Questions tagged [roman-empire]

The Roman Empire was a vast empire, centred around the city of Rome, that lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD (West); 1453 AD (East).

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At what date did the Ostrogoths formally stop ruling as Roman tributaries?

During the decline of the Western Roman Empire, various Germanic tribes that had been settled as 'foederati' or federates effectively took over swathes of Roman territory, being settled in these ...
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Did ancient Romans anticipate the fall of Rome?

Background: The Fall of Rome The Roman Empire collapsed as a political entity in several stages during the 5th, 6th, and 7th century CE. Specifically, these are: the crossing of the Rhine by the ...
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How did the poor survive during the collapse of empires? [closed]

This mostly pertains to people lower in the social hierarchy during great collapses such as the Ottoman Empire and Rome, although information about other classes may be helpful. What precautions and ...
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What do these terms in Caesar's Gallic Wars mean?

In his Comentarii de bello Gallico, Ceasar writes this on first page: The Belgae rises from the extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the river Rhine; and look toward the ...
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What happened in Rome, when the western empire “fell”?

I mean everybody knows that the western Roman Empire fell about 476 A.D. But what happened in Rome itself then? Did Romans keep living their day to day lives? Were there riots? I find it hard to find ...
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Where did the Roman money involved in the spice and luxury trade end up?

In the book "The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean" by McLaughlin, which is a very interesting read, he states that annual bullion going to buy luxuries in India was around 50-100 million sesterces ...
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351 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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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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Is the following claim concerning the loss of classical Latin literature substantiated?

I first came across an uncommonly precise claim that "94% of classical Latin literature was lost during the transition period of late antiquity" while listening to Peter Adamson's History of ...
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At the start of the Second Punic War, why didn't Hannibal engage Publius Scipio in Hispania, but crossed the alps instead?

Sorry, I forgot exactly where I remember this from but as Hannibal moved towards the Alps with around 50,000 troops, he was pursued by Scipio with fewer troops (actually, if anyone can find a source ...
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What is the latest case of employment of Cretan archers in Antiquity?

It is known that Cretan archers were widely used (presumably as mercenaries) across Mediterranean by Greek armies and were occasionally included in Roman armies of Republic and of Imperial period. I ...
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How tall was Brutus?

Brutus was an important figure in the Roman Empire and also played a large role in Shakespeare's iconic work, Julius Caesar. After researching many different sources, I have yet to identify the height ...
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How did production of grain change with Hellenistic Egypt coming under Roman rule?

As far as I know Egypt, under the Ptolemies, became famous in Hellenistic world for vast agricultural production due to the strict and harsh administration installed there by Greeks. Still I wonder - ...
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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 ...
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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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Were there any plans to install a Western Roman Emperor after Belisarius reconquered the west?

Emperor Justinian I sent his general Belisarius to the west in 535 AD to reconquer the lost provinces of the Western Roman Empire after its fall in 476 AD. Did Justinian I have any plans to install a ...
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What Roman legions were present in London (UK)?

I have just come across an interesting article about the Romans in London (UK): Roman eagle found by archaeologists in City of London a Picture from the above article (just to have an idea): My ...
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Did the Roman legions wear this type of boots?

I was looking at this drawing of a Roman soldier (copied below) About the boots: Is this pair of boots plausible for a Roman soldier (in any era/province of the Roman Empire)? I would like to confirm ...
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What is this war machine shown on Trajan's column?

The most comprehensive visual evidence about Roman army of I-II centuries is the Trajan column. It shows in great detail cloths, weapons, ships, military machines and other equipment of the Roman army....
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What happened to Gordian III in the Battle of Misiche?

I read in the Wikipedia that: "Roman sources do not mention this battle (Battle of Misiche) and suggest that Gordian died far away from Misiche, at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah) in northern Mesopotamia."...
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Why Marcus Aurelius did not restore the Roman Republic? [closed]

I'm wondering why Marcus Aurelius, who could be considered as one of the most wise emperors of Roman Empire, did not restore Roman Republic constitutions? I read somewhere that the functionality of ...
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How effective were archers/ slingers / skirmishers in Greek, Roman and Medieval Period?

So it seemed that from the accounts of Thermopelea, Roman military strategy of waiting out an arrow storm, and Knights holding out for hours behind a shield wall during the first crusade it ...
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118 views

Who was a Roman General for a short time?

I'm trying to remember the name and battle that a Roman General. I might be unintentionally mixing parts of it up with other historic parts. The story goes the Roman Empire need someone to lead their ...
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Why did Odoacer choose to be king Instead of emperor?

After deposing Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD, Odoacer became the king of Italy. Why did he choose not to be the next emperor of the Roman Empire? The Roman people were still around, and the Senate ...
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What was the relation between the biblical king Herod and the Parthian king Orodes II?

What was the relation between the biblical king Herod and the Parthian king Orodes II who was named Hyrodes Anaridus on coins? The son of Orodes II, Pacorus invaded Judea, however I could not find ...
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What evidence is there for the severity of Roman scourging before crucifixion?

Something I'm curious about is the severity of scourging ancient Romans inflicted on their victims before crucifixion. Numerous religious/Christian websites suggest that it was quite severe, and ...
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548 views

Do we know what ancient Roman music sounded like?

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Simon Scarrow addict, and I admire the books dedication to historical accuracy (within the confines of fiction). Something that's mentioned in the books is music. ...
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284 views

Did emperor Nero later regret his treatment of early Christians?

Did emperor Nero later, any time before his death, regret anything that he did to the early Christians? Is there any evidence that documents his opinions on his actions?
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Was there a Parthian counterpart of Tacitus, Cicero, etc?

I often find myself, when learning from Roman texts, wishing to hear "the other side of the story". Are there no Parthian historians, authors, playwrights, poets, etc, whose words have survived? And ...
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Were the Roman Empire provinces Alpes Poeninae and Alpes Graiae different provinces or the same?

There's a map I've seen that shows four separate provinces for the Alpes, including Alpes Poeninae and Alpes Graiae. However, everywhere else I've looked, I haven't been able to find any information ...
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What was the medium for Marcus Aurelius's Meditations?

I imagine Romans using papyrus and quills on a still table, allowing time for the ink to dry, which may not be possible in a battlefield. I once saw a documentary which depicts him walking off in ...
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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 ...
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Was there a Roman city in the Plain of Sarajevo?

The established modern historical/archaeological opinion seems to be that the Plain of Sarajevo in Roman times contained mainly an intersection of roads and a bath installation (e.g. Wikipedia). But ...
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Why was the Council of Nicea held in Nicea rather than Rome or Constantinople?

The title sums it up quite nicely. At school, we refer to the 5 centres of the Christian world as being Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria. I'm only wondering if there is any ...
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796 views

What specifically did Caesar believe he would be charged with had he disbanded his army?

In Plutarch's Caesar he quotes Caesar as saying "They made this happen. They drove me to it. If I had dismissed my army, I Julius Caesar, after all my victories, would have been condemned in their law ...
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Did emperor Nero have a food taster?

After the Pisonian conspiracy, if would make sense for Nero to have someone test his food for poison before eating it. But I cannot find evidence of food tasters for Roman Emperors. Any help would be ...
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Was Constantinople in Europe or Asia during the Eastern Roman Empire Period?

Was Constantinople in Europe or Asia during the Eastern Roman Empire Period? (not modern) Thanks!
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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 ...
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How did Christianity replace Roman Paganism and other ancient religions?

Christianity seems to have been the first world religion that was interested in and successful with establishing itself as not only the state religion of but practically the only in an empire - namely,...
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Was the high consumption of (red) wine in Ancient Rome preventive of scurvy? [closed]

With daily consumption of wine estimated to be about 1 liter/day based on production, vitamin c requirements may be about covered. Was that a reason why these enormous consumption levels were thought ...
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Parchment and papyrus costs in Roman Empire

How much do we know of the costs of parchment and papyrus in Roman Empire? I'm especially interested in their cost ratio. So far I found some accounts for the other ends of the antiquity: in 301 a ...
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333 views

Did Roman Empire elite believe in their gods?

For example, did Julius Cesar or Augustus believe in the existence of Jupiter? Is there some consistent evidence in writings that they truly believed in the Roman gods? Or maybe they thought that the ...
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Was Roman expansion & casus belli as just as they claimed?

Every time I read about Rome conquering some other land or nation, it always says that they were the ones attacked and then won that fight. And I find it a bit too convenient and Rome's greatest ...
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Was the cingulum militare any good as protection?

Wikipedia information on the cingulum militare is sparse. It is clear that it had a decorative function and displayed rank. The metal elements and widespread use of something similar by the Greeks ...
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336 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. ...
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What would a Roman slave be legally required to do if his master vanished?

Say that I were a Roman slave around the time of the Empire, perhaps as someone who maintains his villa. I serve my master faithfully and then one day, without warning, he doesn't come home. The day ...
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814 views

Did the Eastern Romans also use roman concrete?

When I read about Roman concrete I understand its use was forgotten after the fall of the Roman empire. But what about the Eastern Roman empire, the Byzantine Empire? Did they still make buildings ...
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How did Romans know if their money was debased?

In many moments of Roman imperial history coin was debased, with its silver contents being reduced over time, and in general this was linked with increasing imperial expenditures. In Harper's The Fate ...
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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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Did Roman Britannia leave any impacts on English?

I was discussing French influence on English language with some other users and while on the topic of if the Latin influence on English language came exclusively from the Normans, it occurred to me ...