101

One key lies in their treatment of illegitimacy, or bastardy. In Roman society, as is typical of the West in general, illegitimate children had no formal link to their fathers. This was true from the earliest times, and lasted well into the Imperial period before a softening of the laws occurred in the second and third centuries.1 In the Roman setting, ...


91

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 "actual" imperial capitals, which he considered more important. Moreover the sackings Rome experienced in the fifth century certainly depleted its riches and ...


86

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 happened around 476 is that the Western part of the Roman Empire was lost to central control. This was not the first time it had happened -- consider the Gallic ...


69

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 Emperor resided there until he refounded Byzantium as his namesake. Nicaea was a nearby resort town, and hosted an imperial palace - a suitable convention venue. ...


58

I take your question as meaning: when did Romans realize that they were living in a monarchy ? (As opposed to the aristocratic regime previously known as "republic".) We must first realize that there cannot be a single point in time, because the Roman people did not operate under a uniform and shared mind. Throughout the whole antiquity, three quarters of ...


48

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 that other languages didn't survive - and even thrive - alongside the official Latin of the Romans. In the Eastern Empire particularly, we know that Greek and (...


47

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 population estimates ranging from less than 50,000, to a tenth that* The rest of the peninsula didn't do much better. According to McEvedy and Jones, Italy was ...


45

The question is illogical because there was no such thing as a viking in the days of the undivided Roman Empire or of the Western Roman Empire. A viking is defined as a Scandinavian pirate or sea raider during the period of about 795 to 1100 AD at the widest. It is always incorrect to capitalize viking and use it as an ethnic word instead of an ...


43

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 farther west to Carthage (not quite as strange as it sounds since his father had been exarch of Africa and it had been the power base from which he had seized the ...


42

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 probably is, based on these facts: Russia has (and had even more) cultural ties to Greece and Byzantium: Christianity came to Russia from Greece, with majority of ...


41

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 fingers: and yet we are not informed, by tradition, who it was that first did so." So he clearly wasn't a fan of finger rings! However, having made that ...


33

The scholarly consensus is almost unanimous on this point: Luke is simply wrong. There are a number of reasons why the account provided by Luke cannot be taken seriously; these reasons include contradictions between Luke and the external historical evidence, Luke's obvious misunderstanding of how censuses were conducted, Luke's misunderstanding of ...


32

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 next to the little finger; and this we see the case in the statues of Numa and Servius Tullius. In later times, it became the practice to put rings on the finger ...


31

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 [i.e. Constantine's son] (337-361) in 360. The first church was covered with a wooden roof and expanded vertically (basilica) yet was burned down after the ...


29

Why travel to one's birthplace for a Roman census? Well Exactly. I suspect since there was a lot of prophecy that needed fulfilling, something had to emerge from the convenience dimension to make Jesus both Nazarene and born in Bethlehem. The article "Serious Problems With Luke's Census" is a well cited article on how the census story is dubious. It ...


28

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 in ...


28

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 of a role for women in public life (as Mark C. Wallace noted in his comment above), a small number of aristocratic ladies excepted. Also, the increase in the ...


28

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. For context, a legionary foot soldier was paid (annually, before significant deductions) around 2,400 sesterces following the pay rise in 197 AD, and a ...


27

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 outfit these type of footwear were also found across the entire empire. via an ugly site The actual styles came in quite a variety, though: "Replikat ...


27

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 which a novice priestess had negligently allowed the sacred flame to be extinguished during her shift. After she was accused of a transgression and ...


26

The Byzantine empire was a continuation of the older Roman empire in the East but it was gradually transformed into a different political entity. Meaning: The original Roman empire used Latin as an official language, as expected, while Byzantium was Greek-speaking They basically inherited the Roman legal system from the Roman empire. They considered ...


25

First, Jesus did not live in Judea, but in the more rural and distant province of Galilee. The major population center was Sepphoris, Herod Antipas' seat of power. Historians generally agree that Jesus would have plied his trade in that city: Sepphoris... was moneyed. It was the center of trade for the area. And if Jesus were growing up in Nazareth, ...


25

You are right, the name Hellenes means “pagans” in the New Testament, and was consequently abandoned by Greek Christians, who preferred to call themselves “Romans”. The term Hellene was revived by the Greek philosopher Giorgios Gemistos Plethon in the 15th century as part of his endeavour to replace Christianity by the “Religion of the Hellenes”. It was ...


24

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 First Jewish War wasn't antisemitic. The actions of Titus First Jewish–Roman War, and those of his father, Vespasian, before him, were aimed at putting down a ...


24

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 garrison a dozen years later during the uprising by Boudicea Legio II Augusta remains in Britain until at least the 3rd century. Legio IX Hispana is sent to ...


23

Romans never believed the emperor to be god. This is a popular misconception. The emperors could be declared divine (divus) by the senate (god-like), which is not the same as being a god (deus). At the same time there was a cult of the emperor's genius: the Romans believed that each person had a supernatural protector (genius), similar to Christian concept ...


22

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 from the Wikipedia page on the History of the Roman Empire, showing the Roman Empire at its greatest extent under the Emperor Trajan: (Source Wikipedia)


22

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 Caesar: 59). The quote, as it has come down to us from Suetonius, was: "teneo te," inquit, "Africa." or "I hold you, Africa", he said. Although amusing ...


22

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 1000 soldiers. However, this was the guard available to the governor of the province, rather than any particular legion. In fact, five legions are known to have ...


22

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 not include details for the rooms but below are a few that do. For the House of the Vestals: Source: LaurieAnnie, 'Plan of the House of the Vestal Virgins in the ...


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