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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14
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1answer
1k 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 (d.337 AD) allow the Praetorian Guard to continue to amass such power and repeatedly cause trouble, including palace ...
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1answer
540 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
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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
555 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Are there any historical references to this being done?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 ...
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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
270 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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647 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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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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385 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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3answers
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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
233 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 ...
2
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1answer
269 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
265 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
601 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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0answers
215 views

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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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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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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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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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77 views

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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2answers
524 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
767 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
187 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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2answers
970 views

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
752 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
367 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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77 views

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
4k views

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
408 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
225 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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99 views

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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2answers
703 views

Are there examples in ancient history of honor killing?

Honor killing, most often, the murder of a woman or girl by male family members. The killers justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige. ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
224 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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
834 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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2answers
435 views

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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1answer
770 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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7answers
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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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1answer
242 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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2answers
517 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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