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10 Things You Didn't Know About The Romans

Hits: 7376 | Rating: (2.9) | Category: Misc. | Added by: ElectricEye
Page: 1 2 Next >   Jump to: Bottom    Last Post
Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:39:35 PM
Start with " De Bello Gallico" is an easier latin if you want to refresh the knowledge.


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.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 6:54:21 PM
@ Angilion: Good stuff; thanks. Where do you get your Roman knowledge from?


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.

Where'd you find the "barley men" and bone meal references? Very interesting info.


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.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 6:33:13 PM
Gladiators were also used as a 'sacrifice to the gods' when they were slayed save using anything else (If I remember right)


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.

Jake_Justus
Male, 50-59, Eastern US
 5436 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 7:12:53 AM

And, man, how that Caligula could dance!


bdowner60
Male, 40-49, Midwest US
 517 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 6:14:39 AM
Also had 50% tax to pay for there military and finally being a Roman citizen really meant something!

mykunter
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 2289 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 6:10:09 AM
@piperfawn

drawman61 was quoting from Monty Python: Life of Brian.

piperfawn
Male, 30-39, Europe
 3892 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 5:18:05 AM
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.

Wendypants
Female, 30-39, Canada
 2117 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 5:11:41 AM
So... a few things about Romans I didn't already know... okay.

drawman61
Male, 50-59, Europe
 6190 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 3:41:00 AM
Apart from the roads, medicine, irrigation, law and order, what have the Romans ever done for us?


Brought peace?


The aqueduct.

ferdyfred
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11683 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 3:02:43 AM
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)

Nickel2
Male, 50-59, Europe
 4719 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 2:04:30 AM
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.

Squrlz4Sale
Male, 40-49, Eastern US
 6018 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:39:29 AM
@ Piperfawn: Thanks, Piper. That sounds like good advice. (But I do love Ovid!)

piperfawn
Male, 30-39, Europe
 3892 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 1:15:27 AM
Squrlz4Sale Start with " De Bello Gallico" is an easier latin if you want to refresh the knowledge.

robthelurker
Male, 18-29, Canada
 2299 Posts
Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:41:00 AM
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.

Squrlz4Sale
Male, 40-49, Eastern US
 6018 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:44:59 PM
@ 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.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:32:37 PM
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.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:11:52 PM
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.

YugureKage
Female, 18-29, Midwest US
 1211 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:46:06 PM
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.

5Cats
Male, 50-59, Canada
 26199 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 5:59:22 PM
I was going to guess "slaves, roads & concrete"...

And orgies! Don't forget the orgies!

Squrlz4Sale
Male, 40-49, Eastern US
 6018 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 5:33:05 PM
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).

mykunter
Male, 40-49, Southern US
 2289 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 4:38:07 PM
Apart from the roads, medicine, irrigation, law and order, what have the Romans ever done for us?


Brought peace?

pfkdxius
Male, 18-29, Midwest US
 315 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 4:14:02 PM
The word for left just happens to also mean evil? Left-handers must be unlucky!

Jake_Justus
Male, 50-59, Eastern US
 5436 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 4:13:24 PM
The ancient Romans invented the apartment building (ancient tenements, actually) called "insulae" ...


Squrlz4Sale
Male, 40-49, Eastern US
 6018 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 3:55:49 PM
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.

drawman61
Male, 50-59, Europe
 6190 Posts
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 3:36:29 PM
Apart from the roads, medicine, irrigation, law and order, what have the Romans ever done for us?

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