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Surprising Roman Facts That Will Make Your Jaws Drop

Following is our collection of super amazing and curious facts and details explaining Roman. This list is intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. But nevertheless learn why is Roman so important!

roman facts
What is Roman about?

Top 10 Roman facts that will blow your mind.

  1. A roman scholar predicted microbiology over 2000 years ago, writing "there are bred certain minute creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes, but which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and cause serious diseases."

  2. Two metal detectorists who thought they'd found a stash of Roman gold coins they estimated to be worth £250,000 discovered the coins were actually a worthless prop for TV show The Detectorists.

  3. The first Roman fire brigade was created to be very lucrative. Arriving at the scene the fire fighters did nothing while a price was negotiated. Failing to reach a deal, the structure was allowed to burn to the ground after which an offer was made to purchase it for a fraction of its value.

  4. Vicodin is six times as potent as codeine, hence the name Vi(Roman numeran for six)-Codin

  5. Pink Floyd played a concert with no audience at the ampitheatre in Pompeii, Italy 1971 being the first performance to occur there since the eruption of mount Vesuvius in 79AD at the time of the ancient romans

  6. Parasite (parasitus) was an accepted role in Roman society, in which a person could live off the hospitality of others, in return for "flattery, simple services, and a willingness to endure humiliation".

  7. In 1452 a Hungarian engineer, known as Orban, offered to sell an extremely powerful cannon to the Roman Emperor. He refused, so Orban instead sold the cannon to the Ottoman emperor, who used it to breach the walls of Constantinople in 1453, which brought the end to the Roman Empire

  8. A Roman prostitute named Marozia not only was the mistress of one pope, but her bastard son, two grandsons, two great grandsons, and one great great grandson all eventually became popes. The era in which they ruled is known by scholars as the "pornocracy".

  9. The highest earning athlete of all time was a Roman charioteer named Gaius Appuleius Diocles. Adjusted, he earned approximately $15 billion in prize money alone.

  10. 14-year-old Roman Emperor Elagabalus was a cross-dressing, sex-obsessed torture fiend who may have invented the whoopee cushion. He loosed venomous snakes into gladiatorial crowds and released his pet lions and leopards into banquet halls or the bed chambers of his guests.

Data charts defining Roman

Roman figures with statistics charts presented as infographic.

roman fact data chart about Roman Emperors (and Empresses) and causes of leaving office
Roman Emperors (and Empresses) and causes of leaving office

roman fact data chart about The Roman Dynasties and the Crisis of the Third Century
The Roman Dynasties and the Crisis of the Third Century

Funny roman details

Interesting definitions that can be fact checked.

According to Josephus (80 AD), a Roman soldier lifted his robe, showed his bare ass to an audience of Jews and farted. This caused a riot. Roman leader Cumunus called in reinforcements. Up to 10,000 people died.

Mithridates VI was so paranoid of being poisoned that he slowly drank small amounts of it throughout his life in order to gain an immunity. When he was captured by the Romans, he tried to kill himself with poison but could not

The ancient Romans built statues of Hannibal Barca, the Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps and almost conquered the city, in Rome itself to advertise their defeat of such a worthy adversary

The Roman senator Lucius Licinius Crassus, who held a funeral for his pet eel. When another senator ridiculed him for this, he replied: "did you not bury three wives and not shed a tear?"

That, since Romans used daylight and darkness to determine time, an hour was 45 minutes in the winter and 75 in the summer

Sea silk is an extremely fine, rare, and valuable fabric made from the long silky filaments which are secreted by a gland in the foot of a clam (Pinna nobilis) to anchor itself to the ocean floor. The material has been used since ancient times by Greek, Roman and Chinese cultures.

Romans weaved asbestos fibers into a cloth-like material that was then sewn into tablecloths and napkins. These cloths were cleaned by throwing them into a blistering fire, from which they came out unharmed and whiter than when they went in.

Julius Caesar would personally conduct espionage on his enemies. Once, he even dressed up as a Gaul and snuck behind enemy lines. When his soldiers failed to sneak him back, he boarded a Gaul ship blockading the Romans and sailed back into Roman territory without anyone noticing.

Roman Emperor Caligula was told that he had "no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae". He then built a two-mile temporary floating bridge and walked his horse across.

The Romans had a December holiday of merrymaking and gift-giving from 500 BC.

The highest paid athlete of all time was a Roman Charioteer. If he had lived today he would have been worth $15 billion.

About Arminius, a Germanic child slave in Rome, who joined the Roman army to be free, eventually rose to knighthood, and when sent by Rome to Germania to conquer the tribes, instead secretly united the Germans under his own leadership and gave Rome its biggest defeat.

The Ancient Romans had a method for choosing the best puppies out of a litter which involved surrounding a litter with an oil-soaked string and setting it on fire. The mother dog would jump over the ring of flames and rescue each puppy one by one, it was believed, in order of their merit.

The oldest unopened wine bottle in the world is from a 4th century Roman tomb

In an attempt to protect himself from being poisoned Mithridates VI of Pontus gradually drank poison to become immune to its effects. When he attempted to commit suicide to avoid being captured by the Romans, he failed to die due to his immunity.

After the fall of the Roman Empire the technology to make concrete was lost for 1000 years.

Honey made from poisonous flowers was used to defeat an invading Roman army in 67 B.C.

The Roman Catholic Church stated in 1950 that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

The Romans were aware that lead mining and lead pipes were toxic, but they did not connect that toxicity with lead cooking vessels

The highest paid athlete of all time was a Roman charioter who would be worth $15 billion in today's money.

A furious riot that killed upwards of thirty thousand people in ancient Rome was started when a Roman soldier bared his rear and farted toward an audience of Jews celebrating Passover. This is also considered by many to be the first recorded "mooning".

When Julius Caesar died, he left today's equivalent of about $270 to each and every Roman citizen.

There is a surviving fantasy novel written in the 2nd century AD in Roman Syria that features explorers flying to the moon, a first encounter with aliens, interplanetary war between imperialistic celestial kingdoms, and the discovery of a continent across the ocean

A Roman Mile was defined as 1,000 paces. Armies would leave mile markers every 1,000 steps as they marched; as a result, well-fed armies marching at a fast pace marked longer miles.

Ancient Christians made Jesus's birth date the same day as the roman holiday Saturnalia in an attempt to convert Pagans to Christianity. Nowhere in the Bible did it actually state that this was when Jesus was born.

Roman infographics

roman fact infographic about Reigns and deaths of the Roman Emperors
Reigns and deaths of the Roman Emperors

roman fact infographic about Are Scottish Battlefields near Roman roads?
Are Scottish Battlefields near Roman roads?