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Curiosities of ancient Rome (People)

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.

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”.

Lucius Papirius Cursor, his nickname and training

Lucius Papirius Cursor (c. 365 – after 310 BCE) was one of the most valued and respected Romans in history. He held the office of consul five times and was a dictator twice. It was thanks to him that the Romans won the so-called Second Samnite War (326-304 BCE) and took revenge for the shameful defeat of the Caudine Forks in 321 BCE. Lucius Papirius Cursor received his nickname Cursor (“Runner”) because of his outstanding speed and efficiency in running.

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.

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus – censor who gone mad

Quintus Fulvius Flaccus was the son of a four-time consul of the same name. In 182 BCE he became a praetor in Spain, where he won a series of victories over the Celtoiber people. In 179 BCE, he became a consul in Rome, and in 174 he was elected a censor.

Plutarch on Lucius Cornelius Sulla

“Sulla is a mulberry sprinkled o’er with meal” – this is how Lucius Cornelius Sulla was ridiculed by mocking Athenians1. It was an allusion to his red face and a harsh rash against which piercing blue eyes gleamed. How does he describe the life of this Roman chief, Plutarch?

Quintilian – outstanding educator and rhetorician

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (approx. 35 – approx. 96 CE) became famous for his work “Institutes of Oratory”, on which many a humanist grew up. Quintilian taught the rhetoric for which he became famous in the Roman Empire, but he was also an outstanding educator. The scientist raised problems that concern modern people and that is why his thought is valid.

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