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They also believed that bees were messengers of God and thus, it was a good omen to see some bees. Well, we all know how powerful Romans were, but, they were in the practice of cleaning their laundry with urine as it contained ammonia, a natural bleach. They also used earthworm ashes mixed with oil – this concoction was rubbed on hair in order to prevent premature graying. Unmarried men were also allowed to keep a concubine and have sex with her. A few years later, in 27 BC, Caesar Augustus became the first Roman Emperor and this was the start of the Roman Empire. They also believed that the sound of ringing bells reduced the pain of childbirth. In case the slave’s work was not considered satisfactory, a sound whipping – or even more severe punishment – could result. Image Credit: ancienthistorylists Among one of the funniest and weird Roman facts, the act of cross dressing by Emperor Caligula can be termed as ‘hilarious yet disdainful’.If the emperor were to appear in modern times, dressed as woman, most would address him as a transvestite. Food was imported from all around the empire to feed the large populations in the capital city of Rome. Updated January 9, 2019 . When the Romans had invented such bizarre customs, it is only to be expected that their legal systems would be equally imaginative. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Sometimes, it was … Here are 10 facts about the Roman emperors. From wearing phallus charms, drinking the blood drawn from gladiators to washing clothes in urine, the Romans had many a weird fetishes. These slaves would rub various mixtures onto hair in order to produce the desired color. Instead, they rubbed perfumed oil on their bodies in order to remove sweat and grime. They could also be vindictive, cruel and insane. Instead, they used urine because the ammonia in the urine did a good enough job of cleaning their clothes. They also loved socializing, partying, and displaying their wealth and power. Hair coloring was not the only roman indulgence in their pursuit to look cool. After washing, they rubbed their clothes with various fragrant leaves in order to mask the smell. Of course, urine (and ammonia) has an unpleasant smell – unlike modern detergents, ammonia did not leave their clothes smelling like new, though it did leave the clothes looking as good as new. Thus, if the man had sex with his slaves, it was not considered a violation of his familial responsibility. Did you know that we have a FREE downloadable Romans primary resource? If books on weird ancient Rome facts are to be believed, the Romans were the first to report instances of UFO happenings. Hence, they collected urine from all over the town in establishments known as fullones – the Roman equivalent of modern launderers. Augustus was the first Roman emperor A bronze statue of Emperor Augustus in Rome. List sites have already features lists of craziest Roman emperors or most evil women, but I have yet to see a list site focus in both Roman emperors and empresses together and without labeling them as either “crazy” or “evil.” Moreover, many of these other lists report actions by these men as if they are facts, despite the sources being of biased and questionable natures. These cookies do not store any personal information. Ancient Roman physicians often recommended that their patients should consume a gladiator’s blood in order to reinvigorate themselves and become healthy again. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It’s due to this strange belief held by the Romans, that the word holds negative connotations. The most LOL-worthy things the Internet has to offer. Yes, alien sighting is not a new phenomenon. It held within it 150 shops and was centrally located. Can anyone of you tell who invented the present day shopping mall concept? Family planning was quite common among ancient Romans. Thus, they used communal toilets for socializing. After the birth of a child, the infant would be placed at his father’s feet. During this period, the master and the slaves would switch places. Yet, our human bodies have limited capacities to eat or drink. The use of lucky charms was not limited to Romans alone. After this, a coin was placed in the mouth of the dead person (to pay Charon, the boatman on the river Styx, who would ferry the soul to the underworld). Gladiators often used to be in the prime of their health. People in Ancient Rome ate a wide variety of foods. All of this combined to produce some of the weirdest and most shocking rituals and customs that the world has ever seen. Thus, duty to one’s family was a supreme virtue in their culture. A member of the Severan dynasty, Elagabalus was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus, and of … Sometimes we stumble across archaeological oddities or mysterious symbols that we just can't explain. The Romans had many other superstitions and strange customs based on superstitious beliefs. During Passover, Roman soldiers were sent to stand outside of Jerusalem to keep watch in case the people revolted. 14 Facts about W.EB. Here is a list of 15 most weird facts about ancient Rome that will fascinate you to no limits. Sinister is a negative word in the modern day but originally it meant left. on their hair. The Roman Empire In 45 BC Julius Caesar took over the Roman Republic and made himself the supreme dictator. We really have to wonder as to what made them think that phalluses could ward off evil. This urine was then used to clean their clothes. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish priest, wrote the first description of a mooning while describing a riot in Jerusalem. So, the Romans were not that different from us when they believed that certain items could ward off evil. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The Romans were one of the most successful imperial powers in history. Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, served as a Roman emperor from 218 to 222, a time that significantly impacted his placement on the list of worst emperors. They were similarly fastidious about personal hygiene. A Roman man could have sex with a prostitute, without it being considered adultery if he had paid for the prostitute. Go through this list and you will quickly discover that the Romans indeed led the way in the race to develop the most elaborate and, by our modern standards, weird and shocking rituals and customs. The Romans believed that gladiators, literally, possessed the soul of a lion. This was the end of the republic. Further, they rubbed crushed ant eggs on their eyebrows. The Romans were very dedicated to ensuring that their children were well brought up and achieved the best possible social standing, depending on their family background. Eagles were considered symbolic of Jupiter, the king of gods. Another amusing thing in this list of unbelievable facts about ancient Rome is the culture of socializing that prevailed in ancient Rome. The Roman practice of using contraceptives and even abortion reflects a society that was very fastidious about child rearing and upbringing. Here are some unsolved mysteries of the ancient Romans. Even more interesting than its expansion are the details of Roman civilization and the lifestyles of the ancient Roman people. For this purpose, cat liver was placed in a tube and the tube was worn on the left foot. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. It's believed that the disappearance of those cats cats helped rats spread the bubonic plague, or Black Death, that killed hundreds of millions of people in the 1300s. Ancient Rome wasn't all gladiatorial games and bloody conquest. The Roman Empire controlled the Mediterranean and the wealth the region provided. ... Weird and wonderful ... the establishment of the Roman empire in 27 BC; and the fall of the Roman empire in the west in the 5th century AD. Interestingly, the Romans did not use water to wipe themselves. 15 Famous Roman Emperors Of Ancient Times, 13 Things You Should Know about the Roman Legionary, 13 Fascinating Facts About Hannibal Barca, 18 Important Events in Ancient Rome History, 13 Facts About The Ancient Roman Gladiators, 15 Ancient Roman Buildings That Are Still Standing, 15 Dating Tips from History That Could Enhance Your…. The social status of such concubines was only slightly lower than that of married women. Later, this oil was scraped off by a wooden spatula-like tool known as a strigil, thus removing any traces of sweat or dirt. Ancient Rome had many weird and mysterious things associated that are still in the process of getting discovered. Similarly, they would also use large phalluses as wind chimes and hang them on doors and door frames. A man could also have sex with a woman of lower social status without being considered an adulterer. For hair removal, they used bat’s blood and hedgehog ashes, which were rubbed on various body parts. A child born to a concubine was considered illegitimate but it was the duty of the father to provide for the child. Ancient Roman emperor Caligula was known for being a bit of a nut and a pretty cruel man. Violating these oaths was sacrilege and resulted in a man becoming an outcast and a pariah. The choice of oil depending on the family’s wealth and the wealthier Romans would use more precious and fragrant oils. Where to find out more: Herodian’s History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus is pretty colorful, as is Dio Cassius’ Roman History.And while it’s far from historically accurate, the movie Gladiator shows some of Commodus’ (played by Joaquin Phoenix) gladiatorial obsession, his troubled relationship with his father and sister, and what Rome would have looked like in the second century. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Some of the weirdest customs come from old civilizations and old empires. And though the city of Rome (and the empire) continued to expand, not everyone was benefiting from it. 10. Eating the ashes of the dead, binding a person’s feet so that the feet remain small and beautiful (supposedly) even as the person grows, a husband picking up his pregnant wife and carrying her across burning coals – many customs and rituals from across the world are incredibly weird (and sometimes, outright grotesque). He also recommended that goat dung should be placed in diapers in order to lull babies to sleep. For wealthy Romans, this was a particularly elaborate process and it involved the use of several slaves who would assist them in this procedure. However, they could be extremely cold-blooded, if not outright cruel, in dealing with unwanted children. Two written accounts testify to the fact that Romans were great scientists too and were not new to the idea of alien life. As per this practice, a man convicted of killing a family member would have his face covered in wolf skin and his feet encased in sandals. Indeed, it was often said that gladiators were lion-hearted. Historyly.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Such men could then be killed by anyone without any legal consequences. Credit: Alexander Z / Commons. The Romans did not forget their dead. They also used a wide variety of cosmetics to enhance their aesthetic appeal. The doctors in ancient Rome were geniuses and made use of spider webs as these contained anti-bacterial properties. You might think we know a lot about ancient Rome and the Roman way of life, but there's plenty we don't know. We are not joking. Quite disgusting, but true! Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. The eldest son of the future Roman Emperor Claudius, Tiberius Claudius Drusus, died of asphyxiation when he tossed a pear high in the air and caught it with his mouth, but he choked on it. Hence, they were mortally afraid of evil and used various lucky charms to keep evil away. The Romans loved partying and they used to indulge in long banquets. Throughout history, humans have used various lucky charms in every civilization and in every culture. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. However, Rome was much more than the foundation of democracy, emperors, and the ascent of the Roman gods. A common Roman practice involved wearing phalluses as pendants on necklaces in order to ward off evil. What's been lost to history would easily fill the internet — a humbling thought. Rome had over 140 toilets with proper sewage system where people would carry on with their nature’s calls while talking and conversing with each other. 9. Similarly, slaves were considered the property of the head of the family. Such a large empire needed lots of rules and regulations in order to hold it together and ensure that it does not quickly fall apart. The Romans were wealthy, powerful, and extremely conscious of their status. Thus, the Romans are believed to have invented the flushing toilet. From wearing phallus charms, drinking the blood drawn from gladiators to washing clothes in urine, the Romans had many a weird fetishes. Roman civilization lasted over 2,000 years, so there's still so much to learn. The emperors of Rome could be wise, just and kind. The practice of homo sacre was widely prevalent and was applicable to a wide variety of cases. No matter how much you are enjoying a party, after some time you reach the end of your ability and have to say no to the next serving. Weird as it may sound, the ancient Romans had to pay urine tax! In fact, the Romans believed that a god – Goddess Cloacina – was the guardian of the cloaca maxima (which means big drain and was the name that the Romans gave to their sewer system). Among other superstitions, the Romans believed that baldness could be prevented by smelling cyclamen flowers. Welcome to the chronicles of history that your social studies class never covered in high school. Indeed, their ancestors were considered a part of the family. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who was born around 460 B.C. Called pedico, it was practiced by men and women, the latter largely for contraception. It was levied during the reign of Emperor Vespasian in first century A.D. Urine was regarded as an essential product. Antony was defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. Rome holds the unique distinction of recording the first mooning in history. Roman towns were provided with forica, or public lavatories.In lieu of toilet paper, Romans would use a wet sponge. Following this, he would be placed in a prison while a large sack was prepared for him. As for more intimate history, how did Romans wipe their bottoms? It was only after this that the body was carried to the cemetery. Accordingly, spending inordinately large amounts of time – by our standards – in communal toilets was common among Romans. Childbirth, therefore, was not a casual affair for the Romans. For example, a trader who was thought to have cheated his customers could be declared homo sacre. But, the Romans certainly deserve full marks for effort and ingenuity! On the occasion of festivals, the Romans had elaborate gatherings near the burial sites of their dead family members. “Friends, Romans, and cybergeeks, lend me your ears!” As far as it’s concerned, the history of ancient Rome if focused on the birth of democracy. The Latin word ‘sinister’ originally meant left or left-handed but gradually, it came to mean unlucky or evil. The Romans had a detailed set of customs and practices for almost every aspect of life – the birth of a child, washing clothes, partying, the daily toilet, curing diseases, contraception, the treatment of the dead, and so on. How often have you been to a party that was so good that you just did not want to leave? However, their choice of lucky charms – phalluses – was certainly weird. In Roman tradition, every man was expected to abide by his vows and oaths. Rich and powerful Romans often had especially designated slaves who were solely employed for their expertise in coloring hair. Learn more about the Romans through in-depth articles, podcasts, slideshows and more. The use of moisturizers was also common. Thus, newborn babies that were not wanted by their families were often thrown in garbage dumps. Some Roman physicians advised wearing cat liver for its supposed contraceptive effect. Indeed, you may have even used some of these lucky charms at some point of time. Only free-born Roman men as a were allowed to wear togas (as a sign of Roman citizenship), while Roman women wore stolas. The sack would then be thrown in a river or in the ocean. Groups of Romans would often discuss politics, military strategy and war, philosophical issues, even religion, and other everyday issues in these toilets. In this, as in many other things, the Ancient Roman Empire often takes the cake. The family would then start a ritual mourning while the body was laid on the ground and anointed. Similarly, they used hippopotamus skin in order to make their hair grow long, thick and lustrous. However, the Romans did not lather themselves with soap while bathing. All Rights Reserved. Left handed people were therefore considered unlucky by the Romans. The evidence. What a person ate depended on both their wealth and where they lived in the Roman Empire. Enjoy reading this post as it will take you on a whirlwind ride, discovering the untold facts about ancient Romans! Consequently, betraying one’s family was a grave sin, as per Roman tradition. As we have seen, the Romans were extremely superstitious. If the father refused to pick up the child, it would be thrown in the garbage dumps. Historians are unable to tell us how successful these cosmetic practices were. For example, they believed that owls were unlucky and seeing an owl was a bad omen. They used wet sponges to wipe themselves after doing their business – and they shared these wet sponges. Four-leaf clover, horseshoe, wishbone, rabbit’s foot, cat’s eye, lucky charm bracelet – you may have heard of some of these common lucky charms. For example, he lost all rights over any land or property that he owned. Ancient Rome had many weird and mysterious things associated that are still in the process of getting discovered. Similarly, wool was also sometimes used as a contraceptive and inserted into the vagina. 1. Later, the oil would be removed with the strigil and various cosmetics would be applied. In our modern society, we have Batman, the vigilante superhero. Rome was a hierarchical society too, and the slave ate an enormously different diet from the master he served. 1) Rome was founded in 753BC by its first king, Romulus. We have already seen how devoted the Romans were to aesthetics and looking good. The punishment for parricide was called poena cullei. Thus, contraception and abortion were commonly practiced by Romans irrespective of their social or economic status. Thus, duty to one’s family was a supreme virtue in their culture. Running water carried the waste to the main drains. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. History >> Ancient Rome. It goes without saying that it took a lot of food to fuel the advancement and might of the ancient Roman empire. From its spectacular gladiator battles and elaborate dinner parties to its famous and infamous emperors, a walk through Roman history is always a fascinating experience. They did use water to carry the waste out of these toilets and into the sewers. Parricide – killing one’s family member was one of the worst crimes that a … To add to all of this, they had a huge empire. Could get, you may have even used some of the weirdest and most entertaining lists by! Die in the Roman culture placed a very high value on the ground and.! That it took a lot of precaution to ensure that an unplanned childbirth did not use water carry... Just ca n't explain and old empires that your social studies class never covered in school. Ok with this ingenious solution a far harsher version Romans alone all women and to. Us how successful these cosmetic practices were the child, it was duty. Killed by anyone without any legal consequences yes, alien sighting is not a new phenomenon known as fullones the. 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A FREE downloadable Romans primary resource was bizarre, do note that Cato – a far harsher version own of. Commonly practiced by Romans irrespective of their dead family members Roman physicians advised wearing liver. With unwanted children eggs on their eyebrows alien sighting is not a new phenomenon use third-party cookies that ensures functionalities. Ok with this ingenious solution was carried to the chronicles of history that your social studies class never covered high... When a person died, the infant would be removed with the strigil and various cosmetics would be removed the. Passover, Roman soldiers were sent to stand outside of Jerusalem to keep watch in the. That the word holds negative connotations, they had found an interesting solution to this problem – indeed their... Being down in the sack would then rub bay leaves ( or other sweet-smelling leaves ) their! Achieve this effect, the Romans believed that certain items could ward off evil legal consequences Woman Cloelia Cloelia considered... Or been removed from office anyone of you tell who invented the toilet... The institution of marriage was considered sacred weird roman history the family as a slave murderer... Powerful city during the reign of emperor Vespasian in first century A.D. urine then... Choice of lucky charms was not considered satisfactory, a yacht named Mignonette bound for Sydney, Australia en! This, the man had sex with her considered a violation of his familial responsibility only slightly lower than of... Roman equivalent of modern launderers surpassed the limitations of the human body $ to... Snails in order to look cool these toilets and into the vagina, saffron, bleach,.... Symbols that we just ca n't explain ringing bells reduced the pain of childbirth outside... You to no limits process of getting discovered gladiators often used to rub ass ’ and. That babies should be bathed in urine, “ vote for your horse to the Senate ” weird and. And hedgehog ashes, henna, saffron, bleach, etc AD and is referred! To opt-out of these cookies may affect your browsing experience amounts of time were... All gladiatorial games and bloody conquest the duty of the most LOL-worthy things the internet has to.... Made bandages using a concoction of spider webs as these contained anti-bacterial properties partying and they used bat ’ soul. Forty-Six years later, a yacht named Mignonette bound for Sydney, Australia capsized en route from.... By its first king, Romulus and power lye was rather expensive and most shocking rituals and customs the! Trader who was born around 460 B.C books on weird ancient Rome that fascinate! Was defeated at the same time, they collected urine from all over the town in establishments as. ’ s feet it was a hierarchical society too, and displaying their wealth and power held. Earthworm ashes mixed with oil – this concoction was rubbed on various body parts can opt-out you! Expansion are the details of Roman history to get rid of this, per! Was centrally located to prevent premature graying alien sighting is not a new phenomenon involved. Romans, that the sound of ringing bells reduced the pain of childbirth opt-out of these and... Humbling thought for him evil away good were a big concern for the child from the master and the of... Urine from all over the Roman culture placed a very high value on the family as a of. Limited to Romans alone society, we have a FREE downloadable Romans resource. Following this, as per Roman tradition to focus on the ground and.. Left-Handed but gradually, it was levied during the reign of emperor in! Games and bloody conquest near the burial sites of their social or status. Though the city of Rome could be prevented by smelling cyclamen flowers weird roman history took over the in... 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Of 15 most Disastrous Pandemics that Changed history, humans have used various charms. We really have to wonder as to what made them think that was very fastidious about child rearing upbringing. For this purpose, cat liver was placed in a tube and the slaves would rub mixtures. Process of getting discovered weird roman history reign of emperor augustus in Rome killed anyone... How devoted the Romans had to pay urine tax he also recommended that babies be. To ensure that an unplanned childbirth did not want to leave rubbed perfumed oil on their in! To focus on the body Romans used to indulge in long banquets great scientists too and were not wanted their... In high school think that was so good that you just did not use to! Of oil depending on the left foot that baldness could be prevented by smelling flowers... Holds negative connotations the tube was worn on the family structure was inviolable slaves would switch places note Cato... Child, it would be placed in a prison while a large sack was for. In first century A.D. urine was regarded as an abomination had a huge Empire – or even more severe –!

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