Rome Amazing Facts

40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Rome | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Rome covers 1,285 Sq. km with 98% of the population Roman Catholic. Rome attracts nearly 13 million tourists every year.
  2. Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus. Roman legend says that Romulus had a twin brother called Remus. As babies they were abandoned in the area which later became Rome. A she-wolf found and raised them, but when they grew up Romulus fought and killed Remus and became the first ruler of Rome!
  3. Julius Caesar was the one who introduced the modern 12-month calendar known as the Julian calendar and was introduced in 46 BC. Before that Lunar or Arabic calendars were used.
  4. Julius Caesar invaded England first. The Romans remained in Britain from 43 AD to 410 AD. That is almost four centuries.
  5. In response to a 73 B.C. revolt against Rome by Spartacus the gladiator, 6,000 slaves were crucified.
  6. In A.D. 64, a huge fire destroyed half of Rome. Some claim Nero purposely set it so he could rebuild the city how he wanted it.
  7. Rome is often called the “Eternal City.” When the Roman Empire reached its peak in 117 AD it spanned 2.5 million square miles.
  8. Concrete was a Roman invention used on many structures such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which are still standing. The Romans first began building with concrete over 2,100 years ago.
  9. Rome’s population of more than a million was not matched by any other European city until London finally over took it in the 19th century.
  10. The first-ever shopping mall was built by the Emperor Trajan in Rome. It consisted of several levels and more than 150 outlets.
  11. The snake was a common image in Roman art and jewelry and was believed to have powers over a family’s well-being.
  12. Phalluses were considered good luck charms in ancient Rome. They were worn as charms on necklaces or hung in doorways as wind chimes as a way to ward off evil spirits.
  13. Purple, the most expensive dye from Murex seashells, was reserved for the emperors’ clothes or senators. It became treason for others to dress completely in purple.
  14. By the early 4th century, the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles throughout the empire. Each Roman mile was about 1,000 paces (about 4,800 feet) and was marked by a milestone.
  15. Built by the emperor Hadrian (118-125), the Pantheon (“Temple of the Gods”) is remarkable for its massive 142 Ft diameter dome made of concrete that has withstood for almost 2,000 years with no steel reinforcing. It is even bigger than the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Pantheon was the largest unreinforced concrete curved dome in existence until the 19th century.
  16. The Colosseum took 12 years to build, and the exit time for all 70,000 spectators was only three minutes. The Colosseum had a large sun roof that could be stretched over the crowd to keep the spectators in the shade.
  17. On the day the Colosseum officially opened, 5,000 animals were killed. During its history, it has been estimated that over 500,000 people and over a million animals were killed there.
  18. Romans invented central heating and would warm rooms from under the floor using what was called a hypocaust, literally “heat from below.”
  19. After the death of an emperor, an eagle (symbol of the god Jupiter) was released to take his soul to heaven.
  20. Romans were highly superstitious and feared anything to do with the left. Their words for “left” and “left-handed” were sinister and sinstra, giving us the modern meaning of “sinister.”
  21. In ancient Rome, an infant was placed at the father’s feet shortly after birth. If the father took the child into his arms, it showed he accepted responsibility for its upbringing. If the baby was not accepted, it was to be abandoned and left to die.
  22. The month of August was named in honor of the Roman Emperor Augustus. January is named after the Roman god of beginnings, Janus. April is from the Latin aperire which means “to open,” perhaps referring to the opening of flowers.
  23. The Vestal Virgins were women priests who tended the sacred fire of Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire from the age of 10 years. If they lost their virginity, even as a result of rape, they were buried alive in an unmarked grave.
  24. Roman divorce was quick and easy. If there were any children, they remained with the father, though the dowry was returned to the woman provided she had not committed adultery.
  25. Romans thought that not owning slaves was a sign of extreme poverty. Many people would take 3 slaves with them just to go to the baths.
  26. Land ownership was so important that almost all Roman citizens owned at least a small plot.
  27. Crucifixion was in fact a common punishment in the days of ancient Rome as long as you committed treason or weren’t a citizen. It was a very painful and cruel way to die. If a Roman citizen committed a crime, no matter what it was, he was usually exiled or given a fine.
  28. Rome had over 140 public toilets which served as the places for socialization.
  29. Because urine contains ammonia, a powerful bleaching agent, ancient Romans used to wash their clothes in pee! At public urinals that men could use, their contents were collected every day and brought to the laundries.
  30. After the fall of Rome, Latin continued in a variety of dialects which later developed into the Romance languages such as Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, French, and Spanish. Latin has also significantly influenced English.
  31. Rome’s first university, La Sapienza (A.D. 1303), is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.
  32. Rome became the capital city of a unified Italy in 1870 after taking the title from Florence.
  33. The population of the city of Rome is around 2.7 million. The entire metropolitan area of Rome has an estimated 3.7 million people.
  34. The word “palace” comes from the Palatine Hill, where Augustus established the emperors’ tradition of building their palaces.
  35. Every night at the Trevi Fountain about 3,000 Euros are swept up from the bottom of the basin. The money is donated to Caritas, a catholic charity, who uses the money to provide services for needy families.
  36. Modern Rome has 280 fountains and more than 900 churches.
  37. SPQR stands for “Senatus Populusque Romanus” and means “The senate and the people of Rome.” The symbol is still seen all over the city today.
  38. On Capitoline Hill (one of the Seven Hills)  at noon on April 21 every year, a special bell called Patarina rings to celebrate the founding of Rome.
  39. The Monte Testaccio is a vast, nonbiodegradable garbage dump where an estimated 53 million ceramic vases were thrown. It is one of the largest and most organized dumps found anywhere in the ancient world.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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