Common Misconceptions About the Roman Empire
On this episode of Misconceptions, Mental Floss host Justin Dodd is heading back to the time of togas to find out if, for one, people actually wore togas. (They did, but the yards-long garments were too expensive and elite to be the go-to garb for everyone.) In the 1500 years or so since the Roman Empire ceased to exist, much of its rich history has gotten a little lost in translation. In some cases, we mean this literally—the word vomitorium, for example, didn’t refer to a place where people vomited so they could continue feasting.
In other cases, true stories got simplified or misconstrued. Did Caligula really make his horse a senator? Was Nero honestly too busy with his beloved fiddle to care that Rome was burning down? And what did Julius Caesar actually utter in his last moments?
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