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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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175 views

What is the etymological origin of the Marsi, the ancient Italic people?

The English Wikipedia article does not provide any etymological explanations on the demonym. The Italian article, which is marked as "recommended", points the name's origin to the Italic deity Mamerte,...
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Are there any extant original first-century manuscripts of any of Josephus' works?

It has been claimed that there are no surviving originals of any of Josephus' works. I have not found any help through Google, and so I wonder if anyone can give me any information about this, along ...
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634 views

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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239 views

When did Rome recognize the Christian church as a judical person?

It is known that since Augustus new collegiums (judical persons) could be established only by the senate's decree. It is known that under the late empire the church operated as a collegium. As such, ...
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488 views

Did the Latins see the Etruscans as a plague?

I've read that Latins considered the Etruscans as a plague. However, it seems that the Etruscans (being peaceful merchants) were more civilized and educated than the Latins.
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222 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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80 views

Was the reign of Galba covered in the missing books of Tacitus' Annals?

The surviving books of Tacitus' Annals end off midway through the year AD 66 (during Nero's principate). Had the rest of the work survived, would the Annals have ended in June 68 (Nero's death) or ...
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Ratio of population to military size throughout European history? [closed]

I realise that this is a fairly broad question, but I am trying to get a sense of the ratio between the total population and the size of the military that societies could support at different times ...
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346 views

Was Marcus Marcellus faced with Viridomarus or Britomartus?

I seem to have come to a discrepancy, as I'm sure a lot have, concerning the event in which Marcus Claudius Marcellus is supposedly meant to have slain the King of the Insubres in 222 B.C.E. Plutarch ...
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325 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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545 views

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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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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The influence of the second catilinarian conspiracy on the fall of the Roman Republic? [closed]

When studying Roman history during the first century BC, one of the prominent events mentioned is the second Catilinarian conspiracy, wherein Catiline seeks to overthrow the Roman Republic through a ...
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Did Roman prostitutes wear purple dresses?

Reading a wikipedia page about prostitution (it is in spanish; I haven't checked if the english says the same) it is said that prostitues wore purple dresses. Was this generally true?
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809 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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309 views

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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429 views

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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Which nation on Earth has been under foreign rule the longest? [closed]

The Philippines was under Spanish rule for over 333 years. After the Battle of Manila Bay and the Treaty of Paris (1898), rule of the Philippines was transferred from Spain to the USA. From a brief ...
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862 views

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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760 views

Was Rome obliged to expand its territory whether it wanted to or not?

If we assume that the trend to empire existed for generations before Julius Caesar was assassinated: Was the very expansion that eventually doomed the Roman Republic/Empire economically or ...
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707 views

Why didn't Caesar hire free men to do slave work?

So one of Caesar's significant policies in Roman politics was helping the peasants have land and work to make a living. Wonder why didn't he push laws that restricted the use of slaves and made those ...
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317 views

What differentiated Rome from other Mediterranean (e.g. Greek) city states? [closed]

What was the reason Rome was able to rise to such heights in the ancient world compared to say, the Greeks? How could they come such a long way and became the masters of the known world at the end ...
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710 views

What were the business models of real estate development in ancient Rome?

I just watched Mary Beard's documentary about the Romans. One thing I'm curious about is that some of the models of living of the Romans seemed to be quite similar to today's: e.g. that there were ...
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378 views

What impact did the migration of Germanic tribes have on languages in the rest of Europe?

I am currently looking for information about the migration of the Germanic tribes, and especially it's effects on European languages, or other languages. Google Search provided me information about ...
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265 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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487 views

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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122 views

Could equestrian prefects sit on sella curulis?

Were prefects of less than important provinces of the early principatus (like Pilate) allowed to sit on the ivory curule seat, or sella curulis, that curule magistrates and promagistrates used while ...
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248 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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525 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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645 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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291 views

Why did the baths of Bath need a hypocaust?

Bath, England has 3 natural hot springs. The Romans built a place of worship and a thermae around the springs. Why did Bath need a hypocaust if the water was already 47C hot just from the geothermal ...
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76 views

Where did Cicero talk about Plato's Menexenus Funeral Oration?

I'm writing a paper on Aspasia--ancient Greek woman rhetorician--and in Plato's Menexenus he attributes a funeral oration to her. I found references in a couple of places to Cicero saying that the ...
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263 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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198 views

What was Masada's Roman ramp steep angle?

One thing that puzzled me about the story of Masada, is the ramp for the ram. The angle looked bizarre to me. I suppose it wore out over the years by the harsh winds, and maybe floods, but from ...
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520 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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268 views

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 ...
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714 views

Provinces and Dioceses in the late roman empire contrasted with those of the church

I have been frustrated by the following issue. In the structure of the late roman empire, provinces were grouped into diocese, which were in turn grouped into praetorian prefectures. The civilian ...
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280 views

Why Sulla general slaughtered inhabitants of Praeneste?

The citizen doesn't seem to be against Sulla. In fact they disallow Marius from coming in. Its citizens were offered Roman citizenship in 90 BC in the Social War, when concessions had to be made by ...
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252 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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398 views

Roman consuls under Roman rex

Wikipedia says that the consuls were initially the king's counsels judging from the name of the office. I wonder whether it is the fact and is there any reliable evidence for consuls under reges?
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178 views

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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783 views

Why do more historians state Rome was a superpower, than Persia? [closed]

Persian Empire was older and larger (I am not sure about this) than the Roman Empire. However, when it comes to the title of Superpower, many historians say Rome was the world first true superpower. ...
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Need help identifying 2 old coins? Struck coins, one with two standing human figures facing each other

Can anyone tell me what these 2 coins are ? How can I safely clean them?
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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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380 views

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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210 views

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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150 views

Stonehenge-like olive presses?

What are the olive presses referred to in Gregory S. Aldrete's History of the Ancient World A Global Perspective? It mentions olive presses in North Africa that look so much like Stonehenge they were ...
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404 views

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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Could the Circus Maximus audience distract the racers?

I have been trying to research about the spectators of Circus Maximus. I know there were different colored factions. But my question is; "Were spectators able to throw items at racers to hit them or ...
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479 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 ...