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Classically Inspired: The Gigantic Emperor

June 5th, 2018

Portrait of Maximinus Thrax. Marble, Roman artwork, 235–238 CE
{photo by Jastrow via Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain}

Today we bring you one more “classically inspired” connection before the school year ends – and there’s a bonus in today’s post! First, from chapter 94 of The Story of the Romans we read:

“The new emperor, Maximinus, was of peasant blood, and was a native of Thrace. He was of uncommon strength and size, and very ambitious indeed. As he found the occupation of herdsman too narrow for him, he entered the Roman army during the reign of Severus, and soon gained the emperor’s attention by his feats of strength.

“We are told that he was more than eight feet high, that his wife’s bracelet served him as a thumb ring, and that he could easily draw a load which a team of oxen could not move. He could kill a horse with one blow of his fist, and it is said that he ate forty pounds of meat every day, and drank six gallons of wine.

“A man who was so mighty an eater and so very tall and strong, was of course afraid of nothing; and you will not be surprised to hear that he was winner in all athletic games, and that he quickly won the respect of the Roman soldiers.”

Which reminded one of our families of:

{photo by Dennis Jarvis via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0}

Paul Bunyan!

Or perhaps this guy:

{photo source}

And here’s your bonus - have you seen these at Trader Joe’s? The classics even inspire food products!

We hope to keep this series going next year as we get into the Middle Ages. Whenever a story you read reminds you of something older (or newer), email us at to share!


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