Curiosities

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Trial of Publius Sulla

In 62 BCE Publius Sulla was accused together with his brother Servius by Lucius Torquatus – son of his rival for the office of consul in 65 BCE – for participation in the Catilinarian conspiracy. The defense of the accused was taken by two of the best lawyers in Rome – Cicero and Hortensius. Eventually, Publius was acquitted – unlike Servius. Cicero did not take up his defense because – as he claimed – he doubted in his innocence and did not have doubts about Publius. Most probably, however, it was a loan for the purchase of a new home ... Read more

Roman grave in Naissus

Roman grave in Naissus (present Jagodina in south-eastern Serbia) with found body and ceramics. The grave comes from the 4th century CE and is part of the necropolis in which both Christians and pagans were buried.

Fans and riots in world of Romans

It seems that the stadium riot is an invention of our time. However, 2,000 years ago, ancient Romans had similar problems. The account from Tacitus about some tragic event has survived to our times. In 59 years BCE in Pompeii, there was a riot next to amphitheater between the locals and supporters from nearby city Nuceria. The conflict started with stones; with time the swords were used. The result was a real slaughter of newcomers – many with severed limbs and numerous wounds went to the capital. At the request of the emperor, the Roman Senate decided to punish the ... Read more

Circus Maximus now and in the past

Circus Maximus was a stadium for chariot races, located in the valley between the mountains of Aventine and Palatine. It was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome. Its length was 621 and width 118 m. The facility could accommodate up to 150,000 spectators. The graphic shows a virtual reconstruction of the building and a photograph showing the same place at present.

Roman ring showing connected hands

Roman ring showing connected hands. Donated probably on the occasion of the wedding. The object is made of gold.

Marble torso of centaur

Preserved marble torso of a centaur. Fragment of a Roman sculpture from the 1st-2nd century CE. It is a copy of the Greek monument.  

Celtic war horn was recreated

Music experts recreated the Celtic war horn from the Iron Age. Carnyx was used during the battles between 200 BCE. and 200 CE. As Polibius claims, playing the instrument was aimed at increasing the morale of the warriors and intimidating the enemy army. Just imagine the powerful sound of 1000 such instruments. Carnyx was a type of S-shaped trumpet made of bronze, with a head ending in the shape of a boar’s head or other animal.

Breeding of muraenidae

Pliny the Elder, a Roman historian and writer, remembers that the Romans valued the taste of meat very much. In addition, even the richer Romans created their own muraenidae farms in the estate to have access to fresh fish. During the reign of the emperor Augustus, a Vedius Pollio, whose father was once a slave, brought a muraenidae breeding in his estate and fed it with the bodies of slaves, which caused general indignation in Rome.

Crucifixion was used in Rome

Crucifixion was an extremely popular form of punishment and torture, especially in the case of betrayal or not being a citizen. If a Roman citizen committed a crime or was expelled, or received a fine. Not a citizen in turn, even for petty theft, was subjected to the penalty of crucifixion. Only a low-status citizen (humiliores) could have been sentenced to death – in the case of a serious crime, such as the betrayal of his own country. The convict was then tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left there until his death. It was an extremely ... Read more

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