20 Fun Facts About Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was an extremely powerful city during its reign over the Mediterranean Sea and Western World. Although Rome is a well-studied and well-taught school subject, here are some not-very-well known fun facts about the ancient city:

    1. The Romans and Persians constantly fought wars with each other for 700+ years – the longest conflict in human history
    2. Ancient Rome was more densely populated than present-day New York City
    3. Gladiators in Ancient Rome mainly fought other gladiators and rarely fought animals
    4. Chariot racing in Circus Maximus was actually more popular than gladiator fighting in Ancient Rome
    5. Although Ancient Rome had 24 hours in a day, their hours weren’t like modern hours – they varied in length, with hours during the summer days being longer than hours during the hours during the days in the winter (and vice versa)
    6. While Latin was the main language of Ancient Rome, many people spoke other languages
    7. As a way showing their high status, the Roman elite spoke both Latin and Greek
    8. Romans disliked philosophy since it was a Greek invention that required time spent sitting and thinking – and, for the active Roman who disliked the Greeks, it was an obvious no-brainer
    9. Ancient Roman emperors poisoned themselves a little bit each day with every known poison of the time so they could build up immunity to different poisons
    10. At its height, Ancient Rome encompassed only 12% of the world’s population – ranking it at the 28th largest empire in the world
    11. During the Saturnalia festival, Ancient Roman slaves would switch places with their masters for a day
    12. Romans considered early Christians as atheists because they didn’t worship the Ancient Roman gods and the Romans thought they were cannibals since they (symbolically) ate the Body of Christ & drank the Blood of Christ
    13. The Ancient Romans built 2 dams in Spain that are almost 2000 years old and are still in use
    14. The knowledge of making concrete was lost for a millennia after the fall of Ancient Rome
    15. The quality of Ancient Roman concrete is better than most modern concrete – it’s lasted for roughly 2,000 years, which is a longer lifespan than most modern concrete!
    16. The Pantheon was first completed in 14 A.D. and was rebuilt 2 more times after being destroyed
    17. The Romans built London Bridge
    18. The Emperor Hadrian built Hadrian’s Wall in England, which served as the inspiration for the Wall in the Game of Thrones series
    19. If the Colosseum was built today, it would cost roughly $380 million to complete
    20. Trajan’s Forum – right next to Rome’s famous Forum & Palpatine Hill – held over 150 shops with goods from all over the Roman Empire

Bonus Fun Fact:

  1. Rome is said to have been founded on April 21, 753 B.C. by Romulus after he killed his brother Remus (hence why Rome is named after Romulus instead of Remus)



Briana Maddox View All →

As an recent college graduate who studied media studies and anthropology in college, Briana Maddox enjoys learning about different cultures, traditions, holidays, historical figures, experiences, and opinions. With a vested interest in sharing such learning experiences, Briana created Life & Anthropology in the hopes of helping other people gain a better understanding and working knowledge of such topics.

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