67

If the question is "did the roman government officials pay individuals, slave owners and groups of workers to build construction projects instead of using the government's direct manpower?", the answer is yes, just like any other public construction work during the Roman republic, principate and empire. If the question is "did something like Claudius & ...


49

Roman roads were largely constructed by the military, at least the long distance roads between regions and cities. The legions had work crews and civil engineers attached to them for such works, as well as for building fortifications and everything else the legion would need (siege engines, barges, you name it, they'd all build it as needed where needed). ...


46

The source for Sanjeev Sanyal's account is most likely Plutarch. In his Life of Anthony, Plutarch wrote: Caesarion, who was said to be Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar, was sent by his mother, with much treasure, into India, by way of Ethiopia. There Rhodon, another tutor like Theodorus, persuaded him to go back, on the ground that Caesar invited ...


43

There is a difference between abstract knowledge and "inventions". In the 17th century it was still widely believed that the ancient Greeks had discovered and formulated pretty much the sum total of abstract knowledge. Fermat put this in question. The authentic quote from Fermat (in French and in English translation) can be found here: Perhaps, posterity ...


42

The biggest difference that I'm aware of is that the Classical Greek religion was much more the religion of myths that we all know, while the Classical Roman religion had fewer personifications and its gods were much more like numinous forces than like people. The Greek religion that we know was encapsulated by Homer who served in some respects like an Old ...


31

It stands for "Titi filius Titi nepos", meaning "son of Titus and grandson of Titus" (filius and nepos mean son and grandson, respectively). This is because the consul Titus Flavius Sabinus was the son of the (non-consul) Titus Flavius Sabinus, who was in turn the son of Titus Flavius Petro. So as @SteveBird observed, the abbreivations are "filiation", i.e. ...


23

It seems that the term "penal colony" would be evoking quite modern, if not 'Australian', imagery. When we look at Roman sources, not that much springs to mind. True: They frequently sent people into exile, often to islands. That sounds more like Napoleon on Elba or St. Helena, compared to what a "penal colony" would describe now. And even that is ...


16

The literary evidence for Romans anticipating the fall of Rome would seem to be very limited and, at most, indirect. There are, though, references to potential future threats to the empire, but also - among Christian writers - the belief that Rome's future was in God's hands. The contemporary accounts we have tended to focus on the past and / or the times ...


15

Well, if we can change venue to Alexandria, which was a Roman city in Egypt with roughly similar standing to Antioch (they both housed a Christian Patriarch), and roll the date forward by only 5 years, then the fate of Hypatia might be a pretty good guide. The short version is that she was a pagan philosopher, who was well-liked in the pagan community, and ...


14

It's not specifically Roman, but the time frame is similar: I recommend Donald W. Engels, Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army, University of California Press, 1978. The short version: Alexander and his generals had an extremely keen grasp of the logistical requirements of his army. He would send out advance detachments that ...


14

This is a bad answer - I don't have sources available. It is my understanding that we lack a great deal of the sources needed for an emic understanding of Roman and Greek religious practice, and I think that's fundamentally what you're seeking. Note that the differences between religions may not be obvious to the outsider. I've encountered Protestants who ...


13

TL;DR: Most of the people that died during the games were not gladiator fighters, the types we most commonly see in the pictures or representations, but were people sentenced to death. To understand why the gladiator games were widely practiced and were seen like normal, we must first differentiate the people that participated in such games. We find four ...


13

Although Julius Caesar did not at first consider Sextus Pompey to be a significant threat, he eventually sent forces against him when his old rival's youngest son began to gather strength. Sextus Pompeius, unlike his elder brother Gnaeus Pompeius, escaped after the Battle of Munda in 45 BC and continued to elude Caesar's forces. According to Appian, ...


12

Assuming that you are not restricting this to Roman poets, Alcaeus of Mytilene (circa 625–620 to circa 580 BC), a Greek lyric poet from Lesbos may be of help. He was certainly known to Ovid, who even paid tribute to him through Alcaeus's contemporary Sappho in The Heroides (15): But the Muses compose the sweetest songs for me: now, my name is sung ...


11

The evidence available suggests that much of the gold and silver coinage which came to India from Rome was (1) melted down to produce local coins and jewelry, (2) defaced by local rulers and used locally, and (3) hoarded for financial or religious reasons. As noted by the OP's sources, huge amounts of gold and silver were shipped to India to buy luxuries ...


11

There is quite a problem in concluding that that decree even existed in the first place, as it is now interpreted, whether it is really about circumcision or castration. If it existed, who decreed it, and what exactly it contained or how it was to be applied is equally debated. The available evidence from Roman sources is extraordinary weak and most works ...


11

Other answers are good but I would like to add a bit of context. The OP states that it should have been clear by 1600 that some advance had been made since Roman times. However, the idea that by then contemporary sciences and arts had surpassed old ones was new and very controversial. The querelle des Anciens et des Modernes was a famous and heated literary ...


10

I suggest you read Part III of Just Deserts: Roman Military Operations in Arid Environments (108 BC–AD 400) (Melissa Beattie, 2011, MPhil thesis from Cardiff University). It has a lot of good points about Roman and overall desert logistics and might be exactly what you need. I'll link to a pdf or you can search for yourself on google.


9

Not Roman, but Greek. The term you are seeking is Symbolum. The best description I find is from the book Everything is Sacred: A Complete Introduction to the Sacrament of Baptism By Thomas J. Scirghi. (emphasis mine): The word symbol derives from the Greek word symballein, literally meaning 'to throw together.' In ancient times, a symbolum was used ...


9

He's probably talking about structures like this one at Senam Semana in Roman Tripolitania: You can see the superficial resemblance to the Stonehenge trilithons: image source Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0 de So it is, perhaps, understandable that nineteenth-century travellers in north‐west Libya took them to be prehistoric megaliths and assumed they were of ...


9

First of, idea that the First Jewish-Roman war was futile is wrong. War lasted several years, the Roman armies were defeated few times. The main reason for failure was Jewish infighting and therefore lack of cohesion between Jews themselves. "Professional armies" are not magically better than volunteer armies, or even conscript armies, as proven many times ...


8

For the question of lead pipes, the 2014 paper Lead in ancient Rome’s city waters, by Hugo Delile et al, probably contains more than enough detail to answer the question. The authors concluded that: Lead pollution of “tap water” in Roman times is clearly measurable, but unlikely to have been truly harmful. But piped water was by no means the only ...


8

These are meander patterns that had many variations and were very common in classical Greek and Roman art. The Romans took them from the Greeks and made their own variations, and in turn they were used by neo-classical architects and artists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries There is an interesting article on how they work here I believe (I'll ...


7

Very little is known about this Roman soldier who became the fifth Prefect of Judaea between 26 and 36 A.D., serving under Emperor Tiberius. Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and Tacitus mention him in their writings. An inscription known as the Pilate Stone, discovered in June 1961, confirms his historicity and establishes his title as prefect. It was ...


7

The personal name in the Roman naming system is composed of several independent elements. A Roman male name of the late Republic such as Q. Numerius Q. f. Vel. Rufus comprises the following: the praenomen or the old individual name (siglum Q = Quintus ), the gentile or family name (Numerius), the filiation, which gives the ...


7

In 361-363 the Empire was ruled by a pagan emperor. His successors were Christian, but the empire was still a multi-religious state. It is only in 381 (under Theodosius) that introduction of uniformity and persecution of non-Christians began. So you can expect blasphemy laws from that time only and they were gradually introduced. The citation from John ...


6

There does not appear to be any primary source evidence of spectators throwing things at charioteers at the Circus Maximus, but the Greek philosopher and historian Dio Chrysostom relates how partisans in Alexandria threw clothes at the competitors. On these 2nd century AD spectators he says: When they enter a theatre or stadium they lose all consciousness ...


6

No. We might infer from the documented existence of specific phobias that one for arachnids would be possible as well. So that's really a circumstantial, weak, tiny little maybe yes. But for arguing with evolutionary psychology? Noooooooo! We have to differentiate already our modern definitions for fear, anxiety and phobia. They have different wiki pages,...


6

Others have covered Fermat's note specifically, so I'll respond to this sub-question: I am extremely interested in the idea that there was a period in time when, at least in the west, people looked upon the ancients (Romans/Greeks) as possessors of wisdom that had been lost. After the fall of the Roman empire (around 476 AD - exact opinions vary at what ...


6

I subscribe to the simpler explanation: Sextus Pompey was overshadowed by his elder brother Gnaues Pompeius (Pompey the Younger) and, of course, their father - Pompey (Pompey the Great). Until their passing, the decisions and actions taken by this family were always attributed to Sextus' elder brother and father. So, I think your "possible answers" really ...


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