Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Ancient Roman mosaic of debauchery. Source: Sailko / CC by SA 3.0.

Crazy Things the Ancient Romans Did (Video)


Beneath the refined façade of ancient Rome lie intriguing, lesser-known aspects of this civilization. For ordinary Romans, purple was off-limits. This rich hue, cherished by nobility, symbolized status. Wearing it without privilege amounted to treason, with grim consequences. Roman revelry was legendary. Their extravagant feasts featured exotic dishes, from songbirds to peacocks. But it was their insatiable gluttony, marked by a peculiar practice – regurgitating food to keep eating, that astounds. Roman rulers exhibited their eccentricities. Nero's musical pursuits and Caligula's bizarre governance are well-documented. Leaders like Commodus reveled in combat, while Caracalla's short temper led to violence. Elagabalus, in contrast, indulged in debauchery.

Empress Messalina pursued over 150 lovers and challenged courtesans for endurance, resulting in a scandalous elopement and a tragic end. Romans held an odd fascination with gladiators. Women used gladiator's skin as cosmetics and believed consuming their blood could cure epilepsy. The peak of Roman eccentricity? Pursuing immortality. Emperors experimented with poisons, hoping for immunity and eternal life, but it often led to their demise. Ancient Rome, beneath its cultured veneer, harbored a realm of peculiarity.

Top image: Ancient Roman mosaic of debauchery. Source: Sailko / CC by SA 3.0.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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