Strange Tales and Surprising Facts about Ancient Rome

1. In 173 BC, a large fleet of ships was seen in the sky near Rome.

2. Cobwebs were used to stop bleeding from fractured skulls and shaving cuts.

3. The Romans wondered whether plants enjoy travel in the same way as people do. There was a law against using magic to transfer growing crops from one place to another.

4. Faustina, the wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, had a collection of several hundred wigs.

5. The Latin word musculus means both “little mouse” and “muscle”, since muscles rippling under the skin were thought to be like little mice.

6. The emperor Commodus frequently fought as a gladiator, armed with iron weapons, whereas his opponents had lead ones.

7. A person found guilty of parricide was sewn up in a sack with a dog, a rooster, a viper, and a monkey, and thrown into the sea.

8. Kissing a she-mule on the nostrils cures hiccups and sneezing.

9. Even though the Romans had no stirrups, Julius Caesar could ride at a gallop with his hands behind his back.

10. The emperor Maximinus was said to have drunk seven gallons of wine per day and to have been eight feet, six inches tall.

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