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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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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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 his honor....
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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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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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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 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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833 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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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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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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367 views

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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543 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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How deep would a Roman Marian cohort's battle line be, in a melee?

Are there any estimates for how deep a Roman battle line was, under Marius, at the level of a cohort? Whether the line was 3, 6, or another number of ranks deep? I'd suppose 3 would be a minimum, and ...
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359 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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Did Ancient Romans use metal thimbles? What were they like?

The Romans didn't have forks, so they picked the food with their hands. It is known about the rich that after every course they wiped them and received from their slaves pots with perfumed water to ...
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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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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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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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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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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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333 views

Why were the military and civil powers split in the Late Roman Empire?

The administration of the Dominate (aka Later Roman Empire) was different in many ways from the Principate (aka Early Roman Empire). In most cases it is rather clear why the various reforms had to ...
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249 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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587 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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278 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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851 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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287 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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266 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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406 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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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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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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Is it known if Caracalla had any other lovers or possible bastard children?

Are there any known accounts of Caracalla's lovers or mistresses after Fulvia Plautilla mentioned by ancient historians?
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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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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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224 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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Did the Roman testudo protect the sides of the formation?

I have seen several images like these, where the soldiers in testudo formation hold shields above their heads and to their sides as well. The soldiers standing in the extreme left or right column of ...
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568 views

Could medieval soldiers be organized into a Roman style legion order of battle?

Is there any reason why medieval soldiers could not have been organized into the order of battle of the Roman Empire by a ruler or empire that chose to do so? Integrating crossbowmen, longbowmen, ...
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523 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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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 repercussions did Agrippina's murder have for Pompeii?

This review of a book about Pompeii has an intriguing remark (emphasis mine): There is an emphasis within this book on weaving both Imperial and provincial figures, events and episodes into the ...
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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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258 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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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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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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430 views

Did Caesar hold proconsular imperium for his entire governorship?

In order to hold a governorship during the late Roman Republic the magistrate needed to be a pro magistratu, specifically proquaestor, propraetor or proconsular. Since Caesar was appointed his ...
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789 views

Sourced List of Ancient Roman Values

I need a listing of some of the most influential ancient Roman virtues for a book I'm writing. There is a great list, just what I need, here on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue#...
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326 views

Did the Palmyrene Empire actually own territory beyond the Euphrates?

On the Wikipedia article for the Palmyrene empire. It shows an image of the empire in 271 that includes territory beyond the Euphrates in Northern Mesopotamia. However the article mentions nothing ...
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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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662 views

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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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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