Featured category: Ancient history

The Roman measurement of a human lifetime; the extinct species of gibbon we know only from a Chinese noblewoman’s tomb; how Pompey the Great was defeated by maddening honey; and the treasure map in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Augustus
Capitoline Museums / Public domain

A saeculum was a Roman unit of measurement that represented a the span of a single human life. But it was mainly an excuse to have once-in-a-lifetime games.


Gibbons
Xuande Emperor / Public domain

We only know about Junzi imperialis, an extinct species of gibbon, because a Chinese noblewoman kept one as a pet more than two thousand years ago.


The Roman general Pompey the Great lost three maniples (about 360 men) to Turkey’s strategically placed maddening honey.


The Copper Scroll
na [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Copper Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in a cave in Judaean Desert, is actually a treasure map.

For more true stories, popular myths, and strange events of ancient history, begin here:

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