The Roman Empire, which lasted for around 1,500 years, stands as one of the most significant examples of the rise and fall of a civilization in human history. And while it would have been fascinating to meet epic Roman emperors like Caligula or Commodus, in reality, living at the time of their reigns probably wouldn't have been so great. In fact, the nasty realities of ancient Rome – from tapeworms to mass enslavement – create a pretty unappealing picture of life at the time.
There are nearly unlimited examples of Roman squalor. Despite their vaunted baths, the Romans still had a host of parasites and diseases. Some of their medical remedies were absolutely disgusting (as in dung, anyone?). Emperors, not exactly the paragons of virtue they purported to be, seduced siblings and marrying children. Even tasty dinner dishes were made out of repellant things, ranging from dolphin meatballs to flamingo tongues. Such disgusting conditions in Imperial Rome are enough to make anyone queasy.