40 Facts About the Roman Empire You Probably Didn’t Know

The Roman Empire began in the 8th century, founded by Emperor Romulus before growing into one of the wealthiest nations in the world. At its peak, the population of the Roman Empire was over 90 million, roughly 20% of the world’s population. It spanned from Italy throughout the Mediterranean and was known for its art and stunning architecture.

However, the Roman Empire also had a dark side, a period of time where emperors committed horrific acts, the Senate ruled with an iron fist and the Christians were persecuted for their faith. Wars were rampant when the Roman Empire was at its prime, with a conflict with the Persians lasting over 700 years.  Political conflicts would also create rifts of distrust between the people and the government, eventually leading to the empire crumbling to the Turks after 1,500 years.

While we know the basics of the Roman Empire thanks to the history books, there are so many facts about this fascinating civilization that you may not be aware of. These select 40 are not the only interesting facts about the Ancient Romans, but here at FunnyAnd, we believed they stood out the most. Check them out, we promise some will leave you speechless!

40. Julius Caesar Cared for His People

Image: Tons of Facts

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While he may have been a very calculated ruler, Julius Caesar did care for the citizens of Rome deeply. After his death, he left what would be the equivalent of $270 to each Roman citizen. Although this may not seem like a lot to us today, back then this was a huge financial help to those living in poverty.

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39. One of the First Fantasy Novels

Image: Journeying Together

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Recently, historians discovered a fantasy novel that was written in 2 AD by a Roman living in Syria. The novel featured concepts that were far ahead of its time, with explorers flying to the moon, as well as alien encounters. There were also epic plot lines of an interplanetary war, as well as the discovery of North America. Is it possible this guy was a prophet? Could someone have gone back in time? It’s amazing someone could come up with such ideas back then.

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38. A Most Peaceful Reign

Image: Flickr

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One of the calmest periods of time during the Roman Empire was under the rule of Emperor Antoninus Pius from 86CE to 161 CE. During this time, historical records detail no major conflicts or events. This may have been due to Pius’s ability as a skilled administrator and effective methods of governing.

37. The Floating Bridge

Image: Ancient Origins

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At one point, someone told Roman Emperor Caligula that he had “no more chance of becoming emperor than riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae.” Not one to ignore a challenge, Caligula built a temporary floating bridge that extended more than two miles across the river. He then proceeded to walk his horse across it. Take that, sir!

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