The Romans dressed up their meals with various sauces. Get your chariots ready as we delve back in time to the land of Gladiators, togas and more Gods than you can shake a spear at! At its peak, ancient Rome was home to over one million people, a feat that would not be repeated in Europe until Industrial-era London. Often, this was worked into a facial cream. Girls, however, married much younger, as early as age 12. Women would rub the cream all over their faces, hoping the dead skin cells of a gladiator would make them irresistible to men. Boys were expected to wear their bullae until they reached adulthood while girls wore their pendants until their wedding day. As ancient Rome and the Romans is ancient to modern day people, when we study about their history, so too were the pyramids of Giza and the Egyptians to the Romans. This great empire flourished through innovation and incorporation of … In fact, there’s a Roman poem that survives today in which a poet mocks his clean-toothed enemy by saying, “The fact that your teeth are so polished just shows you’re the more full of piss.”. The Roman crowd loved exotic animals but as these animals were expensive few such fights were organized but they were great crowd-pullers. Weird as it may sound, the ancient Romans had to pay urine tax! As it is well known, Rome was built on a hilly area. The name Romulus was probably invented to fit the name of the city he was said to have founded on the ... 2. Worse than that, though, was the methane buildup—which sometimes got so bad that it would ignite and explode underneath you. Two types of residential housing were common in the city. He would be on the lookout for prospective husbands and make the necessary arrangements with the boy’s family. According to Seneca, Romans at banquets would eat until they couldn’t anymore—and then vomit so that they could keep eating. The Romans apparently believed that gladiator blood had the power to cure epilepsy and would drink it as a cure. 8 The Stages of a … In ancient Rome, pee was such big business that the government had special taxes in place just for urine sales. 9. The volcanic eruption that buried Pompeii left it wonderfully preserved for archaeologists. According to Roman writings, these would “prevent harm from coming” to the people who wore them. Even though pater familias meant “father of the family”, the father did not always occupy that role. They drank it for a little boost when they were exhausted. It had 50 to 90 million inhabitants who are roughly somewhere around 20% of the world’s population. They did not have extensive maturation rituals, and their wedding night typically functioned as their rite of passage. Children typically went to school when they turned seven. Magical spells meant to keep demons at bay have been found on the walls of bathrooms. The Roman Senate. Whatever you need a website for, create yours today with Wix: https://www.wix.com/go/infographics2019 What was life like for Roman slaves? Several Roman authors report people gathering the blood of dead gladiators and selling it as a medicine. Unlike other pets, dogs also served practical functions as hunting companions and watchdogs. A slave would commonly be beaten for various offenses. Their teacher was called a litterator who taught reading, writing, basic arithmetic, and perhaps some Greek. Alternatively, the family needed a connection in order to secure their child an apprenticeship with a master. The highest levels of education involved learning rhetoric by studying the works of great orators such as Cicero and Quintilian. In ancient Rome, the pater familias was the uncontested head of the household. Ancient Rome holds a mythic place in our imaginations. This forced the government to come up with impressive innovations such as the aqueducts and the Cloaca Maxima sewage system to deal with the ever-growing populations. Scholars still debate whether Roman girls also wore a bulla or if they had a different type of amulet called a lunula. Soon enough, a Roman adolescent could choose to become a merchant, an artist, an entertainer, or a tradesman. Emperor Tiberius: 20 Facts about Ancient Rome’s Unpopular Leader. Socially, children started to explore the world at this stage. Traditionally, the midwife placed the newborn at his feet, and only if the pater familias picked it up would the baby become a formal part of the family. Greetings Motherfactors! Penises were pretty popular in Rome. It was a fairly common Roman fashion choice for boys to walk around wearing copper penises on necklaces. Others went door-to-door with a big vat and asked people to fill it up. They would leave the house more often, spend time in the company of strangers, and even begin an education away from home if their parents could afford it. 10 Harsh Realities Of Growing Up In Ancient Rome. Despite this, people persevered. A Roman paterfamilias (the family’s oldest living male) had, in theory , the power to kill someone within his household with impunity. They went through the motions from newborns struggling to survive, to fully-fledged citizens of the Roman Empire. This was about more than looking good. In practice, however, it could be imposed on anyone that was not in the Senate’s or the Roman Emperor’s good books. Pompeii was filled with art that was so filthy that it was locked in a secret room for hundreds of years before anyone was allowed to look at it. It was located in the center of Rome. In some areas, people used urine as a mouthwash, which they claimed kept their teeth shining white. As the empire grew, so did the variety of jobs. Again, these jobs were typically available to young men with a strong education, although some of these positions were also available to educated slaves, particularly the Greeks. The gods were said to frequent the latrine in large numbers and excrement was regarded as the food of the dead. Rome has been praised for its advances in plumbing. Infants were often entertained with a rattle called a crepitaculum. He was granted complete authority both by Roman law and mos maiorum (the collection of unwritten customs and traditions). These include the wearing of white and carrying the bride over the threshold. Slightly lower down the totem pole were administrative positions within the empire: tax collectors, notaries, clerks, lawyers, teachers, etc. Others went door-to-door with a big vat and asked people to fill it up. And that was just the civilized approach—others would pull out the gladiators’ livers and eat them raw. However, after the conquest of Greece in 146 B.C., the Greek education system started spreading through the empire. The first problem was that creatures living in the sewage system would crawl up and bite people while they did their business. 1) Rome was founded in 753BC by its first king, Romulus. The building has two levels. There were people who made their living just from collecting urine. When you entered a Roman toilet, there was a very real risk you would die. Children of ancient Rome spent a lot of their free time playing with toys quite similar to ones from modern times. That’s an attractive image, but it’s hardly the worst way Romans used goat dung. After countless wars and military campaigns, it soon encompassed the whole of continental Europe around the Mediterranean basin, all of Britain, and a huge part of western Asia and northern Africa. Some kings like Lucius were not very popular and sometimes cruel to people. Ancient Rome was more densely populated than modern Manhattan. At age 15, boys passed into manhood. In Roman times, soap was hard to come by, so athletes cleaned themselves by covering their bodies in oil and scraping the dead skin cells off with a tool called a strigil. This included not only those physically living under his roof, but the wider family of brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews as well. He was even allowed to kill them, although records show this was a rare occurrence and was eventually outlawed by Augustus. Ancient Rome 101 Spanning over a thousand years, ancient Rome was a civilization of constant evolution. It was made out of wood or metal and sometimes had bells on it. Most parents would not want to jeopardize this valuable commodity by letting their daughters get too old or lose their chastity. The bulla was a pendant meant to ward off evil spirits, as well as signify the boy’s status as a freeborn citizen of Rome. Pliny wrote that the best goat dung was collected during the spring and dried but that fresh goat dung would do the trick “in an emergency.”. Another form of Roman punishment was to mark a slave's forehead. This time was spent mostly at home being looked after by parents, grandparents, guardians, and older siblings. Strangely, some Roman physicians actually report that this treatment worked. These were made out of a wide range of materials such as terracotta, wax, clay, wood, metal, and stone. The Palatino is by far the most important among the original seven hills on which Rome was built upon. The dry cleaners collected urine from the public toilets. A man from a wealthy family would likely have sex with a slave, while a commoner would visit a prostitute. They either boiled goat dung in vinegar or ground it into a power and mixed it into their drinks. They didn’t stop there, either. Some would gather it at public urinals. People would pray to Fortuna before stepping inside. Some people threw up into bowls that they kept around the table, but others didn’t let themselves get so caught up in the formalities. Archaeologists believe they were rarely, if ever, cleaned because they have been found to be filled with parasites. This wasn’t even a poor man’s solution. Wooden swords were also common so they could pretend fight. The town was full of the craziest erotic artwork you’ll ever see—for example, the statue of Pan sexually assaulting a goat. The father had the authority to disown and sell his children into slavery should they anger him. They were granted legal privileges and responsibilities, although Roman law still considered them adolescents until the age of 25. However, Rome was much more than the foundation of democracy, emperors, and the ascent of the Roman gods. Instead, Romans waited for a week before naming the child during a celebration called the dies lustricus (“day of purification”). During Passover, Roman soldiers were sent to stand outside of Jerusalem to keep watch in case the people revolted. Several authors and poets make mention of monkeys and the mischief they caused. Life in ancient Rome was rough, especially for children. His website is regularly updated with everything he writes. As construction technology improved, so did the height of these buildings. The Trajan Market was filled with at least 150 different shops. Typically, a bulla was made out of gold but this would only be available to the wealthy elite of Rome. Wealthier ancient Romans had pipes in their walls and floors, that ran cold water from the aqueducts, as an early form of air conditioning. Fires were a common occurrence in Rome, and tenants living on the top floors were often trapped in burning buildings. Most of the gladiators who fight in this game were slaves who were sustained under harsh conditions and remained isolated throughout their lives, even after their death. The ways they used it are the last ones you’d expect. This is one of the reasons why Romans placed a high value on having sons, and male adoption was a common occurrence. Dolls and puppets were the most common toys for girls. First, they demanded that the soldier be punished, and then they started hurtling rocks at the Roman soldiers. On top of that, the town was filled with prostitutes, which gave even the street tiles their own special little touch of obscenity. Rough estimates placed literacy levels at around 20 percent, although it varied based on time period. A sixteen-year-old Roman male could pursue sexual relationships before marriage. Eventually, a shepherd found the boys and took them in as his own. Many wealthy families preferred to keep birds because they also served as a status symbol: their special dietary needs and upkeep placed them out of the range of a typical Roman family. He was granted complete authority ... 9 Receiving the Bulla. Much like a modern birthday, friends and family visited to offer the baby gifts and well-wishes. Augustus brought the legal height limit of insulae down to 70 Roman feet (20.7 meters), and Nero lowered it again to 60 Roman feet (17.7 meters) after the Great Fire. During the Golden Age of the Roman Empire, it became the area chosen by most e… Ancient Romans Socialized at Community Toilets It’s the land of historical epics like Ben-Hur and Gladiator, where men in golden armor ride chariots and emperors are fed grapes in reclining chairs. Charioteers drank it for energy. Toilets were so dangerous that people resorted to magic to try to stay alive. Even so, it pales to that of ancient Rome. Later kings expanded the group to 300 members. Image Credit: cosmicconvergence. The Jews were furious. It was first created as a 100-member advisory group for the Roman kings. Our fun facts about ancient Rome + travel tips!|Ancient Rome has always been interesting for kids, and Rome today is a cool, kid-friendly place to visit. Due to high infant mortality rates, children were not given a name when they were born. Only a privileged few got to reap the benefits of life to its fullest. It was not uncommon for an entire family to live in just one room. Some, though, came pre-equipped with statues of Fortuna, the goddess of luck, guarding them. Rome was the first modern city to reach a population of 1 million by 50 BC! They had patricians who were rich nobles and owner a lot of land. They were still presumed doli incapax, although legal evidence could be presented that said otherwise. Ancient Rome, the state centered on the city of Rome from 753 BC through its final eclipse in the 5th century AD. It lasted from birth until the age of seven, both for girls and boys. Facts about Ancient Rome 4: the gladiator blood. Our fun facts about ancient Rome + travel tips! In fact, Liberalia was associated with the older, more lavish Bacchanalia dedicated to the god of wine and fertility, Bacchus. Roman women had limited rights as citizens. According to Pliny the Elder, people in Rome patched up their scrapes and wounds with goat dung. Their jobs were terrible. Some Interesting Facts about Rome in Modern Times. Each public toilet, which was shared with dozens of other people, would have a single sponge on a stick that you used to wipe yourself. In ancient Rome, the pater familias was the uncontested head of the household. The most prestigious positions were in politics, but these were normally reserved for the elite and required an extensive education. Sharp curves and rickety bridges in Rome often had a penis drawn on them to grant good luck to every passerby. Roman medicine also had its fair share of eccentricities. “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. When they got their first look at it, though, the archaeologists found things that were so obscene that they hid them from public view. The most popular sauce was a fermented fish sauce called garum. As the mosaics in Pompeii showed, more than a few Roman houses came with the inscription “Cave canem”—“beware of dog”. Hoops, kites, balls, and spinning tops were common toys available for children of all ages. 2) By AD 117 the Roman Empire included the whole of Italy, all the lands around the Mediterranean and much of … A Roman childhood had several clearly defined stages, both from a social and a legal perspective. For example, they’d clean their clothes in pee. Most of the population, however, was crowded into apartment blocks called insulae. Adultery was typically regarded only between a married man and a Roman wife or unmarried daughter. Workers would fill a tub full of clothing and pee, and then one poor soul would be sent in to stomp all over the clothing to wash it out. Rome holds the unique distinction of recording the first mooning in history. The ultra rich also had villas outside the hustle and bustle of Rome. At the heart of it all was Rome, the epicenter of the world. Ancient Rome is one of the biggest cradles of civilization in human history. The social status of a boy’s family usually dictated what kind of job he could be eligible for once he became a teenager. The floor you lived on was often inversely proportional to your social status. It also meant that Rome was one of the most crowded places to grow up in. The myth is confirmed by historical findings: archaeological excavations revealed that the area has been inhabited since 1000 B.C. Mark Oliver is a regular contributor to Listverse. He was the only member of the family allowed to own land and was expected to represent the family in legal, business, and religious affairs. Third-century records show there were around 44,000 insulae in Rome. 10 Being Welcomed into the Family. The rich could afford a domus—a large house with multiple rooms, an interior courtyard, and, in some cases, shops that faced outside called tabernae. Even if they were lucky enough to survive for more than a few years, they had to look forward to a life filled with grueling or dangerous work for little reward. In Josephus’s own words, the soldier lifted “up the back of his garments, turned his face away, and with his bottom to them, crouched in a shameless way and released at them a foul-smelling sound where they were offering sacrifice.”. The first period was known as infantia. A slavehad no rights whatsoever and was literally treated as merchandise. In some homes, people would just throw up right there on the floor and go back to eating. His writing also appears on a number of other sites, including The Onion's StarWipe and Cracked.com. According to Pliny, nobody loved to drink goat dung more than Emperor Nero himself. Romans took excess to new levels. The bottom floor was taken up by tabernae and other places of business. His writing also appears on a number of other sites, including The Onion’s StarWipe and Cracked.com. During most of the Roman Republic, education remained an informal practice involving parents passing down knowledge to their children. The most accessible choice for most Roman freemen was to join the army. Mark Oliver is a regular contributor to Listverse. They were also a little strange, like, “vote for your horse to the Senate” weird. Understanding people in the past can be fun, learning about ancient Rome is interesting and enjoyable. 2. Real life in Rome, though, was quite a bit less glamorous. A slave could also be forced to carry a piece of wood round his neck. The slaves are the people you really need to feel sorry for, though. His website is regularly updated with everything he writes. The Romans loved the bloody fights of the gladiators because they personified the martial ethics of ancient Rome. Girls older than 12 were suitable for marriage. It is very weird to know that the ancient Romans believed that the gladiator blood cured epilepsy. Rome responded to it with ambivalence: although Greek doctrina was attractive, it was also the culture of the defeated and enslaved. And it’s a shame that facts like these seldom get repeated because the image of Rome we're otherwise left with is simply incomplete. Some insulae could reach eight or nine stories. In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC), Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC) and Roman Empire (27 BC–476 AD) until the fall of the western empire. It seems that even in ancient times, people were amused by the antics of our simian cousins. In ancient Rome, pee was such big business that the government had special taxes in place just for urine sales. Sometimes, they even wore them around their necks. A slave caught committ… The early Romans adopted culture from their neighbors, the Greeks, and Etruscans, in particular, but imprinted their unique stamp on their borrowings.The Roman Empire then spread this culture far and wide, affecting diverse areas of the modern world. Some of them even had articulated limbs, while others could be dressed and accessorized with jewelry. Their potential marriage was seen as a rare opportunity to climb the social ladder. As with many societies, education in ancient Rome was mostly available to the rich. Reaching sexual maturity was an important stage in the life of Roman adolescents. Rome started off as a small town on the banks of the Tiber in central Italy at the beginning of the eighth century BC. To this day, you can walk through Pompeii and see a sight Romans would enjoy every day—a penis carved into the road with the tip pointing the way to the nearest brothel. As so often when happens when looking backward into history, we see Rome as a mirror of our own time. In the words of Seneca: “When we recline at a banquet, one [slave] wipes up the spittle; another, situated beneath, collects the leavings [vomit] of the drunks.”, Romans didn’t have Band-Aids, so they found another way to patch up wounds. By the fourth century BC, the story was accepted … Instead, they displayed them proudly. One of Rome’s least popular, Emperor Tiberius was forced into leadership, but spent much of his time living remotely on the island of Capri. However, these positions were typically passed down from father to son. On the battlefield, the Romans were a force the world had never seen before, an unparalleled war machine that could sweep through cities and absorb entire countries into its borders. The first couple of stories had more spacious and more expensive apartments. This was also a good way for the lower classes to secure a steady income and even earn land once their 25-year service was over. The history of the Roman Senate goes as far back as the history of Rome itself. Cats were common pets, as were various Old World monkeys such as Barbary macaques. 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When the kings were expelled from Rome and the Republic was formed, the Senate became the most powerful governing body. The sponge would never get cleaned—and you shared it with everybody else there. There were people who made their living just from collecting urine. Roman punishment actually varied depending on one's position in Roman society. Some would gather it at public urinals. This humiliating form of punishment was called the furca. Male children did not really have to concern themselves with marriage since men typically married in their mid-twenties. Indeed, much Greek culture was brought to Rome in the aftermath of military victories, as Roman soldiers returned home not only with works of art but also with learned Greeks who had been enslaved. It grew into a rich and powerful city during the next few hundred years. Both these kinds of relationships were considered acceptable for men even after marriage. No other civilization in human history has fascinated the world quite like the Roman Empire. The Ancient Rome Facts That Nobody Shares. Romans started placing more importance on education, and tutors became more accessible as many of them were slaves. In the course of centuries Rome grew from a small town on the Tiber River in central Italy into a vast empire that ultimately embraced England, most of … Which is nothing compared to how they cleaned their teeth. At age 12 or 13, children who could afford an advanced education would go to a “grammar school”, taught by a grammaticus. Usually, the dead skin cells were just discarded—but not if you were a gladiator. Male children also received a bulla at this celebration. Most girls had little say regarding their future husbands. This was used by politicians to gain popularity with the lower class. As the floors kept climbing, they not only got more cramped but also more dangerous. Board games were popular with young and old alike. In fact, Romans going to the bathroom would carry special combs designed to shave out lice. Besides leaving behind their bulla, they also underwent a wardrobe change—they replaced their “toga praetexta” with the “toga virilis”—the plain white toga worn by adult males. They were meant to keep the peace, but one soldier did a little bit more. The wedding featured numerous customs which evolved over the centuries, and some are still found today. 1. Their cities had public toilets and full sewage systems, something that later societies wouldn’t share for centuries. Other games included hide-and-seek, leapfrog, and terni lapilli (tic-tac-toe). Facts about Ancient Rome 3: the shops in the Trajan Market. Until the ages of 12 and 14 for girls and boys, respectively, children were impuberes, or pubertati proximus in the cases of those close to reaching the threshold. Interesting Facts About Roman Law The Romans had three branches of government including the legislative assemblies (branch of the people), the senate (branch of the nobles and patricians), and the consuls (executive branch). In a time before modern sanitation and medicine, getting through an average day was a difficult task—and far more disgusting than you could ever imagine. According to the myth, it was here that Romolo decided to found Rome. Girls from wealthy families usually married younger than girls from working class families. Soon a full-on riot broke out in Jerusalem—and a gesture that would live on for thousands of years was born. It was founded in the 8th century BC, and it lasted all the way to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5h century AD. The worst part came when you finished. Legend says that Romulus and his twin brother Remus were raised by a she-wolf after being abandoned in the Tiber river. The inhabitants of ancient Rome had a sewer goddess (Cloacina), a toilet god (Crepitus, also the god of flatulence), and a god of excrement (Stercutius). Romans celebrated the coming of age of young men at the Liberalia, a festival marked by food, wine, song, and dance. The public toilets were disgusting. This was so popular that when Rome banned gladiatorial combat, people kept the treatment going by drinking the blood of decapitated prisoners. They claim to have seen people who drank human blood recover from their epileptic fits. Like most of their life’s decisions, this one was made by the pater familia. For instance, we still have colosseums and satire for entertainment, aqueducts to supply water, and sewers to drain it. The gladiators who lost became medicine for epileptics while the winners became aphrodisiacs. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish priest, wrote the first description of a mooning while describing a riot in Jerusalem. 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