Of the three movie magazines i use to collect Empire is the only one i still can buy. The other two: Neon and Cinefantastique are gone (the first one went the way of the dodo many years ago and the second can only be read nowadays online).
Empire is celebrating his 20th Aniversary and from the last issue (#245) i wanna take something I find very interesting that actually has more to do with universal history then with movies but since it's a part from the article for next year film Centurion, directed by Nick Marshall (I liked his 2002 wolfmen movie Dog Soldiers) and starring Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) and Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) i guess has a very good reason to appear in the twenty year old british magazine.
It's about a hundred trivia facts related to the Roman Empire. I'll give you some, the rest you can read by yourself, my fellow guelylanders.
#12 As well as hosting gladiatorial fights, the Colosseum put on live sex shows.
#15 Romans considered small penises beautiful. Large ones were mocked.
#30 Roman law forms the basis of most land law in Europe.
#33 Forty per cent of the population were slaves.
#36 A runaway slave was a criminal -Technicaly they'd stolen property: themselves.
#44 Romans invented the ice pop.
#45 They also invented toothpaste, which contained vinegar, honey, rock salt and spikenard (a type of pink flower).
#46 Girls got married at 14. their fathers chose the groom.
#81 By the middle of the first century BC, no-one could remember what the deity Furrina was goddess of. But the romans carried on worshipping her, just in case.
#82 Rome's sacred flame was tended by six vestal virgins.
#83 If a condemmed criminal saw one, he'd be pardoned.
#88 During the festival of Ceres, foxes were released in the Circus Maximus with torches tied to their tails, running around in panic until eventually burned to death.
#89 During the Lupercalia, a festival of fertility, women who wanted to get pregnant would line up to be whipped by young boys smeared in goat- and dog- blood.
#92 Hadrian (117-138 AD) was the first bearded Emperor.
#93 Romans were typically shaved by slaves, but Julius Caesar had his facial hairs plucked out with tweezers.