What else did Pliny the Elder have to say about beauty?

March 14, 2017


The Romans were familiar with the crocodiles inhabiting the Nile. But where could they get crocodile intestine? Oh, that was easy, well, relatively speaking: from those beasts doomed to die in the games. Miriam sees that for herself when, in THE DEADLIEST HATE, she ventures below the arena to find her brother:


As I descended through the narrow passageway, torches stared out at me and splayed my furry shadow against the soot-streaked walls. The insufferable reek of rotting flesh, so unbearably sweet, crowded the air and settled on my lips while a pulsating heat rushed out to parch my skin. Able at last to see for some distance into this netherworld and feeling the slope of the tunnel leveling off, I figured I was approaching the hypogeum, the vast network of cells and chambers beneath the arena. Once there, passing its lurid pockets of light, I dared to look through tightly barred grilles into the cages of the hundreds of beasts doomed to die: lions, tigers, and bears but also crocodiles, apes, zebras, ostriches, and hyenas, animals varied and novel enough to demonstrate the vastness and power of the Empire.


Don’t worry. If you can’t get crocodile intestine to make your cheeks rosy, Pliny the Elder also recommended bull dung, which seems to be ubiquitous around here. Even better, 

Miriam's simpler technique is on page 120. Just click here.





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