BenTha'er-Horizons

Life in Ancient Rome

I suppose this would be something that doesn't stick in the average person's mind on a summer day. Well, if we had a summer day which much of June is like Juneuary this year (blah!!).

Someone did post recently what living in Rome was like for Roman citizens. They lived in high rise apartment type buildings and living on the top floor was not cool, in more ways than one.

"Most Romans lived in tall (up to 100 feet), rectangular apartment buildings called insula, meaning "island." Rome was crammed with these buildings, which were spaced very closely together, creating a labyrinth-esque network of narrow alleys.

These buildings were built so close together that one man wrote that he and the man in the apartment across from him could stretch their arms out and shake hands from their windows. And unlike today, the worst apartments were on the top floor, where it was darker, more cramped, and less safe. If the building burned, you'd need to haul it down those stairs. Richer citizens lived on the bottom floors.

There was no running water or sanitation in the insulae. Poorer folk had to rent apartments with several other roommates, who were day laborers, so the places stunk. It also was not uncommon to hear the agony of childbirth if your neighbor was a pregnant woman, as women gave birth at home in Rome.

And the buildings were cheap, so the insulation was terrible."

More details here.
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Unconquered by Rome

So what was so tough about Scotland. Why was it hard to hold and conquer Scotland when they managed to do so with England and France. Rome lasted only 80 years as conqueror north of Hadrian's Wall. A description of their troubles can be found in this article.
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Early Terror Weapons

Having a surprise edge in battle or war can be the key to victory. They have found that the Romans had "whistling" sling bullets they used to terrorize their barbarian foe. More about it here.

"Some 1,800 years ago, Roman troops used "whistling" sling bullets as a "terror weapon" against their barbarian foes, according to archaeologists who found the cast lead bullets at a site in Scotland.

Weighing about 1 ounce, each of the bullets had been drilled with a 0.2-inch hole that the researchers think was designed to give the soaring bullets a sharp buzzing or whistling noise in flight.

The bullets were found recently at Burnswark Hill in southwestern Scotland, where a massive Roman attack against native defenders in a hilltop fort took place in the second century A.D."
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Pagan Roman Basilica

They have found an ancient underground chamber that was a place of worship for a mysterious cult around 2,000 years ago. People can now visit the site. Visit it here. There may be some Greek classical heroes depicted at the site.
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