36 votes

How did the Druids learn the Greek language by the time of Caesar's campaign in Gaul?

They most probably got that knowledge from cultural exchange with the greek city-states from southern France, like Massilia (Marseille), which was founded around 600 BCE and had plenty of relations ...
mikeboix's user avatar
  • 494
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
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
18 votes

Did Julius Caesar reduce the number of slaves?

Did Caesar reduce the number of slaves? Possibly, but we have no convincing evidence or reliable statistics with which to make such a statement with any certainty. The passage you cited seems to have ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why did Spartacus turn South at Mutina instead of continuing North towards Thrace?

I hesitate to try and answer this because I am not really sure there is an answer. I like to read about Roman history and I have heard of multiple theories as to why he turned back. I think the most ...
ed.hank's user avatar
  • 6,685
15 votes

Are there any ancient sources clearly testifying a frozen Tiber river in the year 398, 396, 271, and 177 BCE?

398 BC Livy, when writing about the siege of Veii in 398 BC in History of Rome: Book 5, says: The year was remarkable for such a cold and snowy winter that the roads were blocked and the Tiber ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

In the early Roman Republic, did every patrician family have at least one consul?

According to Titus Livius (Livy) the patrician families were founded during the reign of the first King of Rome, namely Romulus. Livy says of Romulus in his Ab Urbe Condita, 1.8: He created a ...
D. M. Morgan's user avatar
13 votes

How did the Druids learn the Greek language by the time of Caesar's campaign in Gaul?

It's quite possible, but don't be so credulous of Caesar's judgement and reporting. Not everything he's written has turned out to be 100% accurate. I don't know about the nuances of the original Latin,...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
13 votes
Accepted

Are there depictions of horsemen in Roman Republic other than on the coins?

There are. Monument of Aemilius Paullus was erected in the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi shortly after 167 BCE in order to commemorate the Roman victory at the Battle of Pydna over King Perseus of ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
12 votes

Is there any evidence that Celts produced chain mail?

There is extensive documentary and archeological evidence for Celtic chain mail; one Classical writer (Varro) even specifically named the Celts as the inventors of chain mail. You can take a look at ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 2,213
12 votes
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How common were private bathing facilities in Late Republican Rome?

This is really more of an extended comment - my impression is that it is believed to be standard for wealthier Romans to have had some kind of bathing facility at home, but specific references or ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
12 votes
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What is the chair depicted in Cesare Maccari's 1889 painting "Cicerone denuncia Catilina"?

Roman senators sat on benches while the consuls had the privilege of sitting on curule chairs (which are not shown in the fresco). In addition to the arrangement of the seating, Cesare Maccari's ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
12 votes

Did Post-Marian Republic or Imperial Legion cohorts have specific skill levels?

Not as such. But there were stronger and weaker cohorts. When a Roman legion of this period deployed for battle, the default formation was to arrange the cohorts in two rows from right to left. That ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
11 votes
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Did Romans piss into aqueducts as a joke?

I doubt that very much. Pecunia non olet, remember? Money doesn't stink, said Vespasian to Titus, when the latter complained about his father for raising tax on urine. Urine was a valuable ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
11 votes
Accepted

Why Marcus Aurelius did not restore the Roman Republic?

That's a common misconception about this emperor. Julius Caesar made a huge mistake by working his way towards becoming an emperor. His successor Octavianus Augustus didn't make that mistake. He ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 21.9k
10 votes
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What happened to Caesar's hostages in Gaul?

they were not killed or sold into slavery unless a breach of loyality occured. That would end Caesars ability to hold the givers in sway through them, and enrage the gauls (hostages were demanded to ...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
  • 4,364
10 votes
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Was every Roman citizen part of a curia?

This is actually a topic of some dispute, hence the discordance in your sources. At the root of the debate are the plebs. One view, held since classical times, is that plebeians always meant all the ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
10 votes
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What was the legal process of raising a legion in late Republican Rome?

Through the entire Republican era only Imperium-holding Magistrates of the Roman People were able to lawfully raise an army of citiziens. (a legion) Private individuals could also form fighting forces ...
b.Lorenz's user avatar
  • 4,364
9 votes
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Was Marc Antony with Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon?

This is an interesting question, and one which I have heard debated by Roman historians/archaeologists more than once. You are right that in his Life of Marc Antony, Plutarch says: Antony himself ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
9 votes
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What did ancient Romans wear when sleeping?

Ancient Romans had no special sleepwear. They typically slept in their underclothes, which they also would have worn around the home. Here's a relevant quote from Everyday Life in Ancient Rome by ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 19.6k
9 votes
Accepted

How did early Rome mobilize?

While this whole era – before the Third Samnite War (298 to 290 BC) – remains a bit in the dark for Rome itself, and data for this regarding its allies are even harder to come by, some of these are ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
8 votes
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Why was the Marian reforms' inclusion of landless masses necessary?

As the territorial extent of the republic grew, the citizens who were eligible for service in the military were seeing ever increasing terms of service. The vast majority of the citizenry who served ...
D. M. Morgan's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Did the Romans hold the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas before the invasion in 43 AD?

It's more accurate to say the video depicts Roman control of Hampshire, not the Isle of Wight per se. That island is too small to really be seen on such a video of the world map. This means that this ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
8 votes
Accepted

Punishment for deserting lictors

Lictors were Roman civil servants. They were recruited from the ranks of the Roman Plebeian class. Livy described them in the following terms: Twenty-four lictors were all the retinue of the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k
8 votes

What date format was used at Pompeii around the Mt Vesuvius eruption

For such at mighty and well-organised empire, ancient Rome actually had a remarkably bad system for identifying a given year. Multiple methods were used, but the most widely used format seems to have ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
  • 2,083
7 votes

Who stood for the Roman consulship in absentia?

Short answer There were a number of precedents for Caesar requesting to be allowed to stand for the consulship in absentia. However, it was outlawed sometime after 71 BC and before 60 BC. Cato the ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
7 votes

Why was Caesar at the Rubicon?

Why Caesar crossed the Rubicon is a question none other than Caesar himself answered: 'They wanted it so. I, Gaius Caesar, in spite of such great deeds would have been condemned, had I not sought ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
7 votes
Accepted

First Roman battles after the Marian reforms

Firstly, this is an excellent question. Marius created the reforms during his time as proconsul after Rome's struggles in the first half of the Cimbrian wars against the Northern Rhone-located Cimbri ...
AeroFighter76's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How were political factions in the late Roman republic different from political parties today?

In addition to the "patrician" Optimates and "plebeian" Populares, there was also a third group - the Equites - which today we might think of as a kind of 'upper middle class'. To complicate matters ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.6k

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