Monday, April 30, 2012

The ancient Guiness records

Extraordinary facts or deeds were always fascinating.Today all of them are recorded in the Guinness book of records. The ancients had also an interest over such deeds and some of them mentioned by ancient authors survived until today.

Highest price for a book
Aristotle bought Speusippos' books in exchange for three talents which corresponded to 77 kgs of silver.

The most expensive soap
Demetrius Poliorcetes spent 6.500 kgs of silver to buy soap for his mistresses
Giulio Romano "Meleager and Atalanta"

The most immoral work of art
The great ancient painter Parasius had painted a very realistic scene where Atalanta was having oral sex with prince Meleager.
Ancient Long Jump

The long jump record
The Spartan Kiones reached 17 meters

The most expensive fabric
The glowing flax was imported from abroad as it was originated from India. Its cost was similar as a pearl. It was so expensive because it was fireproof

The most luxurious deserts
It was those that Alexander the Great offered to his friends.They were little pieces of nuts, figs and other delights wrapped by golden leaves.The guests were eating the deserts and threw the gold away as if it was common garbarge.

The most tasty food
It was considered that the Ostrich brains and the skylark's tongue were delicious

The most severe punishment for a theatrical play
Frynichos presented in Athens a tragedy called The fall of Miletus(in 492 BC by the Persians). The play was so touching that everyone in the crowd burst into tears.However instead of being honoured Frynichos was punished to pay 1000 drachmas(equal to many salaries of a worker) for reminding the Athenians about this disaster.

The most precious mummy
It was Alexander the Great. After his death his corpse would be transferred from Babylon back to Macedon but one of his generals and later King of Egypt called Ptolemy stole Alexander's corpse mummified it and put it in a golden sarcophagus.

The best art model
Aphrodite the goddess of love was the most beloved theme of painters sculptors and potters.

The biggest reward for writting a judicial defence.
In the ancient courts the people who were judged weren't allowed to have lawyers so they hired rhetors to write their defence.The most expensive was a defensive rhetoric that Isocrates wrote in exchange for 20 talents which corresponded to half a ton of silver

The most expensive doctor
Cleombrotos from Kea received 100 talents for saving the life of the Seleucid king Antiochus Soter .

The most expensive dog
Alcibiades paid 700 drachmas for a large dog.(1 drachma was the daily salary of a skilled labourer)


The most expensive prostitute
The notorious Lais from Corinth demanded from the famous rhetor Demosthenes 10.000 drachmas for one night.Demosthenes shocked by the demands replied:With this price i am not buying nobody's guilts.

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