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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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


24

Yes, this was perfectly common. It was seen as a privilege to be buried inside the church (the closer to the altar, the better). These are not cenotaphs, these are actual tombs, with people slowly decomposing under them. Churches must have stunk horribly (possibly why a common theme in legends of saints were that their bodies did not decompose and smelled ...


20

Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus, murdered in the year 269 CE. When affairs were in this desperate condition, and the Roman empire almost ruined, POSTUMUS, a man of very obscure birth, assumed the purple in Gaul, and held the government with such ability for ten years, that he recruited the provinces, which had been almost ruined, by his great ...


20

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 think of the Praetorians in the context of the Roman Emperor, they had actually existed long before Rome became an empire. During the Roman Republic, generals or ...


15

It appears there were 'professional' slave hunters during Roman times, who were paid to hunt down and return fugative slaves. From Johnston's The Private Life of Romans: If he attempted flight, he must live the life of an outlaw, with organized bands of slave hunters on his track, with a reward offered for his return, and unspeakable tortures ...


14

Yes, they did. They argued that their conquests bring benefits of peace, civilization and prosperity to the conquered lands. This point of view was expressed not only by native Roman writers (like Cicero) but also by some writers from the conquered nations (Polybius, for example). In the case of Greece, they certainly did not bring civilization to Greece, ...


14

It was financed by the emperors, and hence it's ultimate financing was from taxes and spoils of war. An article in Biblical Archeology review shows findings that suggest that the Colosseum primarily was financed by spoils or war, and in fact suggests it may be the sacking of Jerusalem that financed much of it, but that is conjecture.


12

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 Cicerone denuncia Catalina contains other errors, among which are the location of this particular meeting and Cicero's (apparent) age. The seating depicted is the ...


11

It is hard to describe what really happened: we only know what is written in the documents of that time which reached us, and they are not very abundant. There is a very nice book (fiction) by Pascal Quignard, On Wooden Tablets: Apronenia Avitia (translated from the French, original title: Les Tablettes de buis d’Apronenia Avitia, Gallimard, 1984). In it ...


7

The chairs are called curule chairs. This painting is a romantic painting. It is anything but accurate. What it shows is how Victorians thought or would like it to be. Roman senators brought their own curule chairs to the meetings of the senate. Or more accurate: their servants brought them. ** I'm not sure if they sat on benches or brought their own ...


6

SHORT ANSWER There are conflicting views as to what almost led to the death of Augustus in early 23 BC. It is unlikely that we will ever know for sure, but the main suspects are liver problems, a fever or plague afflicting Rome at the time or a combination of life-long health problems and stress. FULL ANSWER 1. Liver problems. Suetonius connects Augustus’ ...


6

Did you ever hear of a tell? In archaeology a tell is an artificial hill formed by generation after generation, century after century, of people living in the same place. A tell is an artificial hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot. Over time, the level rises, forming a mound.[9] The single biggest contributor ...


5

Not only was this common, it was hard to change. In my country (Portugal) there was even a popular uprising in 1846 caused by, among other things, the prohibition on burials inside churches.


4

The status and definition of the Roman colonia varied greatly depending upon the timeframe involved. The simplest definitions were during the time of the Roman Republic. The two major forms of colony from 500 BC to 133 BC were the Roman Colony, and the Latin Colony. Roman Colony. These were the colonies which held full rights as roman citizens, and they ...


4

It is well known when and how this celebration was established: on February 28 1908 there was a demonstration of a women social democratic organization in New York. In 1909 Socialist party of America proposed to celebrate "women's day". In the beginning it was celebrated by social democrat women's organizations on different dates in different countries, the ...


3

It is frequently claimed that International Women's Day is linked to one or another ancient festivals. None of these claims are supported by very firm evidence, but some are less dubious then others. Greek Adonia was the most important Greek festival celebrated specifically by women. The precise schedule of the festival is unclear, but it is believed to ...


3

From A Dictionary of the Roman Empire by Matthew Bunson, in the section on Augustus, we learn that he suffered from health problems his whole life. While it does not mention specifically what he suffered from in 23 B.C., it is possible that it was a strain of influenza, which he might have been more susceptible too, being so sickly. He had previously ...


3

The French wikipedia page about the dictionary names two Latin authors who kind of wrote dictionaries, Varro and Verrius Flaccus. Then with the Christian era and the rise of the codex (book) and its religious use, you see a lot more, including the onomasticon (a kind of thesaurus) and a Latin-Greek dictionary in the 5th century. But classification didn't go ...


3

Question: What specifically did Caesar think he would be charged with. Was it for killing the supposedly allied Germans, the one which Cato put a motion forward to turn him over to the Germans? Was it mismanagement of his province? Or was it just simply that he felt his rivals would trump up some charges on him? Short Answer: You mentioned Plutarch's ...


3

The real problem of that time in Rome was the concentration of power in one person, and the risk of having a absolut monarch. While Rome was a small nation, they prevented this problem having two consuls per year (each consul with an army), and since the distances were small, Senate did not lose control over them. But while the country grows more and more, ...


3

Also, unlike other empires that fell, Rome splintered into other kingdoms, hence the largely latin-influenced cultures, which exists today (except for the Ostrgoths and Visigoths - they didn't accept the new policy and were persecuted), so a "fall" would not be the most accurate term. Also, the Roman Empire transformed into a political power after ...


2

People ate just about anything with legs for food in those days. Bears, badgers, foxes, voles & dormouse (they were a delicacy), mice - anything. That includes deer as well, my dear.


2

The point was not the disbandment of his army but that he could not be charged with crimes as long as he was consul. So his enemys wanted to bring the election forward in order to get a chance to drive him off the office. I don't know all the specifics but I read that the main point was that he enacted laws without the proper ratification of the Roman ...


1

This is not a proper answer but it comments on various aspects (including "the why"), brings some anecdotes, and it is too long for a comment. in English, there is even the word 'churchyard'. it means that the usual place to be buried was the yard of a church, even for the poor. Separate large cemeteries are a more recent development, when the population ...


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