By Alex Woolf
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Extra resources for 1001 Hideous History Facts: Delve into the depths of our despicable past!
He had been sacrificed by the Romans who had smashed his skull into his brain, slit his throat and strangled him. Their body parts were then dumped into a pit at a holy site, possibly to ensure a good harvest. The people of Teotihuacán in South America sometimes sacrificed holy animals. Before burying a cougar, wolf, eagle or owl alive, they often put it in a cage. After all, you wouldn’t want a load of wolves wandering around underground, would you? The world’s first theme park was established near the Italian city of Baia during the 1st century BC.
Several of Aristotle’s writings survived purely by chance. Some old documents found in a dirty pit around 80BC turned out to be the only copies of his works. 43 The Hideous Classical Period It took over 1,700 years to build the Great Wall of China. It was built entirely by slaves and other forced labourers. They were fed just enough to keep them alive and many died of accidents, disease and exhaustion. The Chinese say that each brick in the wall represents a life lost. 44 1001 Hideous History Facts King Mithridates VI of Pontus took small doses of poison throughout his life to build up his resistance in case someone tried to poison him.
Bald Romans made a paste from mashed up flies and spread it over their heads to encourage hair growth. The fearless warrior Attila the Hun died in AD453 after getting a nosebleed on his wedding night to his new bride. In AD455, the Vandals sacked Rome with such ferocity that the word vandalism came to mean ‘senseless destruction’. St Simeon Stylites of Syria lived alone on top of a pillar for 37 years. He was a popular attraction for many pilgrims and sightseers, even though he just wanted to be alone!