Talk:Ancient Rome/Archive 1

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This article was chosen as Article Improvement Drive article of the week on Sunday, 11th December 2005. The archive of the selection process can be found at Talk:Ancient Rome/AID vote archive

Don't delete, I dont' have the time to start the article but it is the current COTW. For those who do look at the Ancient Rome list.Falphin 17:39, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Moved the downfall up. The history sections should be connected. Ideally, this article should resemble that of a modern nation I think. Fornadan 22:32, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

This is an excellent COTW. Such an important topic but so little information on the most important page about it. I'll start working on it :-) --Chino 04:56, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

What to include?

The current version has a section concerning the the Pantheon. I would suggest that this article is not a place to discuss individual temples, persons, cities (other than Rome itself), technologies, works of literature etc. If we were to do that, the article would soon grow out of all proportion. --Chino 06:03, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

I have now completely changed the "religion" section of the article. Please help me to improve it, especially with spelling :-) The table that was there can now be found at Roman mythology. --Chino 15:27, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

How should this article treat the Byzantine empire. Arguably, it was the same country or state as the ancient Rome. Also, we shouldn't forget other countries/states that claimed to be the "new Rome", i.e. Holy Roman Empire, Russia, possibly others. Zocky 13:44, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

My suggestion would be to treat them in a paragraph titled "Successor states" or something along those lines. Byzantine empire had a history, culture, administration, language, and religion so different from Roman Empire that I think it goes beyong the scope of this article. --Chino 14:31, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

I think all the descriptions of buildings in the "Great Roman Buildings" and "Forum Romanum" section have no place in this article. This article is already far too wide-ranging and bloated, and there are already separate articles on Roman architecture and the Roman Forum, where these items are all covered far better. I recommend deleting those sections entirely. At most, perhaps have a bare list of the items, with links to the full articles on each. Any objections? Mlouns 20:13, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

I think a section on construction and engineering is missing yet crucial. When I think of Ancient Rome, I think of roads, aqueducts, sanitation and massive buildings like the coliseum. --Johny 16:44, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Agree. I created the relevant headlines. Hopefully somebody will add material. --Chino 09:34, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I removed the chapter about Weddings. If we were to discuss all similar matters, such as funerals, religious rituals, triumphal processions etc, in such detail, the article would grow beyong all proportion. I only retained a brief summary about the weddings in the "Family" chapter. However, as the information originally in the "Weddings" paragraph was relevant and usefull, I created the page Ancient Roman marriage and move the material there. --Chino 09:34, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Could I suggest that a small footer be included titled 'The Legacy of Rome', or something like that. Obvious the civilization has a huge effect on modern Western culture, more than most people realize (esp in civics and law). A section that ennumerates these contributions would be good. --Ericcjensen 06:02, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I think we should have a section discussing how Roman culture and history is being used today. There have been a lot of tv shows, HBO's 'ROME', for example; as well as video games (Rome: Total War) that are heavilyt based off of Roman history. Does anybody think that a "Roman History In Popular Culture" section would be a good idea? Perhaps only a few sentences, but it seems worth mentioning. --Ironchef8000 03:24, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


The section on monarchy contains a bad misconception, which I propose to correct. If no one has anything to add or does it first I will do it within a few days.

The misconception concerns the founding of Rome. The facts have been twisted to support the story given in Vergil's Aeneid, which, because the poem is so good, seems to collect unthinking afficionados of its literal truth. It is in fact probably NOT literally true.

Specifically, an early settlement by the Latins and Sabines followed by an Etruscan takeover is certainly not supported by any archaeology. This is the traditional story. There isn't much archaeology on the initial communities mainly because most of Rome is inaccessible to archaeologists. There's a little space in the forum, but they aren't going to remove any buildings there looking for prehistoric sites. The author of our article is just trying to give the credence of archaeology to the traditional story. If it doesn't fit, get rid of it. Any doubt, throw it out.

Whatever small documentary evidence we have and the general similarity of Roman architecture and customs to Etruscan indicate the Etruscans were in on the founding, perhaps even the only founders. In other words, the article begs the question. The whole point of the investigation concering the origin of Rome is to try and find evidence settling such questions. They aren't settled yet. We shouldn't mislead the public. Let's present the question, not the prejudice that led to it.

But I must say, the issue is even more general. The earliest "Etruscologists" invented a whole migration of the Etruscan civilization from Anatolia to support the Aeneas myth. Archaeology battered down that tower long ago. The Etruscans were there before the Italics. Certainly, there were there long before the founding of Rome. Their presence in the Aegean is related to their having been a maritime empire, as they were equally present widespread over the Med. The Italics moved in on this coastal civilization from over the mountains.

Was there an Aeneas? Did he come from Troy? Who knows. The archaeology supports a flourishing Etruscan maritime civilization before the founding of Rome, with settlements as far south as the Naples region and all the way north to the Alps. Let's not get too carried away by third year high school Latin courses. You professional Roman citizens, where are you?Dave 15:19, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Decline and fall

The current version of the "Decline and fall" -section is very much centered on Gibbon. Perhaps it would need some more contemporary viewpoints? I'm mostly interested in the Republic, so somebody with real knowledge might update it. --Chino 06:03, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

I have no problem with contemporary views but Gibbon should be included since there is no definite view. This would show how views have changed from his time. Vincent Gray 13:05, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Agree --Chino 14:31, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
while gibbons is the canon here the brevity with which he is dealt give somewhat false impression of the state of affairs here. the decline of rural lands was as much a force of taxation rules on cultivated land as all the other stated issues here, c.f. N.J.G.Pounds, which caused degredation of the status of colonii to that of near slave. would also be nice to see a section on roman influence in the fuedal manse.
I completely rewrote the "Decline" -chapter to briefly summarise all the viewpoints given in the main article. I hope you approve. --Chino 19:40, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Other articles

There's the list of Ancient Rome-related topics to mine for stuff, but there's also Culture of Ancient Rome, which partly overlaps with this. Zocky 02:04, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Featured Article

Does anyone think that this can become a featured article.--ZeWrestler 14:37, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

  • The lack of references will be a problem. Fornadan (t) 14:46, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Well in that case, lets look into referances that back up what this article says. --ZeWrestler|Talk 18:22, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
      • I just added the first references. I will not rest before Ancient Rome is a featured article, so please help be! -Chino 18:36, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Latin Language Legacy

I changed the bit about the majority of English words having Latin roots, since there are plenty of words that have Germanic/Saxon/Celtic/Proto-Indo-European roots. But I freely acknowledge the importance of Latin or successor language roots (lots of French, for one).

I'm also not entirely comfortable with the assertion that the reason that Latin is no longer widely spoken is because it relies more on inflection than syntax - that would mean that German is also no longer widely spoken... 100 Million German speakers would probably disagree... but I'll leave the rewrite to someone else for now... YggdrasilsRoot 20:42, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

We should add that Latin continued in use as the language of learning and science long afterwards. Not sure when scientists started publishing in their own languages though. The Enlightment? Fornadan (t) 21:22, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I have a concern which I'll also take up with the poster who made the following alteration "thus most modern English words directly derived from Roman Latin are religious, legal, or scientific terms consciously borrowed from their use by Roman authors." In my understanding, modern English words derived directly from Latin are not from Roman Latin per se but from ecclesiastical Latin, or from medieval Latin (both of which were distinct from Latin as spoken during Roman times), or in some instances made up out of Latin roots by mid- to high-Renaissance English authors. I'd like to request comments on this, especially from Rick Norwood. -- MatthewDBA 01:43, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Scope of the treatment of Roman history

I'm planning to make significant changes to the chapter about Roman republic. About half of the text in the current revision deals with the personal history of just two men, Julius Caesar and Augustus. While the two men where extremely important in the history of Rome, there are definitely too much details about them concidering the long history of the Republic. Also the chapter is quite long when it should essentially be a summary of the main article, Roman Republic. Therefore I'm goingt to significantly shorten the part about late republic, while adding modest quantities of material to the part about the earlier period. --Chino 07:39, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Should there be a "Roman" portal?

Hi folks, I'm contemplating the possibility of creating a portal for Ancient Rome, to replace Roman, which is a disambiguation page and has nearly 400 links pointing to it from articles (not counting the ones from Talk or Wikipedia pages).

If I was to go ahead with this, I would need help from other people on the content, as I don't know too much about the subject matter - my motivation for doing this is because it seems to be needed, and I believe I can figure out the technical aspects of making it happen.

Some possible issues:

  1. It needs a suitable name. I'm thinking "Ancient Rome", but there may be other options. My intention would be to redirect Romans to the portal so that every vague reference and accidental linkage to "the Romans" would end up in a suitable place.
  2. I think it would be appropriate to include Byzantium, and maybe Ancient Greece if it doesn't already have a "home".
  3. Other uses of the word Roman currently listed on Roman would probably be moved to Roman (disambiguation), which is currently a redirect.
  4. I would not like to become the sole maintainer. I would be willing to continue doing technical stuff, but selection of featured articles and suchlike should be done by somebody who can tell whether or not the content is accurate.

For examples of existing portals, see Portal:Egyptology, Portal:Star Trek, and many more are listed at Category:Portals.

I am interested in opinions on this idea, and I invite discussion on the topic at my test page User:LesleyW/RomePortal. Please feel free to copy this notice to other places where it might be noticed by knowledgeable people. I will be away for the next few days, and will pick up discussions early next week at the latest.

--LesleyW 21:46, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Oh yes! I definitely think there should be a portal for Ancient Rome, due to the huge number of articles and the incredible importance in history. I'd be happy to help out. My warm regards, Dennis Nilsson. Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 05:34, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Roman Law and US Senate

what is the basis for the 2nd half of the following statement regarding the relationship of Roman Law and the US Senate?

"The Roman law formed the basis of most of the legal systems of Europe and her colonies for hundreds of years and has been the direct inspiration for the Senate of the United States and other modern nations"

The name Senate came from Roman government, not Roman Law. See the main article on Roman Law. Nothing there providing support for a relationship between Roman Law and the US Senate.

Hmains 06:09, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


I have to say that I'm not in total agreement over the lack of cultural legacy that Rome gave us. To say that these have had little to no effect on the future generations is a fallacy, Roman literature had a strong effect on Victorian England which cannot be understated. It also looks really stupid saying that the cultural legacy was small when there is an entire subsection on it later.

LordHilly 22:14, 13 December 2005 (GMT)

Roman history had a strong influence, but as the article notes, the only new artistic form that Rome developed was the satire or slapstick play (unless you count extreme sports). Victorians read Virgil because they knew Latin but not Greek, but Virgil imitated and actually copied from Greek epics. "Roman" architecture is just Greek with small modifictions, similarly with Roman sculpture. Roman painting is a combination of Greek and Etruscan. In short, Rome was a tremendous influence -- but only by passing on forms developed in other cultures. Rome was not an innovator in art or literature. Rick Norwood 13:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi wikipedians! Thanks to the Improvement Drive (and due to that Ancient Rome is one of my great interests), I will try to contribute to this article. One thing I immediately noticed was that I think there are too few images - in my opinion every major section should have a suitable image. This makes it far more appealing to the average reader. I will try to go about it. My regards, Dennis Nilsson. --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 01:09, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I have now researched images for Ancient Rome and managed to add reasonably suitable ones to all major section. Hope they are to your satisfaction. Regards, --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 03:04, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone else think it's a huge mistake to have four maps on this page? This article is called "Ancient Rome", not "Geography of Ancient Rome"; there's vastly more to know about Rome than where its boundaries happened to be at certain moments in time. Having more than one or two maps seems excessive when there are so many other aspects of Roman history, art, society, etc. that are going unillustrated, and when there are already dozens of maps on this page's subarticles. Wouldn't an image of Romulus and Remus or something under the "Monarchy" history section be more useful and appealing to readers than a generic map? -Silence 05:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree. I couldn't find any better suitable image, and your suggestion is much better. I will try to find Romulus and Remus... --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 07:18, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


I feel this article needs a major reorganization. There are currently 41 entries in the Table of Contents (more like 50 before I removed the "Legacy" section, which should be merged into the appropriate sections on culture, language, etc., leaving only possibly a short subsection of "History" for the general historical followings after the end of the Roman Empire); we should be able to easily cut this number in half with judicious trimming and summarizing, moving information to subarticles, and merging sections together where subsectioning is unnecessary. As I see it, the sections should eventually look a little more like this: -Silence

Class structure

I agree there are too many sections. I think the "government" section, which is broken down per historical period, should probably be merged with the relevant sections under "history", and "law" should go under "society". --Nicknack009 08:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Not a bad idea (and I'd considered it simply because currently both sections have subdivisions according to the Kingdom/Republic/Empire trichotomy, though the history subdivisions are vastly longer and more useful than the government ones), though finding a way to incorporate descriptions of the government systems with descriptions of the historical periods could be tricky, and might bloat the sections unnecessarily. On the other hand, it could be just what that section needs to give a fuller understanding of the changes in Roman society; I don't know. So, should we rename "History" to "History and government"? Or leave it as "History", or what? Hmmm. Well, couldn't hurt to try. -Silence 09:19, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I think the problem is that Ancient Rome is too big a subject. This introductory article should be just that -- an introduction -- with the details in subsidiary articles such as Roman literature, the Roman Empire, Roman religion, and so on. But it would be a huge job to move details to the appropriate sub-article (or make sure they were already there) and it would take a judicious hand to evaluate what is introductory and what is detail. Rick Norwood 15:09, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

How about this variation? Zocky 15:43, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Provinces and roads
Class structure
Civil engineering
Ship building
This is not bad; but it's going to be hard separating (say) 'civil engineering' from 'military' and 'provinces and roads', or 'government' from 'class structure'. The basic idea is good, but we'll have to keep in mind the multiple references between sections. -- MatthewDBA 17:00, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

New article: Roman social class

Or any similar title, if anyone has any suggestions. This article would be based on the text currently on Ancient Rome and Culture of ancient Rome pages dealing with this topic, and would centralize information on numerous currently-existing articles (like Equestrian (Roman)), and also allow us to significantly shorten (through summarization) the "Class structure" section on this page, helping reduce bloat on a very broad topic (it's not easy to cover 1200 years in a single article!). Plus I think there's a huge amount of information left on this topic that's not yet on Wikipedia, such as information on the lowest of low classes in Rome, who are dramatically underrepresented in the history books. Thoughts? -Silence 15:41, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Good idea. It's a big topic and deserves representation, and to give it the representation it needs would unbalance this article (which it's already threatening to do). --Nicknack009 17:03, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I've created a new article, Social class in ancient Rome, copied the original section there and put up verify and expansion requests, and cut the section here down a bit. I'm collecting my sources to expand the new article. --Nicknack009 22:14, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


The footnote minilinks don't work the way they're currently set up. I think it's probably better for a summary article like this to just give a general bibliography, and source the detail articles in more detail. --Nicknack009 10:24, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Not a good idea if we want this to have a shot at Featured article some months down the line; a comprehensive, lengthy list of footnotes isn't an absolute requirement, but it is certainly a boon on nominations. An article like this should (ideally, not necessarily a short-term goal) have the same sort of citations any other article has: at least one cite every couple of paragraps, and another citation wherever a disputable or unusual statement occurs (e.g., the claims that the Julio-Claudians after Augustus were seen as largely corrupt and depraved needs a cite). What about them doesn't work? Maybe we could try fixing them rather than expunging them from the article; footnotes are remarkably useful in historical topics, not only for references, but also for providing external links and relevant sidenotes. -Silence 10:54, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
If you click on the note number in the text, it doesn't take you to the reference, and the order the references are organised in at the end makes it impossible to tell which reference refers to which. It's probably because there isn't a one-to-one relationship - several notes refer to Livy, for example. They need to be reorganised so that each reference has one footnote, and the footnotes are in the same order as the references in the text. --Nicknack009 11:01, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, they work now. Now we need to put in which particular chapter or page reference of, say, Tuomisto, applies to which footnote. --Nicknack009 11:34, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Is there some reason you refused to just answer my question when I asked you what wasn't working about the footnotes? I could have easily told you about[1] footnote styles[2] like the ones[1] used in this line[2][3] here.[1]
  1. ^ a b Yo.
  2. ^ a Neque porro quisquam est qui do
  3. ^ Should have an E, but alas, 'tisn't there.
I recommend checking out Hugo Chávez#Notes for an example of a article with a lengthy and in-depth, but very well-organized, footnote section. -Silence 11:42, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Is there some reason you refused to read my answer to your question? The notes on Chavez are one-to-one and in the same order in botn text and footnotes, which they weren't here. --Nicknack009 12:00, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
.. You really don't get it. The problem, which you haven't fixed, is that the same item is repeated again and again in the footnotes, rather than listing each item only once and linking to that item on the list as many times as is necessary in the text, by using the {{ref_label|x|y|z}} templates I very carefully illustrated for you directly above. Please actually read what I said, so we can move forward. -Silence 13:10, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay. Step back. The article's yours, life's too short. --Nicknack009 17:52, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Still no response? Joy. We'll just have to wait until you're willing to actually discuss the footnotes. -Silence 10:24, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

check this out, might make our lives slightly easier. in particular with citing sources. --ZeWrestler Talk 01:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

peer review

i'm thinking this article is ready for a peer review. any objections?--ZeWrestler Talk 01:19, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I welcome any attempts to spread knowledge of this article around so it can get more work done, though I'm already aware of dozens of shortcomings and problems with the current article as it stands, so if you're saying "let's put it on peer review because it's excellent and we're out of things to work on and that's the next step in making it FAd", I disagree with that course of action; if you're saying "let's put it on peer review so it'll get wider attention again and more work will be put into it", I agree, though we should probably wait at least a little longer first. -Silence 03:09, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, i know we're not out of things to work on Silence. I'm saying latter option, "let's put it on peer review so it'll get wider attention again and more work will be put into it." I deffinetly think this can make FA status eventually, but not yet. It needs more more work, which i think a peer review will help with. but per your suggestion, it can wait a little while first. --ZeWrestler Talk 04:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


The recent addition on the Roman economy is sourced and interesting, but the use of the word "advanced" is POV. I would like to see the author do a rewrite which states the kind of economy he means, instead of "advanced" economy. Rick Norwood 14:47, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I stated that it is a point of view of many economic historians. --RafaelG 19:52, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

The adjective "advanced" does not really convey any information, only an opinion. Can't you be more specific? Rick Norwood 21:30, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Shopping In Ancient Rome

Hi! I am 12 years old and I need some information on shopping in Ancient Rome for a guide-book I am doing for homework! And I need it by 3-1-06 (Friday 3rd January 2006).


Welcome to Wikipedia! I have a feeling if there was more information on shopping in Rome, it'd probably be present in this article. I never thought of Ancient Rome as a large shopping centre, though... —THIS IS MESSEDR with umlaut.pngOCKER (TALK) 13:46, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Pruning of "References" section, Feb 06

This is a general article on ancient Rome for an English encyclopedia: so I removed anything that was on some detailed facet of ancient Rome, or in a foreign language. Some of these smelled of sales boosting — translations of German biographies of Caesar, a Finnish book on consuls, etc. The Trojan Origin was one of literally many tens of thousands of similar small papers. Etc.

I removed the ancient references altogether, since there are many hundreds of books that might plausibly be put here. Absolutely major sources, for example, would include Appian, Dio, Dionysius, Polybius, the Historia Augusta, the works of Cicero. This is an article, not a reading list. Bill 16:40, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

The German biography of Caesar is actually a classic. IMHO it can and should be used as a reference. --Chino 05:54, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, why don't you assemble a classic bibliography (the best of the ancients, then Burckhardt, Carcopino, Mommsen, Tenney Frank, Platner-Ashby, Steinby, etc. and a good list)? Bill 11:16, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Supposed unofficial motto

I've read recently about ense et aratro ("with sword and plow"). The book claims it to be the another motto of the Ancient Rome. Alitus 17:43, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

You did well to check. No such thing.... Doubtless some modern historian said that the phrase was appropriate, which it is, to Rome's expansion. I'm not sure it's ancient; it was the motto of a 19c French general, though, who prolly got it from somewhere. Anyway, Rome had no such thing as a motto, official or otherwise. Bill 17:53, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Transition to Byzantine Empire

"The eastern empire, governed from Constantinople, is referred to as the Byzantine empire after 476 AD." Admittedly the phrase Byzantine Empire is one of modern day historiographical convenience, but it is worth noting that significant contemprary opinion regarding this label initiates its use after the reign of Heraclius and the rise of Islam, instead preferring 'Eastern Roman Empire' for the sixth century. Clearly there is a division between this view held by the likes of Mark Whittow and contrasting views like those of Ostrogorsky, but perhaps this should be relected.

This technicality seems more suited to the article Byzantine empire than to this article. Rick Norwood 16:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Its also worth noting that its a completely artificial term; the "Byzantines" still referred to themselves as Romans even as the Turks were banging down the gates to Constantinople. pookster11 05:24, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to say that the Roman Empire stopped existing in 476 unless you consider the Roman Empire to have ceased to exist in the East in 395, so I don't think the passage quoted up top is appropriate. Since most people think otherwise, I'm changing it to "...Constantinople, is usually referred to..." Is this appropriate? It just seems somewhat POV to me, especially on a topic often discussed by historians and not really "resolved" at all. Nyttend 20:14, 11 September 2006 (UTC)


Please get involved in reprting vandalism done to this page, since recently some keep erasing and inserting nonesense words. Make sure you warn the users first in good faith, but they continue, do go ahead and report them.Zmmz 01:34, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Contrary opinion (see my user page): it is better in the long run not to revert any vandalism. The immense waste of time involved in reverting constant vandalism is far better used working on new material or significant edits. Reverting vandalism endlessly solves nothing: what needs to be done is pressure the powers that be to force traceable registration in order to edit; at which point most of the vandalism will dry up pretty permanently. Bill 20:56, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Annoying it may be, Bill, but we still need to revert -- otherwise we may as well not have any articles. This one is currently in a mess because vandalism hasn't been promptly reverted. — Donama 07:53, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

That's my whole point. If enough of us refuse to revert, the articles will liquefy, and the boss of this outfit (Mr. Wales, whose word is law) will change the rules and make traceable registration required. 95% of all vandalism is from unregistered editors. But by reverting vandalism, we are perpetuating the system that allows it: in sum, the system currently relies on peons to keep the articles clean, rather than on intelligence, and if you are reverting vandalism, you are being used. Bill 10:48, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Roman welfare system

I undid the well-intentioned addition, because it is so one-dimensional (and in part, wrong) as to be very tendentious and, overall ,meaningless. Children had a special welfare system, for example, instituted by Trajan and expanded on by later emperors; the quantities varied a great deal in various periods; there were cash subsidies; there were special subsidies to parents of more than 3 children (apart from the Trajanic dole to children); etc., etc. It seems to have been more or less enough for the recipients and their dependents, but it's very hard to tie that down as was done in this edit. Such an addition needs to be written by an expert. Bill 20:56, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Human sacrifice contributions

There are some recent additions by on human sacrifice that appear to be copy-and-pasted from another website -- verify for yourself by Googling on text from the addition. This is potentially interesting information, but I suspect that these additions ought to be deleted for copyright reasons. Any reason not to? Mlouns 00:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I thought it read like a report I say nuke it. Whispering 03:35, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Its fixed now, have fun with it.

Yours truly --Marduk

Even "fixed", it's very poor and confused; plus isn't there an article on Roman religion, where this would belong rather than burden a quick synopsis of ancient Rome with these (somewhat prurient) details? From a Wikipedia policy standpoint, that last sentence certainly has a whiff of "original research" to it. The error on Feriae Latinae (I fixed that), persisted in despite editing, suggests that the rest ain't so great either. Bill 23:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Bill I commend you, your view is that because it doesent belong there as the article is a quick synopsis is in fact very good citing. Could I direct your attention here then Talk:Carthage there is a vote taking place perhaps you would like to contribute of course I would like to think your view will be the same here and there but then again, who knows... -signed Marduk the hero XD

I'd removed this garbage and put it on the narrower article Religion in ancient Rome for others to judge; I'm not fighting the reversion — I guess I don't really care if Wikipedia looks amateurish, thank God it's not my site — but at least the corrections of spelling (Feriae Latinae, not *Latinatae; Pons Sublicius, not *Suplicius), slight copyedits, and commented-out alerts should be allowed to stand. Bill 17:27, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Changed my mind. I am fighting the reversion. Aside from the merits of the addition (which is looking worse every minute, see the Talk page of Religion in ancient Rome), why have this relatively detailed treatment appear twice, identically, in two different articles? The importance of human sacrifice to the ancient Roman civilization, in the general scheme of things, was much less than that of many other facets of the civilization which get no such treatment in this article here; for example, slavery, which gets the barest passing mention. Bill 22:48, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Again wether you have your own theories or Pesudo=Historical inquiry in the matter that best to leave it to yourself, Human Sacrifice an important aspect of early Roman Religion needs mention therefor, Again an important subject in Roman history which needs to be mentioned, just like its teck,eng, and base out military Human Sacrifice and its religious practise needs to mention

If you would like to input a different prespective into the matter then do so but do not make deletions without a clear Reason cited why and that reason cant just be any old reason of I dont like it so iam going to boot it...-Signed Marduk

The reasons are clear; you obviously are not reading them, so I'll list them here, one by one, so you can't avoid seeing them.
1. No objection to reporting on Roman human sacrifice. It did exist, if in historical times rare, and in prehistoric times (by definition) is hard to prove.
2. I objected so little to the general principle, that I moved the section to Religion in ancient Rome despite disagreeing with the detail.
3. Identical text should not be in two different related articles; pick one and stick with it. The narrower article seems better to me.
4. Why does human sacrifice deserve detailed exposition here, but fundamental topics such as slavery — far, far more important to Roman society thru the end of Antiquity — not? This is a summary article: balance is what is required. (And "The Romans did have...": Why "did have"? "had" is standard writing.)
5. Now for the matters of fact:
5a. Suplicius is a typo. It should be Sublicius.
5b. Latinatae is a typo. It should be Latinae.
5c. Some Vestal Virgins were put to death, yes. It was by no means human sacrifice, but judicial execution for a religious crime. They were, for example, handed over not to a priest (priests performed sacrifices), but to the common executioner. Though these executions may look to some of us today like human sacrifice, this is an example of ahistorical bias: the ancients themselves did not consider them sacrifices. "To placate the Goddess" is false.
5d. After Cannae, 2 Greek and 2 Gauls were sacrificed, but not 2 Vestals.
5e. "(binding and drowning human victims being another ancient Indo-European practice)" — Why "another"? no IE practice has yet been mentioned.
5f. "apparently in memory of an earlier practice where young boys were sacrificed in this way — "apparently", etc.: unsubstantiated speculation.
5g. "In this way the Romans also had a tradition of Child Sacrifice." Completely unattested.
5h. "When the sixth king of Rome, Servius Tullius, expanded the walls of the city, four human victims were buried alive" — Four bodies have been found (I think, didn't check); but there is no indication they were buried alive, nor even that they were "victims" of anything.
5i. "Bad omens led the College of Priests to consult the Sybilline Books why the Manes might be displeased." — Four separate mistakes in this single sentence: (1) There was no such thing as "the College of Priests". There were many colleges of priests. "College of Pontiffs" is meant. (2) bad omens occurred very frequently, most did not lead to the consulting of the Sibylline Books. (3) Sibylline, not Sybilline. (4) the SB were consulted not to see why the Manes might be displeased, but which god(s) might be displeased. It was usually not the Manes.
5j."And it didn't take much for a Vestal to be accused of betraying her vows." Completely false; on the contrary, very few cases of such an accusation are attested, and it was a striking, unusual occurrence.
5k."Livy tells the story of a Vestal called Postumia who was put on trial" True (iv.44, toward the end of the section). "because she dressed well and talked rather more freely and wittily than a young girl should." False: Livy specifically says she was put on trial for unchastity, although it was suggested by her dressing, etc. "She got off with a warning from the Pontifex Maximus": True. On balance the statement of this story is true, but it is simplistically and thus tendentiously written.
5l. "but if a Vestal being slightly too fashionably dressed and witty led to her being tried, it's pretty clear that 'finding' a Vestal to sacrifice if the omens were bad or a major battle was lost wouldn't have been too hard." Speculation.
Conclusion: A pared down, tightened up version of this, with the typos and errors of fact and English corrected or removed, is fine. In which article is a judgment call. Bill 15:29, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Those are all good points, as much as Id like to debate and discuss historical inquiry's I only have about 10 more minutes, so iam going to say this:

I dont care wether this information is being challenged or not, the fact that there are two view points to this makes it important to have those two view points. Now I have just written a well informal section of Sacrifice, if you would like to add to it the second view of historians then do so, if you would like to cite in there that there inaccuracy's BE MY GUEST. However if your here to censor information and cover up little doo dits you dont like then we call that Vandalisim and clearly a historical agenda and thats why iam reverting--Marduk
Good, then we are in agreement. Your additions, checked for accuracy and grammar and spelling, and tightened up a bit, are to be found in the Religion in ancient Rome article: it is right that something should be said about the topic there. It is pointless assuming, or projecting, hostility or censorship onto people you don't know, by the way: that usually makes one sound like a crackpot. Bill 19:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Criticism Section

A criticism section is probably warranted. If it could be improved on what I wrote, that would be great. An article about a country that conquered and devastated as many nations as Rome cannot be complete without some form of a criticism section 17:55, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

How about merging the Criticism section with Scholarly studies under the e.g. Criticism name? Brand 21:52, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Excuse my denseness, but why is a criticism section necessary? pookster11 09:54, 12 May 2006 (UTC)


My apologies - I reverted to the wrong edit by mistake...oops... --Chrisd87 16:39, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Demographic outlines in the 6th century BC—1st century AD (the city of Rome area)

Do we have to have this huge table in the middle of the article? It makes the article appear cluttered. Whispering 18:56, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I think we should. Otherwise I'll put it somewhere else :P --Brand спойт 13:04, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Then, obviously, you should put it somewhere else. I'm surprised it lasted on this page as long as it did. -Silence 05:09, 21 June 2006 (UTC)