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Old 09-29-12, 09:12 PM   #1
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A Trip to Ancient Rome

Assume that in a month, you will be sent through a time machine on a one way trip to ancient Rome. You cannot carry anything with you. What do you to prepare? How do you plan to survive and prosper?

My first thought would be to study how to make soap and shampoo. The Romans loved their baths, but never figured out soap.

Oops, toward the end of the Roman Empire, soap was introduced by the dirty unwashed german barbarians.
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Old 09-29-12, 09:35 PM   #2
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did they had deodorant? Toilet paper perhaps?
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Old 09-30-12, 01:51 AM   #3
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Soap for sure. Learn how to smelt iron from ore so I don't have to food cooked in lead pots with lead sauce and lead gravy with leaded lead for dessert. Learn how to add carbon to iron to make steel, at least in small batches. Learn how to make the KNO3 for gunpowder so I can sore amaze the natives with my own thunder and lightning. Learn how to make condoms so I can roger the wives of the Senate without fear of the great pox. Learn how to use my size to my advantage against a trained man with a sword or dagger.

Learn at least a smattering of Latin, enough to enlist a teacher so I can learn more. If you can't speak the language, you're sunk. Brush up on my math so I can talk to the engineers (did you know they did all the math for their public works using roman numerals? Apparently, that part of the brain functions independent of what symbols are fed into it. Weird.)

Get into fantastic shape, then put on 15 pounds of bodyfat as a store against lean times. It might be 3-5 days after arrival that I can figure out how to eat. I'd want to take a big dose of anti-diarrhoeals right before transit, the water is sure to be iffy.

Try to learn where the cunning artificers and alchemists are hanging out first thing. They might be suspicious of the huge naked stranger gabbling at them in a foreign tongue, but they won't kill me out of hand.
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Old 09-30-12, 03:56 AM   #4
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Steal an idea from Mr. Climmons, set up a match factory.
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Old 09-30-12, 05:19 AM   #5
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Get into fantastic shape, then put on 15 pounds of bodyfat as a store against lean times. It might be 3-5 days after arrival that I can figure out how to eat. I'd want to take a big dose of anti-diarrhoeals right before transit, the water is sure to be iffy.
Hey, he said we only had a month.

Great ideas re learning how to work with metals, gunpowder, etc. I would be reading every book I could find on the details of Rome - the countryside, history, etc. Mead was being brewed around that time, so I would get into that. I would also look into making beer with various herbs for bittering, since hops aren't native there.
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Old 09-30-12, 06:36 AM   #6
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Prepare myself to wipe out half the population of Rome because I'd probably be carrying back some sort of disease they've never contacted. Some sort of thing we're immune (ized) to now, but they weren't.
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Old 09-30-12, 07:33 AM   #7
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Make a quick trip to the Vatican archives to find the address of my great-great...great grandparents, Biggus and Incontinentia. So at least I have a place to crash.

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Old 09-30-12, 08:59 AM   #8
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chelators to cancel out the lead poisoning from the aqueducts; and polar fleece feathers for the vomitoria
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Old 09-30-12, 09:47 AM   #9
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Just as a quick side note...water wasn't used for drinking (so much) back then due to the issues borne from it. Thus why wine was such a staple of it's time, it was safe to drink.
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Old 09-30-12, 02:15 PM   #10
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Anyone who knows Algebra or Calculus would be way ahead of the game. Way, Way, Way ahead.

I was thinking that lens grinding would be a good skill. And if you learned how to make a Newtonian Telescope with brass and tin, you'd be set.
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Old 09-30-12, 02:17 PM   #11
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Prepare myself to wipe out half the population of Rome because I'd probably be carrying back some sort of disease they've never contacted. Some sort of thing we're immune (ized) to now, but they weren't.
Study simple vaccines Smallpox would never stand a chance.
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Old 09-30-12, 05:03 PM   #12
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Anyone who knows Algebra or Calculus would be way ahead of the game. Way, Way, Way ahead.

I was thinking that lens grinding would be a good skill. And if you learned how to make a Newtonian Telescope with brass and tin, you'd be set.
Every try to do algebra with roman numerals.
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Old 09-30-12, 05:04 PM   #13
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Toilet paper perhaps?
Most roman toilets featured a sponge on a stick for cleaning oneself.
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Old 09-30-12, 05:44 PM   #14
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Every try to do algebra with roman numerals.
Even better, you can start your own secret cult, and train your priesthood to use secret Arabic numerals. Then you charge outrageous sums for the math you do that no one else can. And make an abacus to help.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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