Ancient Rome Oddities To Accompany Your Ancient Rome Armor: The Colosseum, Slaves, Etc.

Ancient Rome was a great civilization boasting of elaborate architecture and fierce fighters among other things.  However, the people of ancient Rome also had some interesting practices and modes of operating in other areas.  For example, when a baby was born, the new born was set before the father’s feet.  If the father picked up the baby, it was a sign that he acknowledged the child as his own.  If the father did not pick up the baby, it was a sign of rejection and the child was left to die.  This is only one of the many interesting aspects of the ancient Romans and there are a few more worth exploring as you will see.

One of the most commonly associated structures of ancient Rome is the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built, which could hold 55,000 people (and surprisingly enough, there was only an exit time of 3 minutes to move the masses out).  A point of interest on this topic is that there were over 9,000 animals slaughtered there on opening day.  There was also a roof covering that shaded the spectators and cook and prostitutes were present in the arches under the seats, to provide spectator satisfaction.  The Colosseum was home to numerous gladiator matches and a handful of famous fighters became known from battling in this arena.

Ancient Rome Helmet:

Ancient Rome Helmet

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Moving to another aspect of ancient Rome culture, a true indication of poverty was not owning a slave.  Slaves made up 40% of the population of ancient Rome and most people owned them.  Slaves had their hair removed to show their lowly status and they also use the hair to construct wigs for the upper class.  Slaves were either captured, won in battle, purchased from slave masters, and were often abandoned babies.  Slaves became gladiators and fought lions and rhinoceroses, as well as other gladiators, in the Colosseum, including the female slaves, and this was a common place of death for them.

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Roman Gladiator Sword:

Roman Gladiator Sword

In examining other ancient Roman practices, here are some random facts to ponder.  Forms of contraception consisted of wads of wool, olive oil, and honey.  And speaking of honey, honey bees were considered a sign of good luck.  Another esteemed animal was the eagle.  Eagles were released at an emperor’s funeral because it was believed that the bird would carry the deceased soul to heaven.  Still keeping with the theme of animals, it was believed that the best way to calm a baby was to put goat dung in their diaper, as it would soothe the child to sleep.  Fortunately, this custom is no longer in existence!

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In looking at the peculiarities of ancient Rome, it just goes to show that no matter how great a civilization is, each one is unique in their own ways.  To get better acquainted with ancient Roman ways, why not take a look at our collection of ancient Roman weapons and armor, as well as our gladiator equipment, at:  http://www.armorvenue.com/

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