Talk:Roman Empire

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Republic of Venice[edit]

Although the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 is usually cited as the end of any political remnant of the Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice never declared independence from Rome, and it lasted until 1797, when it was conquered by Napoleon, who was claiming to be Roman Emperor. Klkevelson (talk) 18:30, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, but the Republic of Saint Mark didn't consider itself as a direct continuation of the Roman Empire, but as a merchant republic founded by a mix of Roman (Italian) and Byzantine refugees and owing its original allegiance to Constantinople, so it's hardly relevant to a discussion of Rome (though it is an interesting case of the longevity of republics). By contrast, the Carolingian and Holy Roman empires played on their images as reconstitutions/continuations of the (Western) Roman Empire, or at least as its spiritual successors, just as the Ottoman sultans and the Russian Tsars did with the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:06, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
The last emperor who claimed to be Roman was Bokassa. Peace. Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 20:52, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Having a "There Was No Fall Theory"-section or not?[edit]

I'm not sure about the "There Was No Fall Theory"-section, which was why I excised it.

First of all, a quick look over (i.e. checking the section with what a quick web browse on Pirenne) yielded serious flaws, such as calling this Belgian historian, one of whose claims to fame (later rejected) was to trace Belgian nationhood back to antiquity, French...

Secondly, it seems that there were several discrepancies between the presentation of Pirenne's ideas in the section and those elsewhere on the web, e.g. the section claimed that the German Empire was seen by Pirenne as an integral part of the Roman system and a self-proclaimed heir to the Roman Empire, along with the Ottoman, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. However, a common complaint about Pirenne is his anti-German sentiment, and the German Empire did not, unlike the three others, use the Roman Empire as its "direct ancestor" in its self-representation (mainly because that plot, going through the Holy Roman Empire and Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire was already taken by A-H, whereas France had laid claim to Charlemagne and the Roman Republic).

Thirdly, the section had no ref.s whatsoever and while that's not in itself grounds for removal, I thought it prudent to do so anyway in light of the above concerns. I'm simply not sure that the author of the section is presenting Pirenne's ideas accurately. Furthermore, Pirenne's ideas are rather outdated and unlike other outdated ideas on the fall of Rome (e.g. Gibbon's "blame Christianity thesis" in Decline and Fall) they don't even seem to pop up in popular imagination, raising the question of whether and why we even need a section on Pirenne .

Anyway, feel free to disagree and discuss whether such a section is needed and reinstate it once it's properly sourced. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:58, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

I think there should be a section at least to mention the theory or interpretation.
  1. Sorry I wasn't specific enough or accurate about Pirenne's nationality. I still don't think that's reason to give up on the section.
  2. I didn't claim that Pirenne asserted the German Empire to be the sole legitimate successor state to Rome, but I merely stated that the German Empire claimed to be a successor state to Rome. There are lots of sources for this fact, but I'll check the main Wikipedia source which is from The Great German Nation by Craig M. White.
  3. I don't think your common complaint about Pirenne is enough reason to delete the section.
  4. There's no clear reason to dismiss most of Pirenne's ideas as outdated. Some of his economic statistics are probably wrong, but the general ideas find significant support and are still studied.
Plus, right or wrong, his ideas seem to be influencing those who think that the EU is the revival of the Holy Roman Empire. Additionally, I think that some of his ideas were brought during the last Greek Debt Crisis.Klkevelson (talk) 20:42, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I know of Pirenne, though I'll freely admit to not having studied him. As for the German (1870-1918) Empire vs. the Holy Roman Empire, this was always a far less central part of the former's self-representation than was the case for A-H, due to the Habsburg stranglehold on the title for its last several hundred years (non-Habsburg emperors were the exception to the rule) and the solid Catholic baggage of the HRE which was irreconcilable with the Calvinism of the Hohenzollerns (though they were, by practical necessity, tolerant of other faiths as most of their subjects were Lutherans but with a heavy admixture of Calvinists and Catholics). Thus, it was far more plausible to locate a spiritual successor to the HRE in Vienna than in Berlin.
Of course you'll be able to rustle up those who argue otherwise, history is like that, but I'm arguing that when dealing with identity politics, self-representation is actually more important than such longue durée perspectives of retrospectively tying together the HRE and the German Empire. That Craig's "About the Author"-page in Great German Nation sounds like he's a fundie nutter with a political science degree (rather than a serious student of history, identity politics and nationalism) doesn't increase my faith (pun intended) in his ideas which seem to include a rather face-value acceptance of the bible as a source.
However, as I've written already, my main concern was that the content of the section seemed to be of suspicious validity, possibly conflating or misinterpreting Pirenne's ideas with the error about Pirenne's nationality merely being the biggest red light for me. Nevertheless, the idea, if this was actually what Pirenne believed, of a continuation of the Roman Empire and WWI as a sort of Roman civil war is interesting and could be put in alongside Gibbon and the rest. I'd just like to see some clear citation indicating that this strong claim/hypothesis was really what Pirenne was getting at.
Fun fact: I do know of one author who insisted that "the empire never fell"; a favourite of mine, Philip K. Dick.Wikipedia Unfortunately, that was in one his most acid/schizoid freaky works (VALISWikipedia and its tie-ins) — not that this reflects badly on the notion as a sort of extreme longue durée "macrohistory" speculation, of course. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:32, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
You're absolutely right about Craig. He's nuts. The fact that author's like him were being cited on the regular Wikipedia is why I came over here in the first place. When I have the time soon, I'll cite much better sources like the IIEA.Klkevelson (talk) 20:12, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
Cool, I'll be looking forward to it. As for disappointment with WP, mine was its (in my eyes far too lenient, not to say pandering) treatment of William Lane Craig, making him appear as an actual philosopher, rather than the usual type of fundie apologist though with a fancier sounding rhetorical spiel who has rarely held a job outside the fundie school sector's echo chamber. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:16, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

Moving some stuff.[edit]

Should we move all the stuff about the fall of the Roman Republic from the "Empire" section to the "Republic" section? RoninMacbeth (talk) 22:37, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

"Additionally, under the Empire, homosexuality, women's rights, free speech, free love, and multiculturalism were not only tolerated, but were a part of the foundational ethos."[edit]

Idk who wrote this, but its not correct.

Homosexuality was accepted in a sense, but only for a man in the actively penetrating role. Being penetrated was subject to a ton of stigma as it was seen as 'unmanly' to take what was seen as a feminine role (Being penetrated).

Women's rights in Ancient Rome were pretty poor. Rome was a highly patriarchal society and the rights of women were similar to that of medieval Christianity later on. Women's role was essentially to be chaste loyal wives to their husbands and sex outside of marriage for women was basically heavily stigmatized if not illegal. The only women exceptions were sex workers, and they were classified as 'infamous', disallowing them from attending temples and a number of other privileges normally afforded to citizens

There was no notion of free speech under Rome, especially in its Empire times. Rome was a dictatorial state with a Empire who ruled by almost divine mandate.

The idea of free love under Rome is laughable as well. Sex with another mans wife was strictly forbidden, and sex outside of marriage or pre marital sex with anyone but sex workers or slaves was often disallowed as well. Cults such as that of Bacchus that actually promoted what we may argue as free love in the ancient times were banned. Rome was actually fairly prudish and only with comparisons to the ultra aestheticism of Christianity afterwards can it really be seen as majorly permissive. As well as this, drawing on previous points, being penetrated as a man or having sex with anyone but your husband as a woman were more or less forbidden.

The multiculturalism part is mostly correct, so I won't dispute that. Race wasn't really a concept back in Ancient Rome and most polytheistic religions were integrated into Roman Patheon rather than suppressed. Its partly how Rome was able to expand as it did without collapsing much earlier.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

This is correct, I mean the very foundation of their republic was someone's daughter getting attacked. Then she commits suicide because of the stigma. Also they were very not accepting of other religions so they defiantly weren't into multiculturalism. Someone should fix this. Tabula Rasa (talk) 19:10, 17 December 2018 (UTC)


Seeing as how I was recently desyoped for editing without talk page. I would like to ask, is there anyone who would be apposed to me adding more to the fall of the Carolingian empire? I have a few sources including this. Tabula Rasa (talk) 19:08, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

@Tabula Rasa Yes, I would be opposed to that. Charlemagne's empire is only included on this page as a footnote. This is because it is only tangentially relevant to the Romans. If you want to add your material, you should add it to the Charlemagne page. Also, when you edit make sure you spell everything correctly and use proper grammar; I noticed that you misspelled "opposed". Pizza SLICE.gifDuceMoosoliniYour friendly RW dictator moderator 19:14, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Wow that was quick, ok. Tabula Rasa (talk) 19:15, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Can I add some stuff about roman culture? Their traditions like Saturnalia? Tabula Rasa (talk) 19:19, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
{{ping|User:Tabula Rasa} Sure, go ahead! Pizza SLICE.gifDuceMoosoliniYour friendly RW dictator moderator 17:37, 18 December 2018 (UTC)


I've gone and fixed all the bare URLs. (I have not done much fact-checking.) Earlier, I removed its bronze status because it had too few sources and too many bare URLs, but I still don't think it's bronze-worthy. There are just too many statements that aren't cited, even discounting the ones explicitly marked "citation needed".

I also have a few comments about the current list of sources:

  • HistoryHit looks decent, but I think it'd be better to have something more scholarly.
  • I have not been able to find a sources called The Goths that was made by someone named "Peter Wolfram". Was this meant to be The History of the Goths by Herwig Wolfram?Wikipedia
  • None of the book citations list page numbers, because the previous versions of the citations didn't include them. Someone could probably find the relevant page number (and fill in other details) via Google Books.
  • World History Encyclopedia is pretty solid as far as I can tell, but I've been told their article on the Picts is full of errors.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, based on my experience with the Cold War article, we seem somewhat adverse to tertiary sources, so these should probably get more direct citations.
  • Historia Civilis is generally reliable, but like with Encyclopedia Britannica and, something more direct would be preferred.

DietMondrian (talk) 01:59, 30 September 2023 (UTC)