By Alex Woolf
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Additional resources for 1001 Hideous History Facts: Delve into the depths of our despicable past!
45 The Hideous Classical Period A sumptuous feast in ancient Greece might include any of these yummy morsels: sea urchins; thrushes; peacock eggs; grasshoppers or a pig that had died from eating too much. 46 1001 Hideous History Facts The longest year on record was 46BC – the year Julius Caesar introduced his new calendar. As well as adding two extra months, he had to create 23 additional days in February to make up the difference from the previous Egyptian calendar. So 46BC had 455 days rather than the usual 365!
1001 Hideous History Facts Emperor Nero used to watch gladiatorial games with the aid of an emerald – possibly the first recorded use of a lens to help someone see. The screams of the injured people buried under the rubble could be heard all day and night. Heron of Alexandria’s amazing inventions included: temple doors that opened automatically; the world’s first coinoperated vending machine and a mechanical puppet theatre. Many Roman gladiators became heroic figures with their own fan clubs and huge numbers of followers!
In 215BC the Roman invasion of Syracuse was stopped by an ingenious machine invented by the mathematician Archimedes. A giant crane called The Claws of Archimedes was used to pluck Roman ships out of the water and smash them against the rocks. Roman women were expected to be hair-free, removing the hair under their arms and on their legs. One recipe for hair remover included powdered snake and the blood of a wild goat. In 212BC, officers of the Chinese chancellor Li Si collected 460 of the country’s greatest scholars and had them all buried alive in a mass grave.
1001 Hideous History Facts: Delve into the depths of our despicable past! by Alex Woolf