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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.

Caligula and cheering

Caligula was famous – according to ancient sources – for his unstable behavior. I.e. when during the games the crowd supported another team than the Emperor Caligula, he was supposed to say: “Would that the Roman people had but one neck”.

Emperor Gaius, known as Caligula

Nero charioteer

Nero often participated in the Olympic Games as a charioteer. During one of them he even carried a chariot drawn by ten horses. It did not matter to him that earlier he had criticized king Mithridates for exactly the same, claiming that just king wanted to show off. During the race, Nero dropped from the chariot and the servants had to help him get back to the platform.


Pension of Diocletian

Diocletian who introduced the principle of the rule of tetrarchy ruled in 284-305 CE. He remained in charge until he was confident enough to abdicate; then he ordered his aide Maximian to do likewise. Diocletian began the life of an ordinary citizen. For seven years he lived in his magnificent palace in Split (Croatia).


Nero exercises

Neron, as a true music lover and singer, not wanting to lose his great voice did not give up any exercises that professional singers did. Exercises used by him are: lying on the back with flat pieces of lead on the chest, using an enema, taking antiemetics, using a diet that excludes apples and other fruits that are said to have a bad effect on the voice color.


Tiberius and Apoxyomenos

Emperor Tiberius admired very much the statue of the Lysippos – showing Apoxyomenos, an athlete cleaning his body with a wooden scraper (stryngilos). The original statue has not survived to our times. The sculpture is known for its marble copy at the Pio-Clementino Museum in the Vatican.


Disobedient son – Titus Manlius Torquatus

Livy states that during the war with Latins, Volsci and Campania in 340 BCE, Titus Manlius Torquatus, the son of consul Aulus Manlius Torquatus broke father’s order. At this time, Rome fought with tribes which used the same weapon, had the same customs and language and tactics.

Roman commander

Kill Pyrrhus!

Claudius Aelianus mentions that doctor of Pyrrhus – Cineas, wrote a secret letter to the Roman senate and demanded money, promising to murder Pyrrhus using poison. The senators rejected his offer, saying that “for Romans know how to achieve their goals thanks to their bravery and do not fight their enemies with trick, deceit or ambush”. What’s more, they informed Pyrrhus of Cineas offer.


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