The topic arose after Carson shared a TikTok that had gone viral of a woman asking her fiance when he last thought about the era, which ran for well over half a millenium; in the video the man is confused by the question and asks which period of the Empire she is asking about, before replying: "Maybe a week or two ago," adding: "The Roman Empire was a very big part of history.”
But as Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker laughed about the men's response, Carson admitted he believes "it’s become part of the new young man psyche".
"First of all, the movie Gladiator is in every guy’s top five favorite movies. Joe Rogan’s podcast is wildly popular, and there’s this trend to have this modern understanding of ancient philosophies like stoicism. Cold plunging is a big thing right now, [and] keto. Looking for guidance and self-improvement, it all harkens back to Marcus Aurelius. This is the Roman Empire," an impassioned Carson shared.
Watch the video moment below:
Savannah then added that Gladiator was one of her favorite movies but she didn't consider the time period on a daily basis, and Al replied: "I haven’t thought about it since I took Latin," to which Savannah quipped: "Since the Roman Empire!"
Rome was founded in 753 BC, and its extended time period led to the civilzation (which began as a Republic and later became an Empire) culture and institutions leaving a lasting mark on the world in ways that continue to impact us today, from architecture to art, religion and language, and even government; the founders of America used many elements of Roman democracy and law in the Constitution.
Marcus Aurelius was one of its most well-known emperors, and is now remembered as the last of the Five Good Emperors who kept the Empire stable for almost 200 years.
It's not the first time that the Today Show hosts have been left speechless on air though.
Earlier in 2023 Savannah, Hoda and Craig could not keep their focus when Hoda read out a news report revealing Buffalo Wild Wings were being sued over claims that their boneless wings were in fact just chicken nuggets.
The claimant alleged that the "boneless wings were not made from wing meat," and Savannah caught a case of the giggles as Hoda continued reading out the allegations.