A history buff told female viewers last month they'd be surprised how often men ponder the Roman Empire.
The topic launched a social media movement, as masses of men agreed it was regularly on their minds.
Many pointed to Roman architecture, military strategies, and the empire's parallels to the US.
A viral premise making the rounds on social media is alerting many wives, girlfriends, and partners to a shocking fact about the men in their lives: they are regularly thinking about the Roman Empire.
In August, Gaius Flavius, a Roman reenactor based in Sweden, shared an Instagram video to his 100,000 followers with an on-screen caption that read, "Ladies, many of you do not realize how often men think about the Roman Empire."
In the post, which received 1.6 million views, Flavius prompted the women watching to ask their husbands, fathers, and brothers about this, suggesting they'd be "surprised by their answers." He wasn't wrong, as over 1,100 comments responded, with many confirming the theory in disbelief.
The trend eventually made its way to TikTok. In the most viral clip with 5.1 million views, the author Sam Slupski, who uses they/them pronouns, recounted seeing the meme and querying their husband. "He said every single day," Slupski recounted, "and then we had a 45-minute conversation about the Roman Empire."
Slupski told Insider it wasn't a shocking response given their husband is an international studies and political science major — but going viral has been "wild," they said. "It was just meant to be a silly goofy video."
On Wednesday, the TikToker Laine Bullinger filmed her boyfriend responding to the question in a video with 3.5 million views, in which he deadpanned "not a lot – twice a week." When she incredulously asked why, he responded, "They were the second most powerful empire."
In another video, TikToker Kira Kosarin asked her partner off-camera, who responded, "three times a day." The video received 3.7 million views.
Among real-life men surveyed by Insider, many also confirmed Flavius' theory.
Insider's Tanya Chen took to X, formerly Twitter, and asked male Roman history fans to make themselves known. Although multiple women came forward and said they, too, were interested in the topic, including culinary legend Nigella Lawson, the consensus was largely men. Several shared what they found so fascinating about the period of history, pointing to Roman architecture, parallels with the US, and military strategies.
One X user who said her husband thinks of the Roman Empire daily explained to her that it's because "it's always there. Always."
"I recently mentioned to another man that I enjoy the straight roads the Romans built," another X user shared, "and he countered that while enjoyably straight, that does still mean they can be a little boring after thirty or forty minutes of driving."
For those not regularly pondering the Roman Empire, it refers to a territory 2,000 years ago comprising regions of Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia that was ruled by emperors. Its innovations in culture, law, religion, and technology have had lasting impacts today.
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