Craziest Things Ancient Romans DID..!!!

 

Did you know that drinking gladiator blood could cure epilepsy? Or that unibrows are actually sexy? I didn’t either! Here are 20 things I bet you didn’t know about the Romans.

Number 20:  Roman physicians would recommend consuming a gladiator’s blood or liver to cure epilepsy and infertility. It had to be fresh, but if you couldn’t afford it you could always go to a public execution and get a criminal’s blood to drink. I’m sure the effects would be about the same. 🤒

Number 19:  Speaking of gladiators, gladiatorial fighting was not the most popular form of entertainment. To be fair, the arena for gladiatorial combat, AKA the Colosseum Colosseum_in_Rome,_Italy_-_April_2007, was huge. Modern archaeologists estimate that it could accommodate over 50,000 people. However it was dwarfed by the Circus Maximus that at one point in time could accommodate 250,000 people. That was a quarter of Rome’s entire population. Imagine losing your kid in that stadium!      {Amazing Fact: Do you know which stadium is the largest stadium in the world today? Ans: The Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea. Capacity of 150,000 people}

Number 18:  Even though the average life expectancy in Rome was only about 25, this did not mean that no one lived into their thirties or on into old age. The average was skewed by the number of women who died giving birth, and by high infant mortality. Once a Roman made it to maturity, they were likely to live as long as people do today.

Number 17:  Very few Roman hours lasted an hour. Like us, the Romans divided the day into 24 hours. But, since the length of the sunlight varied with the seasons, this also meant that the length of the hour changed. In the winter an hour was about 45 minutes and in the summer, about 75 minutes.

Number 16:  Purple clothing was all the rage but was a status symbol and reserved only for emperors or senators. To achieve the color, a dye was made from murex seashells (a sea shell used mainly for ornamentation). It was treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.

Number 15:  Ancient Roman ladies loved dark eyebrows that almost formed a unibrow- a la Frida Kahlo- and they would use soot to make their eyebrows more dramatic and noticeable. Fabulous!

Number 14:  White teeth were prized by the Romans, and so false teeth, made from bone, ivory and paste, were very popular.

Number 13:  Stretching from the Atlantic to the Tigris, the Roman Empire contained perhaps about 65 million inhabitants. While Latin was the language of the army and of Roman law, many people incorporated into the empire continued to speak their native tongue (Punic, Coptic, Aramaic, Celtic) instead of Latin. The Roman elite was bilingual speaking both Greek and Latin. For them, Greek was a badge of status.

Number 12:  The empire produced eminent philosophers such as Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. Yet some Romans hated philosophy for two main reasons: first, it was a Greek invention, and the Greeks were a conquered race and therefore inferior. I know I just said that Greek was a badge of status but apparently speaking Greek is wayyyy better than being Greek. Second, the study of philosophy focused on yourself… and your feelings… which is not good for soldiers that are sacrificing everything as a group to serve the Empire.

Number 11:  Although in art they liked to be depicted in heroic and martial posture, Roman generals were ‘battle managers’, not warriors. Only in the most exceptional circumstances were they expected to fight hand-to-hand. If a battle was lost, the commander should either kill himself with his own sword or, let the enemy kill him.

Number 10:  Roman emperors adopted the daily habit of taking a small amount of every known poison in an attempt to gain immunity. The mixture was known as Mithridatium, after the creator of the practice, Mithridates the Great, king of Pontus. He believed he had developed the formula to gain immunity to everything. Yeah, I don’t know who he was either but apparently he lived into his 80s…so…maybe we should try it…

Number 9:  The Roman Empire got its name from its founding city. However, while it is often recognized that in the late Roman era Constantinople was the most important city, what almost nobody realizes is that by 402 AD the terrible emperor Honorius felt that Rome was no longer defensible and decided to move the capital to Ravenna.

Number 8:  Romans and Italians were never the same thing. It’s just that the Roman city state was more aggressive, with a better army, and luckier than the other kingdoms of Italy. Many of the other city states spoke a different language than the Roman state and they hated each other.

Number 7:  Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ. Oh dear…!

Number 6:  Wealthy Romans would have extravagant and decadent banquets that lasted for hours so in order to continue eating, they would vomit so they could continue. Gross!! 

Number 5:  Dying your hair was the fashion among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colors. Dye colors were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.

Number 4:  Emperor Caligula tried to make his favorite horse consul — the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and the most important job in the government. He gave him a marble stall, an ivory manger, a jeweled collar and a house to invite other senators to dinner and eat gold flakes. Caligula probably did this so he could humiliate the senate. Poor Incitatus…

Number 3:  While Romans were extremely hygienic, they did not use soap. Instead, to get clean they would apply perfumed oils to their skin and then scrape it off with a special tool.

Number 2:  Women had a very intense beauty regimen. Beauty masks included a mix of sweat from sheep’s wool, placenta, excrement, animal urine, sulphur, ground oyster shells and bile. Sounds pretty gross right? Make-up smelt so bad that Roman divas wore a strong and oily perfume to cover it up. Well, try to cover it up… maybe you should check the ingredients on your own makeup and get back to me before you judge… Or maybe you shouldn’t, it might not be a good idea.

Number 1:   Have you ever wondered how people in the ancient world did their laundry without Tide? The secret was to use ammonia. Hmm where can I get ammonia? Is it a powder? Is it a soap? Nope…it’s human urine. The urine was collected by dry cleaners from around the city that would then heat it up and give the clothes a good soak. 


Related:  Colosseum – Seven Wonders of the Medieval Ages..!  14 regions of Augustan Rome..!  Amphitheatre  Mithridate .

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