Talk:Ancient Rome

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Former good article nominee Ancient Rome was a History good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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November 15, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
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Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive This article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of December 11, 2006.
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Edit request from , 9 November 2011[edit]

Some of the information on this page is incorrect. I have studied Ancient Rome for years and am highly knowledgeable of this topic and would like to help out by making sure you have a reliable source. thanks

Spookywonder (talk) 03:38, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 21:57, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


this is all wrong! idk what u no bout rome but ik a lot — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Grammar mistakes in the second sentence of the section "Fall of the Roman Empire"[edit]

Christian values, which were centered in a heaven on afterlife, were responsible for making Romans less warlike and to don’t risk their lives for the country – in total opposition to the old and traditional Roman values.

changed. Alexandre8 (talk) 04:28, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Reasons for my This section needs additional citations for verification.[edit]

Apologies for not entering the discussion forum at the time I made this change. This is an important article and gives a much needed base from which to explore Roman Civilization. I thank those contributors who have done such a great job in putting this together. I have been editing grammar etc., as I can see that some hard working contributors don't have English as their first language. I applaude your work and am more than happy to fix grammer. I have been concerned that some important statements are not supported by references. E.g. "Sulla also held two dictatorships and one more consulship which established the crisis and decline of Roman Republic." I do not claim to be an expert in this area, which is why I would like to able to follow a reference to support the statement. I stress, I am not critising contributors and chose the above example at random. Given the work put into this article, it deserves to be of the highest standard. Proxxt (talk) 09:00, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Caesar and the First Triumvirate - Spelling error correction request.[edit]

At this time the strife between populares and optimates increased, and they eacj wanted a strong new man to lead the Roman Republic - with some internal oppositions to this in the optimates party, namely Cicero and Cato the Younger. eacj should = each --Artofscripting (talk) 18:53, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I've corrected it. Proxxt (talk) 06:47, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Chronology section[edit]

The Template alone is not a full section and is unencyclopedic. Needs prose.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

"res publica" should be linked to the "res publica" article[edit]

RH Swearengin (talk) 04:27, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Typo in family section[edit]

Just noticed a typo at the very end of the Family section of the wiki article. It states:

"The husband was usually older than the bride. While upper class girls married very young, there is evidence that lower class women often married in their late teens or early 1920s."

Obviously that's supposed to be just "20s".

Bdowne01 (talk) 05:54, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Burning of Rome[edit]

It is my understanding that most historians say that Nero in fact did not "start the fires". Or at least this is a point of contention. However the article states it as fact in the section Ancient_Rome#From_Tiberius_to_Nero. Could someone with more knowledge about this weight in (hopefully with references)? I would like to make the change but I don't feel comfortable changing with my limited knowledge of the subject.

Phancy Physicist (talk) 15:14, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Two reliable primary sources are given as the references. I think the section is fine as it stands. Maybe you can cite some claims of later historians if you can find some. I think these primary sources should trump any secondary sources. Flaviusvulso (talk) 08:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Antonine Plague casualties need to be fixed.[edit]

Currently the article states the following in the History section:

"Marcus Aurelius, known as the Philosopher, was the last of the Five Good Emperors. He was a stoic philosopher and wrote a book called Meditations. He defeated barbarian tribes in the Marcomannic Wars as well as the Parthian Empire.[105] His co-emperor, Lucius Verus died in 169 AD, probably victim of the Antonine Plague, a pandemic that swept nearly five thousand people through the Empire in 165–180 AD.[106]"

The cited reference [106] though, states 5 million were killed, which makes more sense than the absurdly low five thousand, though it still seems low in an empire of 50 to 100 million to have had such a devastating impact on the empire, including killing both emperors. Carsonkaan (talk) 18:52, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Sole superpower of antiquity?[edit]

In the opening paragraph it says Rome was the sole superpower of antiquity. It is an unsourced statement and is quite incorrect. The Achaemenid Empire and the Macedonian Empire were certainly "superpowers" in their day.--Tataryn77 (talk) 06:58, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

It's quite a subjective statement actually. How exactly does one define "superpower"? Do they have to meet specific criteria? Is it relative to other states of the time? In any case, you are right in that it is an unsourced statement, so it has been modified. Cadiomals (talk) 00:19, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Not to mention the powers of the east, like Han Dynasty China. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:13, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Please correct![edit]

"His co-emperor, Lucius Verus died in 169 AD, probably victim of the Antonine Plague, a pandemic that swept nearly five thousand people through the Empire in 165–180 AD."

Its actually five million people who were "swept", see Antonine Plague. Somebody who can edit this page may please correct that. Greetings, Tolman Telephone (talk) 23:30, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for the heads up. Cadiomals (talk) 00:15, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Separate fact and legend[edit]

Please, can we have a clear separation between what is known from archeological evidence or independent sources, and what is simply a rewriting of the traditional legends? For instance, the section about the Republic states that according to legend it started in 509 and then goes on to mention "facts" from 510, 509 and so on till it reaches historical times, with no clear transition. As a reader who is not a specialist, I would really like to know how to make my mind... The Wikipedia article about the history of Rome should stick to facts. The legends/traditional account of the history of Rome should be put on a separate page. 2A01:E35:2E5B:C970:224:E8FF:FEB9:BFD1 (talk) 21:48, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

The entire tone is not written in an encyclopedic point of view. It reminds me of a textbook.

The Romans faced the most difficult foe of all!

Of course, the boy had his belongings carried by a slave!

Crap like that. RocketLauncher2 (talk) 06:38, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

We have this problem with all ancient histories including the Bible. One can either forget all the anecdotal, unsubstantiated "history" in which case, we are left with nearly nothing except a few hard-to-explain artifacts, or report them as Rome (and other cultures) did for hundreds of years and work them out as best as possible. It is important that Romans believed this was their history.
I changed the education subsection somewhat and rm the slave carrying the rich kids books, which seems beside the point in a paragraph which is now about nobles, who were differently educated.
Couldn't find the "foe" phrase. Changed already? Student7 (talk) 22:57, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

The Roman Kingdom article deserves more attention.[edit]

I have noticed that there has been a lot more attention given to the Roman Republic, Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire Articles. Why? The Roman Kingdom was the foundation for all three. And there has to at least be a new map placed in the infobox of the article that depicts the amount of territory the kiingdom had. Keeby101 (talk) 18:02, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

As the article says, "Little is certain about the history of the kingdom, as nearly no written records from that time survive, and the histories about it that were written during the Republic and Empire are largely based on legends." I've read some of these and they sound non-WP:RS. Written records, if any, were lost. Student7 (talk) 19:12, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Eastern limits mention in the opening section...[edit]

Hey, guys, I just changed the bit saying it stretched from the Atlantic to Judaea to Arabia Petraea (then the Byzantine Palaestina Salutaris) as this was further east than Judaea and was the eastern limit for a good 500 years. But should we put Mesopotamia (Roman province)? Since that technically was the eastern limit, albeit for a relatively shorter time? Thanks. ΤΕΡΡΑΣΙΔΙΩΣ(Ταλκ) 21:44, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

EDIT Also, Judea (Roman province) was amalgamated into Syria Palaestina in the mid second cetury. ΤΕΡΡΑΣΙΔΙΩΣ(Ταλκ) 21:47, 15 October 2013 (UTC)


I can't find a guideline on BC vs.BCE. Seems like BCE would be more appropriate. Minorview (talk) 19:12, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

It's a contentious issue, and the situation is briefly outlined at WP:ERA. Nev1 (talk) 19:18, 18 November 2013 (UTC)


14 million for Rome's upper estimate most likely is 1.4 million. Please verify and correct. Etienne Forest Tsukuba, Japan — Preceding unsigned comment added by 240F:60:4A8D:1:7860:54CC:888C:D21D (talk) 14:44, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out - it's been there for years. Population estimates are notoriously difficult and unreliable but 14 million is just preposterous - even 1.4 million is pretty wild unless we include transients during election times, major festivals, games etc. Anyway, none of the cited sources seem to support it.. Have stuck with an upper limit of around a million, and a lower of 450,000 - it's a reasonable range, and is cited at both ends. Haploidavey (talk) 16:25, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I've had a scout through the citations. The utterly whacky 14 million may not be a typo; the Oates source has "There have been various estimates made since the Renaissance which vary from half a million to fourteen millions of inhabitants. At the present time the work of Beloch1 on population in antiquity is probably regarded in general as authoritative. His estimate for Rome is somewhere in the neighborhood of eight hundred thousand." In this case, "present" means the 1930's. Amazing top range there, but I don't think we need burden the reader of this general article with such a curious but monstrously unhelpful range of statistics. Haploidavey (talk) 17:02, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 January 2014[edit]

Add a link to the Carthage article on some of the many times it's mentioned. (talk) 02:26, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Not done: There's already a link to Ancient Carthage the first time it's mentioned, at the top of the Punic Wars section. LittleMountain5 04:17, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Edit request from 11 April 2014[edit]

The section "Rome wtf" needs to be deleted.

Rlhazelton (talk) 16:39, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Sam Sailor Sing 16:57, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ancient Rome/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Chiswick Chap (talk · contribs) 19:03, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I'll bite the bullet (hope that's not falling on my gladius) on this one. Chiswick Chap (talk) 19:03, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


"States, such as Palmyra, temporarily divided the Empire in a 3rd-century crisis". Perhaps that could be clearer (how did small city-states divide a huge empire?).

" in his classical epic poem the Aeneid. In the Aeneid, ..." Maybe avoid the repetition.

"Concrete made possible the paved, durable Roman roads": so they were constructed with concrete? Needs a ref, and I think some explanation. Roman_roads#Construction_and_engineering says nothing about the use of cement or concrete?

In fact the whole Ancient_Rome#Technology section needs more referencing.

I have marked up a few sections, e.g. Punic Wars, Government, Society, Economy, Games and recreation, that need more references.

There is scope for an image in Punic Wars - you could have Hannibal and Scipio side-by-side, perhaps.

"Quaestors were made automatic members of the Senate". Perhaps they were automatically made members.

"Portrait sculpture during the period" - which?

Adjectives are somewhat astray in some places, e.g. "the famous Hadrian's Wall", the "famously decisive Battle of Zama" - who says it's famous?

Military: perhaps add an image of a Roman ship to balance the infantry soldier.

Cuisine section - needs citations, and some expansion. At the moment it consists of WP:OR-ish generalities. I suggest you briefly mention what was eaten at a Cena and say a little about Food and dining in the Roman Empire. There is scope for an image (from a mosaic or fresco) here. You might briefly describe one or two characteristic ingredients such as garum, and the empire-wide trade in olive oil.

Scholarly studies: seems to fade out a century ago? I suggest you put the Russian title into a reference instead of the main text. But mainly it needs to be merged with Historiography, doesn't it? If there's a difference, do explain it, as it isn't clear. And move the merged section to the end of the article.

Images: all from Commons except the Valentinian III family and Trajan's Market (which ought to be moved there).

The image of the Forum should say it is a (CGI) model or reconstruction.

Image captions: there are many people here, over a very long time period, so dates might be a help in all the captions.

The maps are noticeably in very different (ok, random) styles, which is quite distracting to the reader. It would be desirable (so, not a GA requirement) to harmonise these.

References are formatted very diversely, from naked links to full citations. This is not a GA issue but needs to be tidied up radically for FA.

There are some footnotes mixed in with the references, e.g. #3, #226. It would be best to separate these out as "Notes" and to leave the refs as "References". This is not a GA requirement.

I'm unfortunately going to have to fail this for lack of any response. Nom seems to have ceased editing (since 6 September) and does not respond. So that this will not be a complete waste of time, let me say that if anyone wishes to revive this GA attempt, all they need to do is to address the above items, file it at GAN and ping me. Chiswick Chap (talk) 06:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 October 2014[edit] (talk) 17:22, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 17:41, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Inconsistent maps?[edit]

Given that the dates are only 25 years apart, there seem unexpectedly huge differences between the final map in the animated sequence at the top of this article (File:Roman Republic Empire map.gif), and the map at the top of Byzantine Empire (File:Justinian555AD.png). Can both these really be correct? (talk) 21:05, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Justinian I gained Italy, but as an empty conquest (a depopulated country with a kernel of the Gothic nation left intact). The other additions, of southern Spain and Africa, I can't account for right now. They might be erroneous or very temporary, superficial acknowledgements of suzerainty offered by states to whichever power seemed for the moment to be ascendant. The maps don't seem to cite their sources, although I haven't looked closely. Dhtwiki (talk) 02:42, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes to both. See Exarchate_of_Africa#Establishment_of_the_Exarchate. The re-conquest was brief, hard to maintain (thus the "exarhates"). Would be "nice" to have maps match, but from a modern pov, it hardly seemed to matter to Rome/Byzantine Empire. Student7 (talk) 21:48, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Rationale for years of existence[edit]

The east lasted until 1453, and is even discussed within this article. Why aren't Rome's years of existence 753 BC to 1453 AD? The Byzantines were direct continuations of Rome. If the criteria are the years that the empire was ruled from Rome, then the capital's movement from Rome to Mediolanum (Milan) should be the end date. If the criteria is the end of any Roman political power in the West, then the end date should be when the Domain of Soissons was conquered by the Franks, or the loss of Rome by the Byzantines in the 700's, as the Ostrogoths (Ostrogothic Kingdom) allowed Roman institutions to continue including the Senate and (to some extent) Coliseum matches. Also, the Byzantines didn't just drop Roman customs overnight in 476, it took centuries for Greek to replace Latin officially, the cultures were still so compatible, that during Justinian I's reconquest of Italy, the Romans (in this case the people of Rome) welcomed the "Roman" legions of the ERE into the city. The atmosphere became so hostile, the Ostrogothic garrison simply abandoned the city to the Byzantines. The point is it seems to me that end of the Byzantines is just as important of the date, or rather the de-Romanization of Byzantine culture in the final centuries of the first millennium, than the deposition of Romulus Augustus, which didn't really have any real meaning besides symbolism. Considering the number of coups in the Empire's history by rogue generals and Odoacer's service in the WR army as a Foederati officer, it could be interpreted as simply another coup that was only put down a century later by the ERE. The ERE even recognized Odoacer's rule of Italy granted him permission to rule Italy in the stead of Rome, effectively making him the governor of the province of Italia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

You could easily argue for an earlier end date. Cary's History of Rome ends with the reign of Constantine. Some (Mommsen?) see the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) as the beginning of the medieval era. Some aspects of medieval life (rise of fortified towns) showed up strikingly during the collapse of the 3rd century, which gave rise to Diocletian and Constantine. In other words, the end of Ancient Rome can be seen to depend on when ancient forms became medieval ones, and for that the 476 AD date seems rather late. Dhtwiki (talk) 02:49, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Just to add to Dhtwiki's points, examples from the 5th (Odoacer) and 6th (Justinian, Ostrogothic Kingdom) centuries cannot justify an end date in the 15th century. Of course there's a degree of continuity in history, right through Rome#Middle Ages and Papal States#Relationship with the Holy Roman Empire into the modern era, and we could have no end-date at all for Ancient Rome because Rome is the eternal city, but that would hardly be helpful to our readers. NebY (talk) 13:50, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

See also[edit]

We're starting to collect just about everything under "See also." These are also in the Portal, which is several removes away, I will grant you. But do we really want to add all the information in the Portal under "see also?" I can see adding articles relating to the city itself, Modern Rome, Italy/Italia, but they need to be more place oriented, I would think. There needs to be some point at which we stop adding articles, or arrive at a cap or something. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 19:34, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The first ones are at least focused on Rome and indicate articles about Ancient Rome that the reader might not have guessed existed. But the last two, History of citizenship and Toynbee's law of challenge and response? Ancient Rome features in so many theories and overviews of history, politics, sociology, religion, art, architecture, etc, it's invidious to pick just two. Roman Empire is linked several times - in the info-box, in captions, in body text and as the main article for a section. Roman legion is linked twice in body text. Roman military is linked several times, including as a main article for the Military section. I'll prune those. NebY (talk) 20:17, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 31 March 2015[edit]

The hyperlink for the Sack of Constantinople is broken. It is now: Fourth_Crusade#Sack_of_Constantinople

Sungrazer11 (talk) 17:15, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done - I repointed that link to Siege of Constantinople (1204) instead, since the article on the Fourth Crusade is already linked in the same sentence. Thanks! --ElHef (Meep?) 17:41, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 April 2015[edit]

Please add the ending parenthesis in the Caesar and First Triumvirate section: It says: In the mid-1st century BC [...] and optimates (the "best", who wanted to [...] Change to: In the mid-1st century BC[...] and optimates (the "best"), who wanted to [...] (talk) 18:38, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done thanks for catching that. Cannolis (talk) 19:42, 21 April 2015 (UTC)


Romulus killed his brother because they were fighting who would be king next. Romulus takes over king and names the city of Rome after — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Notable Ancient Romans list[edit]

User:Per82 started this list about a month ago. No rationale other than "added content" has been given. No other editor has added to it. Now, User:Student7 is placing "citation needed" templates all over it (I think a blue-link indicates enough notability, but we differ in our interpretations of WP:LIST). However, the list serves little purpose. If there are any names that need to be mentioned, that aren't already in the article, they should be included in the text, not a bare list without a well-defined rationale. I think that the list should be removed, since it has become contentious and cluttered. Dhtwiki (talk) 06:44, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I agree. There's already a list of ancient Romans for those who like lists of links. No need to duplicate it here. --Nicknack009 (talk) 08:23, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Agree. It would be a challenge to select ancient Romans that should appear on this page, from all of the others. Student7 (talk) 17:04, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
I was going to suggest a separate list, but that was before I saw here that one already exists. That extant list could use some work, too (alphabetization seems quite varied, linkage could be better, dates added and a sortable table made, etc.). Dhtwiki (talk) 00:46, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
User:Per82 has posted on my talk page, saying:
"Hello Nick! The reason I included a list of notable Ancient Romans is because I wanted to give the reader a list of Romans who significantly changed Roman history. The Romans I have added are great Generals, lawmakers and emperors. The reader when studying these individuals will have a full grasp of the entire history of Rome. I am aware of the list of ancient Romans, but most are insignificant to the casual reader and of little value to the professional historian."
I'm copying it here so all the discussion is in one place. The point is, lists always turn into massive undifferentiated data dumps. Start another one just for the ones you think are significant, and other editors will show up and add more that they think are significant, until you end up with another massive undifferentiated data dump. If it was up to me I'd ban lists entirely. They bloat articles until they're split off into separate list articles, they're not very informative or useful, and they duplicate the function of categories, which at least have the useful ability to be organised in a structure.
Lots of "Romans who significantly changed Roman history" will naturally be linked in the text of the article, their significance meaning they are mentioned a general overview of the history of ancient Rome. As well as being of dubious usefuless and bound to bloat out of control the second you take your eye of it, the list is doubly redundant. --Nicknack009 (talk) 08:06, 27 September 2015 (UTC)