A Roman Soldier’s Fart Led to the Death of 10,000 People!
Farts are controversial things. Sometimes they lead to arguments, and between young siblings or friends they may even provoke a punch (with some giggles); but there are at least a couple of times in history when farts were taken seriously. So serious in fact that they led to extreme acts of violence!
In a 75 AD text called The Jewish War , Josephus (37-100) describes an anti-Semitic Roman soldier whose public flatulence led to the death of 10,000 people. Josephus writes that the Roman soldier was in front of a group of Jewish people celebrating Passover when he “pulled back his garment, and cowering down after an indecent manner, turned his breech to the Jews, and spake such words as you might expect upon such a posture.”
In an angered response, some of the Jewish people began throwing stones at the soldier and his colleagues. When backup arrived at the Temple, a riot ensued, and many of the people who died were Jewish people who perished when they were trampled as they tried to flee the Roman Army.
‘The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.’ 1867 painting by Francesco Hayez. ( Public domain )
Further back in time, a fart sparked a major revolt in ancient Egypt. Greek historian Herodotus wrote that in 569 BC a general named Amasis was sent to suppress a rebellion among some agitated troops. But instead of quashing the mutinous rebels, Amasis was crowned as their new king.
Pharaoh Apries discovered what had happened and sent an advisor named Patarbemis to confront his former general and ordered the traitor to turn himself over to the king. As the advisor scolded Amasis, the defiant general promptly lifted his bottom, farted, and told Patarbemis to “carry that back to Apries.”
When Patarbemis told Apries what had occurred, the king had his messenger’s nose and ears cut off. This brutal act provoked even more anger against the king, and he was eventually torn apart by a mob, as Amasis reigned over Egypt officially from 569 to 525 BC.
Top Image: A Roman soldier’s fart sparked a riot that killed 10,000 people! Source: Fxquadro/ Adobe Stock