10 Facts about Ancient Rome that You Didn’t Know Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Roman culture

Saluete Omnes,

I hope everyone’s week is going well. My week is going okay other than the horrible heat wave in California. So for your viewing and intellectual pleasure. I will present to you 10 Facts about Ancient Rome that will make you think, giggle, and ponder the world of antiquity.


1.The early Romans thought Christians were literally practicing cannibalism when they heard that they consumed bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.

Courtesy of Wikicommons, Lamre, and Shizhoa.

Courtesy of Wikicommons, Lamre, and Shizhoa.

2. The abbreviation SPQR can be found on many Roman statues, buildings, and military sta.ndards. It stands for “senatus populusque romanus.” meaning “The senate and people of Rome.”

3. The Romans had gods for doors (Forculus), hinges (Cardea), and thresholds (Limentinus).

4. In response to a 73 B.C. revolt against Rome by Spartacus the gladiator, 6,000 slaves were crucified.

Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus's followers on the road between Rome and Capua. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus’s followers on the road between Rome and Capua. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

5. Sometimes gladiator blood was recommended by Roman physicians as an aid to fertility

6. Some men were advised to use hippopotamus skin to make hair grow. Men and women would remove hair with bat’s blood or hedgehog ashes, or keep hair from turning gray by coloring their hair with oil mixed with earthworm ashes

7. The Romans sometimes trained some female slaves to fight as gladiators.

8. In battle, Romans sometimes grouped together and held their shields all around them in a formation called “the tortoise.

9. The Romans divided their days into 12 hours, measured by a sundial.

10. The Vestal Virgins were female priests who tended the sacred fire of Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire. If they lost their virginity, even as a result of rape, they were buried alive in an unmarked grave. In the 1,000-year history of the temple, only about 18 Vestals received this punishment (recorded).

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About the Author: Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.


  1. Caesar_Had_Epilipsy:

    I knew all of those, it’s general knowledge for Roman history.

  2. David Reynolds:


    Thanks for posting this! Question: I’ve taken a year of Latin (Wheelock’s) and need to be functional in Classical Latin & Greek to apply to a graduate Classics program I’m interested in. Could you recommend any good textbooks and/or distance learning programs to continue in Latin and begin Greek?


  3. John Merlo:

    Gratias tibi Britannia Melbourne habito in Australia — how did the ancient Romans understand each other if the ” verb ” was placed last in a sentence ie., spoken or written ?? Seems to me that one would be always waiting with baited breath for the action word to come out !! Let’s know your opinion – thanx – John Merlo .