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From the acclaimed author of Augustus, Cicero, and The Rise of Rome, an entertaining and richly informative miscellany of facts about Rome and the Roman world

SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus. Do you know to what use the Romans put the excrement of the kingfisher? Or why a dinner party invitation from the emperor Domitian was such a terrifying prospect? Or why Roman women smelled so odd? The answers to these questions can be found in this compendium of extraordinary facts and anecdotes about ancient Rome and its Empire. The 500-odd entries range across every area of Roman life and society, from the Empress Livia's cure for tonsillitis to the most reliable Roman methods of contraception.

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