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What's a Vomitorium?

Started by gash, August 29, 2016, 11:02:01 am

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As far as pop culture is concerned, a vomitorium is a room where ancient Romans went to throw up lavish meals so they could return to the table and feast some more. It's a striking illustration of gluttony and waste, and one that makes its way into modern texts. Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" series, for example, alludes to vomitoriums when the lavish inhabitants of the Capitol -- all with Latin names like Flavia and Octavia --imbibe a drink to make them vomit at parties so they can gorge themselves on more calories than citizens in the surrounding districts would see in months.

But the real story behind vomitoriums is much less disgusting. Actual ancient Romans did love food and drink. But even the wealthiest did not have special rooms for purging. To Romans, vomitoriums were the entrances/exits in stadiums or theaters, so dubbed by a fifth-century writer because of the way they'd spew crowds out into the streets

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