What is your Roman Empire?

Kayle Brody ’25

How often do you think about the Roman Empire? 

This question has taken the internet by storm in just a few weeks, blowing up all over TikTok and earning a new definition. Gen Z is not averse to creating their slang; the recent jargon concerns the Roman Empire. “#Romanempire” already has over 1.3 billion views on the app. 

What is the Roman Empire? In recent pop culture, the term “Roman Empire” has become less about politics, gladiators, or philosophy and more about nostalgia and viral pop culture moments. The trend assailed TikTok, first with women asking their boyfriends or husbands how often they thought about the Roman Empire. The men’s answers were surprising to the female crowd, as they each answered that they think about the ancient Empire daily– some as often as three times a day. 

Now, the obvious question comes into play: are the men joking? Is this all just a well-crafted prank? How is it that across the board, all of them think about the Roman Empire so often, yet the female population does not? One explanation that has been circulating is that the Roman Empire highlights a period where masculinity and power were closely linked and represented. Subconsciously, men may still think about masculine dominance, causing their thoughts to be focused on that time period and the Empire. Other than that, there is the fact that a lot of the technology used today has origins dating back to the famous Empire. 

On the contrary, women have begun to broadcast their takes on the “Roman Empire.” The female version of the “Roman Empire” ranges anywhere and everywhere from the Titanic to getting kidnapped to the Irish Potato Famine to Tom Holland’s Lip Sync Battle to Taylor Swift to Barbie and to, well, the actual Roman Empire. This trend has revealed just how much society genders history. Men like to call back to a time when the patriarchy and military soared, whereas women tend to be drawn more toward feminine-related subjects. 

This trend follows the themes that branded the Summer of 2023– callbacks to decades worth of nostalgia. First Taylor Swift, then Barbie, and now the meme of a trend that is the Roman Empire.

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