Calling it “the most shocking discovery ever made”, a historian at the Italian Center of History and Pasta announced that an ongoing study has found strong evidence that Rome was, in fact, built in a day. “It’s changing our perspective of the famous cliche,” she said. “How and why did the saying catch on, if Rome really was built in a day?”
Some researchers suggested that perhaps enemies of the Romans popularized the saying to discredit their amazing achievements, such as constructing about a kilometer of aqueduct every three minutes for 24 hours straight.
“When Christianity took over,” the historian said, “they probably didn’t want anyone to know that the early Romans were far more advanced despite not believing in the correct deity.”
One piece of cited evidence was found by examining ancient stone-paved roads with underground imaging technology. The research team found remains of workers under the paving stones, at frequent but irregular intervals, sprawled out as if they’d just tripped and fallen there. It seems that the rapid pace of road paving–about 9.2 kilometers per hour–simply made it impossible to stop in time whenever a worker fell over, so a few unfortunate clumsy fellows ended up being paved over before anyone could blink.
Another clue was the sloppy work in hidden corners of structures, suggesting that workers were pushed so hard they cut every corner they could get away with. Some of the slapdash construction work undoubtedly contributed to the literal fall of the Roman Empire, as every building was weakened by all the cuts in its corners.
Future study will focus on what caused this extraordinary expansion to stop after one day, a mystery that some believe will never be solved. “When you’ve been convinced that seemingly impossible things actually happened, everything you thought you knew just goes out the window and you’re open to any ridiculous proposal,” our source told us during a follow-up phone call. “For all we know, the Roman gods were real. In fact, that’s the only way I can imagine they were able to achieve such spectacular results. The time has come; everyone must now pledge their allegiance to Zeus or face the consequences!”
When asked what the consequences would be, our source wailed and the line went dead. For a moment there was a sizzling sound, and then we lost consciousness. When we awoke, all our data was corrupted and we were very confused about some Latin words that were written on the wall in blood, which read “one day is as a thousand years”. We had a forensic expert run a DNA analysis and it turned out to be the intern’s blood, at which point everybody became even more confused about why they couldn’t remember ever having an intern. After a two-week manhunt, no memories of the missing intern have been found.
We will bring you more on this story if it ever develops, but in the meantime we are making daily offerings to Zeus just in case. (Nobody has realized that Zeus is Greek and his Roman counterpart is Jupiter, but whoever’s up there seems to be appeased anyway.)