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.
Crowing of rooster was considered as a bad sign. Petronius in “Trimalchio’s feast” describes the scene, as Trimalchio, frightened by the voice of a crowing rooster, ordered to pour wine under the table and sprinkle the lamp with wine. He also translated the ring from left to right. All this to overcome the misfortune, for which the divination was considered crowing rooster.
The Battle of Naulochos in the year 36 BCE finally ended the problem with the pirates of Sextus Pompey, guaranteeing for a long time peace at sea, and thus supplies to Rome. However, Mark Antony lost on this battle.
During the civil war between Caesar and Pompey there was a surprising incident. In the year 48 BCE legio XXIV Victrix Rapax commanded by legate Gaius Antonius (brother of Mark Antony) was cut off on the island and surrounded by faithful troops of Pompey.
In 75 BCE, during his trip to Rhodes in order to study with Apollonius Molon, Gaius Julius Caesar, 25 years old back then, was kidnapped by Cilician pirates. Piracy was widespread at the Mediterranean Sea. It was greatly due to Roman elites: since the pirates provided great deal of slaves, they did not send a Roman fleet against them. Those slaves were next used as workforce at huge estates in Italy.
Marcus Atilius Regulus is one of the Roman heroes who embodied the most important virtues: bravery (virtus) and duty towards the state (officium). During the First Punic War (264-241 BCE), he fought against the Carthaginian army and even threatened the capital, Carthage. However, in the spring of the year 255 BCE there was a battle at Tunis, where the Carthaginian army completely smashed Regulus’s army and he was taken as prisoner.
Saint Augustine (354-430 CE) says the story of a Alypius, a young Christian who was pushed to saw – by his companions – gladiatorial fight. He believed that this type of entertainment is barbaric and contrary to the teachings of Christ.
When the Roman emperor Caligulaasked one of the exiles, what he was doing in exile, he replied that all this time he had prayed for death of Tiberius and ascending the throne of Caligula. The Emperor, after a moment of reflection, decided to send his agents over the islands to murder all those whom he sentenced to exile during his reign.
Suetonius indicates that the emperor Caligula was heavily mentally unbalanced. Apparently, the ruler was very worried about the fact that under his rule there was no great tragedy that would have gone down in history.
During the battle of Lake Trasimeno, a strong earthquake took place. As mentioned by Livy, the Romans and Carthaginians who were fighting at that time were so absorbed in the fight, that they did not even feel the trembling of the earth.
When Nero was a boy his favorite topic for conversations were chariot races in Circus; though he did so against the teacher’s prohibition. Once, Nero complained to another student that the driver of the Greens was dragged by a chariot on earth.
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