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A Selection of World Records from Ancient Times

Haruspicy
Haruspitic auguring records are divided into two areas: sheep and chicken. They are the results of timed trials in which the haruspex completes his or her reading in the shortest time possible. This reading is then compared to actual events which follow.

The correctness of the reading is given an augury Coefficient (C) which when multiplied by and subtracted from the final Augur Rate (AR, the length of time spent reading the entrails), by the formula AR-(AR*C), gives a Complete Augur Simplified Score (CASS). In determining records, the lowest known CASS is used.

Name Year Animal C AR CASS
Lucius Tullius Trapinus, Rome 34 BCE Sheep .51 14m 5s 422.5
Thutmous Anktherim, Egypt 2160 BCE Chicken .92 2m 19s 13.9
1. Reading: Hats will soon become very popular in Rome.
2. Reading: There is some argument over this reading, as Mr Anktherim's summation was he would have a chicken sandwich the following day.

Human Sacrifice

Most Self-Defeating Use of a Volcano
On July 14, 1319 BCE on the island of Java, 11,407 virgins of the Pljten tribe plunged to their deaths all in the span of 8 minutes during the opening ceremonies of the annual fertility rite. Unfortunately, these women comprised the entire premenopausal female population of the Pljten.

Perhaps just as unfortunately, following the virgin sacrifice all the men of the tribe underwent voluntary castration in a new and obviously not well thought-out addition to the fertility rite.


War

Most Senseless Attrition
In 1540 BCE in Ancient China during the Shang Dynasty, an epic battle between Generals Bao and Yin is believed to contain the most horrendously senseless loss of life in the history of warfare.

General Bao, a poor strategist with 100,000 men under his command faced the brilliant tactician Yin, who led around 300 brave souls onto the plains of Pu-er. At 6am on July 10th, having supreme confidence in his almost novelty-sized force, General Bao began sending his men towards the formation of General Yin.

Bao, in a stroke of delusional giddiness, had his men attacking in shifts, with some sleeping while others ate lunch while still others were impaled without remorse on the enemies' pikes. He well knew he could outlast Yin through sheer force of numbers but, due to a mix up in pre-battle bone-casting, believed he could only do so if he sent them forward two at a time.

At first, to the soldiers of Yin at least, this seemed to be a humorously suicidal form of attack. They immediately cut down pair after pair of charging warriors. But eventually time and sore shoulders led to Yin's troops becoming increasingly tired and unable to slaughter.

Inevitably, after six years, Yin's small group was finally overwhelmed by the old and strange-smelling remnants of Bao's once-grand force. Beginning with a 99,700 man advantage in 1540 BCE, by the year 1534 BCE his troop count had dwindled to just 4. And most of those were sheep herders who had recently begun letting their animals graze on the quiet, relatively conflict-free battlefield.


Nonsensical Violence

Most Dangerous Sport
The ancient Aztec game known as Huetzlcaptotec is generally considered the deadliest in history. It consisted of two teams of 100 men, each equipped with a small stone and a simple sling. The teams were led out onto a grand court and took up positions at the far ends. At a given signal, hidden archers would spring up from behind high walls surrounding the court and rain down poison-tipped arrows onto the participants.

This continued until nearly all of the contestants were killed, at which point the trained rabid dogs were released onto the grounds in order to tear the players, living and dead, to ribbons.

The game remained hugely popular until the 16th century, at which time hundreds of thousands of innocent Aztecs were murdered in cold blood by Spanish conquistadors. Sadly, few archers survived and the game was forced to discontinue.

Biggest Public Showboating in History
In 334 BCE, at a birthday celebration for the great statesman and orator Demosthenes, Tito of Aniphos raped to death an entire stage production of The Oresteia.

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