By J. C. McKeown
Here's a whimsical and appealing selection of bizarre evidence, unusual ideals, outlandish critiques, and different hugely fun trivialities of the traditional Romans. we have a tendency to think about the Romans as a practical individuals with a ruthlessly effective military, an exemplary felony method, and an actual and stylish language. A cupboard of Roman Curiosities indicates that the Romans have been both in a position to weird and wonderful superstitions, logic-defying customs, and infrequently hilariously derisive perspectives in their fellow Romans and non-Romans.
Classicist J. C. McKeown has geared up the entries during this unique quantity round significant themes--The military, ladies, faith and Superstition, family members existence, medication, Slaves, Spectacles--allowing for speedy looking or extra planned intake. one of the book's many gem stones are:
· Romans on city living:
The satirist Juvenal lists "fires, falling structures, and poets reciting in August as risks to existence in Rome."
· On more advantageous interrogation:
"If we're obliged to take proof from an arena-fighter or another such individual, his testimony isn't to be believed except given below torture." (Justinian)
· On dreams:
Dreaming of consuming books "foretells virtue to lecturers, teachers, and someone who earns his livelihood from books, yet for everybody else it ability surprising death"
· On food:
"When humans unwittingly devour human flesh, served through unscrupulous eating place proprietors and different such humans, the similarity to beef is usually noted." (Galen)
· On marriage:
In historical Rome a wedding may be prepared even if the events have been absent, as long as they knew of the association, "or agreed to it subsequently."
· On overall healthiness care:
Pliny caustically defined scientific money owed as a "down check on death," and Martial quipped that "Diaulus was a physician, now he is a mortician. He does as a mortician what he did as a doctor."
For somebody looking an inglorious glimpse on the underside of the best empire in background, A cupboard of Roman Curiosities bargains unending delights.
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Extra info for A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire
The Mediterranean was infested with pirates whose power was such that they not only preyed on shipping but also plundered coastal regions. Their ships were equipped with gilded sails, purple canopies, and silver-covered oars (Plutarch Life of Pompey 24). As a young man, Caesar was captured by pirates who demanded a ransom of twenty talents for his release. He felt he was worth more, so he had the demand increased to ﬁfty talents. In the thirty-eight days in which he was kept prisoner, pending the arrival of the ransom, he often told the pirates that he would come back and crucify them.
Varro reports that Rome was originally called Septimontium (“Seven Hills”). The hills usually reckoned in this group are the Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal, but there was no canonical list of seven in the classical period, largely because of the claims for inclusion of the two hills on the other side of the Tiber, the Vatican and the Janiculum, and of the Pincian to the north. , Montecitorio, Montevecchio, Monte Cenci, and, of course, Monte Testaccio) (see p.
117). , allegedly to carry on an aﬀair with Caesar’s wife. He was actually born into the aristocratic family of the Claudii, but, to further his career as a populist politician, he changed the spelling of his name to its less distinguished form and had himself adopted into a plebeian family in which his adoptive father was younger than he was (Suetonius Life of Tiberius 2). 15). 5). The Persian king Cyrus could remember the names of all his soldiers. A member of the Scipio family could call every Roman citizen by his name.