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Disgusting Facts about Ancient Rome That We Weren't Taught in School

Antonia R.Antonia R.
Roman Coliseum

Ancient Rome was a hub of civilization and culture, or at least so it says in the history books. However, the Ancient Romans also followed traditions that stand at complete odds with our concepts of civility today.

We're going to present you with some of their rituals, which, however seemingly disgusting, were part of Roman daily life. These were thought to be good and effective practices, even though they were quite horrid, to say the least.

1. The Romans drank the blood of gladiators

In Ancient Rome it was believed that if one were to drink the blood of a gladiator who had died in the arena, they would gain their life force. It was also common to sell gladiator blood as a medicine, the belief being that it could treat epilepsy.

2. A unibrow was a sign of intelligence


Even in women, a thick unibrow was considered a sign of high intellect. As such, Roman women underwent various kinds of procedures, which were supposed to thicken their eyebrows, such as ones with tree resin.

3. Drinking poison was a tradition

Drinking small amounts of poison every day was customary in Ancient Rome. The Romans believed that they boosted their immunity in this way and decreased their likelihood of dying from someone intentionally poisoning them in the future.

4. Vomiting during feasts was acceptable


The wealthy in Ancient Rome loved to sit at hearty feasts and eat into the small hours of the night. As such, it was no problem to throw up during dinner and continue eating right after.

5. They did not use soap

The Romans had no idea what soap was. To clean their bodies, they used a special kind of scraper. In parallel, they would rub various kinds of fragrant oils into their skin.

6. They washed their clothes with urine

To wash their clothes, the Romans used their own urine. Workers in the laundry rooms would wait for the urine to break down into ammonia, then they would dilute it with water and pour it over the clothes, while one of them stomped on them.