Strange Finds and Other Buried Facts
The second movie kicks in about halfway through, when nearby Mount Vesuvius erupts in a spectacular display that provides all that historically accurate ash. Also: pillars of fire, rivers of lava, flaming boulders, several earthquakes and even a giant Mediterranean tidal wave. What began as a B-movie gladiator flick ends as a disaster picture of epic proportions, with eye-popping 3-D effects.
History nerds should enjoy all the big-budget production values detailing the ancient Roman Empire. Before the fiery destruction, the movie depicts life at the height of the Pax Romana era -- the period of relative peace after Rome's initial expansion and before its eventual decline.
Watch the corners of the frame in "Pompeii" and you can glean some interesting tidbits -- for instance, some colosseums had a kind of partial and primitive retractable roof for shading the VIPs. Here are 10 more details about the ancient Roman empire that you might not know.
Those Roman Colosseums Were Built to Last
Roman Buildings Had Central Heating
The Toga Was a Status Symbol
While the college toga party may be an egalitarian affair, in ancient Rome the toga couldn't be worn by just anyone. In fact, the toga was restricted to Roman citizens -- a status governed by a complex system of laws. Togas weren't just sheets, either. The material, usually wool, was semi-circular in shape and draped by way of a complex method of tucks and folds. In later years, particular patterns and colors signified specific ranks and functions in Roman society.
Romans Wore Underwear, Too
Romans seldom went commando under those togas. Both men and women wore a loincloth called a subligaculum, made from wool or linen, although silken undergarments were prized by the wealthy. Women also sometimes wore a kind of strapless proto-brassiere called a mamillare or strophium. It was common for younger women especially to bound their breasts tightly, sometimes with soft leather.
Read more at Discovery News