Close this search box.

10 Amazing Ancient World Facts That Will Surprise You

How many things do you know about the ancient world?

Despite the fact that technology wasn’t a thing back in the day, the ancient world had a lot to offer. Sure, the population had a lot of weird traditions and rituals, and whenever we look back, we ask ourselves what the point of them was, but on the other hand, there were a lot of good and interesting things that happened in the ancient times.

From Egypt and its pyramids to the ancient Greeks and Romans, history never ceases to amaze us. So today’s lesson is all about weird and bizarre facts about the ancient people and their culture. Keep on reading because we have a lot of amazing things to share with you!

Photo by Lyashko_ph From Shutterstock

1. In Egypt, men took care of their wives during their period

There is no surprise that the Egyptians had access to a lot of things compared to other civilizations. And a lot of them know very well how to take care of their hygiene. As a matter of fact, Egyptians had access to a lot of health benefits, and their system was way different than others. Starting with embalming and other secrets that they were the inventors of, Egypt stands out as one of the most civilized countries.

One of the most interesting things about men in ancient Egypt is that they took time off to take care of their wives during their periods. The men were allowed to take two or three days off from constructing the pyramids in order to provide help and support to their families.

2. Pointy shoes were a thing

In today’s world, if you decide to wear pointy shoes, you’re either obnoxious or into punk rock culture. But in ancient times, these shoes were the real deal! If you’re a noble or just trying to look good, you’d choose crakows, which are named after the former Polish capital Krakow.

Although they looked neat and trendy for those times, they were slightly uncomfortable, mostly because of their shape. Plus, they were expensive, and you had to find a skilled shoemaker to make them last as long as possible. That’s why only the elite wore these type of shoes! They were very pointy and longer than the size of the foot, making the walk very ridiculous.

In fact, there is some evidence that people who wore them weren’t exactly able to kneel in prayer because of crakows. Since it was more of a hassle to wear them, their manufacturing was forbidden in 1368.

3. Urine as an antiseptic

This medical practice (if it can be called that) was used in ancient Rome. And this wasn’t common only among peasants or less fortunate people; it was also used by the wealthy ones too. Because it contains ammonia, which stands among the best natural cleaning agents, urine was used as mouthwash.

In fact, there are a lot of documents that support the fact that urine was also used to treat various diseases like ulcers, bites, and stings, but also to fight against a plague. Thomas Vicary, the English doctor, said that all the war wounds should be treated with urine to clean them and prevent infection.

Photo by Ian Durie Kingsley From Shutterstock

4. Spiked dog collars were actually invented in ancient Greece

Sheepdogs and farm dogs were both kept as protection animals for farm property. The animals were given a “melium” collar, which was a leather collar studded with nails. This will safeguard their necks in the event of a wolf attack while they defend the sheep. While sheepdogs had to be white, the Greeks preferred dark farm dogs so that they would be harder to notice in the dark.

5. Crocodile cure

Animal excrement was frequently used as medicine or a cure for different illnesses in the past. Ancient Egyptian warriors utilized animal feces to cure their battle wounds, and the Greeks prescribed crocodile poop to women as a method of contraception. The Scots utilized pig feces to stop nosebleeds and sheep droppings to treat smallpox.

6. Ancient Persians would drink a lot after making an important decision

The Persians practiced a drunkenness ceremony that involved drinking red wine after making a choice, according to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. This ritual’s goal was to evaluate a decision’s utility. They would drink wine in large quantities after making a decision because they thought that you could only tell the truth when you were inebriated, and if their minds still felt the decision was the right one, then it was the right option.

7. The Ancient Egyptians invented toothpaste

The ancient Egyptians, especially the pharaohs and wealthy ones, valued oral health pretty highly, which is why they tried to experiment with the first iteration of toothpaste. This mixture consisted of rock salt, pepper, dried iris flowers, and mint crushed into a fine paste with a bit of water.

8. Gladiators had some sort of “smoothies”

If Greece had Olympic athletes, Rome had gladiators. And pretty much like Greek women, Roman women were willing to make any sacrifice for beauty, which is why they “loved” to rub the dead cells of dead gladiators on their faces like skin cream in order to be attractive to men.

Not only that, the Romans were a step ahead of the Greeks, as they would also enjoy drinking the blood of dead gladiators because they thought that this was a cure for epilepsy. Weirdly, some Roman physicians said that this type of “treatment” worked pretty well.

Soon after the prohibition of gladiatorial combats around 400 AD, an executed individual became the “legitimate” successor to the gladiator, and the practice of selling blood potion carried on. But nowadays, this practice seems so odd, and a lot of people tend to compare Ancient Rome with vampires because they were drinking the blood of a dead person in order to become stronger and more powerful. Scary times!

9. In Ancient Rome, if a man had big private parts, it wasn’t seen as a sign of manliness or intimate skills

Did you notice that most of the paintings and sculptures from ancient times portrayed a very small and compact form of the private parts? The main uses of large private parts were as lucky charms and as a source of mockery, which was thought to fend off evil.

In fact, small private parts were considered a symbol of ideal beauty and self-control in ancient Greece.

Photo by Nejron Photo From Shutterstock

10. In ancient times, people didn’t use forks

Although the fork was invented in ancient times, this cutlery item wasn’t used extensively throughout the Middle Ages. It’s not like nobody knew about its existence, but it wasn’t that popular. However, spoons and knives were another thing entirely, and everyone loved them. But the fork just didn’t catch on, simply because this piece of cutlery was considered uncivilized and strange. Some people associate the pitchfork of the devil with the desire to commit barbaric acts.

Funny enough, most people would eat the food with their bare hands, avoiding cutlery as much as possible. And the church even said that using a fork to eat your food was actually offensive to God because he gave us two hands and ten fingers to use them.

It took almost a hundred years, but eventually, everyone started to realize how practical it was, and the fork became part of everyday life.

11. Cemeteries were lively places

To be honest, this is the last place I would associate with fun and games, but it turns out that cemeteries were very different places in medieval times. Besides being a place to bury your loved ones, cemeteries were actually full of social activity, and a lot of important events took place here. Sermons, public debates, trials, and elections were held in cemeteries during ancient times.

In many places, cemeteries were a good place to negotiate and sell your things because they belonged to the church and were thus exempt from taxation. Can you imagine they were kind of like markets in today’s world? Ancient times were strange indeed, and many things seem crazy and are difficult to believe happened back then. But they were TRUE.

If you loved reading about ancient times, we have plenty of other articles! One of them is: 5 Shocking and Odd Beauty Trends from the Past.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts