This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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.

Pompey was organizing great games

Gnaeus Pompey was famous for hosting on a huge scale games with wild animals. When he became a consul, he took care of the construction of the theater, where he exhibited mimic, music and wild music contests, including elephants. According to Plutarch, 500 lions were also supposed to die there. If it’s about bloody animal shows, the bears were fighting buffalo, buffalo with elephants, rhinoceros elephants.

Gnaeus Pompey the Great

Roman cement strengthened with wine

Lucius Aurelius Avianius Symmachus – Prefect of Rome from 364 CE – supervised the constructions under water. In order to achieve cement strength under water, some amount of wine was added to it.

Roman cement consisted of pieces of volcanic tuff and bricks connected  with a lime-lime mortar

How did Romans greet and say goodbye?

If you want to say hello in ancient Rome, it would be enough to say Salvē (in case of one recipient) or Salvēte, if we would welcome a larger group of people. Naturally, you could also use the word Avē. Avē and Salvē can simply be translated as “Hi”.

Statue of Octavian from Prima Porta

Swastika – symbol of happiness and prosperity

Swastika, as a result of Hitler and Nazi Germany, became a symbol of hatred and racial segregation. Not many however realize that 卐 symbol was already used in ancient times, all around the world, and had a completely different meaning.

Swastika on a Roman mosaic shown with a fish and the inscription FELIX  meaning happy

Boxing was a popular sport in Rome

Boxing (pugilatus) was a popular sport in ancient Rome. In order to protect the hands from damage, fists were wrapped with leather thongs. With time, the harder skin was used, which increased the strength of the blow and caused more damage. Boxing came to Rome from the Greek culture, but their innovation was to “improve” the straps that wrap the fists by attaching nails and other sharp metal parts or mounting metal plates. The Roman glove was called cestus.

Fragment of the Boxer sculpture from the Quirinal

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: