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Funny/Wierd History Facts

Discussion in 'World History' started by Sims2789, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Whilst we're discussing early Imperial fiction, Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries are very good, if you ignore the fact that they're primarily written for younger teenagers.
     
  2. Cynovolans

    Cynovolans Not in my dimension.

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    One of her blog posts has some gross facts that belong here.

     
  3. LightSpectra

    LightSpectra me autem minui

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    As long as the Gauls don't sparkle in the sunlight.
     
  4. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    IIRC more of it had to do with sex, especially prostitution. Roman graffiti would seem very familiar to anybody who's been in a Waffle House bathroom.

    Speaking of Roman stuff that totally anticipates the future, how about these bikini girls (sixteen and a half centuries early) from a mosaic in the villa at Piazza Armerina in Sicily, which may have belonged to Maximianus or Maxentius:

     
  5. Theige

    Theige American Baron

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    Why are Roman women so flat-chested?
     
  6. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Maybe that's the way the villa owner liked them. Or maybe it was deemed too technically difficult to put tits in the mosaic.
     
  7. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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    I'm pretty sure many people didn't specifically pay fullers to just clean their cloth, though. :p Cloth needed to be thickened before it could be dyed and later made into clothing. Anyway, fulling was mostly pounding the cloth with large bats while it was in a trough of water. Very little of the fulling process used urine, anyway.
     
  8. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    That's why I read her books - I learn things about a genuinely fascinating period of time. :)

    My favourite piece of Roman graffiti I saw in the TV series Rome and it was: Atia fellat. Latin is so expressive. :D
     
  9. Aemilius

    Aemilius Guest from Overseas

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    Not that they're too human-like in their other anatomical details either...

    BTW concerning the Roman graffiti, another significant group of people who wrote on walls seemed to have been political lobbyers, whose election slogans (and parodies of the aforementioned) have been found on Pompeii and Herculaneum walls.

    For those interested in general Roman miscellanea I recommend A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities by J. C. McKeown, a brilliant book I picked up at a book store in Turku. It includes a plethora of bizarre - and questionable - facts, such as the Romans believing that goats breathed trough their ears and the exploits of the Emperor Maximinus Thrax.

    Oh, and merry Christmas (or should I say Saturnalia) everyone. :)
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    The Classical aristocracy considered small breasts to be more refined, and saw large breasts as being a characteristic of the lower classes or of barbarian peoples.
     
  11. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    ...inconsistently. Besides, large elements of said aristocracy went to great lengths to portray themselves as "barbarian".
     
  12. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Really? Well, I don't know the details. My formal education in the matter was largely tangential- it was really more about the walls themselves than about what some bugger chose to doodle on them! ;)

    Also, on the "great lengths", would this be an English-nobleman-dressing-in-kilts-and-going-"och"-near-some-hills sort of thing? Or something more complex than that?
     
  13. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Kind of the latter, to the extent that it's not out of the question to say that the entire Völkerwanderung was essentially these Roman aristocrats creating a "barbarian" identity for themselves.
     
  14. Vortilex

    Vortilex Imperator Mundi

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    One (very little-known) historical fact is that my grandmother diagnosed that one of the Peruvian presidents (Odria) did not have cancer, contrary to what other doctors diagnosed. She figured it out from an X-ray.
     
  15. LightSpectra

    LightSpectra me autem minui

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    The German verb that means to x-ray is "röntgen." That gave me a lot of trouble until it eventually hit me that the guy who discovered x-rays was named Röntgen.

    [/cool story bro]
     
  16. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    They also used to swish their own urine in their mouths to whiten their teeth.
     
  17. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    Nah, x-rays were actually discovered by Ivan IV. At least he is reported to have said: "C*cks down your throats my boyars, I can see right through you!
     
  18. Vortilex

    Vortilex Imperator Mundi

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    I found out there was a proposed name for Unununium which was going to be Roentgenium, but I guess it fell through
     
  19. LightSpectra

    LightSpectra me autem minui

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    Probably because the "rurrn" sound that comes from pronouncing "Rön" invokes the most unpleasant feeling to a native English speaker's tongue imaginable.
     
  20. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    I am so glad for our technical advances in the field of putting tits on things.
     

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