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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.

Infanticide in ancient Rome was accepted

In ancient Rome, infanticide was a common practice. A child’s first days in the world have always been uncertain; in antiquity, many children did not survive even a few days due to heavy childbirth, diseases and poor health. Hence, they waited to give a name to the child. At times, the child may have been deliberately rejected by the parents.

Provinces over the years

One of the compelling reasons for Roman supremacy in antiquity was the large-scale conquest and provinces of new lands. The concept of a province is derived from the Latin provincia, i.e. the responsibilities of the governor in charge of the new territory.

Reconstruction of Trajan nymphaeum in Ephesus

Reconstruction of the Trajan Nymphaeum (Nymphaeum Traiani) in Ephesus (western Turkey). The building was commissioned by the local aristocrat Tiberius Claudius Aristion around 114 CE, in honor of the goddess Artemis and Emperor Trajan.

Who could serve in Roman legions?

Many fans of Roman films are astonished by the ideas of the producers that in the Roman army they placed soldiers from different continents. The rule was that only a Roman citizen could serve in the army, i.e. in the Roman legions. However, obtaining citizenship was not an impossible task.

Roman castellum Celemantia

Roman castellum Celemantia in Slovakia, at the Danube. Castellum is hard to define unequivocally. In sources it was described as a fortification, fort or fortress, which in practice also served as a watchtower.

Castellum is a word derived from a diminutive of castrum, or Roman camp – the so-called “little fort”. This is mentioned, among others, by Vegetius: “And if no ancient fortifications are to be met with, small forts must be built in proper situations, surrounded with large ditches, for the reception of detachments of horse and foot, so that the convoys will be effectually protected. For an enemy will hardly venture far into a country where he knows his adversary’s troops are so disposed as to be ready to encompass him on all sides”1.

Strange openings on Macellum columns in Pozzuoli

Puteoli or today’s Pozzuoli. Known mainly for the nearby layers of volcanic sand called “pozzolana”. Once a magnificent Roman port on the Gulf of Naples. Many different buildings have been preserved there from Roman times. One of such places is Macellum the market.

Roman bust of elegant woman

Roman bust of an elegant woman, with a hairstyle typical of the aristocracy at the turn of the 1st-2nd century CE. The high social position is indicated not only by the hairstyle, but also by the hair tiara. The sculpture is located in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Caesar’s unrealized plans

Many historians consider the murder of Julius Caesar to be one of the most important turning points in the history of civilization. Some go further and ask what would have happened to Rome without the murder, or what would have happened if Caesar had survived. Thanks to the preserved texts from that time, we have some insight into Caesar’s plans, which were ultimately never realized.

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