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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Why did Emperor Constantine believe he was a instrument of God?

I recently watched a lecture by a professor at Yale who mentioned Constantine's belief that he was a instrument of God, but the academic doesn't really explain why Constantine believed he was an ...
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Did the Romans ever encounter the Vikings?

Did the Romans ever scout Scandinavia for possible conquest? Or was trade ever done between them?
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Which Roman emperor destroyed a weaving machine?

A slave created a revolutionary weaving machine which needed many less slaves to produce fabrics. The machine was so amazing that it was presented to the Emperor of Rome himself. That emperor was very ...
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What happened to the stuff stolen from the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans?

In the year 66 CE, the Jews in Roman Palestine rose up in revolt against the Roman occupation. Four years later , the Romans sacked Jerusalem, leveled the city, killed everyone inside, razed the ...
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Did the Romans ever deploy troops to, or try to conquer, Ireland?

The Romans obviously conquered Ireland's nearest neighbor, Britain (at least the southern part of it), but they seem to have stayed away from Ireland, at least as far as I am aware. Is this the ...
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Why didn't Romans fight in a single line formation?

I read that historically, Romans fought in checker board formation, composed of 3 lines. But I play Rome Total War and in the game, that deployment means a nice recipe for high casualties. In the game,...
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In Ancient Rome, did certain citizens lack any obligations of service or duty? [closed]

municipal (adj.) [...] from Latin municipalis "of a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "free town, city whose citizens have the privileges ...
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When and where, exactly, did the concept of a male god eating grapes orginate?

I am sure you have seen, somewhere, of a male god eating grapes or in some classical romantic settings, a half-naked woman putting grapes in the mouth of a half-naked man. I am very curious, where and ...
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What would be the GDP of the Roman Empire?

I understand that this particular question is hard to answer. However, do there exist any historical record to how much was the GDP of Rome at some period? If not, could you give me a speculation or a ...
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What was the northernmost region/city in the Roman Empire that spoke Greek as the native language?

My understanding is that prior to the migrations/invasions of the Goths, Huns and Sklavenoi into the Balkan peninsula, Greek and Latin where the most common native languages, alongside other steadily ...
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How did criminal law work in the Roman Empire?

I have old memory from when I was in little school: During the Roman empire, criminal law was very "flexible". You could kill nearly anyone in the Empire, as long as you were able to pay a fee to the ...
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Why didn't the Romans use the army to repel the siege of Rome in 410? [duplicate]

I would like to know why the Romans, the emperor Honorius in this case, didn't use the Roman Army (i.e. Legion). According to the Notitia Dignitatum, there were still many Legions around the Western ...
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Freedom of speech under Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius, a philosopher king, took steps toward free speech (wiki): The emperors permitted free speech, evidenced by the fact that the comedy writer Marullus was able to criticize them ...
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What were the insignia of the Western Roman Empire and what happened to them?

When Romulus Augustus was deposed by Odoacer, it is said that the "Imperial Insignia" was sent to Constantinople. I always wondered what kind of object(s) this was and if it survived in any form. If ...
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Who were these two conspirators against Titus?

Suetonius has this to tell us in Chapter 9 of his biography of Titus: When two men of patrician family were found guilty of aspiring to the throne, he satisfied himself with warning them to ...
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Why was the government expenditures of the Roman Empire very low compared to modern governments?

I was trying to compare the military spending of the Roman empire in the 1st century with modern military spending and how much of a burden that was to Roman people. The Wikipedia page of the ...
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How big a factor was the failing economy to the downfall of the Roman Empire?

How large a factor was the economy failing and Rome facing bankruptcy to their downfall when you compare it to the likes of political corruption and the rise of Christianity?
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Why were proconsular appointments so staggered under the Principate?

Ronald Mellor, in an article about the new Flavian elite (Mellor, Ronald. "The New Aristocracy of Power." In: Flavian Rome: culture, image, text (2003) edited by Boyle and Dominik: 69-91.) rather ...
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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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Would Plutarch be considered a historian by modern standards?

I've been reading his "Parallel Lives" and it's clear part of the goal is to tell how some fundamental characters lived, so people can know their stories, but the other part is to set and reinforce a ...
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Was the site of Rome and Constantinople chosen for featuring “seven hills”? [closed]

Both Rome and Constantinople were located on seven so-called hills. Rome was capital of the Roman state, and maintained that status into the imperial era; Constantinople was founded as a new capital. ...
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Did it make sense for the Roman Empire to build a great wall? [closed]

Both Roman Empire and Han dynasty had to defend their northern boarders against powerful enemies, so both of them had the motivation to build a great wall along their northern boarders. Roman Empire ...
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Why would Jesus' parents travel to their birthplace for a Roman census?

The Gospel According to Luke says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his parents had to travel to their place of origin for a census: 1 Now in those days, a decree went out from Caesar ...
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Forms of address of Roman Magistrates under Constantinus

In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon mentions that Roman magistrates under Constantinus the Great had such titles as; your Sincerity, your Gravity, your Excellency, your ...
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Why weren't Germans acceptable as Roman Emperors?

Romans of various ethnicities ultimately rose to be Emperor, such as the Illyrians during the Crisis of the Third Century, of which a notable example is Aurelian. But as far as I know, no Germans did ...
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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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When did the nobles of Europe revert to being “ordinary” citizens? [closed]

From what I've read about citizens of the Roman republic and early empire; the privileges they enjoyed, appear to have been somewhat similar to those of later medieval nobility (separate legal status, ...
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What kind of device is pictured on this Roman mosaic from Villa Tellaro, Sicily?

Based on numismatic evidence, this is dated in the second half of the fourth century CE
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When did the Greeks stop calling themselves “Roman”?

I've been reading a lot about the Byzantine Empire recently, and one of the things I see pointed out over and over again is that "Byzantine" is a term coined by historians, not by the people ...
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When did the Romans finally acknowledge that they were living in an empire?

The Romans, during the time of the Republic, were a famously anti-monarchical society. There are plenty of stories of Roman politicians gaining favor by refusing crowns, or condemning kings, etc. As ...
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Roman gladiator games

So I am watching Mankind the Story of All of Us, and in the 3rd episode it describes Roman gladiatorial games. The documentary claims that the Gladiatorial games were free for everyone to watch. It ...
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How is the Byzantine(Eastern Roman) different from Western Roman?

At peak time Roman Empire was superpower of the world but It have two Empires at same time. Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) Western Roman Empire My Question is who was more powerful then other. and ...
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Why is Titus known as Titus?

Why is the Roman emperor Titus known as Titus? Usually we don't refer to a Roman by his first name (praenomen). And it's not as if it serves to distinguish him from his predecessor (and father) or his ...
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What age were these Britons in A.D. 43?

I have been doing a lot of research on the Roman invasion of Britain and have come across a number of problems with information. My question is how old specific people were in 43 AD. I have ...
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Was Julius Caesar a hippie?

I was reading the question What was the hippie movement? Why did it decline? when I noticed this comment by Oldcat: There is even a story of Julius Caesar wearing a long fringe sleeved tunic to ...
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Are the quantities of gold that the Roman Empire looted and mined known?

I am having trouble finding information on the quantities of looted and mined gold by the Roman Empire. How much did they loot from the Dacians? How much did they loot from the Jews? And how much ...
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How regularly did the Romans bathe?

I guess the answer may be different for rich people who had their own baths and others who visited the public baths.
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Christian and Etruscan end of times [closed]

I believe I've read somewhere, that the Etruscans (anymore knows any sources?) devoted ever more thought to the afterlife, as the Roman republic encroached on their territory. Similarly the Romans ...
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Why did the Emperors leave Rome?

When I'm reading more about the late Roman Empire most of the time I read that the Roman emperors resided in Ravenna instead of Rome itself. Was there a reason why the emperors of the late Roman ...
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Difference between legions at the end of the Roman empire and around the beginning of the Roman Empire

I'm currently searching for some information about the Roman legions. Around the time of Julius Caesar and Augustus the legions seem to be more organized and were structured with the same type of ...
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Gap between poor and rich in the Roman Empire

Was the difference in purchasing power between the poor and the wealthy in the Roman Empire, greater than or less than than the difference between rich and poor people in modern western economies? ...
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Where were the western legions when the Roman empire fell?

Whenever I read about the collapse of the western half of the Roman empire, I get a feeling of total collapse, as if no legions existed there anymore. The collapse of the empire would also mean no ...
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Were Christians really burned for lighting by Nero? [closed]

I presume after fire of Rome Nero persecuted Christians. But it is the form of persecution which interest me since Tacitus writes Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the ...
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Did Roman gladiators use axes?

I used to work for a company and we would go around doing gladiator reenactments. It was great and fun; however, one thing that the boss always said was that if I could find a reference to any ...
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Why did overestimated coins led to inflation and well-estimated coins to deflation?

It is said in Debt, the first 5,000 years by David Graeber (chapter 4, note 2) that when the value of metal coins represented exactly their weight, the result was deflation. The author says that when ...
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What would slaves in the Roman Empire call their masters?

I need to make a video for a history class on the Roman empire and the rise of Christianity, but there are many things that I cannot find. If you answer, thank you.
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What happened to cities in the Western Roman empire after the fall of Rome? [closed]

What were the transitions, How long did each transitional period last.
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Mouse as an Ancient Remedy - Official Critique [closed]

The mice has been extensively used in ancient times as a healing remedy; Claudius Galenus (AD 129-200) quoted from Cleopatra’s book on cosmetics: “The following is the best of all, acting for fallen ...
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How accurate is quantitative evidence included in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico?

Two pieces of evidence in relation to Caesar's Comentarii de Bello Gallico currently seem to suggest two different conclusions as to the authors veracity in reporting numbers. One is from a comment ...
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When were Roman Emperor's faces placed on coins?

During an emperor's reign, were coins (i.e. sestertii) minted the year they became emperors, the year they stopped being emperors, or right in the middle?

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