There are plenty of hidden secrets lying in the culture, landscape and history of Rome. Here are 10 odd and cultural facts about the popular destination:
1. Rome: The Eternal City
Rome is often referred to as the “Eternal City” as it’s thought to be the oldest continuously populated city in the world dating back to 625 B.C.
2. The Toga
The toga is unique to male Romans, worn as a mark of distinction—signifying the wearer was free-born or non-slave.
3. The Color Purple
The color purple was reserved for emperors and senators only as it was the most expensive dye made from seashells. Anyone else who wore it would be found guilty of treason.
4. Gladiator Fighting
Gladiator fighting dates back to the Etruscans, who put prisoners up to fight one another to the death during the funerals of royalty and aristocrats.
5. Gladiator Blood
Gladiator blood was often prescribed by Roman doctors to aid the fertility of women.
6. The Eagle
The eagle was a royal symbol of the god Jupiter, and released at regal funerals in order to transport the souls of emperors to heaven.
7. Medieval Monks
If not for the painstaking work of medieval monks who copied and illustrated the works of Roman writers and philosophers, many keystones of western culture would have been lost forever.
8. Vomiting Rituals
In Rome, it was considered decadent and a sign of wealth to vomit between meals in order to eat more. The actual word “vomit” originates from the Latin word meaning “to disgorge”.
9. Roman Bride Traditions
Roman brides were the first to be carried over a threshold, an act promoting good luck.
10. Invention of Central Heating
I bet you didn’t know that the Romans invented central heating back in the Classical Era in order to warm rooms from under the floor boards. Only the rich had both running water and central heating.