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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What ancient sources discuss the importance of the Sacred fire of Vesta and why it needed to stay alight?

Dionysius of Halicarnassus in Roman Antiquites touches on, in brief, that the entiguishing of the flame was an omen for the destruction of the city. There are many indications, it seems, when a ...
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Where in the sources does it say that Syagrius claimed to be “merely governing a Roman province”?

I have read on Wikipedia:Soissons and elsewhere that Syagrius, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Soissons, always claimed to be merely the ruler of a Roman province rather than the king of an ...
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Why did Pausanias travel to Greece?

Pausanias wrote his Description of Greece in the first century AD, which remains a priceless resource for classicists and archaeologists to this day. I've made a quick perusal of the text itself, as ...
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What social response could be expected in the Roman world after a temple collapsed?

I've been reading Ritual Landscapes of South-East Britain (2008, David Rudling). In a chapter on the Wanborough, Surrey Temple complex the author discusses how one temple was built in the late first ...
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Did the Roman government attempt to hide the collapse of the empire? [closed]

Did the late Roman government lie about the borders of their empire? Has this ever been argued by Roman historians? This question is different from this one. Michael Kulikowski refers to the Notitia ...
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Was “Via Regia” the original name of the “Via Nova Traiana”?

This is a quote from Wikipedia: The Via Traiana Nova or Via Nova Traiana (Latin for 'Trajan's New Road'), previously known as the Via Regia or King's Highway, was an ancient Roman road built by ...
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Did Post-Marian Republic or Imperial Legion cohorts have specific skill levels?

Here and here and numerous other places I've looked online state that Roman Legions divided their infantry into cohorts based on skill, and that all legions had their cohorts identically manned. The ...
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What kind of suspension did Roman carrucae have?

The German Wikipedia on post coaches states that the Roman carrucae (there described as a Reisewagen, something like travelling vehicle) already had suspension and a passenger cabin. I tried to find ...
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Why are church reformist centers all outside the boundary of the original Roman Empire?

Is it a coincidence that the church reformist centers are virtually all outside the original Roman Empire border, the Roman Limes? It seems reasonable these areas - at least from the beginning in ...
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What was the importance of the patrician class in the Roman Empire?

This is a question that has puzzled me in my research of the history of the Roman Empire. During the Roman Republic the Patrician class was obviously of paramount importance, & history of the ...
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Is Josephus' account for the length of the Jewish War generally accepted as correct?

In Josephus' famous work on the subject, the First Jewish-Roman War is depicted as lasting a full number of years,1 inasmuch as it is presented as starting in the month of Artemisius (II Wars 14:4), ...
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How did the pincer movement at the Battle of Cannae work? [closed]

In an effort to understand both the Battle of Cannae and its early use of double envelopment (Pincer movement) in 216 BC, I came across the following diagram: The diagram doesn't seem particularly ...
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What were the political and military constraints on Vercingetorix at Alesia?

I don't fully understand why Vercingetorix accepted a siege at Alesia (a fortified area), where he would be short of food instead of pursuing one or more of the alternatives below. The reason I'm ...
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Why did Rome adopt Greek culture?

Initially, I understand the Macedonians had a Greek culture (Art, Religion, etc) because they were Greek. But then the Romans dominated the Macedonian Empire and adopted their culture too, and that ...
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Can the Notitia Dignitatum help identify colors for Late Republic/Early Imperial Roman Shields?

Traditionally Hollywood has showed us red shields for the Legions, but of course Hollywood only pays historical fact-checkers to say they have one, not to do what the fact-checkers say! The actual ...
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How were cities administered in the early Byzantine Empire?

First of all, I would just like to note that I am not looking for an answer concerning Constantinople, but rather how other cities were governed (e.g. Thessaloniki, Adrianapole, Nicaea, Smyrna, ...
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How many times did the the sacred fire of Vesta die?

The sacred fire of Vesta was a sacred eternal flame in Ancient Rome, tended to by the Vestal Virgins. Except once a year for the kalendae (first day of March), extinguishing the sacred fire resulted ...
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Why did Roman women have no praenomen?

In a recent question it was noted, as is well known, that Roman girls were not given praenomen, but took the feminine form of their father's gens - eg Valeria, Cornelia. I have even read the assertion ...
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Why is Jesus' crucifixion dated to AD 30–33? [closed]

I've read pretty much everywhere that the consensus is that Jesus died between AD 30–33, but I can't seem to find where this conclusion comes from. Are there some historical sources or pieces of ...
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How was the Pandidakterion organised?

How was the Pandidakterion organised? Wikipedia:Pandidakterion states that the Pandidakterion lacked 'corporative structure'. I do not understant exactly what the corporative structure is and how was ...
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2answers
307 views

Did they use nicknames in ancient Rome?

Praenomens in ancient Rome seemed to have been rather limited, especially by the time of the empire. There must've been cases where close friends or cousins and the like would've had the same ...
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Why is the late Russian Empire associated with Byzantium while having little in common with it?

I have started reading the book A people's tragedy by Orlando Figes about the Russian revolution. I am no historian, however having read a few pages I have a few questions about the repeated ...
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What was the value of a thousand talents in Roman Palestine about AD 33?

My question is simple, "what was the value of a thousand talents in Roman Palestine about AD 33?" It is my impression that a thousand talents would have been a vast amount of wealth for that time. ...
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120 views

What politics were implemented to accomplish the Christian tradition and try to keep what is written in the Holy Bible? [closed]

Once the Roman Emperor; Constantine the Great; made that Christianity began the transition as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire: What politics were implemented to accomplish the Christian ...
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Why did Romans use the sesterce in written monetary records when the coin itself was so rarely used?

In the vast majority of cases, Roman writers and government officials recorded amounts of money (money donated, value of items bought/sold, amount given in wills, etc.) in sesterces. Given that the ...
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What is the ruined tower in the background of this 1649 drawing of the Igeler Säule by Joan Blaeu?

The Igeler Säule is a Roman sandstone column dating back to 200-215 CE (h/t to @justCal) and together with the Drususstein (made in honour of Nero Claudius Drusus) according to Wikipedia the only ...
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168 views

Why didn't the Byzantines develop anti-cavalary tactics?

I noticed that Rome has always fought against equestrian nations and they weren't always successful. Gauls, Parthians, Huns and Turks had many battles with the Romans. I heard that the Romans before ...
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416 views

Which early Imperial Roman writer said this about grains?

I definitively although vaguely recall a quote by a (first century AD?) Roman that asserts more or less that civilised Romans use wheat in baking, whereas Germans/Celts (I forget which) would use rye (...
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How long would it take to build 30 miles of Roman road?

Say there's a route of 30 miles length in need of a road. Assume ready availability of stone and lime and possibly other materials. Some gentle slopes, no particularly adverse terrain or flora/fauna. ...
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What would a Roman education include in the years 77 - 85?

In the year 77 Gnaeus Julius Agricola under Vespasian was made consul and governor of Britannia, among a series of military campaigns into north and west Britain he also pushed for various civil and ...
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Did the Byzantines ever attempt to move their capital to Rome?

Why was Constantinople (almost) always the capital of the Byzantines? I understand they did not have Rome under their control until the AD500's, but is there any specific reason why the Byzantines ...
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Did Romans keep tax records of individuals in Palestine around Jesus' lifetime?

This question in Christianity.SE asks how would Jesus write his name in civil records. This answer denies (based on the lack of positive evidence) that Jesus ever wrote his name in a civil record. ...
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What does this quote from the Roman imperial poet Rutilius mean?

Reading about the little Italian isle of Capraia, I've seen a quote attributed to Claudio Rutilio Namaziano, from his De Reditu, that in Latin goes: "Processu pelagi iam se Capraria tollit; squalet ...
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When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

The Roman Empire divided itself into two parts, the Eastern Roman Empire headquartered in Constantinople and the Western Roman Empire headquartered in Rome. The city of Rome itself fell in the year ...
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How was the manorial system a consequence of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire?

last week I had this question in my test and I had trouble with it, I searched on the internet about this but not any website has a useful explanation. My question was: How was the manorial system ...
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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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873 views

What do these terms in Caesar's Gallic Wars mean?

In his Comentarii de bello Gallico, Caesar 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 north ...
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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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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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