the Goths became Roman Mercenaries, who were they tasked to fight, if not the Huns?
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609 views

What were the rights and statuses of different types of Roman colonies?

I was reading SPQR by Mary Beard and in the book (pg 200) she mentions the a Roman colony in Hispania called Carteia, which was populated by legion veterans. They married local women and had children ...
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Why was the Aeolipile not put to practical use in classical antiquity?

The Aeolipile was a simple mechanical device that generated kinetic energy from steam. Its invention is attributed to the Hero of Alexandria in the 1st century AD. Source: Aeolipile With the ...
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221 views

How did Tetricus, the last Gallic Emperor, obtain his agnomen?

Gaius Pius Esuvius Tetricus was the last emperor of the short-lived Gallic Empire (260–274 AD). "Tetricus" in Latin means cheerless or dark, which makes me think there may be an anecdote on how he ...
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476 views

Internal crisis of the Roman Republic before the Gracchi

The beginning of the Roman Republic is traditionally dated to 509 BC, when the Roman king Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown. Wikipedia article about the Crisis of the Roman Republic states that ...
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671 views

Why did the Lead Dart replace the Pilum?

As I understand it, early through to mid Roman Armies use the javelin style Pilum. I've read that the late Roman army used Lead Darts, or Plumbata, in the same or a very similar fashion. Was the ...
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1answer
983 views

Could freedmen join the army in ancient Rome?

In Cyril Edward Robinson's book "A History of Rome" he describes how freedmen could join the army in ancient Rome. Has this been corroborated anywhere? Are there specific examples?
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Did Romans create dictionaries?

Did the Romans make any efforts to catalogue foreign languages? Or their own? Or none at all? I'm sure none have survived, but were dictionaries as a concept known to their general populace?
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835 views

Was sexual abuse/assault a unique feature of American Slavery or was there similar abuse in previous slave systems?

In reading about Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings I learned how he basically took her on as a concubine when they lived in Paris. It seems that this sort of thing was commonplace in ...
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316 views

What was typical agricultural produce in Rome or Greece roundabout 2000-3000ya?

During worldbuilding for a roleplaying campaign, I realized that I have a reasonable idea of what people have been growing (and eating) in northern Europe (rye, cabbage, turnips, beets and other roots,...
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262 views

What are the dimensions of this pomerium marker?

The pomerium of Vespasian from 75AD (pictured below) was moved to Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome in the 20th century. What are its dimensions, and what is its height, measuring from street level to ...
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When did the Roman empire start to hire Anglo-Saxon mercenary troops to protect Britain?

For some context, I am currently studying the history of Britain. We learned that the Romans had captured it in 43 CE under Claudius. We also know that when the Roman Empire was deteriorating and ...
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Why did Roman Army rarely field large Roman cavalry units and rely on foreign auxiliaries?

I have been reading a bit recently about the Roman period between say around 100bc to 100ad and I have noticed that the Roman's cavalry was almost always a small portion of their total troops and it ...
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710 views

For how long were freed slaves in Ancient Rome supposed to wear a Pileus hat?

The Pileus hat article on Wikipedia says that in Ancient Rome, when a slave was freed, there was a ceremony in which his head was shaved and a pileus "was placed upon it". In the SE question: How did ...
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1answer
265 views

Is the son of a Freedman a Freeborn?

We have a worksheet for history, where we need to guess an ancient Roman person's class depending on their point of view in a piece of text they wrote. I have searched the internet for help in one of ...
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444 views

Why does English use Roman months, but Germanic days of the week?

From what I understand, the Germanic tribes borrowed their calendar and names for days of the week from the Romans. But they decided to localize the gods - Thor's day, Frey's day, etc. How come the ...
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What was the median price for a slave child in the Augustan Rome?

Just for example, 8 years old boy or 9 years old girl. So, not a newborn baby or toddler (no need for extended expenses for dedicated child-rearing nannies, wet nurses, etc.), but still too small to ...
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807 views

Why Ancient Rome Had No Economists? [closed]

It is my understanding that Rome had no economists, despite having a very advanced economy and many "advanced" professions ranging from historians to astronomers to botanists and architects. Why is ...
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524 views

During the Siege of Alesia, why were certain Roman forts located outside the circumvallation lines?

I am reading Caesar's Gallic Triumph, Alesia 52BC by Peter Inker, and he provides a few maps of the camps and forts around Alesia. Two of the camps (camp H & K) are located outside of his ...
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Did Roman women wear underwear? How did it look?

I must admit I have no expertise in history. My question is inspired by "Rome" TV series (the authors claim that everyday life was shown with relative historical accuracy) and it's about Roman panties....
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627 views

Why is this Roman bust identified as Arminius?

Wikipedia and Britannica show this bust in their articles about Arminius: The caption in Wikipedia says: This Roman sculpture of a young man is sometimes identified as Arminius. The description ...
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Confusion re the naming of Roman freedman

I have just been reading this which is admittedly very old, and there is a statement which has me totally confused. ... the master might disregard the regular form and give the freedman any name ...
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After Jesus was executed what became of Pontius Pilate

After all of the unrest in the area did Pontius Pilate resolve the issue by the death of Jesus Christ. Historically what became of Pontius Pilate.
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Why did Nero order many of the Pisonian conspirators to commit suicide instead of having them executed by the sword?

I noticed that many of the people executed by Nero were ordered to commit suicide or their deaths were made to look like a suicide. This is despite the fact that, in at least some cases, armed ...
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Would every Roman army have dedicated engineers?

Would a Roman army have dedicated engineers to design and build the siege engines (onagers, scorpions etc)? Would the engineers be expected to fight? Personally, I am particularly interested in what ...
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Why was the Marian reforms' inclusion of landless masses necessary?

The Marian reforms of the late Roman Republic changed Rome's military into a standing, professional volunteer force and greatly enhanced its effectiveness, thereby ensuring Rome's dominance for ...
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How much did it cost to attend events at the ancient Roman colosseum?

I recently visited the Colosseum in Rome, where a tour guide explained about the different seating sections for the elite (senators and the like), nobles, ordinary citizens, and slaves/women. He also ...
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282 views

What sources could Tacitus or Appian have used that have since been lost?

I was fascinated by the announcement of the 'virtual unrolling' of a fire-burned scroll in En-Gedi that has been analysed and found to be part of the book of Leviticus. As the Guardian noted, the ...
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626 views

First Roman battles after the Marian reforms

I'm quite interested in the removal of the Hastati, Principes and Triarii elements introduced by the Marian reforms in 107 BC, and how it affected the Roman army at first. Looking on Wikipedia for ...
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324 views

Gaulish logistics during Caesar's invasion

How much, if anything, do we know about how the Gauls camped and marched when facing Caesar? Did they have tents, mules, wagons, camp followers? Can we infer anything about their rate of march? Was ...
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523 views

What was the population within the Aurelian Walls of Rome during it's peak?

I've done some research, but population figures have been unspecific. I've seen the 1 million figure around, though I'm unsure if it refers only to the population within the Aurelian Walls, or the ...
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When was the testudo / tortoise formation first used by the Romans?

When was the earliest known use of the testudo formation by the Romans? Wikipedia's article on the testudo formation includes a quote from Cassius Dio which mentions the use of a testudo formation at ...
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196 views

History of Raetia between 15 CE to 550 CE

I know most of the history of the area of Raetia (by which I mean the Roman province, today roughly resembling the states Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg) from the first sources we have until today, ...
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What did Flaminius bring to the Greeks?

In Montaigne's essay "Of Cannibals", Montaigne writes: "I know not," said he, "what kind of barbarians" (for so the Greeks called all other nations) "these may be; but the disposition of this ...
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A Roman Admiral, a Tribune, a Legatus and a Promagistrate all walk into an arena

If these meet up, who is more senior than who, socially, politically and militarily? The Legatus, Admiral, and Tribune are from legions and fleets in different provinces to the Promagistrate. They ...
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273 views

What was the Romans or Roman Empires opinion on the Vikings? [closed]

How were they depicted by the Romans in Ancient History?
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How important was currency inflation in Fall of Roman Empire?

Under Roman Republic one unskilled worker typically made one sestertius a day, and it was enough to keep up a modest life in ancient Rome back in the day. But I found data about Rome started to ...
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1answer
408 views

What name was given to this ancient Roman custom involving a broken pot to show a pact between individuals?

I remember reading of a custom in the Roman Republic where a pact could be sealed between individuals with a broken pot, or wax tablet, whereby the pieces could be later be reassembled to show this ...
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374 views

How do we know the patricians of Rome?

This question asked whether we know the list of patricians from who was consuls. I don't think that is it because I always read that there were originally 100 individuals who were the head of ...
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475 views

How do I differentiate ancient ceramic from today's junk?

I've been to London's River Thames, a famous place where it is relatively easy to find ceramics and other relics of the past. I found something but I have no idea how to distinguish ancient stuff ...
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685 views

What happened to all the scholars and scientists of Western Rome during the barbarian invasions?

We know that the dawn of the age of Renaissance and the dusk of the Middle Ages were accelerated by the fall of Byzantine Empire and the transfer of a big chunk of "Ancient Knowledge" from Greece to ...
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How much were builders of Colosseum paid?

I am currently doing a project on Ancient Rome and was wondering how much the builders of the Colosseum got paid? I understand they were mostly slaves, but were they given anything? Did they also ...