By J. C. McKeown
Here's a whimsical and attractive number of strange evidence, unusual ideals, outlandish reviews, and different hugely fun trivialities of the traditional Romans. we have a tendency to ponder the Romans as a realistic individuals with a ruthlessly effective military, an exemplary felony method, and an exact and chic language. A cupboard of Roman Curiosities exhibits that the Romans have been both able to strange superstitions, logic-defying customs, and sometimes hilariously derisive perspectives in their fellow Romans and non-Romans.
Classicist J. C. McKeown has geared up the entries during this exciting quantity round significant themes--The military, girls, faith and Superstition, kinfolk existence, drugs, Slaves, Spectacles--allowing for speedy searching or extra planned intake. one of the book's many gemstones are:
· Romans on city living:
The satirist Juvenal lists "fires, falling structures, and poets reciting in August as risks to existence in Rome."
· On improved interrogation:
"If we're obliged to take facts from an arena-fighter or another such individual, his testimony isn't really to be believed until given below torture." (Justinian)
· On dreams:
Dreaming of consuming books "foretells virtue to lecturers, teachers, and someone who earns his livelihood from books, yet for everybody else it ability unexpected death"
· On food:
"When humans unwittingly devour human flesh, served via unscrupulous eating place proprietors and different such humans, the similarity to beef is frequently noted." (Galen)
· On marriage:
In historical 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 overall healthiness care:
Pliny caustically defined scientific accounts as a "down cost on death," and Martial quipped that "Diaulus was a physician, now he is a mortician. He does as a mortician what he did as a doctor."
For somebody 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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Extra info for A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire
When Cicero himself entered public life, his friends urged him to change his rather droll name. He is said to have replied that he would do his best to make it more distinguished than any of the great names in Rome. When he was dedicating a piece of silver plate to the gods, he had the engraver inscribe the names Marcus and Tullius, and then complete the sequence with a representation of a chickpea (Plutarch Life of Cicero 1). n a mes Greeks also could have what seem to us rather peculiar names.
128) more prosaically supposes that the ﬂower is so named because eating it causes numbness (νάρκη, narce). 95). onopordon acanthium: cotton thistle, the emblem of Scotland, derives its name from ὄνος (onos, “donkey”) and πέρδομαι (perdomai, “pass gas”). 110, in the translation of Philemon Holland ). orchid: ὀρχίς (orchis, “testicle”). 95). A variety of olive was also known in antiquity as the orchid, from the shape of its fruit. ranunculus: literally, “little frog” (rana), for no obvious reason the name of a large family of ﬂowers, including buttercups, crowfoots, and the lesser celandine.
Tunneling was an important part of siege warfare. 21). A comparable incident seems to have occurred during Livy’s own lifetime. While Octavian was besieging Perugia (see p. 193), he received unfavorable sacriﬁcial omens, but when a party of soldiers burst out from the city and carried oﬀ the sacriﬁce, they inadvertently brought the bad omens upon themselves (Suetonius Life of Augustus 96). , Lucullus’s army was impeded in its tunneling under the city of Themiscyra when the inhabitants drove bears, other wild animals, and swarms of bees into the tunnels.
A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire by J. C. McKeown