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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Society)

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.

Urine in ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, urine was a versatile and valuable commodity that had many uses, from medicine to cleaning to manufacturing. While some of these uses may seem strange or even repulsive today, it’s important to remember that the Romans were skilled and resourceful people who used every resource available to them.

Public latrine in ancient Rome

Elderly people in ancient Rome

Elders played an important role in Rome, based on the privileges granted to them by Roman law. The Romans both criticized and admired the old. They treated them individually and without referring to the whole problem of old age. Problems with old age were noticed independently: demographic, political, social, as well as psychological and medical.

Bust of an elderly man - the so-called patrician of Torlonia

Theatrical masks in antiquity

The only ancient source of information about masks that were used in ancient times during theatrical performances is Julius Pollux, a Greek scientist from the 3rd century CE, who wrote the work Onomasticon. In his work, he lists a total of 44 different comic masks that could be used during the performance.

Roman mosaic showing theatrical masks

Divorce in Roman times

Divorce in Roman times has evolved over the course of history. With the development of the Roman state, the legal norms that regulated marriage issues were transformed.

Marriage on a Roman bas-relief

Romans valued the most slaves born in captivity

Ancient Romans created a society in which slavery was used to a large extent. It is worth emphasizing that the Romans valued slaves born in captivity (so-called vernae; in singular verna) the most because such people had never experienced a sense of freedom and considered their life situation to be a normal state.

Junius - slave on mosaic

Skull of defeated gladiator

Preserved gladiator skull with visible traces of a trident hit. This weapon was used by the retiarus – a lightly armoured warrior who also had a net that he threw at his opponent to restrain him. Most often, his rival was murmillo – a heavily armoured infantryman who had a helmet and a large shield.

Skull of defeated gladiator

Roman board game – Tabula Lusoria

Roman board gameTabula Lusoria. The name Tabula Lusoria is more of a broad term and in Latin, it means more or less the same as “playing field”. The game is designed for two players and consists of a special, rosette board with eight fields arranged in a circle with one central field connected to each field on the circle (see the picture) and two sets of pieces in two colours, three in each.

Tabula Lusoria

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