Spqr: A Roman Miscellany

By Anthony Everitt

From the acclaimed writer of Augustus, Cicero, and The upward thrust of Rome, an enjoyable and richly informative miscellany of proof approximately Rome and the Roman world

SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus. have you learnt to what use the Romans placed the excrement of the kingfisher? Or why a cocktail party invitation from the emperor Domitian was once this kind of terrifying prospect? Or why Roman girls smelled so ordinary? The solutions to those questions are available during this compendium of amazing proof and anecdotes approximately old Rome and its Empire. The 500-odd entries diversity throughout each region of Roman lifestyles and society, from the Empress Livia's healing for tonsillitis to the main trustworthy Roman equipment of contraception.

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2 A copious provide of used water from public bath-houses flowed in the course of the sewer, swilling away sewage deposited from public constructions and latrines, and maybe additionally from deepest cesspits. The Cloaca even had its personal distinctive goddess, Venus Cloacina—Venus of the Sewer. *3 Aqueducts have been the required dual of the drainage approach: with no the single you couldn't have the opposite. through the 1st century advert approximately three hundred million gallons of fresh water, accrued from the Apennine mountains, gushed into town each day by way of 11 aqueducts.

She determined to not marry back yet to control her estates and dedicate herself to the schooling of her teenagers. Her jewels grew up and have become political reformers. Tiberius used to be elected a tribune of the folk and assassinated through reactionary senators in 133 BC. Ten years later, Gaius determined to run for place of work too. Cornelia was once displeased. She despatched him a robust letter, telling him to alter his brain: ‘As my purely surviving son, you'll have taken hassle and care that I must have the fewest attainable anxieties in my previous age.

It took a minimum of 20 years to be accomplished. Augustus commissioned his deputy, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, to paintings on a extra distinctive international map, known as the orbis terrarum (’globe of the earth’). This confirmed 1000's of towns associated by means of Rome’s highway community and was once in response to reviews despatched in via Roman generals and governors and through travelers. whereas a greatly recognizable photo was once drawn, distances and shapes turned much less and not more actual because the mileage from Rome elevated. the most function of Agrippa’s map was once as a realistic reduction for imperial directors.

Heaving a sigh of reduction, the historian made manner for the historic novelist. no longer lengthy after the second one international warfare, the French author Marguerite Yourcenar released her Memoirs of Hadrian to loud applause; the e-book takes the shape of a letter addressed by means of the death emperor to the younger Marcus Aurelius, his successor-but-one at the imperial throne. Poetic and depression, it coloured within the gaps in our wisdom and provided a talking likeness of a world-weary autocrat and gourmet of lifestyles. it really is no exaggeration to claim that for it slow Mme.

In keeping with legend, Prometheus used to be punished for giving humankind the key of fireplace; he was once chained to a mountain crag and an eagle ate up his ever-renewing liver. In a re-enactment on the Colosseum a wild boar changed the chicken and gored a guy to demise. because the modern poet Martial complacently remarked:*2 ‘What were a play turned an execution. ’ In one other vibrant legend, Pasiphae, queen of Crete, fell in love with a good-looking white bull and gave beginning to the Minotaur, the well-known monster, part guy and part beast, who lived within the labyrinth at Knossos.

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