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A New TikTok Trend: Reasons Why Many Men Think About the Roman Empire

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

man from roman empire

The Roman Empire TikTok Trend

Just when you thought the quirky corners of TikTok couldn't surprise you further, they've served up another unexpected tidbit about our collective quirks. Lately, one has bubbled up to the surface, exposing that a large number of men find themselves thinking about the Roman Empire and its historical impacts.

For many female partners who pose this question in TikTok videos, they are surprised to learn that their male partner is thinking about this. In most videos, women ask, "How often do you think about the Roman Empire, if at all?"

When their partner replies that they do it often, they often follow up with an amused laugh and a reply of, "Really, why?" One can't help but wonder what this preoccupation in so many men can reveal about the masculine mind and its impact on modern relationships.

Let's explore this captivating trend, delving into the psyche of men, the undercurrents of relationships, and the allure of the bygone eras.

What Men Are Saying

In a moment of pure curiosity, I dropped this burning query with men on Facebook, eager to uncover the Roman Empire thoughts swirling in the minds of men. I received over a hundred replies within just hours.

The feedback? Insights that might illuminate the questions many of us are pondering. Dive in, and perhaps together, we'll find the clarity we seek as we explore the common replies that were given:

A Desire For Legacy

Throughout history, men have often been conditioned to aspire towards greatness, to leave a lasting mark on the world. Think of the Roman Empire—its grand architecture with archways kissing the sky, roads stretching across vast areas, and the intricate dance of politics and world religions.

When one considers how today's men look back, they might find a mirror reflecting their own desire to have a legacy of greatness.

The Value Of Strategy & Problem-Solving

Historical reflections also align with the male psyche's inclination toward strategy and problem-solving. Picture the graceful architecture of Roman columns and the dramas of politics from bygone eras.

All these are not just stories or relics. They're mysteries that can be seen as a mental exercise—challenges to understand, analyze, and learn from history in our challenges today.

Nostalgia For A Simpler Time

It's not just the Roman Empire. Many men get lost in thoughts of ancient tribes, the mysterious Neanderthals, and societies of days long gone. Perhaps there's a quiet yearning from some for a past when life's roles were clearly defined, and societal expectations were less ambiguous. In modern society, many men struggle with the complexities of their roles.

Some may long for the stability and clarity of ancient times despite them being obsolete in modern relationships that champion equality for women and household and child-rearing responsibilities for both partners. Against the backdrop of change and uncertainty, the simplicity of the masculinity of yesteryears may seem appealing.

Exploring the Types of Stories that Appeal to Men and Women

Picture this: two bookshelves, side by side. On one, the dusty tomes of the Roman Empire, their pages etched with battles, emperors, and vast empires. On the other, contemporary tales of relationships, emotional landscapes, and the intricate dance of human connection. Some might argue that more men find their solace in the former, while more women in the latter.

Perhaps it's a cultural echo. Men have historically been expected to dominate in a patriarchal society. Isn't it natural, then, that they'd resonate with stories echoing the power and control wielded by their forefathers?

That being said, the way one engages with and interprets the Roman Empire can vary, and some may use it to celebrate underlying ideas of toxic masculinity, patriarchal or misogynistic beliefs. However, for most men, this is not the case.

For the majority, the Roman Empire is intriguing for its profound influence on Western civilization, encompassing governance, architecture, language, and culture. Additionally, its vast history offers lessons in both the heights of human achievement and the perils of power.

Women, on the other hand, have often been depicted as society's backbone - the ones who wove the tales, nurtured and anchored relationships. They also demonstrate incredible leadership skills in a different manner, thinking less of domination and more of the group's well-being. Their inclination toward the stories that delve deep into romance, family, friendships, the human psyche, and other relationships might be a similar inherited fascination.

It is essential to point out that the traditional boundaries of male and female are limited and that it's not just about binary gender-specific interests or inclinations.  It's about the stories we gravitate toward, regardless of gender. After all, these are mere generalizations. Not every man is enthralled by wars of yore, just as not every woman is engrossed solely in matters of the heart.

Influences Of The Roman Empire Today

The Roman Empire is indeed fascinating. It is one of the most influential civilizations in history and has left a lasting impact on various facets of modern society. 

However, it should be noted that throughout its history, the Roman Empire appropriated influences from other cultures, including land and resources (syncretism), such as the Etruscans, Greeks, and Egyptians.

They took the best elements of other cultures and made them their own, often as a way of legitimizing Roman rule among conquered people. Therefore, it's essential to recognize that the enduring impact of the Roman Empire should also be credited to the civilizations they conquered, often in brutal ways, including genocide.

It is also important to acknowledge other empires, such as the Han Dynasty in China or the Gupta Empire in India, in their achievements, as the Eurocentric perspective in many historical accounts has led to an overemphasis on the Greco-Roman civilization. 

Here's a list of some of the many areas where its influence is still evident today:


  • Latin, the language of the Romans, is the precursor to the Romance languages: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Romanian.
  • English, while a Germanic language, has borrowed heavily from Latin, both directly and through the Romance languages.

Law and Governance

  • Many legal principles and terminologies used today are based on Roman law.
  • The concept of "innocent until proven guilty" has Roman origins.
  • The idea of a Senate or representative body in governance.

Infrastructure and Engineering

  • The construction techniques for roads, bridges, and aqueducts.
  • The use of concrete as a building material.
  • The design of urban infrastructure, including sewage systems and public baths.

Art and Architecture

  • Architectural styles, such as columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian), and the use of arches and domes.
  • The concept of monumental architecture like the Roman basilica and amphitheater.
  • Mosaics, frescoes, and sculptures.


  • The spread of Christianity, which became the state religion under Emperor Constantine.
  • The establishment of the Vatican in Rome, which continues to be the center of Roman Catholicism.


  • The trivium and quadrivium, foundational to medieval and Renaissance education, have roots in Roman pedagogy.
  • Many classic literary works and philosophies from the Roman period are studied in curricula worldwide.

Calendar and Timekeeping

  • The Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar, was a precursor to the modern Gregorian calendar.
  • Names of the months (e.g., "July" after Julius Caesar).

Military and Defense

  • Fortification designs, including the layout of military camps.
  • Tactics and formations, such as the Testudo or Tortoise formation.


      • The concept of large-scale spectator sports and entertainment, such as gladiatorial games and chariot races.
      • Theatrical plays, genres, and staging techniques.

Fashion and Personal Care

      • Toga-like robes still influence ceremonial dresses.
      • Roman hairstyles, jewelry, and other accessories influenced later European fashions.

Currency & Trade

      • The widespread use of coinage, which standardized trade across the empire.
      • Establishment of extensive trade routes, some of which are still in use today.

Philosophy and Science

      • Works of Roman philosophers, historians, and scientists, such as Seneca, Tacitus, and Pliny the Elder, continue to influence modern thought.
      • The Roman numeral system, still used in specific contexts today.

The Perils Of Roman History

To truly evolve, we must peel back the layers of our history, flaws and all. So let's journey back and also learn from Roman missteps.

      • The Romans were aggressive expansionists. They conquered vast territories and assimilated numerous cultures into their empire. Thus, Romans were oppressors who denied others their sovereignty.
      • Slavery was a crucial component of the Roman economy. Many of the empire's accomplishments, from architectural marvels to agricultural output, were built on the backs of enslaved people.
      • While the Romans incorporated and assimilated elements of the cultures they conquered, they prioritized their language, customs, and traditions. As a result, many indigenous cultures were erased.
      • From gladiatorial games to public executions, the Roman world was often brutal and cruel. The Colosseum, for example, has become a symbol of both Roman grandeur and known for brutality.
      • Especially during the Late Empire, Rome was marked by corruption, palace intrigue, assassinations, and decadent behavior among the elite. Ultimately, it is why Rome fell. A lesson that should be highly noted in today's society.
      • While the Roman Empire was sometimes tolerant of various religions, there were times when certain groups faced persecution.
      • The Roman society was patriarchal, and women had limited rights compared to men.
      • The Romans had significant environmental impacts in areas they controlled, including deforestation, mining, and urbanization that altered landscapes.

Cultural Influences Matter

When some men reflect on history, they feel an intimate connection with the Roman Empire, as if it's a cherished chapter in their cultural storybook. For others, there is disdain or a mix of emotions.

In addition, it can be like reviewing the legacies and tales of an inherited culture. While some may feel connected to the Roman Empire in their heritage, others may find more in common with different empires, such as the Egyptian, Achaemenid (Persian), Mongol, and Macedonian Empires, which may mirror their cultural connections more closely.

Furthermore, it can also boil down to having in-depth education about the Roman Empire. Some might be more versed in Roman history than the Ottoman or the Ming dynasties simply because of what they've been taught.

Ultimately, ties to these past empires are like personal tapestries—woven with threads of culture, education, and individual sentiment.

Enhancing Your Relationship Using Such History

Enhancing Communication

If your partner frequently ponders the past, let that be your cue and use it as a conversation starter. Understanding what draws them to such empires can offer profound insights into their aspirations, fears, and values, inviting you into their world. Dive in, and let history weave a new chapter in your love story to improve your relationship.


Consider delving into historical documentaries, visiting museums, or reading about ancient civilizations together. They can help us find common ground where understanding grows. It's about more than just history—it's about finding ways to connect more deeply.


Just as one might daydream about future vacations, fashion, or fictional stories, another might retreat into musings of ancient times. These mental journeys, varied as they are, allow us to connect when we share them, paving the way for mutual respect and appreciation.

What's An Equivalent Trend For Women?

What do women often think about in a similar way?

Naturally, the question has been brought up as to what the equivalent is for women, and many women agree that it comes down to one word. Safety.

It's not an overly paranoid stance but about a deeply ingrained instinct for self-preservation. It's the unnerving sensation of being followed in a dimly lit parking lot, the uneasy glance over the shoulder on a lonely street, and the silent fear when an unknown vehicle lingers too close for too long.

This is why, in the world of popular culture, you see the growing fascination of many women with true crime shows and other similar media. Watching these shows is not a celebration of tragedy but an exploration of survival. It's the deep-rooted desire to study the paths that led others astray; many hope to carve out a safer trail for themselves.

This will continue until the world becomes a place where women no longer need to arm themselves with cautionary tales. For now, with every step, story, and shared experience, women try to grow stronger, smarter, and more prepared.

In Closing

In the vast, multifaceted world of social media, who could've predicted that musings on the Roman Empire would become the unspoken thoughts of many? Life sure has its whimsical ways of revealing profound insights.

We are reminded in this technological age that history intertwines with our contemporary lives. As with any trend or revelation, it offers a window into our collective souls, prompting us to share, laugh, and discover together.

Because in these shared human experiences, whether draped in a toga or armed with a true crime podcast, we can foster deeper connections, mutual respect, and a shared appreciation for the human history that shapes our present and future.

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