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January 26, 2012

Thirteen Useless Facts about Romans

Thursday Thirteen

During my latest library jaunt I picked up a copy of The Mammoth Book of Useless Information by Noel Botham. Some of the useless information relates to Romans, and since hubby and I are off to Europe later this year, I thought this would make a good TT topic.

Thirteen Useless Facts about Romans

1. Romans used to believe that walnuts could cure head ailments, since their shape was similar to that of a brain.

2. In Ancient Rome, the law stated that prostitutes were to either dye their hair blonde or wear a blonde wig to separate themselves from the respectable brunette female citizens of Rome.

3. Wealth Romans, both men and women, would have all their body hair plucked, including pubic hair.

4. Slaves generally came from conquered peoples, but even a free man unable to pay back his debts could be sold into slavery.

5. One Roman ‘cure’ for stomach ache was to wash your feet and then drink the water.

6. The Romans were the first to create sculptures that actually resembled the people they were supposed to portray.

7. In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose.

8. The ancient city of Rome was on the site of the present city of Rome.

9. They invented numerals that are still used today.

10. Capital punishment was often carried out in the amphitheatre as part of the morning entertainment. Condemned criminals faced wild animals without the benefit of weapons and armor, or had to fight other prisoners to death with swords (also without armor)

11. Rome’s Circus Maximus was the biggest stadium, with seating for 250,000, and was used mainly for chariot racing.

12. Some Roman dishes were very exotic and included teats from a sow’s udder, or lamb’s womb stuffed with sausage meet.

13. Asparagus was a prized delicacy in ancient Rome and was rushed by chariot to the Alps, where it was deep frozen for six months to last until the Feast of Epicurius – God of Edible Delicacies.

Do you think you’d like to live in Ancient Rome?


  1. Debra G

    Oh my, not sure I would enjoy some of those things.

    • Shelley Munro

      I laughed, but I’m glad I live now. The Romans probably wouldn’t approve of things we do either. :)

  2. Ron.

    Ahhhh, those were the days. That toe water cure was incomparable. And there’s no feeling like plucked pubes! Oh, how I miss those Asparagus feasts!

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL it’s good to know that you recommend the treatments!

  3. The Gal Herself

    Ron got here first and pretty much said it all. Except I wonder when a crooked nose gave way to a good head of hair as a sign of leadership.

    • Shelley Munro

      To me crooked noses mean the person didn’t move fast enough to avoid a fist or other object. Not wise in my opinion!

  4. Kimberly Menozzi

    “7. In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose.”

    Pity Stephen Fry wasn’t Roman, I reckon. ;)

    Now I’ve got ideas about Modern Rome bubbling away for a topic. If I do it, I’ll credit this post for inspiring it.

    Happy TT!

    • Shelley Munro

      Glad to be of service :)

  5. Brinda

    #3 Wow. That sounds mighty painful.
    #5. That really can’t hurt. Maybe the water settled some stomachs.

    • Shelley Munro

      Brinda, it was probably some sort of thermal water with minerals etc that did the trick.

  6. Jaycee DeLorenzo

    #5 makes me gag – I have a weird thing about feet.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Shelley Munro

      It’s not something I’d like to do. I suppose it depends how painful your stomach is!

  7. Mary Kirkland

    No, I don’t think I would want to live in that time. lol

    • Shelley Munro

      The Romans invented some great stuff like baths and plumbing. Still not tempted?

  8. Angela Brown


    What are you going to do today, dear?

    I shall attend this morning’s festivities, my love. Nothing like watching a man being torn to shreds by animals to get the appetite flowing.

    • Shelley Munro

      They say hangings were a popular social ocassions too. How times change!

  9. Alice Audrey

    So if you were born naturally blond, did you have to dye your hair or work as a prostitute?

    • Shelley Munro

      I wondered this, Alice. And here I thought blondes had more fun!

  10. Jennifer Leeland

    LOL Alice!!!

    These are great Shelley. I didn’t know that asparagus was rushed to the Alps and frozen. What a great piece of useless trivia!

    • Shelley Munro

      I thought they were fun snippets.

  11. Amy Gallow

    “The past is a country no man can visit” is a quotation from one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays. I think it comes from the one on self reliance.
    I’m not sure if it’s true, but I wouldn’t challenge it to go back to Ancient Rome, or anywhere else. I am a creature of this age and this time, having learnt how to live in it by the experience of a lifetime.
    I love to read about other time, to experience them vicariously, to learn how we came to be as we are, but that is all.
    Thanks for TT. I had a smile or two.

    • Shelley Munro

      I enjoy living in the now too, Amy, but I do find details and books about the past both interesting and fascinating.

  12. Maria Zannini

    If I lived in Roman times they’d have to take me with all my hair intact. I ain’t plucking for nobody.

    I think Botham took the part about the crooked nose out of context. Unlike the Greeks, who desired perfection and beauty, the Romans were very proud of their scars. I suppose it was a sign they survived whatever brutality they faced.

  13. Heather

    Some interesting facts, but don’t think I would want to live in that time period.

  14. sandra cox

    2. What about the respectable blonde citizens?
    3. Ouch!
    5. Ewwww
    12 Again Ewwww
    Very interesting blog, Shel:)