A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and by J. C. McKeown

By J. C. McKeown

Here's a whimsical and attractive selection of peculiar evidence, unusual ideals, outlandish evaluations, and different hugely fun minutiae of the traditional Romans. we have a tendency to give some thought to the Romans as a realistic individuals with a ruthlessly effective military, an exemplary criminal method, and an actual and stylish language. A cupboard of Roman Curiosities exhibits that the Romans have been both in a position to extraordinary superstitions, logic-defying customs, and infrequently hilariously derisive perspectives in their fellow Romans and non-Romans.
Classicist J. C. McKeown has prepared the entries during this interesting quantity round significant themes--The military, ladies, faith and Superstition, family members existence, drugs, Slaves, Spectacles--allowing for speedy shopping 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 dangers to existence in Rome."

· On greater interrogation:
"If we're obliged to take proof from an arena-fighter or another such individual, his testimony isn't to be believed until given lower than torture." (Justinian)

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

· On food:
"When humans unwittingly devour human flesh, served by means of unscrupulous eating place proprietors and different such humans, the similarity to red meat is frequently noted." (Galen)

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

· On health and wellbeing care:
Pliny caustically defined clinical accounts as a "down money 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 an individual looking an inglorious glimpse on the underside of the best empire in historical past, A cupboard of Roman Curiosities deals never-ending delights.

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The poet Horace was taught by Lucius Orbilius Pupillus [literally, “Student,” a fine cognomen for a famous teacher], who published a book titled On Stupidity, in which he complains about the injustices suffered by teachers because of parents’ negligence or interference. He was • 28 • e ducation • 29 The boy now arriving at school is carrying his writing tablets, not his lunchbox. nasty not only to his critics, whom he savaged at every opportunity, but also to his students: Horace calls him a “flogger” [plagosus], and Domitius Marsus [a minor poet] writes of “those whom Orbilius has struck with a cane or a strap” (Suetonius On Teachers of Grammar and Rhetoric 9).

He felt he was worth more, so he had the demand increased to fifty talents. In the thirty-eight days in which he was kept prisoner, pending the arrival of the ransom, he often told the pirates that he would come back and crucify them. They thought this was a great joke, but he did exactly that (Plutarch Life of Julius Caesar 2). The Roman navy did not use galley slaves. The rowers, sailors, and marines were normally auxiliaries, who could expect to receive citizenship after serving for twenty-six years.

Without further guidance, he could not fully identify M. Monroe, M. Mouse, M. Poppins, or M. Proust, whereas M. Tullius Cicero is unambiguous, since M. can stand only for Marcus. • 16 • n a mes • 17 Praenomina do not quite correspond to our first names. If that were so, Augustus would probably not have adopted the praenomen Imperator (“Commander”). Nothing illustrates the low public status of women so vividly as do their names: • • • • They were usually known simply by the feminine form of the family nomen; hence the daughters of Gaius Iulius Caesar and Marcus Tullius Cicero were called Iulia and Tullia, respectively.

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