By Alex Woolf
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Additional info for 1001 Hideous History Facts: Delve into the depths of our despicable past!
Spartan babies had to look tough from the moment they were born. A baby that looked a bit weak and weedy was either abandoned on a hillside to die or chucked off a cliff. Emperor Nero built a giant statue of himself outside his palace. At 30 metres (98 feet) high it was the largest gilded bronze statue in the world. It took 24 elephants to move it! The Romans used powdered mice brains as toothpaste! No minty-fresh breath in those days then… In ancient Egypt, you were considered adult at the age of thirteen.
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. 49 The Hideous Classical Period The largest monument ever built is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico. The huge building is more than one third larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Its construction began in the 1st century BC. 50 1001 Hideous History Facts Vedius Pollio, a rich Roman of the 1st century BC, kept a fish farm at his house where his favourite fish were fed the bodies of dead slaves.
1001 Hideous History Facts Medieval texts say that when St Alban, the first British saint, was beheaded around AD304, the executioner’s eyes fell out. A Roman cure for epilepsy was to drink the warm blood of a newly killed gladiator. St Adrian of Nicodemia, who died in AD306, is the patron saint of weapons dealers. The seven-day week began in AD321. The Roman emperor Constantine chose Sunday as the day of rest to please both the Christians and the pagans. The most important invention in the history of warfare (prior to gunpowder) was the stirrup, invented in China around AD322.