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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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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 ...
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Why did it take Rome so long to supress the Spartacus Revolt?

I've been thinking and why did it take Rome so long to suppress the Spartacus Revolt, and what did Marcus Licinius Crassus do differently than other Roman Generals, as he was able to defeat Spartacus &...
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List of Roman Imperial Coins ~0 CE/AD

I'm trying to find a list of Roman Imperial Coins that were used around 0 CE/AD. Most of the my searches turn up lots of shopping pages. After sorting through tons of listings, I can find lists that ...
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What were the key difficulties for the Romans in the conquest of Germanic tribes? [duplicate]

Rome had expansionist policy from its early days since the Dacian conquest by Trajan. During these several centuries, Rome took on powerful and established powers such as Carthage, Macedon, Selucid ...
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Why and how did Macedon support Carthage in the Punic wars?

I understand that Rome accused the Kingdom of Macedon to have supported Carthage in the first and/or second Punic war, and that was the reason of the Macedonian wars. Is this true, or was it just a ...
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What is Seneca the Younger referring to about Pompey's death?

In Seneca the Younger's "On Tranquility of the Mind", he writes: "You are rich: but are you richer than Pompey? Yet even he lacked bread and water when Gaius, his old relation and new host, had ...
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Why the laws re the burial of slaves in the Twelve Tables?

In the Roman Twelve Tables, Table X states:- Law X. The body of no dead slave shall be anointed; nor shall any drinking take place at his funeral, nor a banquet of any kind be instituted in ...
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What is the historical reason for 18 years being the most commonly accepted age of adulthood?

Most countries define the age of adulthood at 18 years. Why is this? Was there some historical precedent set in ancient Rome/Greece or something like that? Why 18 years and not some "nicer" number ...
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Why didn't Romans conquer/explore African Atlantic Coast?

I know that the Romans when they were on their empire's peak around the 1st and 2nd century AD, controlled the northern coast of Africa and had the Sahara desert as some kind of natural "wall" as well ...
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What are the symbols on the Tomb of the Priestess of Isis along Via Appia

A couple of years ago, I had the good fortune to ride along the Appian Way and admire the old tombstones still standing along the old Roman road. (Highly recommended for any Roman history buff!). I ...
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Were Roman marching songs still bawdy during principate/dominate?

We know from writers such as Suetonius in his Vita Divi Iuli that legionnaires would sing some quite raunchy and bawdy tunes, even during a triumph of their leader. There were open allusions to ...
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Is there an instance where Rome adopted a weapon to win a war?

I thought I had read that Roman soldiers had adopted crossbows to defeat the Pythagoreans. However after Google and Wikipedia, I can't find support for this. Or was there some other example where the ...
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Why have we never found any elephant skeletons in the Western Alps?

It is widely assumed that the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca crossed the Western Alps some 2200 Years ago with an army of men, horses and elephants in direction of Italy and the Roman Republic. ...
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What is the reason that not all roman emperors named a month after them?

As far as I know, Julius Caesar and Augustus named the fifth and the sixth months, respectively, after themselves, but why didn't Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero do the same while there were ...
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What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
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What did Ostian script look like?

What did Ostian script look like? I've seen some drawings in Origin of the Serif and I'd like to learn more. But when I tried googling I wasn't able to find anything: all I got were false positives. ...
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Did some Roman/Pompeiian houses have atria for slaves?

According to Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Vettii) the House of the Vettii brothers had two atria, one specifically for slaves. Servants' quarters are to one side off the ...
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Polite forms of address in Ancient Rome

My Latin dictionary only lists ere for sir, which is how a slave would address his/her master. But how would a lower status Roman address a person of higher status - for instance, a wage-labourer to ...
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How did the Romans supply water in winter?

Roman aquaducts are famous, but didn't the water freeze during winter? Where did the cities get their water during winter? EDIT: running water doesn't freeze as easily as motionless water, which ...
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What percent of the Roman Republic's population were citizens in various centuries? [closed]

Does anyone have any sources mentioning the percentages of citizens at various times, or the populations of citizens and corresponding total populations so I can calculate percents? I looked at dozens ...
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Where did Roman senators mostly live in the time of Tiberius or Caligula?

My understanding is that under the Republic the Palatine was the most popular place for senators and their families, but from the time of Nero the Imperial family more-or-less took over the Palatine. ...
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What happened to the imperial archives stored at the Tabularium?

The Tabularium in Rome was used to house the archives of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, these archives do no longer exist. What happened to them?
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What was the primary reason for the rise and success of the Roman republic / empire? [closed]

The Roman republic and its successor, the Roman empire, were extremely successful. The territory of the empire did encompass several times the size of the early republic. What was the primary cause ...
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Is this a Caesar silver coin?

A friend showed me a coin he found a number of years a go, but it is hard to identify if it is a Roman coin. Can someone help me identify when it is from? (images no longer available online at ...
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What did an ancient Roman certificate of land ownership look like; or, what did it consist of?

Suppose you're a landowner in Germania, just west of the Rhine. It is the 2nd Century A.D. You own a number of farms, a couple of good houses, maybe some slaves, some of whom are on the verge of ...
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If I were a well-to-do ancient Roman, could I make money by investing in the construction of an aqueduct?

One incentive for wealthy Romans to finance construction of aqueducts was, of course, glory. One's name would go up on the wall somewhere, and down in history, too. However, there was more to ...
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The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables on slavery

I have just been reading the Roman Twelve Tables, and am deeply confused. In Table VI, it states: Law VII. Where anyone demands freedom for another against the claim of servitude, the Prætor shall ...
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How were provincial Roman accounting and taxes handled under Hadrian?

Levies were put on entire provinces payable by their governors, and what they taxed and how much, was up to them. Suppose you're the governor of a province that has a large city in it. Living in ...
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What status and rights did a Roman freedwoman have?

When a slave was freed by a Roman citizen, he became a Roman citizen himself, although with certain legal disabilities: eg, he could not stand for public office, he could not join the army, and was ...
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Were Roman gladiators ever enlisted into the military?

Were Roman gladiators ever enlisted into the actual Roman military? I have heard of Roman soldiers becoming gladiators but not the other way around. I imagine this would only happen if the Roman ...
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Was the use of imperial nicknames in ancient Rome meant as an insult?

A few Roman emperors are commonly known by nicknames. I'm thinking specifically of the Emperors Gaius (Caligula) and Antoninus (Caracalla.) These nicknames were never in official use, at least while ...
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What did ancient Romans use instead of shampoo?

Urban Romans, we're told, took a bath every day. They did not use soap. Instead, they oiled themselves and scraped off the oil, along with the dirt, with strigils. What did they do about their hair, ...
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Did women in ancient Rome wear corsets, and if so, what were they made of?

Breast bands and other kinds of support were used. The history of the corset as we know it, however, begins in the 1600's, according to Wikipedia. I find this hard to believe. Perhaps this is because ...
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What's inside the Arch of Constantine?

Does the Arch of Constantine in Rome have an interior? (I'm not speaking of the empty space formed by the arch itself, but rather of the massive stone structure which forms the arch.) The Wikipedia ...
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Ancient Roman garments apart from the toga

I'll bet there were as many fashion-minded people in Ancient Rome as there are today in London, Milan, New York, and Paris. I know what a toga is. I'm also familiar with what tunics, stolas, and ...
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What was special about ground foods for sacrificial meals?

To avoid repetition, I use 'pabulum' to mean food products ground for sacrificial meals. [Etymonline:] [...] immolare "to sacrifice," originally "to sprinkle with sacrificial meal," from ...
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Were quaestors in the Roman Republic entitled to lictors/fasces?

I apologise if this is too basic a question, but Wikipedia seems to contradict itself! It says here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaestor that a Quaestor was entitled to one lictor and one fasces, ...
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What Was the Constitutional Basis that Made Pompey “Consul Without Colleague” for 52BC

From my understanding, the Senate had no prerogative in naming a consul. At best they could appoint an interrex among themselves. What was the constitutional basis that enabled the Senate to appoint ...
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What was the Constitutional Basis for Gaius Julius Caesar's Dictatorship

In the early republic, a dictator was usually appointed for a reason such as presiding over an election or defending the city against a foreign invasion. I remember reading somewhere that Sulla's ...
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Ancient Roman Slang

Is anyone able to recommend a book or website which lists slang from Ancient Rome? As an example, how would a Roman say the equivalent of "it's screwed up"? There are many ways of saying this in ...
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Examples of Romans repeating early stages of the cursus honorum

In some special cases, Romans held lower offices than some they had already held, for example Quaestor while having been a consul before. I understand that senators, expelled by the censors for ...
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How common was decimation in the Roman army

I know decimation happened a lot in the Roman army, but I find it hard to imagine generals like Marius, Scipio and Caesar, who all had the unwavering loyalty of their troops, practicing it.
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Penalty for patricide in Ancient Rome

This question is prompted by an earlier question on Roman law, which seemed to suggest that only treason was punishable by death for citizens. I did ask this as comment, but have got intrigued. I am ...
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How frequently were girls adopted in Ancient Rome?

Looking over Wikipedia's article on adoption in Ancient Rome, I notice that it mentions that adoption of females "was much less common" than adoption of males. I don't see any sources for that ...
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Did the Romans have writing desks?

I am just rekindling my interest in Ancient Rome, and reading Rome:Its people, life and customs by Ugo Enrico Paoli. He goes into considerable detail about tables, but only dining tables. There is a ...
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The role of science in enabling the survival of civilisations [closed]

The Claim asapScience has a video about the role of science in the society. In their video, they claim: When we look to history we see that ignoring science has led to the crumbling of societies. ...
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Were the republican legati pro praetores appointed by the governors?

I am not referring to the Legati Augusti pro praetores of the Empire. In republican Rome, provincial governors chose their own legates quite freely. I found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Did Ancient Rome use lead styli?

Is wikipedia correct to say: The original form of "lead pencil" was the leaden stylus used by the ancient Romans, who also used it to write on wood or papyrus by leaving dark streaks where the soft ...
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Why didn't Roman emperors have harems?

Harems were common in the Orient; the Chinese emperor, the Ottoman sultan, and the Mongol emperor all had many wives. Roman Emperors did not have a similar custom. Why is the harem common in the ...
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Did the Roman senate immediately send new governors after the death of proconsuls/propraetors?

I would like to know whether the Roman senate sent replacements for deceased governors (due to illness, accident, war, ...) immediately after hearing of their death or was content to entrust the ...