Download e-book for iPad: A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and by J. C. McKeown

By J. C. McKeown

ISBN-10: 0199750521

ISBN-13: 9780199750528

Here's a whimsical and fascinating selection of extraordinary evidence, unusual ideals, outlandish critiques, and different hugely a laugh trivialities of the traditional Romans. we have a tendency to give some thought to the Romans as a practical individuals with a ruthlessly effective military, an exemplary criminal approach, and an actual and chic language. A cupboard of Roman Curiosities exhibits that the Romans have been both in a position to strange superstitions, logic-defying customs, and infrequently hilariously derisive perspectives in their fellow Romans and non-Romans.
Classicist J. C. McKeown has equipped the entries during this exciting quantity round significant themes--The military, ladies, faith and Superstition, family members lifestyles, medication, Slaves, Spectacles--allowing for speedy looking or extra planned intake. one of the book's many gemstones are:

· Romans on city living:
The satirist Juvenal lists "fires, falling constructions, and poets reciting in August as risks to lifestyles in Rome."

· On stronger interrogation:
"If we're obliged to take facts from an arena-fighter or another such individual, his testimony isn't really to be believed except given less than torture." (Justinian)

· On dreams:
Dreaming of consuming books "foretells virtue to lecturers, academics, and a person who earns his livelihood from books, yet for everybody else it capacity surprising death"

· On food:
"When humans unwittingly consume human flesh, served by means of unscrupulous eating place vendors and different such humans, the similarity to beef is frequently noted." (Galen)

· On marriage:
In historic Rome a wedding may be prepared even if the events have been absent, as long as they knew of the association, "or agreed to it subsequently."

· On well-being care:
Pliny caustically defined clinical debts as a "down check on death," and Martial quipped that "Diaulus was once a physician, now he is a mortician. He does as a mortician what he did as a doctor."

For an individual looking an inglorious glimpse on the underside of the best empire in historical past, A cupboard of Roman Curiosities bargains never-ending delights.

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Additional info for A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire

Sample text

Polybius’s wording is a bit misleading: A suit of Roman armor made of crocodile skin. t he a rmy • 43 although they were proud of their ability to defeat enemies, such as the Gauls and Germans, who were physically much larger than themselves, the Romans were more than eighteen inches tall. Slingers from a particular region of western Greece used a triple strap in their slings, rather than a single one, so that they could throw stones just as accurately as arrows are shot from a bow. 29). One of the Vindolanda Tablets (see p.

N a mes Greeks also could have what seem to us rather peculiar names. The Spartans Sauras (“Lizard”) and Batrachos (“Frog”) built the temples in the Portico of Octavia in Rome. 42). • 23 There are several lizards and frogs lurking in the foliage on the lower frieze on the outer screen surrounding the Ara Pacis (the Altar of Augustan Peace). One of the many tombs that line the Via Appia is that of Publius Decimius Philomusus. Philomusus means “Lover of the Muses,” but an alternative meaning, “Lover of Mice,” is playfully suggested by the engraving of two mice nibbling at a cake.

They could give evidence in court without taking an oath. They were allowed to ride through Rome in wheeled carriages. Even the highest magistrates had to give way to them. If they accidentally met a criminal on his way to execution, he was spared. For a vestal virgin to be convicted of sexual misconduct was a rare but momentous event. Such occurrences are recorded particularly often at times of military crisis, and the punishment of the vestal(s) concerned was part of a ritualistic purification of the state.

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A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire by J. C. McKeown


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