Why Are Men Thinking About the Roman Empire? Exploring the Viral TikTok Trend

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In an unexpected cultural phenomenon, a viral TikTok trend has revealed that many men think about the Roman Empire more frequently than one might imagine. The trend involves women asking the men in their lives how often they ponder the ancient Roman Empire, leading to some surprising admissions. The #RomanEmpire hashtag on TikTok has now surpassed 1.2 billion views, making it a widespread and engaging trend. Even some of the world’s billionaires, like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, have openly shared their fascination with this ancient civilization.

From TikTok to Billionaires:

The TikTok trend started innocently enough but quickly gained momentum. Men from various walks of life confessed to thinking about the Roman Empire multiple times a week, and in some cases, multiple times a day. This peculiar trend has captured the attention of social media users worldwide.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Fascination:

Even billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Meta, has not been immune to the allure of ancient Rome. He has publicly expressed his admiration for Augustus, one of the greatest leaders of the Roman Empire and its first emperor following Julius Caesar’s assassination. Zuckerberg humorously wondered what his daughters Maxima, August, and Aurelia think about his Roman musings.

Concerns About the Fall of Empires:

Some billionaires, like Carl Icahn and Ray Dalio, are more preoccupied with the fall of empires than the glory of Rome. Carl Icahn, known for his corporate raider reputation, warned that the rise of U.S. inflation during the pandemic bore similarities to the fall of the Roman Empire. He expressed concerns that the worst was yet to come, as inflation can be challenging to control.

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, shared a similar view. He drew parallels between the Federal Reserve’s expansion of the U.S. money supply during the pandemic and the practices that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Historically, currency debasement led to hyperinflation during the Roman Empire, a problem with significant economic consequences.

Modern-Day Allusions to Rome’s Decline:

Billionaires like Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Andreessen Horowitz, have compared modern-day scenarios to the decline of the Roman Empire. Andreessen alluded to living in the “ruins of a once great society” in California, emphasizing the contrast between cultural flourishing and growing societal unrest.

The Historical Perspective:

The fixation on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire among the ultrawealthy has historical precedence. Edward Gibbon, a prominent Enlightenment figure, authored “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” in the 18th century, a work still found in personal libraries today. While his thesis has been questioned, Gibbon’s examination of the empire’s decline remains influential.

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The Changing Global Landscape:

The modern fascination with the Roman Empire’s fall may also reflect shifts in the global economic landscape. After World War II, the U.S. represented a significant portion of global GDP, but that share has since decreased dramatically due to the rise of emerging markets and the recovery of other advanced economies. This shift may contribute to the “decline and fall” narrative.


The viral TikTok trend has shone a spotlight on an unexpected topic of contemplation: the Roman Empire. From TikTok users to billionaires, the allure of ancient Rome persists, whether through fascination with its grandeur or concerns about its collapse. This trend serves as a reminder that history continues to capture our collective imagination, with echoes of the past influencing our understanding of the present.

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