Ever wondered how long it would take to travel from Rome to Constantinople at the peak of the Roman Empire? Or from Luna to Larissa? Or Parma to Thessalonica? This map of the Roman World created at Stanford University is awesomely realistic — all the ancient transportation lines on it actually existed 2,000 years ago. »
As far as the people of ancient Pompeii were concerned, dead bodies and trash were basically the same thing, at least in terms of where they ended up. And that isn't even the grossest place Pompeii put its trash. »
Climate has been the secret driver of history, particularly in the preindustrial world. Empires and kingdoms rose to power when it was warm and wet and toppled when it became cool and dry...and climate might not be done guiding history. »
An ancient Roman cemetery in northern England is home to 80 corpses of strong, muscular men who quite literally lost their heads. These decapitated skeletons leave behind a 2000-year-old archaeological mystery that spans all of Europe. »
The Roman Empire has given speculative fiction authors plenty of fodder for alternate history tales. There are dozens of stories in which the fall of Rome is delayed or prevented, and technology advances at an alarming pace.