1. The emperor/empress, as well as with senators, wore clothing dyed in purple, made from murex seashells. It was a status symbol for the highest royalty and was treasonous for anyone else to wear it.
2. Infamous Roman emperor Gaius Caligula made his own horse a senator, among other things, during his reign.
3. Salt was considered a valuable resource in ancient times. It was often used as currency if one did not have coins, and it was often used to purchase slaves.
4. Often portrayed as brutal and sadistic toward their slaves, the Romans avoided cruel treatment of their servants. They used them as representatives for themselves, giving them bonuses if they earned it.
5. Gladiators in ancient Rome were celebrities. Although they were degraded and treated as sub-humans who fought to the death at first, they were strictly performers and entertainers later on.
6. The Romans were not the first to establish an intertwining network of roads, but they improved upon the previously trekked roads so much, they were considered the creators.
7. Many technologies and advances in science, literature, politics etc. were lost after the fall of Rome, among them was concrete.
8. As ancient Rome and the Romans is ancient to modern day people, when we study about their history, so too were the pyramids of Giza and the Egyptians to the Romans.
9. Wealthier ancient Romans had pipes in their walls and floors, that ran cold water from the aqueducts, as an early form of air conditioning.
10. Many royal Romans were bisexual, indulging in both the opposite and same sex, and it was considered rude and strange for one to be heterosexual.
11. The Romans had such a historical significance and impact, they are considered one of the pillars of modern western society.
12. Rejecting it at first, and prosecuting those who practiced it, the Romans were the catalysts for the spread of Christianity to become one of the largest religions in the world.
13. Pliny the Elder, who had advised numerous emperors and who was the author of at least 75 books, wrote the very first encyclopedia: Natural History.
14. The origins of the word and function dictator come from ancient Rome. Having no negative connotations like its modern equivalent, it was given to magistrates to rule with sole power during a short period of time.
15. Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates whom he befriended and even demanded a higher ransom for himself. When he was released from “captivity,” Julius raised an army of marines, hunted pirates around Italy to near non-existence.
16. Admiring, and borrowing a lot in every form from the ancient Greeks, the Romans were ridiculed by them. As Rome became an unstoppable juggernaut, the ancient Greek city states were conquered and butchered so completely, they never recovered.
17. Romans that aspired and ran for office wore a distinctive toga called “toga candida”, hence the origin of the word candidate.
18. Roman clothing was popular for two reasons, ease of wear and simplicity. Although it allowed its wearer to look modest; the fabric, dye and decoration of the tunic and toga were the indicators of status and symbol.
19. Marketplaces were common throughout the ancient world even before the Romans came to power. Yet shopping malls as we know them today stem from the one constructed during emperor Trajan’s reign that, at its peak, housed 150 shops and offices in its complex.
20. A pillar for western society, the ancient Romans achieved the testament of time by their brilliant architecture that stands tall even today.