11. Roman buildings stand the test of time
Roman buildings have been intact for over two millennia because of the durability of ancient Roman concrete. Modern concrete structures would only last century, at most.
12. Communal sponges in public toilets
The ancient Romans shared a cleaning tool called tersorium. It was essentially a sponge attached to a stick. It was used sort of like communal “toilet paper” in public restrooms.
13. Flamingo tongue was a delicacy
The upper class in ancient Rome consumed flamingo tongues. They were popular because of their flavor and role as a status symbol. Other parts of the bird were also popular to eat.
14. They had developed HVAC systems
Ancient Romans developed one of the earliest forms of cooling using aqueducts. Aqueducts circulated cold water to houses. They used hypocausts for heating houses and hot baths.
15. Rome had a shopping complex
A multi-storeyed shopping complex called Trajan’s Market existed in the city of Rome. The complex had many shops, warehouses, and offices. It was the hub for shopping and business.
16. Gladiators killed exotic animals for sport
Venatio was a popular form of entertainment in ancient Rome. Gladiators hunted and killed wild animals like lions, elephants, crocodiles, tigers, boars, and dogs.
17. The left hand was associated with evil
The tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the left hand originated in ancient Rome. The practice intended to protect against evil, since evil was linked to the left hand.
18. Purple was the color of royalty
Purple clothing was reserved only for Roman emperors. The Tyrian purple dye was made from a unique species of sea snail.
19. Gladiator blood was used in medical treatments
Physicians in Rome encouraged the use of gladiator blood for the treatment of numerous ailments. Physicians used the blood to treat epilepsy and infertility.
20. Citizens had to pay urine tax
There was a tax for using public urinals in ancient Rome. The collected urine was recycled for different chemical uses.
These strange, but true, facts about ancient Rome gives us a better understanding of its lifestyle, traditions, and beliefs. Even if some seem a bit bizarre, the ancient civilization has left its unique mark on history, with certain traditions still in existence today.