The Ancient Rome civilization began on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Life expectancy in Ancient Rome was from 20 to 30 years. At its peak, the Roman Empire comprised only 12% of the world's population. The Roman Empire was not the largest empire in history. It was only the 28th largest. The wars between Romans and Persians lasted about 721 years, the longest conflict in human history. Ancient Romans celebrated "Saturnalia", a festival in which slaves and their masters would switch places. During the 7th century B.C., ancient Roman "vestal virgins" were required to keep their hymens intact as proof of virginity until age 30 or they would be buried alive. Ancient Rome was eight times more densely populated than modern New York. The inhabitants of ancient Rome had a sewer goddess, a toilet god, and a god of excrement. Urine was used in Ancient Rome to wash clothes. THE ROMANS used urine to whiten their teeth. Paris was originally a Roman city called "Lutetia". Early Christians were called "atheists" by Romans as they didn't pay tribute to pagan gods. Ancient Rome in 150 CE had less income inequality than the U.S. today. The Roman Emperor Gaius Caligula made his horse a senator. Ancient Greeks and Romans often bought slaves with salt. Women in ancient Rome wore the sweat of Gladiators to improve their beauty and complexion. Ancient Romans used a sponge on a stick to clean themselves after pooping, and shared it with everyone. Most Romans avoided being cruel to slaves. They used bonuses and branding to improve productivity, just like modern employers. Roman Gladiators rarely fought to the death or against animals and were considered celebrities of their time. Two Roman dams in Spain are still in use after 1900 years. In the 1st century AD, polar bears fought seals in Roman amphitheaters flooded with water. The Statue Of Liberty Was Inspired By The Roman Pagan Goddess Libertas. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the technology to make concrete was lost for 1000 years. Ancient Rome had a 4-story-tall shopping mall with 150 shops and offices. If Ancient Rome's Colosseum was built today, it would cost about US$380 million. In Ancient Rome, the punishment for killing one's father was the death penalty, consisting of being sewn up in a sack along with a viper, a dog, and a cock. In Ancient Rome, women would drink turpentine to make their urine smell sweet like roses. The Salema Porgy is a species of fish that can cause hallucinations when eaten. In Ancient Rome it was consumed as a recreational drug. The Pyramids of Giza were more ancient to the ancient Romans, than Ancient Rome is ancient to us. Flamingo tongues were a delicacy in ancient Rome. In 2012, divers discovered a 2,000-year-old Roman shipwreck that was so well preserved even the food was intact in its storage jars. Julius Caesar was pronounced 'YOO-lee-us KYE-sahr' in ancient Rome. Ancient Romans ran cold aqueduct water in pipes through their houses in an early form of air conditioning. Nero, the Roman Emperor, married a man, one of his freedmen, taking the role of the bride. In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose. In Ancient Rome, while suicide was socially acceptable at first, it was later deemed a crime against the state due to its economic costs. Classical Greek culture, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC, had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and provided the foundation of modern Western culture. In 86 AD, the Colosseum was filled with water to stage a full naval battle. Roman charioteers earned far more than even the best-paid footballers and international sports stars of today, according to academic research. Inhabitants of the Chinese town of Liqian have blond hair and white skin. Historians have speculated they are the descendants of a lost Roman settlement. In 117 ad, Emperor Hadrian declared attempted suicide by soldiers, a form of desertion and made it a capital offence. Cincinnati is named after Cincinnatus, a ruler of the Roman Empire who saved Rome from crisis and then retired to his farm rather than rule. The famous barbarian leader Attila accepted hefty subsidies in gold in exchange for not attacking Roman territory — then did it anyway. In A.D. 77, Pliny the Elder, an adviser to Roman emperors and the author of at least 75 books, published the first encyclopedia, Natural History. In Roman times, men held their own testicles as a sign of truthfulness while bearing witness in a public forum. Roman emperor Hadrian, in 117 AD, declared attempted suicide by soldiers a form of desertion and made it a capital offense. By the fifth century AD, Rome had around 900 public baths. Roman Emperor Tiberius banned kissing, believing it caused the spread of a fungal disease called mentagra (inflamed hair follicles). When Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates, he demanded they increase his ransom. Roman emperor Diocletian retired in 305 AD to grow vegetables in his home town of Split, Croatia. Ancient Greek and Roman statues were actually brilliantly colored and not just bare marble or stone. In Ancient Rome, women donated their hair for use as military catapult elastic. Instead of a Foreign Office, the Roman Empire had a "Bureau of Barbarians". Ancient Romans running for office wore a distinctive toga called the "toga candida." Hence the word "candidate.".