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Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture

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In 753, Rome was founded by Romulus. Romulus killed his twin brother Remus and took the throne. Rome’s poulation was about 2.7 million. In the 4th century Rome had 53,000 miles of roads. The Roman mile was 4,800 feet. Where Agustus built his first palace, Palatine Hill, is where the word ‘palace’ is from. Around 3,000 Euros are found at the bottom of the Trevi fountain each night. Rome today, contains 200 fountains and around 1,000 churches. Only free Romans were allowed to wear togas. Rome’s elevation is 4,336 meters. The nickname for Rome is the ‘Eternal City’ and ‘Caput Mundi’ or ‘Capital of The World’. Rome’s mascot is the wolf that cared for Romulus. The Trajan Column in Rome is 128 feet tall. In 1870, Rome became Italy’s capital. Roman’s made concrete to create the Pantheon. Rome’s territorial peak was 2.5 million square miles. Greeks thought foreingers spoke ‘Barbar’. This became known as ‘Barbarians’. To eat more, people will throw up between meals. http://www.aroundrometours.com/30-interesting-facts-about-rome-italy-art43-uid1.htm

In July 100 B.C Julius Ceaser was born. Julius’ family thought they were gods. Ceasear’s name had many connotations. Julius’ family had great military power. Julius had sisters called Julia. When Ceaser’s father died, Julius had to go into hiding. Ceaser’s familiy stayed in power after his death. In 86 BC julius started his military campain. Crossing the Agean Sea, Julius was kidnapped by pirates. After returning home, Julius lead a normal life and became a lawyer. He soon retured to the political scene. Julius needed funding for his ventures. Ceaser bought popularity with gladiator fights. Ceaser spent most of his life in debt. Julius bribed his way to the top. Ceaser’s first goal was to gain political power. Rome’s territories were expanded by Ceaser. Rome had many civil wars that had a lot of death. Julius switched Rome to the Egyptian calender. Ceaser held massive victory parties. His power inspired many enemies. Under ceaser, emperors became gods. Bunnito Mussellini tried to make himself like ceaser. https://www.historyhit.com/the-life-of-julius-caesar-in-55-facts/

Augustus ceaser ruled for 41 years.Augustus was raised in Vellitri. Augustus issued a mass purge in 43 BC. August named a month after himself. Augustus was raised by his grandma. Augustus married three times. Augustus was 5’7. He wore hight adding shoes. All three of Augustus’ grandsons died, leaving him no heir. Augustus had an army of 170,000 men. Augustus fought in a great civil war. Augustis disowned his daughter and exiled her. Rome needed Augustus to be a strong leader for the tough times. His final speech was ‘I found Rome clay, I leave you her marble’. Augustus once told a person about to be executed,’The birds shall soon solve that problem.’,he also made a father and son gamble to see who would die. https://www.factinate.com/people/44-autocratic-facts-augustus-first-emperor-rome/

The colosseum was built over many rulers. The colosseum hhas roughly 80 entrances and can hold 50,000 people. An estimated 500,000 people were killed in events. The total for animals doubles that. The admission to the events was free, but you were sorted by social class. 36 trap doors were used in the arena. Events could be as long as 100+ days. Thet would have occasional ship battles. The colosseum was built in 10 years. Massive earthquakes damaged the colosseum. The colosseum was originally named Flavin Ampitheater, in honor of the Flavin Dynasty. Gladiators weren’t theonly show, there was also executions and plays. 100,000 cubic meters of marble were used for the colosseum. The colosseum was once a place of worship. Near the end of all the gladiator fights, the colosseum operated at a massive loss. Many animals went extinct for gladiator hunts. The colosseum had 80 elevators. http://www.aroundrometours.com/30-interesting-facts-about-the-roman-colosseum-art10-uid1.htm

There are roughly 30 ‘weight classes’ for gladiators. Politicians would hold gladiator fights in order to gain popularity. Ceaser held a gladiator fight with 640 contestants. There were a handful of female gladiators. There were a few gladiator free-for-alls with gladiators called catervarri. There were gladiators called bestirarri who fought animals. There were many gladiator schools, the owners made bank on training gladiators. Gladiators had tattoos insead of numbers. You were able to own a gladiator ‘franchise’. Gladiators were clothed to reflect the apperance of savages. http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/gladiators/facts-about-gladiators.htm

In 111 BC, Spartacus was born in Thrace. He once served in the Roman Army and was then sold into slavery. Spartacus was sold as a slave to become a gladiator. Spartacus and 70 slaves made an escape plan from the gladiaor school. The slaves captured supplies oon the way out and defeated the task force sent after them. Spartacus, Oenomaus ,and Crixus were the rebellion’s leaders. Gaius Claudious was given a militia to capture Spatacus. Spartacus was able to defeat Gaius’ army and escaped to the mountain. Spartacus defeated two more miltias and recruited many more slaves. We Spartacus was killed they killed 6000 rebels by crucifiction. https://factslegend.org/30-interesting-spartacus-facts/

Roman history has inspired many movies, one of the most popular of these movies is Gladiator. Gladiator was released in the year 2000 ,and stars Russel Crowe as the main character. The story is pretty much one of the best revenge plots of all time. Russel Crowe’s character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, is fighting for survival and a chance to avenge his family who was murdered. After his family was murdered, he was framed for a crime and forced to be a common gladiator. During his time as a gladiator, Maximus was fighting for the chance to earn the wooden sword, a sign of freedom. After obtaining his freedom, Maximus kills the man who murdered his family. Easily one of the best movies of all time. Ridly Scott was easily convinced to direct this movie. He asked three little questions.1 Was it about gladiators.2 Was it in the colosseum.3 Were people going to fight to the death. The painting ‘Pollice Verso’ inspired Scott to direct it. Jennifer Lopez and Jude Law tried for roles in the major blockbuster hit. Mel Gibson had a shot at the role for Maximus, but it fell to Crowe. The characters Commodus and Lucilla were actual historical figures. The director got permission to burn the forest for the opening battle scene in Germania. A third of the colosseum was built, but the rest was made by computer generated imagery.The actor for the character Proximo died before filming ended. Russel Crowe was injured many a time while filming on set, the most major was cracking his hip bone. Russel Crowe thought that the script was a major flop. Joaquin Phoenix gained weight during the filming to show the mental power of his character. Suspecting no one to beleive it, the screen writers intentionally left out endorsments by gladiators, which actually happened. Johnny Cash was a major enthusiast of the film. The soundtrack director was sued for plaigerism. Nick Cave wrote a sequel that was immediatly rejected. http://mentalfloss.com/article/63655/15-epic-facts-about-gladiator

One of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time is ‘Spartacus’. The movie follows the rebellious gladiator Spartacus and his campaigns against gladiator schools. The movie stars Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier. United Artists had the rights to the movie. Dalton Trumbo wrote script under the name Sam Jackson. Stanley Kubrick was the third string director for the movie. Jean Simmons,ironically, was a third string actress.A character playing a slave trader could not figure out who Kirk Douglas was because of how dirty he was for the scene.Charles Laughtonn and Lawrence Oliver had some major beef for some unknown reason. Oliver wore a plastic nose while on set. Russel Metty won an Oscar Award for sitting around on set. Spectators at a football game provided most of the backround shouting. Kirk Douglas was sick and Tony Curtis were sick and injured while on set. And the art director had a heart attack and died. During the scene when Kirk Douglas was ‘crucified’ ,the director called lunch and left him up there for a few hours. Spartacus had a twelve million dollar budget. Over 200,000 man hours went into the movie and the cast and crew totaled over 10,000 people. JFK ended a controversy about the true writer of the movie. Stanley Kurbrick hated the movie. http://mentalfloss.com/article/87098/16-epic-facts-about-spartacus

On the other end of the spectrum there was many a videogame based on Roman history and culture. One of the most prominent was Assassins’s Creed Brotherhood. The main plot is an assassin travels into 16th century Rome to end a corrupt knight’s templar order. The series was originally made as a Prince of Persian game but got reworked to fit the stealth genre it was going for. The game goes back two millenia with the first canon assassin killing King Xerxes. https://www.redbull.com/us-en/assassins-creed-facts. Rome also had some pretty good military strategies. The Battle of Carthage siege is an excellent example of this.

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