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The Most Messed-Up Stuff About The Roman Empire

It was the time of coliseums, togas, and legionnaires. It was the time of slaves, masters, education, technology, and art. Vesuvius erupted, Britain was conquered, Nero's Rome burned, the Good Emperors ruled, and the gods flourished. Think of Rome, and you're probably thinking of this period. But an empire is as an empire does, of course, and these days were also characterized by brutality, oppression, conquest, and death. It shouldn't surprise you that some pretty horrific things happened...

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    • Roman Emperors
    • Ancient Rome
    • World History
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The Most Messed-Up Stuff About The Roman Empire
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    Messed Up Things In The Roman Empire

    Messed Up Things In The Roman Empire

    For almost 1,500 years, the Roman Empire romped all over the political and military landscape of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. While the last thousand years of its existence may have been shouldered by the so-called Eastern Roman Empire (better known as the Byzantine Empire), Rome arguably peaked during the first few hundred years of the first millennium: post-Republic, pre-decline.

    The Reason You'd Never Survive Life In Ancient Rome

    The Reason You'd Never Survive Life In Ancient Rome

    First, there was a high probability that if you lived in the Roman Empire you were a slave. About one in five people across the empire were slaves, and within Rome and the rest of modern day Italy that number was closer to one in three people. According to Ancient History Encyclopedia, you could end up enslaved by being a prisoner of war, kidnapped by pirates, or by being born to an enslaved person. Needless to say, life as a slave in ancient Rome was more akin to an Eli Roth movie than a costume drama. Because slaves were legally treated as property, not human beings, their owners were free to abuse or kill them without recourse from the state.

    The Bizarre Way Urine Was Used By The Ancient Romans

    The Bizarre Way Urine Was Used By The Ancient Romans

    Humans have always had an odd fascination with urine. In today's world, it's the butt of many jokes, part of extreme sexual taboos, and an elixir within a specific pseudoscientific "health" movement that won't get you a whole lot of dates. Everybody urinates multiple times every single day. Well, unless they have a serious health condition that prevents it, in which case they probably wish they could.

    The Problem With Roman Emperor Nero's Rulership

    The Problem With Roman Emperor Nero's Rulership

    The history of Ancient Rome is filled with the names of men who murdered, partied, persecuted, or otherwise used their positions to inflict as much mayhem as possible — all while convincing the people that they were immortal gods. And at the top of the list of over-the-top Roman rulers is Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, or just Nero. Depending on whom you ask, he was either a great champion of the Roman citizenry or a madman who burned down the city for reasons that made sense to him. All while, according to one apocryphal tale, he supposedly played the fiddle while Rome burned, per History.

    The Weird Thing Done With Gladiator Sweat In The Roman Empire

    The Weird Thing Done With Gladiator Sweat In The Roman Empire

    In the ancient times, Roman gladiators served as fighters that provided entertainment to the civilians of Rome. Gladiators would fight each other, or in some cases wild animals, in front of jeering crowds. Often, gladiators were prisoners who had the physical strength, but in the later years, they mainly consisted of volunteers who wanted to show their fighting skills in front of spectators, per UNRV Roman History. There are many interesting facts to learn about Roman gladiators, but one of them stands out as being unusual.

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