By J. C. McKeown

ISBN-10: 0199750521

ISBN-13: 9780199750528

Here's a whimsical and eye-catching selection of atypical proof, unusual ideals, outlandish reviews, and different hugely fun minutiae of the traditional Romans. we have a tendency to think about the Romans as a practical individuals with a ruthlessly effective military, an exemplary felony approach, and an exact and stylish language. A cupboard of Roman Curiosities indicates that the Romans have been both in a position to weird and wonderful 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 unique quantity round significant themes--The military, girls, faith and Superstition, family members lifestyles, drugs, Slaves, Spectacles--allowing for fast 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 less than torture." (Justinian)

· On dreams:
Dreaming of consuming books "foretells virtue to lecturers, teachers, and somebody who earns his livelihood from books, yet for everybody else it capacity unexpected death"

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

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

· On wellbeing and fitness care:
Pliny caustically defined clinical money owed as a "down check 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 someone 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 resources for A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire

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26 • • • • • • • • • • a c abinet of r om an c uriosities lily: not all varieties of lily cultivated in antiquity were white, but St. 18). lupin(e)s were not associated with wolves (lupi). By their bitterness they make the face of anyone who tastes them sad (St. 75). narcissus: as punishment for spurning the love of the nymph Echo, Narcissus was made to fall in love with his own reflection. ). 128) more prosaically supposes that the flower is so named because eating it causes numbness (νάρκη, narce).

41). 26 • • • • • • • • • • a c abinet of r om an c uriosities lily: not all varieties of lily cultivated in antiquity were white, but St. 18). lupin(e)s were not associated with wolves (lupi). By their bitterness they make the face of anyone who tastes them sad (St. 75). narcissus: as punishment for spurning the love of the nymph Echo, Narcissus was made to fall in love with his own reflection. ). 128) more prosaically supposes that the flower is so named because eating it causes numbness (νάρκη, narce).

Augustus was at pains to avoid all suspicion that he wished to be king, so it is ironic that our word “palace” is derived from Palatium, after the relatively modest home which he built for himself on that hill. By a similar irony, the English word “prince” is derived from the title princeps (“first man”), which Augustus adopted because of its reminiscence of the traditional Republican title princeps senatus (“leader of the Senate”). n a mes • 21 One of the derivations suggested in antiquity for the name of the Vatican hill linked it with vates “priest”—a striking coincidence, given its modern function.

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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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