90 votes
Accepted

What happened in Rome, when the western empire "fell"?

By 476 the city of Rome had not been the center of the Empire for a long while. Diocletian, picking up the pieces after the crisis of the third century, made a point of snubbing Rome compared to the "...
Denis Nardin's user avatar
89 votes

When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

Most people at the time did not think the Roman Empire had fallen -- it's only from five hundred or a thousand years later that we can conclude that it did. Both points of view are reasonable. What ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 7,724
70 votes
Accepted

Why was the Council of Nicea held in Nicea rather than Rome or Constantinople?

The First Council of Nicaea was held in 325, five years before Constantinople would be founded. At the time, the capital of the Eastern Empire was Nicomedia, which Constantine conquered in 324. The ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.6k
52 votes
Accepted

Did the Byzantines ever attempt to move their capital to Rome?

No, they did not try to move their capital to Rome, but the Emperor Heraclius at one point--around 620 or so when the war against Persia was going very badly--did consider moving the capital even ...
C Monsour's user avatar
  • 4,244
49 votes
Accepted

Why was the Roman Empire considered an empire rather than a kingdom (again)?

This is mainly our modern way to look at it. In contemporary sources, Octavian/Augustus was just a princeps among the senators of the res publica, who 'by declared intent' had 'restored the republic' ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

Why did the Romans change Europe's language, but the barbarians didn't?

The short version is "it's complicated!", but I'll try to give a slightly more detailed explanation here. Rome established a single empire with a single language, currency and laws. This doesn't mean ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
47 votes

Did the Byzantines ever attempt to move their capital to Rome?

The Early Middle Ages were not kind to Rome, and the long destructive war to recapture it didn't help things. By the time the dust settled, Rome had practically ceased to exist as a major city, with ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
42 votes

Why is the late Russian Empire associated with Byzantium while having little in common with it?

I'd say that historically, the ideology in Russia meant it preferred to compare itself to Byzantium, probably similarly to the way you can hear the US is compared to Rome. This was, and still ...
d.k's user avatar
  • 1,180
40 votes
Accepted

Did Roman unmarried men have a preferred hand and finger for wearing their seal ring?

Pliny the Elder wrote about wearing finger rings in volume 33 of his Naturalis Historia. He states: "The worst crime against mankind was committed by him who was the first to put a ring upon his ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
32 votes
Accepted

Was Hagia Sophia built over a pagan temple?

Going beyond E.B. or Wikipedia: The official website of the Hagia Sophia Museum (at its former domain, link now dead) stated The first church [at the H.S. site] was constructed by Emperor Konstantios ...
Marakai's user avatar
  • 2,476
32 votes

Did Roman unmarried men have a preferred hand and finger for wearing their seal ring?

Pliny the Elder answers the question. The hand part was quoted by @sempaiscuba, here is the finger part: It was the custom at first to wear rings on a single finger only, the one, namely, that is ...
Vincenzo Oliva's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Did ancient Romans anticipate the fall of Rome?

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 - ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Why did Roman women have no praenomen?

Short Answer Although there do not appear to be any ancient sources which specifically address this question, the most likely reason for the disappearance of female praenomen seems to be the absence ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

How much did Didius Julianus pay to become emperor of Rome?

Short Answer Didius Julianus (ruled 28 March to 1 June 193 AD) promised a total of around 200 million sesterces to the Praetorians but apparently did not have sufficient funds to meet this commitment. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Did the Roman legions wear this type of boots?

These boots are in the calceus style. As such they are quite spot on and accurate for a Roman soldier in colder climates. But not unlike the caligae we stereotypically associate with a legionaire's ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

How many times did the the sacred fire of Vesta die?

The most (and maybe only) clearly recorded incident was in 206 BC when a novice vestal was whipped for letting the flame go out. Several historians record an incident that occurred in 206 BCE, in ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Why is the Arch of Titus not considered to be anti-Semitic?

Probably because, unlike many other acts in the ancient eastern Mediterranean (perhaps dating back to the antisemitic attitudes expressed by Manetho in the 3rd century BC), the motivation behind the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
25 votes
Accepted

Until when was Marseille Greek-speaking?

There is evidence that Greek continued to be used in Massalia (Roman name: Massilia) even during the late empire and the spread of Christianity. To cite one academic source, ...the city preserved its ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
24 votes

Was there significant interbreeding between Romans and Native Britons?

The answer to your question is actually to be found in the two articles you have mentioned. Official figures show that the UK population was 65.6 million in June 2016. A little under 50% of the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
24 votes
Accepted

What Roman legions were present in London (UK)?

The Roman conquest of Britain was undertaken in 43 CE by four legions: Legio II Augusta Legio IX Hispana Legio XIV Gemina Legio XX Valeria Victrix These same legions still comprised the ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Did Julius Caesar say: "Africa, I have grabbed you"?

It apparently happened during Caesar's campaign against Scipio and Juba in 47BC, part of the wider Roman Civil War that was fought from 49–45BC. The story was recorded by Suetonius (Life of Julius ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
23 votes

What is this war machine shown on Trajan's column?

This actually came up in discussion when I was studying the archaeology of Roman Britain. In fact, as far as I'm aware, nobody knows for certain, but several archaeologists that I have spoken to ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
22 votes
Accepted

Did the Romans Hold Territory in Ukraine?

The two areas appear to be Olbia and Tyras. They both formed a part of the Roman province of Lower Moesia (or "Moesia Inferior"). It is, perhaps, a little easier to see the detail on this earlier map ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
22 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the Roman Princeps restructure or dismantle the Praetorian Guard?

tl;dr Why didn't Roman emperors restructure or dismantle the Praetorian Guard? Several tried. It didn't end well for them. Most paid for the attempt with their lives. Although most people tend to ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
22 votes

What Roman legions were present in London (UK)?

Actually, no Roman legions appear to have been based in London. There was a fort in the north-west of the Roman city, built early in the second century, which could have held a garrison of about ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
22 votes
Accepted

Seeking floor plan of a classical Roman building with 20 to 30 rooms

There are floor plans both for the House of the Vestals, the House of the Faun in Pompeii, and Fishbourne Palace in England, among others. Unfortunately, many of the floor plans available online do ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

It is, perhaps easier to understand when compared with a map: image source Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0 Now, Caesar's meaning should be a little more clear. When he says: "The Belgae rises from the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
19 votes
Accepted

Why did Pausanias travel to Greece?

Short answer Pausanias does not clearly outline his aims in his work Periegesis or, if he did, that part of text has been lost. Thus, historians have had to rely on clues in Pausanias' text and what ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
18 votes

What types of jobs did upper class Romans do?

There is an ample evidence (from authors like Plutarch, Cicero etc.) that the only occupations which were considered appropriate for the Romans from good families were military, politics, ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
18 votes
Accepted

What did parchment and papyrus cost in the Roman Empire?

TL;DR: There is no good answer to this question, because (1) we are missing reliable sources, (2) because there was no market price for any certain commodity, not for one and the same time and ...
0range's user avatar
  • 2,726

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