Post-Internet Roman Empire

Nationality: Indian

Primary Language: English

Other Language(s): N/A

Age: 21

Residence: Los Angeles


“My Roman Empire is [something I think about a lot].”


This informant is from Generation Z, and they use social media on a regular basis. They are also studying video games at USC, so they are very familiar with internet terminology.


This phrase is a customizable proverb (and also, to some extent, a joke) that postdates the internet. A couple years ago, an internet trend where girlfriends asked their boyfriends how often they think about the Roman Empire went viral. Eventually, the proverb evolved from literally meaning people are thinking about the Roman Empire to simply something that has been on the person’s mind frequently, hence the phrase, “My Roman Empire is [something I think about a lot].” This internet proverb has an interesting way of connecting the past (Roman Empire) with the present (internet) and using it in a humorous context. The joke begins with the viral phrase “my Roman Empire is…” – a phrase many social media users are familiar with – and ends with something entirely unique to the speaker… something unexpected by the listener. This unpredictability gives the proverb potential to be humorous!