If TikTok's "girl dinner" and "girl math" trends left you scratching your head, hold onto your Ceasar salad, because there's a new hashtag taking off that's likely to leave you even more confused.
Women are quizzing their boyfriends, fathers, and other male counterparts about how often they think about the Roman Empire, only to discover... it's a lot more than you'd expect, with some admitting to thinking about it "every day".
Yes, you read that correctly. The Roman Empire, that historical period that formed the bedrock of modern civilisation, has taken TikTok by storm. This puzzling revelation has unleashed a tidal wave of online hilarity, birthing a viral sensation with over a billion views and counting. But the million-dollar question is, why the sudden surge of interest in this ancient realm?
Apparently there's a lot to think about.
The men in these videos respond earnestly, making a case for their thoughts being entirely normal, much to the astonishment of their partners, who are just now discovering just how significant this historical era is in the minds of their men.
Interestingly, this viral trend had its beginnings on Instagram before migrating to TikTok. In late August, a Roman reenactor based in Sweden, Gaius Flavius, posted a reel on his Instagram, urging his followers to ask their partners how often they think about the Roman Empire. He encouraged women to ask their "husband, boyfriend, father, or brother" because they'd "be surprised by their answers."
Indeed, the responses have been pretty unexpected, with many admitting to thinking about it quite regularly – anywhere from weekly to a staggering three times a day. Now, that's dedication!
Interestingly, the partners asking the question typically claim they never even think about it.
Now that we've established that a substantial portion of the population thinks about the Roman Empire nearly every day (which is still quite bewildering, honestly), it's worth delving into why.
Upon further probing, TikTokers discovered a variety of reasons behind the fascination with the Roman Empire. For some, it's the historical legacy that emanated from the era, including roads and languages. Others are drawn to the gladiator connection, advancements in architecture, aqueducts, and the marvels of running water and concrete.
And then there are those who just like to keep it simple, like one boyfriend who confessed to thinking about the Roman Empire every other day, purely because it's, well, "cool."
And it's not just regular folks either; even celebrities are getting in on the trend. Australian singer Firerose enquired about how often her fiancé Billy Ray Cyrus thought about the Roman Empire, to which he responded, "15 to 20 times a day." Singer and actress Kira Kosarin also participated, with her fiancé claiming to contemplate the empire three times daily, and US talkshow host Carson Daly admitting he thinks about it about it "every day" too.
While there's undoubtedly a wealth of historical material to contemplate within the Roman Empire's 1,000-year existence, some TikTok users remain sceptical about how genuine the interest really is, with many speculating this is all just an elaborate prank.
Either way, it begs the question; what other random nonsense are men thinking about every day when they're forgetting you asked them to stop at the supermarket to get milk?
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