Ask HISTORY

Category: Ancient Rome

Lionger/iStockphotos.com

Where did the expression “worth one’s salt” come from?

You might think of salt as nothing more than the inexpensive stuff that tastes good sprinkled on French fries and popcorn, but in fact it’s far more than ...
ideas of march

What are the ides of March?

You may remember the soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar to “Beware the ides of March,” but the term didn’t originate with William Shakespeare. ...
ah-rubicon

What does it mean to cross the Rubicon?

Did gladiators always fight to the death

Did gladiators always fight to the death?

Hollywood portrays Roman gladiatorial contests as brutal, unruly duels that ended when one of the combatants killed the other. But in reality, gladiators ...
Nero Fiddle

Did Nero really fiddle while Rome burned?

In July of 64 A.D., a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to a ...
Caligula

Did Caligula really make his horse a consul?

According to the ancient historian Suetonius, the Roman emperor known as Caligula loved one of his horses, Incitatus, so much that he gave the steed a ...