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).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9
votes
2answers
496 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How was Hadrian's decree banning circumcision enforced? Were there mandatory body check or something similar?

Roman Emperor Hadrian issued a decree outlawing circumcision around 132 CE, under penalty of death. I am curious as to how such a decree may be enforced, given that circumcision/castration practices ...
9
votes
2answers
607 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Did the Romans “copy” their political system from the Greeks?

This is an outgrowth of the discussion here. My sense is that the Romans developed their system autochthonously, probably with some influence from their Etruscan neigbours and one-time-overlords. ...
9
votes
1answer
9k views

What was the mortality rate of Gladiators?

What proportion of fights ended in deaths? What proportion of gladiators who have fought retire to a safer life? As a theoretical extreme, all fights end in death and all gladiators die in battle. ...
9
votes
1answer
434 views

Who first published Marcus Aurelius' Meditations?

Marcus Aurelius wrote the famous book of philosophy Meditations while on campaign in Pannonia. The writing was personal and intended for his eyes and reflections for he himself to meditate on and was ...
9
votes
3answers
806 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
785 views

Why were Arians outnumbered on the First Council of Nicaea?

Constantine was baptized by an Arian bishop a few years after the Council of Nicaea. His sons were Arians. At least the leadership of the Visigoths that sacked Rome where Arians. That was in 410, only ...
9
votes
1answer
389 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
856 views

What Roman legions in Spain revolted against Caesar before the battle at Munda?

I was debating an interesting topic recently about Pompey's legions in Spain and why they hadn't fought alongside him against Caesar at Pharsalus. Now Caesar forcefully convinced most of them to join ...
9
votes
1answer
641 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
580 views

Which Roman emperor destroyed a weaving machine?

A slave created a revolutionary weaving machine which needed many less slaves to produce fabrics. The machine was so amazing that it was presented to the Emperor of Rome himself. That emperor was very ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
416 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
716 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
384 views

how did the Cynics of Greece and Rome eat

How did the Ancient Cynics like Diogenes eat during their time? I know they only believed in eating natural foods but don't know how they procured it. If they didn't believe in wealth, they could not ...
9
votes
1answer
828 views

Were the animals used for gladiatorial combat in Rome trained?

Were the animals used for gladiatorial combat in Rome 100% wild, or were they trained in any way (either for entertainment purposes like today's circus animals, or for fighting like fighting dogs are ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
421 views

Forms of address of Roman Magistrates under Constantinus

In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon mentions that Roman magistrates under Constantinus the Great had such titles as; your Sincerity, your Gravity, your Excellency, your ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the status of specialized workers during the Roman times?

It's obvious that people in the Senate or people with political power would be considered of higher status, while ordinary plebs, such as farmers, would have a lower status. However, where exactly ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
8
votes
2answers
672 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Is this theory on origins of modern-day Romania plausible?

I watched a documentary which basically claims that modern-day Romanians are not the descendants of Rome, but that the Romans and the Romanians share a common ancestor with the same language. One of ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Who proposed the motion that gave Gaius Julius Caesar the title Augustus?

In 27 BC, the Senate gave Gaius Julius Caesar the title Augustus. I am assuming that as the senate gave him that title, the motion must have been proposed by someone at the senate floor. Do we know, ...
8
votes
1answer
564 views

Roman aristocrat with slave assassins named after him?

I remember reading a few years back that there was a particular Roman strongman who had a very intense way of dealing with enemies. He had dozens of either slaves or former slaves (freedmen), but I ...
8
votes
2answers
282 views

What is the earliest archaeological evidence of silk presence in Ancient Rome?

And are there any archaeological data about silk in pre-Imperial Rome?
8
votes
1answer
337 views

Rulers of Rome - Caesar and Pompei

Why is Pompei Magnus' name not lauded as much as Caesar's is as a Roman ruler ,considering Magnus was the one who ran Rome in the first place ?
8
votes
2answers
658 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
394 views

How was the Roman Princeps Senatus appointed?

In Republican Rome, the princeps senatus (~head of the senate) was supposed to have been nominated by the censors, who were elected every 5 years for 1 and a half years. What happened when the ...
8
votes
2answers
379 views

Why did the Romans only name some months and number others?

There's a lot of sources on the internet which are happy to tell you that the Roman year originally had 10 months (Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, ...
8
votes
1answer
912 views

Is this true that the requirement to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged?

Is this true that the requirement to worship and to sacrifice to the Roman gods was put in by the Caesar only after Christianity emerged? I just encountered a statement that this requirement was put ...
8
votes
2answers
523 views

Individual mobility in Greco-Roman world

As we know, the Greeks and later also the Romans built street networks to connect their settlements to each other. For me, this fact raised an issue: How did the Greeks and Romans move between their ...
8
votes
1answer
535 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
560 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
616 views

Visit of Greek philosophers to Rome in 155 BCE

In 155 BCE a delegation of three Greek philosophers arrived in Rome on a political mission (to negotiate the settlement of war fines). During their stay they succeeded in raising Greek philosophy to ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What rules of the ancient Roman game 'Harpastum' are known?

I have heard of the ancient Roman game known as Harpastum. What rules of this games are known? I have two particular principal points of interest, how were points scored and what happened (i.e. was ...
8
votes
1answer
229 views

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?
8
votes
1answer
448 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
364 views

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, ...
8
votes
1answer
384 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Why were there so many suffect consuls during the Principate?

As quoted from this wikipedia article, it states: If a consul died during his term (not uncommon when consuls were in the forefront of battle) or was removed from office, another would be ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

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.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Where was the cultural inheritance of the Greco/Roman world/antiquity preserved?

In school and later in media (this is northern Europe) I was/am always told that it was the Arabs/Muslim world that preserved the science, technology, literature, art, culture etc from the Greek and ...
7
votes
3answers
375 views

What did the Jews during the First Jewish-Roman War know about other anti-Roman revolts?

The first Jewish-Roman War started in 66 CE. When I read about it, it sounds so futile: you have a group of zealots (literally and figuratively) revolting against a professional army from the period's ...
7
votes
1answer
888 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Why didn't Romans fight in a single line formation?

I read that historically, Romans fought in checker board formation, composed of 3 lines. But I play Rome Total War and in the game, that deployment means a nice recipe for high casualties. In the game,...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...