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Old December 4th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #1

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The Interesting Classical Anecdotes and Useless Trivia thread


I was informed recently that the right-hand handshake was a holdover from the Romans, as you extended the right hand to show you did not hold a weapon in it. I cannot confirm the veracity of this, but its an interesting bit of cultural memory of the Romans if nothing else.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #2

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Cleopatra supposedly bathed in donkey-milk to make her skin paler.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #3

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On the handshake, this stele is from the 5th century bc, so it probably predates a Roman usage. The reason for it remains the same, and makes the most sense. A gesture of peace assuring that the hand is weapon-free.

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Old December 4th, 2011, 02:09 PM   #4

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In his book, Studies of Savages and Sex, Ernest Crawley states that while the kiss was widely practiced in Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Greece, it was unknown in Egypt.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by okamido View Post
In his book, Studies of Savages and Sex, Ernest Crawley states that while the kiss was widely practiced in Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Greece, it was unknown in Egypt.
I do wonder about the quality of people's breath back then. What time frame are we looking at exactly?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:36 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sargon of Akkad View Post
I do wonder about the quality of people's breath back then. What time frame are we looking at exactly?
He was speaking of early civilization and mentioned Sumer in particular.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #7

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The Romans use to brush their teeth with urine, so how about their breath?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #8

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The Romans also used urine to clean their clothes, a smelly bunch they must have been!
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Old December 4th, 2011, 08:19 PM   #9

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Obviously the ammonia they were after. I wonder how they made it more palatable?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #10
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Urine was also used in medicine. It have antiseptic effect, can clean wounds for example.

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine_therapy"]Urine therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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