facts about roman empire

13 Astounding Facts about Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was a pretty brutal place to be in once upon a time… however, it also paved the way (literally) for all kinds of important artifacts and modern facilities! Here’s a few fun facts about Ancient Rome to inspire you.

1. Big in BC times!

Ancient Rome’s community was absolutely massive for the time – it was once home to more than a million people. That might not seem like much now, of course!

2. Chariot racing was no joke!

The Circus Maximus was an incredible venue that still likely outshines a lot of modern stadiums! Seating more than 250,000 people, the arena was widely used for chariot racing – and if you’ve ever watched Ben-Hur, you’ll already know how that went down!

3. Thankfully, we live in enlightened times…!

Roman matrimony rules were… strange, to say the least. It’s thought that a Roman woman was only ever allowed to appear completely naked to her new husband on the night of their wedding… and then never again. How they policed this, don’t ask us!

Ancient Rome's Colosseum

The Colosseum

4. Could you ever become immune to poison? Ask a Roman emperor…

Some Roman emperors were truly bonkers. It’s thought that a common act in the Roman era was to carefully sample different poisons, so that they could eventually build up some kind of immunity. Fascinating that immune studies date back this far, though!

5. This war went on… and on… and ON…

The Roman Empire had lots and lots of enemies. However, the Persian Empire was actually their longest-standing rivalry. No one lived to see the battle begin and end – as their feud lasted for more than 720 years.

6. Crepitus – take a bow.

The Romans had all kinds of strange and sensational Gods and Goddesses. Spare a thought for poor Crepitus, however, who was – yes – God of toilets.

7. A lot of what we know about Ancient Rome is actually guesswork.

We have very little record of Ancient Rome left, at least in writing. It’s said that Titus Livius’ writings on the period have helped to shape our understanding – there’s only a little over 50 of his books left.

8. The empire wasn’t as big as you think.

The Roman Empire was actually very small compared to others that have strode across the planet since humanity began. If you were to calculate the exact area that the Romans conquered, they’d barely break the top 25 in terms of biggest reach!

9. Titus had a fascination with water.

The Emperor Titus was… an odd gentleman. He flooded the Colosseum and demanded that bulls be taught to swim. It was also in the Colosseum where he’d host the odd ‘sea battle’. Power goes to your head, it seems…

Fori Imperiali, Rome

10. The city’s army was well-stocked from the start.

Ancient Rome was well-protected from the get-go. It’s said to have been founded with the backing of more than 3,300 men.

11. Pick a venue, any venue!

The Romans were really into their entertainment. To the point where, apparently, they’d built and raised more than 200 different amphitheaters!

12. The nickname stuck.

Weirdly enough, the Colosseum was never actually called ‘the Colosseum’, at least not when it was in use. Its original name was the Flavian Amphitheater and earned the name ‘Colosseum’ centuries after the empire fell.

Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy

13. Law and order started here – it’s official!

Ancient Rome established the very first legal system of its kind – the legendary Twelve Tables – which led the way for modern bureaucracy as we know it.

FAQs about Ancient Rome

How long did Ancient Rome actually last for?

It’s thought that Ancient Rome lasted for more than a millennium - an incredible feat considering they didn’t actually have that much land!

Why did Rome eventually fall?

Rome eventually fell at the hands of the Gothic Barbarians - though many think that the empire was gradually worn down by outside invasions.

How long did it take for Rome to be built?

Rome wasn’t built in a day - it took well over 1,200 years from its date of inception, to the date it fell, to fully establish. That’s an incredible amount of time!

Do you know any fun facts about Ancient Rome?  Share them in the comments section below!

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This page was last modified on November 26, 2021. Suggest an edit

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