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Questions tagged [roman-empire]

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Was it understood in the first century AD that some diseases are sexually transmitted?

Did physicians in the first century AD understand that some diseases are sexually transmitted? Would a typical well-educated person who was not a physician have likely known this?
Someone's user avatar
  • 101
3 votes
0 answers
84 views

Did the Romans really use the binomial formula to calculate products?

I'm not quite sure if this is the right place to ask this question (in fact, I was redirected to this SE from the Math Stackexchange), but it's probably more fitting than the original posting place. I ...
Cornelius Brand's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
149 views

Did the ancients know about the law of universal gravitation?

Just looking into the dialogue by Plutarch "De facie quae in orbe Lunae apparet" and my impression is, they knew the law of universal gravitation quite well. For instance, it is argued that ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 652
4 votes
1 answer
291 views

Did the ancient Romans know and use the catenary test when building arches and bridges?

I am trying to understand if ancient Romans understood and used the catenary test when building bridges. I cannot find anything online
Adrien Hingert's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
626 views

Gate 44 at the Colosseum in Rome: XLIIII or XLIV? When and why the change?

We teach our children in school that 4 is written in Roman numerals as IV and not as IIII but at the Colosseum in Rome, gate 44 is identified as XLIIII and not as XLIV. When did the change from IIII ...
Humberto José Bortolossi's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
322 views

Why did the romans use IV and why doesn't it overcomplicate things?

Ok so if the Romans did not use things like IX and IV and XC etcetera then addition and subtraction would be almost as instant as it is in our number system. However with the new system it seems to me ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
212 views

How could the Roman Empire manage their accounting without a proper number system?

I wonder how the Romans were able to control so vast territories, peoples, armies, ammunition, taxes, etc., without the help of a number system that allowed easy computing (e.g. multiplication and ...
Leandro Caniglia's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
118 views

Did Romans know formulae?

I read a previous question on Roman engineers and I was surprized that nobody referred to the Pantheon: its dome is an unrivalled wonder of architecture. Roads and aqueducts can be built without ...
user157860's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Were ancient Romans so bad at computations before Arab numerals?

It is often said that Romans (see below) had a terrible number system, which made computations a mess. I do believe this, but I'm suspicious of the claim that nobody had better ways to do computations ...
seldon's user avatar
  • 175
6 votes
2 answers
781 views

Where did Ptolemy compare the Earth to the distance of fixed stars?

I read the following in C. S. Lewis, Miracles (page 77-8) The immensity of the universe is not a recent discovery. More than seventeen hundred years ago Ptolemy taught that in relation to the ...
Frank Hubeny's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

How was gravity explained in Ancient Greek and Roman times?

Gravity is of course something that we can all observe. Stuff falls towards the ground. But not everything: some things like steam or smoke defy this force and instead float up. During Ancient Greek ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did Romans do multiplications?

The Romans did not have Indian numerals. Worse still, they did not have the decimal system. Yet, they produced amazing works of engineering and architecture. How was that possible? It's troublesome ...
user157860's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
549 views

Beware the Ides of March!

Apropos of the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar, the late V. I. Arnold told the following amusing story in pages 89-90 of his "Yesterday and Long Ago": CAESAR AND GAULS: THE DEFENSE OF ROME FROM THE ...
José Hdz. Stgo.'s user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why are there no known Roman mathematicans from the Roman Empire?

I know that Roman Empire built some of the most beautiful things for the epoch and also had an incredible culture (law, poetry, ...). However, my question is: Why there are there no known Roman ...
Jose Javier Garcia's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
480 views

What did ancient near eastern protoscience believe about germination?

Two Bible verses seem to indicate that ancients believed germination was the death of a seed, and a resurrection or rebirth of that seed into a plant: Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and ...
Mr. Bultitude's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
4k views

Roman engineers

It is a common opinion that Romans did not contribute anything to exact sciences, but did contribute much to engineering. (How can it be otherwise, anyone who has been on the territory of the former ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
499 views

Was it technologically possible to create electricity, batteries, and electrical devices at the time of the Roman Empire?

I know this question sounds like it should be in the sci-fi site (and maybe it should), but I'm more interested in the state of metallurgy etc at the time of the Roman Empire (let's say around 0 AD) ...
Marc Adler's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
526 views

Was there any exact science or mathematics in the Eastern Roman Empire?

I mean in the Byzantine empire, from the transfer of the capitol to Constantinople till its conquest by the Turks, spanning about 12 centuries. Unlike the Western Roman Empire, this one was never ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar