On Aug. 19, Roman reenactor Gaius Flavius posted an Instagram reel of ancient Roman ruins with the text, “Ladies, many of you do not realize how often men think about the Roman Empire. Ask your husband/boyfriend/father/brother — you will be surprised by their answers!”
This post supposedly started the Roman Empire TikTok trend, where women ask their husbands/boyfriends how often they think about the Roman Empire.
Some admit to thinking about the Roman Empire multiple times a day, and many admit to thinking about it at least once a week. As the women laugh, the men explain how influential the Roman Empire was on modern society, how shocking it was that everyone betrayed Julius Caesar, or how impressive the technology behind their aqueducts was.
So how did the Roman Empire really influence modern society?
First, ancient Rome had impressive technology for its time. Romans had hydraulic power for mines and mills, expansive road networks paved with “rock slabs,” and advanced planting and irrigation techniques, according to National Geographic.
Second, Roman literature has widely influenced authors who are deeply important to the English literary cannon such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri and John Milton. In particular, Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” an epic poem about humanity’s relationship with the gods, influenced Shakespeare’s plots, per National Geographic.
Third, Roman government heavily influenced the United States’ government. The Washington Post discussed Roman similarities in the U.S. Constitution, age requirements, checks and balances, term limits, and bicameral legislature. Further, American civic architecture and many American governmental terms come from the Roman Constitution, per World History.
Just seen through ancient Rome’s impact on the writers’ of our Constitution, it seems as though men have been thinking about the Roman Empire for a lot longer than this TikTok trend.