A bizarre new social media trend claims men think about the Roman Empire ‘at least’ three times a week – but what unusual things occupy the minds of women?
The sudden interest in the Roman Empire started in August, after a Swedish-based Roman reenactor Gaius Flavius shared an Instagram Reel which read: ‘Ladies, many of you do not realise how often men think about the Roman Empire.’
It resulted in a strange coincidence where men all around globe revealed that Ancient Rome crossed their mind several times a week.
According to the masses, women think about their middle school best friend, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Rory Gilmore, the Titanic, Taylor Swift, and Tom Holland‘s cover of Rihanna‘s ‘Umbrella’ in a similar way.
While thousands have joined in to coin what ‘their’ Roman Empire is – a concerning number of people have pointed towards topics like true crime, the fear of being kidnapped or murdered, or previous atrocities like the witch trials.
‘I can’t get my head around this Roman Empire trend – people are saying that the woman equivalent is murder,’ American woman Win wrote.
‘Whether it’s us being murdered or someone else, we think about it a lot. What does this say about men and women? It’s such a weird discovery, I’m so confused.’
Another, Gabs, chimed in with a more detailed version of why she thinks about being targeted every day.
‘My ‘Roman Empire’ is going to a gas station and not making eye contact with anyone. It’s looking over my shoulder and wondering if I’m being followed or just paranoid.
‘It’s wondering if I’m fast enough to get away from a dangerous situation, or strong enough to fight it off. I think about this every single day – when I’m at the supermarket, the gas station, on a walk.’
On a lighter note, Kat shared that many women fantasise about their future ‘all the time’.
‘Women think about decorating our future homes, planning our wedding, looking at everyday things and wondering how they would look in our living rooms,’ she said.
On a lighter note, Kat shared that many women fantasise about their future ‘all the time’
What is a woman’s version of the ‘Roman Empire?’
- Their middle school best friend
- The Titanic
- Pride and Prejudice (2005)
- Getting murdered or kidnapped
- Taylor Swift
- Their wedding day
- Marrying rich
- Planning out escape routes from every situation
What do historians think about the Roman Empire trend?
According to historians, Western societies’ dramatic retellings of Roman history could be behind men associating it with masculinity.
Hannah Cornwell, a historian of the ancient world at Britain’s Birmingham University, theorised it could be the images conjured when Ancient Rome is mentioned – spurred on by Hollywood dramatizations like Gladiator and Spartacus.
She told the Washington Post the first thing that comes to the mind when Ancient Rome is mentioned ‘an image of the Roman legion, the imperial eagle and that sort of military aspect.’
She added: ‘Along with gladiators, which has a long association with masculinity and power.’
Ancient Rome historian Lewis Webb told the publication Ancient Rome was ‘patriarchal and violent,’ which could be why men find it so intriguing.
‘But it was also a diverse place,’ he added. ‘There were numerous forms of masculinity, women could have agency and power, and there were multiple gender expressions and identities, as well as various sexualities.’