How the Ancient Romans Made Better Concrete Than We Do Now

If you've ever wondered why the ancient structures of Rome have endured for millennia, when our own modern concrete is susceptible to cracks and crumbles, well, now you have your answer. Researchers recreated the Roman recipe and discovered that the formation of a certain kind of crystal in the concrete is the reason… » 12/18/14 1:30am Thursday 1:30am

​The 11 Most Sexually Depraved Things the Roman Emperors Ever Did

The emperors of Rome could be wise, just and kind. They could also be vindictive, cruel and insane. And most of all, they could be the worst perverts the world has ever seen — at least according to ancient historians like Suetonius, Pliny, and Cassius Dio. Here are nearly a dozen of the most immoral, disgusting… » 12/09/13 10:10am 12/09/13 10:10am

The 5 Most Unpleasant And Undignified Ways To Die In Ancient Times

Antiquity was the pits. For every advancement in philosophy or mathematics, you had half a dozen crazed aristocrats high on mercury potions trying to remove your limbs in bold new ways. Here are five particularly egregious ways to kick it centuries ago — they involve (among many things) honey, wine, eels, and… » 9/06/12 10:20am 9/06/12 10:20am

The Ivy League of Ancient Roman Gladiator Schools

If you got sent back in time 2,000 years to ancient Rome, you probably wouldn't want to choose a career as a gladiator. After all, it was a messy existence, with a fairly low life expectancy. But if you were up to your eyeballs in debt, or wanted a chance at fortune or fame, you could break in at the top, by going to… » 6/22/12 7:00am 6/22/12 7:00am

10 Weirdest Ways That Ancient Rulers Died

One of the most shocking things about Game of Thrones is the brutal and often bizarre ways that the nobles and princes kick the bucket — but George R.R. Martin's horrifying story is pretty close to historical realism. Many historical leaders snuffed it in bizarre, insane ways, from being smothered by coats to, yes,… » 5/31/12 10:00am 5/31/12 10:00am

Behold ORBIS, a Google Maps for the Roman Empire

Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to travel from Londinium to Jerusalem in February during the heyday of the Roman Empire? Thanks to a project helmed by historian Walter Scheidel and developer Elijah Meeks of Stanford University, all of your pressing queries about Roman roadways can be answered! This is… » 5/18/12 6:00pm 5/18/12 6:00pm

Pottery shards were the first ever ticket stubs

Ever go to a college football game with nearly 80,000 crazy fans ready to tear the stands apart? Just imagine going to an event where players routinely died before your eyes, in a culture with a strictly stratified value of life — one where your life might be absolutely worthless to the person sitting next to you.… » 4/27/12 12:49pm 4/27/12 12:49pm