Please Don’t Let TikTok Convince You Otherwise—Ancient Rome Definitely Existed

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In the latest news that will all but convince you the end is nigh, there’s a TikTok influencer out there trying to convince the interwebs that the ancient Roman civilization never existed, and is actually a hoax concocted by the Catholic church in the 1500s and maintained by white supremacists.

The bizarre—and let’s be clear, completely groundless—conspiracy theory comes to us courtesy of a TikTok user @momllennial_returns, and whose real name, as per her Twitter profile, is Donna Dickens. She first posted a video on the subject in November 2021, but her hypothesis is back in a bigger way a year later, to the consternation of classicists, archaeologists, and, you know, generally educated people.

This year’s version of Dickens’s “fake Rome” video has a mere 9,300 views on her original TikTok, but a copy she shared on on Twitter has taken off, with nearly 75,000 people having watched it.

“‘Rome’ produced zero unique material culture. Zero primary documents. Zero radiocarbon dates of famous ‘Roman’ monuments. It’s a fictional homogenizaton of European indigenous culture by the church,” Dickens wrote.

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