10 Things You Didn`t Know About The Romans

Submitted by: ElectricEye 4 years ago in Misc

There"s more to the Romans than emperors, gladiators and the Colosseum.
There are 26 comments:
Male 12,365
[quote]Start with " De Bello Gallico" is an easier latin if you want to refresh the knowledge.[/quote]

One of my most prized possessions is an 1894 copy of a school textbook on Latin which uses the portion of "De Bello Gallico" that covers Britain as the example text for learning Latin.
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Male 12,365
[quote]@ Angilion: Good stuff; thanks. Where do you get your Roman knowledge from?[/quote]

Accumulation over ~30 years of reading. It stems from my Latin teacher at school. He made Latin interesting by teaching it in context as a living language, which meant that he also taught us about Roman society and Roman history. He was a brilliant teacher with an enduring passion for both his subject and for teaching it.

[quote]Where`d you find the "barley men" and bone meal references? Very interesting info.[/quote]

I watched a documentary on the gladiator graveyard you referred to. The research that you referred to got some coverage and that got me interested in the subject of gladiators and diet, which I hadn`t really given much thought to before, and I read more of the research.

I`m uncertain about some of it though. There`s talk about gladiators being fat as protection against blades, which is silly.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Gladiators were also used as a `sacrifice to the gods` when they were slayed save using anything else (If I remember right)[/quote]

Human sacrifice was hugely taboo in the Roman empire. There were rituals involving straw figures that *might* have been remnants of prehistoric Roman human sacrifice, but that was long before the first gladiator fights.

I think you might be mistakenly remembering the connection between ceremony, gladiators and death - gladiator fights were originally part of a funeral, a way of honoring the dead person with a display of skill and courage.
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Male 7,031

And, man, how that Caligula could dance!

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Male 593
Also had 50% tax to pay for there military and finally being a Roman citizen really meant something!
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Male 2,436
@piperfawn

drawman61 was quoting from Monty Python: Life of Brian.
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Male 5,165
drawman61 Civilization? Or maybe they have just open the road for the "modern world" and the "modern man". In fact all the other countries in Europe were filled by troglodytes. Yep i am talking also about you britannics and germans. What romans have done when they conquered the "world" was to bring the hope of survive with dignity for all the mens in all the places. Romans had the great geniality not only to impose their culture but also to absorb the foreign cultures and to mixing all for the good of the humanity. Maybe the last real"human"civilization in history.
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Female 2,415
So... a few things about Romans I didn`t already know... okay.
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Male 7,774
Apart from the roads, medicine, irrigation, law and order, what have the Romans ever done for us?


Brought peace?


The aqueduct.
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Male 13,630
Very good stuff,
Gladiators were also used as a `sacrifice to the gods` when they were slayed save using anything else (If I remember right)
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Male 5,872
Don`t forget `salary`. In Roman times salt (sal/sel) was a valuable commodity. A well paid man was `worth his salt`.
I had 4 years of Latin at school, most of which I thought of as a waste of time. As I got older I appreciated the significance of that learning and wish I had studied more.
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Male 6,227
@ Piperfawn: Thanks, Piper. That sounds like good advice. (But I do love Ovid!)
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Male 5,165
Squrlz4Sale Start with " De Bello Gallico" is an easier latin if you want to refresh the knowledge.
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Male 3,680
i watched star trek nemesis earlier today. anytime i hear romulans i always think about rome. hey, did you guys know picards clone is tom hardy? you know, bane from dark knight rises.
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Male 6,227
@ Angilion: Good stuff; thanks. Where do you get your Roman knowledge from? I studied Latin in high school and undergrad, but it`s been so long I`m afraid that dead language is now dead to me. (I`ve been thinking of picking up Ovid`s *Metamorphoses* lately though, so perhaps I can resurrect it.)

Where`d you find the "barley men" and bone meal references? Very interesting info.
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Male 12,365
Also, togas weren`t exactly the equivalent of business wear. Their importance was cultural and symbolic, so the reason behind wearing them was somewhat different. They showed the status of a Roman man. While the comment about the purple toga (it was actually purple and gold) is true, it didn`t go far enough. There were quite a few clothing laws for Roman men, which meant that status could be judged from it. At a glance, the wearer`s wealth and rank could be determined.

Togas were very unpopular (because they were insanely impractical), to the extent that laws were passed making it a requirement for all men who were allowed to wear one to wear one in public. The law was pretty much ignored.

Toga trivia - candidates for election wore and especially whitened toga (rubbed with ground chalk, usually), the toga candida. Which is where our word `candidate` comes from.
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Male 12,365
An addition to Squrlz4Sale`s bit about gladiators:

There are a fair few casual Roman references to gladiators that also support the idea - they were colloquially known as "barley men" because of their diet.

The evidence doesn`t show that they ate *no* meat because it`s impossible to tell that with those tests. Relatively little meat, definitely. No meat, maybe.

Calling it a vegetarian diet is inaccurate in another way - they ate ground animal bones as a calcium supplement (although they didn`t know that was why it was necessary).

The scarcity of meat in gladiators` diets was probably at least as much about cost and status as it was about health. Roman soldiers, who were also extremely fit and strong, ate loads of meat.
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Female 1,203
why was Romulus and Remus number 1? That has to be one of the most well know things about Rome. Remus is a name used in Harry Potter for cripes sake.
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Male 40,762
I was going to guess "slaves, roads & concrete"...

And orgies! Don`t forget the orgies!
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Male 6,227
I have one bit of Roman trivia I`d like to contribute.

It appears that the gladiators ate a vegetarian diet, believe it or not. Experts studying the bones of a recently discovered gladiator burial ground have found levels of strontium indicating a plant-based, no-meat diet. Levels of strontium thus achieved would have made for stronger bones and faster bone healing. The Roman gladiator schools were in business for literally *hundreds* of years, so it`s very likely they knew exactly what they were doing (even if they didn`t understand the science behind it).
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Male 2,436
[quote]Apart from the roads, medicine, irrigation, law and order, what have the Romans ever done for us?[/quote]

Brought peace?
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Male 314
The word for left just happens to also mean evil? Left-handers must be unlucky!
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Male 7,031
The ancient Romans invented the apartment building (ancient tenements, actually) called "insulae" ...

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Male 6,227
Most of this was good, with the exception of the derivation of *trivia*.

In medieval universities, the *trivium* was the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Only when these were mastered did the student progress to the *quadrivium*, which was the study of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

The "bulletins posted at intersections of three roads" thing is entirely bogus.
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Male 7,774
Apart from the roads, medicine, irrigation, law and order, what have the Romans ever done for us?
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Male 2,729
Link: 10 Things You Didn`t Know About The Romans [Rate Link] - There`s more to the Romans than emperors, gladiators and the Colosseum.
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