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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264 views

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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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 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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393 views

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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328 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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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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370 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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369 views

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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627 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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298 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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349 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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637 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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585 views

Testudo formation vs ballista?

We have a related modern question: WWI trench tactics using shields? But if we move back into antiquity, are there accounts of the testudo formation withstanding ballistae bolts? Could it?
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605 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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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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468 views

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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308 views

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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265 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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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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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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559 views

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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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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165 views

Where did the following reference originally arise from?

In his 1725 work Principi Di Una Scienza Nuova (known in English as The New Science; link to the CUP modern edition), Giambattista Vico wrote that: For Hebrew began and remained the language of a ...
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Is Dalmatia often disregarded or largely overlooked when studying the history of The Roman Empire? [closed]

Dalmatia-(the present-day Croatian coastal region), has some of the most well preserved Roman ruins and sites in the world, perhaps rivaling the South of France, Turkey/Asia Minor, as well as most of ...
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164 views

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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366 views

What was the role of the college of consuls in Ancient Rome?

Wikipedia says: By law, only three persons were required to create a legal collegium; the only exception was the college of consuls, which included only the two consuls. I wonder what was the ...
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What evidence do we have to claim the Ancient Romans kept African grey parrots as pets?

The book Birds: Myth, Lore and Legend by Rachel Warren Chadd and Marianne Taylor states: [...] The Ancient Romans, who kept both Rose-ringed Parakeets and African Greys (Psittacus erithacus), right,...
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Did the Romans use any other materials to reinforce their concrete?

I have been reading about Roman concrete (300BC-300AD) and how it has greater strength than current concrete mixtures. So far, my research has shown that they did not use re-bar in their structures. ...
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188 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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Is Josephus account of destruction of Temple considered reliable?

I'm currently finishing up "The Jewish War" by Josephus. Josephus describes the lengths that Romans went to preserve the temple. On the one hand, I know Romans had rather a synthetic approach to ...
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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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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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How is this pattern from Pompeii also in Cappella Sansevero?

The labyrinth tiles in Capella Sansevero where built between the mid 1760s to c. 1771 (according to http://www.museosansevero.it/floor/?lang=en). They look like this: I saw the same pattern in Villa ...
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378 views

What is the science behind lead not contributing to the fall of Rome?

Did lead poisoning contribute to the fall of Rome? skeptics stack exchange I actually have had a couple professors in my time comment on how Roman leaders may have had lead poisoning which caused ...
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Is there historical evidence on what might have been a maximum hair length for males in 1st century Judea?

I am interested in getting a better idea of what a maximum acceptable hair length might have been for Jewish men in the Roman province of Judea (i.e. Israel). Because the province at the time was ...
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152 views

Punishment for deserting lictors

Assume the following scenario: In the late days of the Roman Republic a consul is assaulted on the streets of the city by an angry mob, abetted by his political enemies. His lictors run away, leaving ...
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When did the Roman empire start to hire Anglo-Saxon mercenary troops to protect Britain?

For some context, I am currently studying the history of Britain. We learned that the Romans had captured it in 43 CE under Claudius. We also know that when the Roman Empire was deteriorating and ...
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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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Why didn't the senate of Carthage reinforce Hannibal in Italy?

During the second Punic war, Hannibal Barca fought in Italy for 14 years, and yet the Romans managed to bring the war to Africa. How is that possible, especially after battles such as Cannae? If ...
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What coin/pendant is this and is it worth any money?

This was found a long time ago by my neighbour who has now passed it on to me. It has NAX IOIA on the coin with what I believe to be a kings or gods face on one side and some grapes and vines on the ...
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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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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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How democratic was the ancient republic of Rome? [closed]

So in ancient Rome Republic elections where done every year and two consuls were elected, however I see sometimes the same consuls elected again and again, same seems to happen with the senators. ...
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Were debts owed or outstanding debts factored into the Roman census?

In the Roman Republic were debts and loans taken into account by the Censors when calculating the worth of a citizen's property? If yes, how were these checked?
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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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236 views

What ancient Roman(s) wished houses were made of transparent walls?

What ancient Roman(s) wished houses were made of transparent walls? source:St. Joseph Cafasso's The Priest: The Man of God: His Dignity and Duties p. 50: a Roman of ancient times wished his house ...
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561 views

Division of Rome and Its Eventual Decline

What was the effect of dividing Rome into three separate administrative states around 44BC? How did this contribute to the fall of the empire?
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How exactly were the titles of the Roman emperors passed on to their heirs

I understand that the emperors held their office not under the one title "emperor" but under several different titles, all the major magisterial positions of the Republic. So, how did all these titles ...