By Alex Woolf

ISBN-10: 184858007X

ISBN-13: 9781848580077

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He spent hours hardening his fingers in hot water so he could grab the tastiest hot food from the table before anyone else. In the 4th century BC, Spartan men were required by law to eat a kilogram (about two pounds) of meat per day to make them braver. The Roman ceremony of Lupercalia was celebrated in February. They really knew how to party… The Chinese invented fingerprinting to identify criminals in the 3rd century BC. The victim was often a captured enemy warrior who would be killed by having his head cut off, or his heart cut out.

Sometimes they didn’t bother to kill the sacrifice, they just buried him alive. In the 3rd century BC, the Romans started worshipping Terminus, the god of boundary stones. Moving a boundary marker between towns was punishable by death! When a criminal was beheaded in ancient Rome, the body was thrown in the river Tiber and the head into the sewers. It gave the body and head a chance to get back together again, as the sewers flowed straight into the river. Only a complete body-and-head combo was allowed into the afterlife.

You could even win if you died, but it wasn’t as much fun. The man had been killed as a sacrifice in early Roman times. The eagle apparently thought his bald head was a rock that it could crack the tortoise on! Early Romans used porcupine quills as toothpicks. The largest naval battle of ancient times was the Battle of Salamis in 480BC when 371 Greek ships defeated 1,271 Persian ships. Around 200,000 soldiers and sailors are thought to have fought. 35 The Hideous Classical Period During the siege of Megara, Greece, the Megarians poured oil over a herd of pigs, set fire to them, then drove the pigs towards the war elephants of their enemies.

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1001 Hideous History Facts: Delve into the depths of our despicable past! by Alex Woolf

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