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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Ancient stories)

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.

Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus – son-soldier of Cato the Elder

Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus was one of the sons of the famous Cato the Elder known as the Censor, who became famous for his ruthless attitude towards Carthage and an extremely strict approach to life. Licinianus was born in 192 BCE and he an example of a young Roman who came from the upper classes of society. As his father was a distinguished soldier for the Republic, a Roman tradition called for his son to follow in his footsteps.

Nero – organist

When Ctesibius, a 3rd century BCE Alexandrian mathematician, was constructing his hydraulis, the first water organ in history, certainly no one predicted him great successes. The instrument, intended as a syringa with a mechanical blast, initially functioned only as a technical curiosity. However, it took only two centuries for the music flowing from metal pipes to make a Mediterranean career – organ music is already mentioned with approval by Cicero himself (Tusc. III. 43).

Strong words of Appius Claudius Caecus

Appius Claudius Caecus (“the blind” – he received the nickname for having lost his eyesight at the end of his life) was a Roman politician and statesman, living between the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. He belonged to a wealthy and influential family. He has had many functions in his life; he was: a curule edile, quaestor, military tribune, consul, censor, praetor, dictator and interrex (in the absence of consuls). Due to his achievements for the Republic, he was highly respected in his homeland.

Expedition of merchant Alexander

From the beginning of the 1st century CE, Roman society, and especially aristocratic families demanded more and more luxury goods imported from India. Among the Romans, pepper, ginger, all kinds of spices and exotic animals in the form of elephants or monkeys were in demand. This resulted in a huge increase in Roman trade expeditions to India, but they focused mainly on the west coast of the peninsula.

Galerius – tricky cabbage seller

In 294 CE king of Persia – Narseh, son of the great Shapur I, led a surprise invasion of the Roman Empire. Galerius in the office of Caesar, with the help of smaller forces, delayed the Sassanid attack while awaiting the arrival of Augustus’ reinforcements Diocletian.

Unusual legionnaire Aquila

During the war between Macrinus and Elagabalus, the Battle of Immae in 218 took place. The Praetorians were to face the famous Legio II Parthica. This battle was unusual from the beginning: Cassius Dio reports that the emperor ordered his army to fight without armour. Despite the lack of armour, the praetorians forced the army of the usurper, but for some reason, Macrinus chickened out and fled the battlefield, thanks to what Elagabalus finally won (Cassius Dio LXXVIII 37).

Trajan’s dream

Trajan is considered one of the best Roman emperors in history. During his reign, the Roman Empire reached its military and territorial peak. What distinguished Trajan was the fact that he greatly respected the Senate, what after years of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, was not something obvious.

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