William Shakespeare, the famous English playwright, known to schoolchildren mainly as the creator of Hamlet and Macbeth, wrote many plays about the lives of historical figures, mainly of the old English kings. Among his works, however, there are also some directly related to ancient Rome, such as the drama about the life and the death of Julius Caesar. How faithfully did the writer render the events of March and the days after them? Did he change and colour the story, or did he base his work on detailed accounts of ancient historians?
Curiosities of ancient Rome (Unknown facts)
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.
Ancient stele funded by Seikilos, discovered at Aydın, near Ephesus, in the west of Turkey. The object is an extremely unique find, as it has the oldest musical composition in the world. The artifact is dated between 2nd BCE and 2nd century CE.
Battle of Aquae Sextiae (southern France) in 102 BCE was one of the greatest and most important victories of the Roman legions. Rome had to defend itself against the invasion of two Germanic tribes: Teutons and Cimbri, who at Arausio in Gaul in 105 BCE. they caused the Romans a great defeat. According to Titus Livius, about 80,000 Romans were to die during this battle. It was one of the greatest defeats of the Roman army in history.
Roman writers and the upper Roman classes in general, despite their privileged position, were afraid to go too far in criticizing women, as it could cost them a lot (women were treated with some respect, nevertheless, especially as long as they were able to bear children). Old women were an exception because of their social and moral consent. As the position of women grew, there were these old women portrayed as mischievous wags and witches.
From about 700 BCE the Etruscans, people who lived in Etruria (today’s Umbria and Tuscany in Italy), were the first able to create dentures and artificial teeth. The teeth were either from another person or from an animal such as an ox – they were placed in a golden rim with a metal pin/tang and fitted to the remaining teeth. Only the rich could afford such a “dentist”.
View of Vesuvius through the gate at Palestra Samnitica, in Pompeii. What is worth emphasizing, the mountain was not as visible as it is now. The inhabitants of Pompeii and the Herculaneum painted frescoes with Vesuvius, although they did not know how much of a threat this mountain had to them1.
The glass was not an invention of the Romans. In many ancient lands, efforts were made to find light-transmitting material that could be used to cover window openings, previously covered with wooden blinds. Various materials were experimented in the Hellenic world: grease-soaked cloth, thin plaster tiles, mica and a horn. For hundreds of years wealthy people have advised you in this way. However, as glass was learned over time, it began to displace other materials.
Sophists were concerned with making speeches that moved crowds, although they often concerned fictional situations or events from the past. It wasn’t necessarily what the rhetorian said, but how he says it. Speaking skills were highly valued in both the Greek and Roman worlds.
Is there any document or work whose author was Cleopatra VII preserved to our times? According to later Arab sources, the last queen of Egypt, apart from her beauty, was also distinguished by intelligence and broad knowledge. She was reportedly the author of works on medicine, pharmacy, toxicology and cosmetology. Naturally, however, none of the works has survived to our times. However, we have another very interesting archaeological material.