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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.

Romans wore wigs

Wigs were worn in ancient Rome. Julius Caesar reportedly wore a wig and a laurel wreath to hide his progressive baldness. The Emperor’s wife herself Marcus AureliusFaustina the Elder (c. 100-141 CE) – had an impressive collection of at least 300 wigs.

Fresco from Villa Arianna (Stabie), showing a Roman woman correcting her hairstyle. Painting dated to the 1st century CE.

Superstitions of Romans were really strange

Romans were very superstitious. They believed in many things that they could not logically explain. For example, the old superstition was known – kissing a female mule in the nostrils cured hiccups and a runny nose. It was also believed that some people were capable of hurting others just by looking at them. Such superstition was called the “evil eye”.


Price of slaves in ancient Rome

The price of slaves in ancient Rome varied greatly. After a victorious military campaign, in which many slaves were captured, the price was naturally low due to the multitude of goods. Plautus (c. 250 BCE – 184 BCE) mentions that the conservative Cato the Elder was willing to pay between 500 and 1500 denarii for a slave.

Slave market, Gustave Boulanger

What games did Romans play?

Roman children played games similar to those we know today. They probably played a variant of hopscotch, they competed in tug of war, tug of war or hide and seek. Paper, scissors and stone were played in Rome and Egypt. The boys probably played war with the use of wooden swordtails and recreated the siege of Troy, popular in ancient times.

Fresco showing the ancient Romans playing soccer.

Poverty in ancient Rome

According to Carl Gustav Jung, the individual culture of antiquity was higher and more developed than the modern one, at the price of a collective culture, which was handicapped compared to our times. For wonderful literary works by people like Cicero, multitudes of slaves had to work, whose efforts guaranteed the well-being of the upper classes.

Roman piggy bank in the shape of a homeless girl reaching for coins

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