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Curiosities of ancient Rome

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Roman silver tray

Roman silver tray, known as “Corbridge Lanx”. There are scenes from Greek mythology on the vessel. It is located in the British Museum and was found in the 18th century in northern England. Dated to the 4th century CE.

Ancient universities of law

The knowledge of the origins of universities is mostly found in the Middle Ages, referring to the founding of the first university in Bologna, which took place around 1088. Of course, this university achieved great success in the process of restoring the former splendor to the Roman legal system, represented by Irnerius and the school of glossators he founded, however, it must be realized that the ancient Romans were pioneers in the field of organized law teaching and the study of its functioning.

Roman tombstone of Gaius Valerius Taurus

Roman tombstone of Gaius Valerius Taurus. The deceased at the time of death was 30 years old and served 10 years in the 4th Macedonica legion. Object found in Mainz (West Germany) and dated to the 1st century CE.

Roman relief showing men operating crane

Roman relief from the tomb of the Haterii family. As can be seen in the bas-relief, the family was involved in construction work. We can see the building and the men operating the crane. The object is dated from the 1st-2nd century CE; now it is in the Vatican Museums in Rome.

Gaius Julius Zoilos

Zoilos was born in the first half of the 1st century BCE in the Roman city of Aphrodisias (today’s southern Turkey). The excavations carried out there over the last fifty years have revealed his magnificent tomb. At first, archaeologists thought they were dealing with an aristocratic person until an inscription was discovered identifying him as “Gaius Julius Zoilos, freedman of the divine Julius Caesar”.

Special role of Roman flamin of Jupiter

Roman priests, in addition to their cult activities, sometimes played another role – representing the function of “their” deity. A special case of such a priest was the flamin of Jupiter, the most venerable of the college of fifteen. He was concerned with observer rules, orders and prohibitions, which contained an extremely complex symbolism. On the surface it may seem that Jupiter’s flamin is a man like all the others: here he is an ordinary citizen and does not need to undergo any initiation in order to attain his dignity.

Shakespeare and Caesar

William Shakespeare, the famous English playwright, known to schoolchildren mainly as the creator of Hamlet and Macbeth, wrote many plays about the lives of historical figures, mainly of the old English kings. Among his works, however, there are also some directly related to ancient Rome, such as the drama about the life and the death of Julius Caesar. How faithfully did the writer render the events of March and the days after them? Did he change and colour the story, or did he base his work on detailed accounts of ancient historians?

Capitol – last point of defense

The Capitoline Hill was the only part of the city of Rome that resisted the invasion of the Gauls from the Po valley in 390 BCE. The Gauls decided to conquer the hill at night. For this purpose, they chose the steepest approach and the moment when the defenders, tired of prolonged fights and hunger, fell asleep. The geese, birds dedicated to the goddess Juno, had warned them of the enemy’s approach. The attack was repulsed.

About marital fidelity

There are many examples of marital fidelity in ancient Rome. Often, when one of the parties died, the other often took her own life in a gesture of despair.

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