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50 Essential Facts About the Romans

The 50 facts that you MUST know on your way to becoming a Romans expert!

Roman soldiers were not allowed to get marriedArmy
The word "decimate" comes from a punishment for Roman soldiers
Roman soldiers served for 25 years before they could retire
Roman soldiers wore leather, scale and chain armour
Gladioli and gladiators are named after the "gladius", a type of sword 
The first emperor was Augustus, adopted son of Julius CaesarEmperors
The emperor Hadrian spent more time travelling than he did in Rome
The Praetorian Guard were elite soldiers who served the emperors
Emperor Nero murdered his brother, wife, mother and lover
As well as emperor, Marcus Aurelius was also a philosopher
Rome was supposedly founded by the twins Romulus and RemusLegends
Romans claimed descent from Trojan hero Aeneas
Bees owe their sting to Jupiter. It is a curse as well as a gift
Lucretia was a legendary heroine who founded the Roman Republic
Cloelia was a legendary woman who led captive women to freedom
Before it became a republic or an empire Rome was ruled by 7 kingsKings
Numa Pompilius was Rome's second king and a peaceful man
Tullus Hostilius was allegedly killed by Jupiter with a lightning bolt!
Lucius Tarquinius Priscus was Rome's first Etruscan king
Tarquinius Superbus was the last Roman king. He was a tyrant
From 264 to 146 BCE Rome fought the Punic Wars against CarthageWars
The Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BCE saw Rome defeat Macedonia
The Gladiator War was fought against slaves led by Spartacus
The Great Roman Civil War brought Julius Caesar to power in 45 BCE
The Romans were a force to be feared but they did not always win
The Romans had 12 major gods: Dei ConsentesGods
The Romans adopted some gods from cultures they conquered
15 emperors and their wives were regarded as gods
As well as the 12 main gods Romans worshipped hundreds of others
3 gods were particularly important: Jupiter, Juno and Minerva
Christianity was founded in the Roman EmpireChristianity
Christians were tolerated until Emperor Nero's time
Despite the persecutions, Christianity's popularity grew
By the 4th Century there were 6 million Christians in the Roman Empire
Constantine was the first Christian Emperor of Rome
The most popular sport in Rome was chariot racingGames
Gladiators fought criminals, animals and each other to the death
400,000 people and over a million animals were killed at the Colosseum
The Romans also played board games, like "Latrunculi"
And sports, such as wrestling, swimming, racing or boxing
The most famous Roman invention is probably their numeralsInventions
They also had covered sewers, 2,400 years before London
Another invention was underfloor central heating
This one might surprise you: the Romans invented concrete
Romans did not invent roads but the ones they made are still here
Gaius Julius Caesar was born in the year 100 BCECaesar
He owed his popularity to the conquest of Gaul
Caesar started civil war by crossing the Rubicon River
He invented the Julian Calendar on which our modern one is based
He was murdered on the Ides of March 44 BCE by multiple stab wounds

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