Roman Civilization has been considered as one of the greatest civilizations known to the mankind. The Romans excelled in almost all the fields and with great advancement in every field, which leaves us completely amazed. But there are few things or stuff they did that is totally not cool at all! These things, that you are going to learn now, would make you feel better that you live in this age. So, let’s begin.
Disgusting Roman Civilization Facts – They Got Nasty with Urine!
1. People used urine in many ways which we can’t even imagine. One of the milder ways was to use urine for washing their clothes.
2. They believed that their Togas would shine as new after washing this way. Back then, there was something like dry cleaning, which was called as Fullery and they used urine for the purpose.
3. There were pots which were kept outside so that anyone who is coming can urinate in that vessel.
4. They also used to take urine from the public bathrooms. During this time the emperor of Rome, Vespasian taxed urine. Romans changed the meaning of revenue in a totally different way.
5. The other way they used urine was to cure diseases of animals. Sheep suffering from bile issues was forced to drink human urine and the sheep which was suffering from respiratory issues was given human urine through its nostrils.
6. Bees and birds were also given urine. Human urine was given to birds to counter bird flu.
7. They used urine and feces in tanning as well. They used to soak the leather in urine (unadulterated) and they believed that the bacteria present in the feces would make the leather supple. They were used as fertilizers too.
8. There are records that poop and pee were collected and sold! As said earlier this collection was not free.
9. They used urine for pomegranates as they believed that the fruits would become tastier and “juicier” if urine was given to the plant.
10. The worst possible ways they could use urine has to be “teeth whitener”. They believed that using urine as a mouthwash would help to keep their teeth as white as pearls. We won’t dwell much on this topic. Let your imaginations go wild!
Disgusting Roman Civilization Facts – Filthy Public Toilets!
11. Romans were extremely popular for their sewage systems and public toilets. But we are coming to know that these public toilets were filthy. If archaeologists were to be believed, the public toilets were never cleaned and the toilets were filled with microorganisms.
12. They carried a specially designed comb to toilets to remove the lice, ticks and other petty insects.
13. To top all this, they used a sponge which was attached to a stick for cleaning their bottoms. This sponge poop stick was shared by everybody and was never cleaned just like the bathrooms. Sounds gross, right?
14. There were two problems with the public toilets (apart from the above-said ones). The first problem was that of the slithery serpents and the sneaky vermin etc., which usually make sewage their home, would come out when the Romans were busy doing their job and bite their butts.
15. The second problem was the methane build up. Because the bathrooms weren’t cleaned at all and they were used extensively, methane used to build up and sometimes exploded burning their butts. Either way, Romans had a tough time saving their butts.
16. The toilets were so dangerous that they used magic spells to save themselves from all the infections and blasts and much more.
17. Some of the public toilets had statues of Fortuna, Goddess of Luck, whom they prayed before entering into the toilet.
Disgusting Roman Civilization Facts – Gladiators’ Blood Was Medicine!
18. Gladiators were like celebrities in the Roman era. If we are crazy about our favorite heroes and heroines, Romans went a step ahead and were near to worshipping gladiators. They used gladiators’ blood as medicine.
19. People literally collected gladiators blood and sold it and they believed that this blood is a remedy to epilepsy and happily drank it.
20. Some people went to the extremes, they used to pull the liver out (from the dead gladiator, of course) and eat it raw!
21. When the combats, which included gladiators, were banned in Rome, the people resorted to the prisoners who were decapitated. They drank their blood.
22. Roman doctors said that drinking human blood would cure epileptic seizures.
23. Not just blood and liver, the people (especially women) were crazy for gladiator’s sweat, dead cells, and all the dirt.
24. Yes, you read it right. Generally, there was no soap in the Roman era. So, how did they clean themselves up? They used olive oil and then they used an instrument called as “strigil” which they used to scrape off the dirt and sweat off the body.
25. The normal people threw the dirt (on the floor of the bathroom) but if the dirt came from gladiator, they would store and sell it. Women used to apply it on their faces to look younger and in the hope that many men would fall for them.
Disgusting Roman Civilization Facts – They Had Sexual Art!
26. Romans were equally famous for their art. Their mosaics, Arch of Septimius Severus etc. are not unknown. But you may be surprised if we tell you that they had lewd art in Pompeii. A volcanic eruption in 79 CE covered the city with volcanic material and preserved it for the present-day archaeologists. When the archaeologists saw the city, they were appalled and hid those images and structures from the public view. They hid these for centuries together.
27. That art was really obscene. Don’t you believe us? Do you need an example? Ok then, here it goes. There was Pan’s statue sexually assaulting a goat.
28. They took this obscene art a step further. The city was filled with brothels. Some images of genitals were engraved on the tiles of the streets. For example, an image of the male genital was engraved on the streets’ tiles and the direction in which the tip of the genital pointed, a brothel was found. Understanding directions were never so easy!
29. If this wasn’t enough, the wore pendants of male genitals around their necks to prevent evil spirits.
30. If a place was considered dangerous, they would draw images of male genital there as a sign of luck and also for saving the travelers. Bridges, dangerous roads etc. frequently had the images of male genitals to save everyone from harm.
Disgusting Roman Civilization Facts – And Their Food Habits Were Disgusting!
31. Romans discovered an eating disorder, well, they practiced it. Romans used to eat till they would eat no more and then throw up just to eat again. It is more or less like binge-purge or bulimia nervosa, where a person would eat to the full and then vomits because he can’t take it anymore.
32. Some Romans used bowls which were placed near the dining table but some literally didn’t care about such formalities and happily vomited on the floor and would start eating again.
33. Slaves had the worst time even while their masters were enjoying the food. After the master threw up, one of the slaves would wipe that spittle off and the other would clean the vomit.
34. They used goat’s dung to cure wounds. Pliny the elder describes that the best dung of goat is available in spring season but fresh goat’s dung would serve during the emergency time.
35. Why did we include goat’s dung in food? Here is the reason: the charioteers drank wine or any liquid mixed with goat’s dung to get “energy” and not just charioteers, from commoners to the king himself used to indulge in such rare pleasure.
36. They would ground the goat’s dung into powder or they would simply add them in vinegar and then mix that powder or vinegar in their drinks. They used to drink to get energy just like how we drink red bull! This was a personal favorite of Emperor Nero.