TikTok and Twitter have been buzzing lately with chatter surrounding the Roman Empire. Specifically, people are discussing the claim that men think about the ancient civilization far more frequently than members of the general public realize—and anecdotally, it seems there may be some validity to that.

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The viral topic has prompted a number of women to start asking the men in their lives how often they think about the Roman Empire, causing the conversation to spiral even more as these videos have fully become a trend on TikTok.


What does this mean…. Also why is he standing like robert pattinson🧍‍♂️

♬ original sound – Laine Bullinger
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the roman empire is actually fascinating

♬ original sound – sam

Never once do I think of such things. How is this real?! #romanempire

♬ original sound – Hannah Brown

The discussion also moved over to Twitter, where people tried to make sense of what’s going on to create this collective and quiet obsession.

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Despite the widespread popularity of this conversation, many folks of all genders, when prompted, just did not understand the obsession.

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Over at Wired, writer Angela Watercutter theorized that men aren’t actually thinking about the Roman Empire itself, but rather about all the media created about it—“video games set in the Colosseum, old films like Cleopatra, roughly a million History Channel docuseries, Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” and of course, Gladiator.

That feels a lot more likely, although it seems at least some of these men would disagree, based on the enthusiastic text messages shared by the women in their lives on the matter.

But whatever the reason, we’re ALL stuck thinking about the Roman Empire now.

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*First Published: September 18, 2023, 3:50 am