Roman Empire TikTok why

‘Every damn day’: We asked a psychologist why boys think about the Roman Empire so much

What is going ON

I don’t claim to particularly understand what goes on in the minds of men. I’ve tried to fathom. I thought – now in my 27th year – I was learning. But, apparently, I know absolutely fucking nothing. Because, like the rest of the internet, I’ve been completely and utterly dumbfounded by the new Roman Empire trend taking over TikTok.

Explained simply, women are going up to the men in their lives (friends, boyfriends, husbands – doesn’t matter) and asking them how much they think about the Roman Empire. Spoiler alert: It’s fucking loads. And we need to unpack this, quickly. So, here’s everything you need to know about their strange little obsession with L’Impero romano.

Firstly, where did this Roman Empire TikTok trend even come from?


#stitch with @HapaGirl learning new things after 13 years. #romanempire #husband #trend

♬ original sound – Listenwithbritt🎧📚 | Booktok –

Ok, so winding this back to how this mad trend even began, the internet collectively realised men were mulling over the events of ancient Rome more than is feasibly required of a 21st century person when a woman called Kelsey Lewis Vincent wrote on Twitter:

“I saw an IG Reel that said something along the lines of ‘Women have no idea how often the men in their lives think about the Roman Empire’.  So, I asked my husband: ‘How often do you think about the Roman Empire?’ and without missing a beat he said ‘Every day’. YALL! Why!?”

The Tweet has now been seen by 70million people and #romanempire has 835.6million views and growing on TikTok. Help.

Wait, so how often is the average man thinking about the Roman Empire in the first place?


I’m cackling at the end #romanempire #trend #husband

♬ original sound – Brooklyn and Bailey

If you scroll the TikTok videos of women asking their male partners and friends how often they’re thinking about the Roman Empire, the amount varies from extreme: “every day”, confusing but comparatively moderate: “two to three times a week”, and circumstantial: “every time I watch the gladiator”. Aka, often.

And what exactly makes men start thinking about the Roman Empire?


He asked me why I thought he has that iphone background for… #romanempire #theromanempire

♬ original sound – Georgia Ferraris

The reason (dear god, let there be some logic) for boys’ Roman Empire obsession is wild and reaching. But, of the men I pulled in to give their thought process behind it springing into their brain unannounced, these reasons were the most enlightening:


“Whenever I see one of those drains saying ‘Built by the Romans'”

TV shows: 

“My flatmate keeps watching that dreadful naughties BBC drama ‘Rome’. I think he likes how their lives were both primitive and also excessive/decadent.”

Worldwide influence: 

“Language has a key part [and] the Greco Roman architecture. They’ve such a large influence in the world and they appear everywhere.”

Arguing over pints: 

“We have debates in our household about timelines, size, different emperors. Most of them take place at the pub or round the kitchen table.”

Video games: 

“I like Rome Total War, good game”

Survival strategy: 

“Normally about where you’d be in the army. Cavalry or archers etc and whether you’d survive. Comes up in convo at least once a week with my housemates.”

Specific battles: 

“Usually about wars, like what could they have done differently to win here or there.”


“How the fuck are they building roads better than us?!”

So, what has a psychologist got to say about this Roman Empire phenomenon?


This is so interesting to me??

♬ original sound – Hannah Godwin

The Romans were influential, yes. But there’s something deeper going on here. And, according to psychologists, some (or as the world’s digital foot print stands, many) guys are basically wistful for a more power-led, war-ridden, but community-led era:

“One reason why men think about the Roman Empire may be in relation to strength,” says Dr Alicia Brown from Turning Tides Psychology. “When we think about this period of time, we tend to conjure up an image of a male gladiator, and a lot of men can consider this to be the ultimate alpha male image. This links back to when we were hunter-gatherers and there needed to be a more dominant male to ward off danger. Although we no longer live in a hunter-gatherer society, our brains are still wired to survival.”

Additionally, neurologist Dr Rachel Taylor says it could be down to “historical thinking”. Because the Ancient Roman Empire’s legacy is all around us, we have it in our DNA: “Epigenetics is how the environment interplays with our DNA and how this passes onto our descendants,” she says. “In my opinion, many become fascinated with this period of history due to the cultural influences and images that abound from there. They play into the imagination and imagery of many people – but in particular men – and the visualisation of power, war and drama.”

Truly, some of you just absolutely love the vibes: “The Roman Empire’s military expertise, discipline, and conquests may resonate with masculine ideals of strength, power, and dominance,” says Dr Becky Spelman from Private Therapy Clinic. “Men who appreciate effective systems and infrastructure could be interested in the empire’s organised governance, legal system, and engineering expertise. On the cultural and intellectual side of things, including literature, philosophy, and architecture, men might be connecting to the rich historical heritage.

“Overall, the Roman Empire also represents a time of civilisation and accomplishment, offering a source of inspiration, escapism, and nostalgia for men seeking to explore and understand the past,” she adds. “It can connect them with themes of leadership, authority, and cultural significance.”

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