Bizzare Jobs From History 2

The bizarre jobs people got themselves occupied with in the past will just never cease to amaze me…and I’m sure you as well. Did you think the jobs from the first entry were bizarre? Here’s more!



The name gave me a ridiculous first impression when I came across it. The first thing that popped into my head was – did these guys piss for a living? It’s good not to jump to conclusions so quickly ‘cause it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was.

The urinatores were salvage divers from Ostia. The name – with its similarity to urine – is probably a reference to the fact that the deep diving caused so much pressure on their abdomens that they urinated a lot. (What! So if I had a job of tasting the sugar level of a malt factory and it made me shit more regularly would that make my job get named something like ‘Shitmaestro’?)

The divers had but one tool – a kettle shaped diving bell filled with air for breathing and weighed down with lead weights – to help the divers reach up to 30 meters below the surface. Their job was primarily salvage but they also moved construction equipment around. The dangers in this job are obvious but the pay was good – with many of the divers becoming very affluent members of the Roman society.

Na wah oh! Aristocrats with ridiculous careers.

Litter Carrier


Okay. I am now convinced that in the past, people lacked the ability to properly name jobs. A litter carrier sounded like one who emptied the trash on a regular basis. But I was shocked that it was something else…

The litter carrier was a slave whose job it was to cart women (and later men) around in little carriages. It was a hard job and a tedious one and could be dangerous (picture carrying a carriage up a flight of stairs!) The litter carriers were usually dressed in fine garments and the litters became more and more extravagant over the years. In fact, in later years many wealthy romans had windows of glass in their litters instead of the traditional curtains. Documents from the Roman times tell us that it was very uncomfortable to travel by litter as it could make one sea sick. This job has remained to a certain extent in that there is a group of men trained to carry the Papal Sedia Gestatoria (a throne carried on men’s shoulders). The sedia was last used in the 1980s but may make a come back due to recent security complications surrounding Pope Benedict XVI.

I wonder why that is but I sincerely don’t want to know.


The gymnasiarch had a busy job in ancient Greece due to the popularity of athletics. Despite being a dirty job – the gymnasiarch had to oil and scrape the athletes as well as tidy up after wrestling matches and the gymnasium in general, the position was highly sought after by the rich as it was considered the epitome of philanthropic occupations. To qualify as gymnasiarch you had to be between 30 and 60 and you have a large net worth. One benefit of the job was that you got to carry a stick with which to beat sullen youths who misbehaved in the gym.

Hmm…sounds like a sports prefect from a Nigerian high school, a barber and a janitor all in one!

Orgy Planner

Boy! The name says it all O! Just as you have wedding planners, so also did the Romans have orgy planners!

The orgy planner had a very unusual job – he got to plan festivities for the rich of society and, in some cases, got many perks (which I am sure you can imagine without me spelling it out). The orgy planner had to organize food, women, music, and accommodation. The downside to the job is that the orgy planner was not liked by all members of society (particularly those who were never invited to orgies) and the trade was even banned for a short time. The most famous orgy planner was Gaius Petronius who is most famous for writing the satirical book about Roman debauchery called Satyricon.

Hmm…do we have something close to this today? Well, the closest to this would be anybody who decides to throw a very 'bad' party at home when his or her parents aren’t around! Only they don’t get paid to do so, lol!

Funeral Clown

The funeral clown was paid to dress up as the dead person, wear a mask of his face, and dance about acting like him. The Romans believed that this would placate the spirits of the dead and bring joy to the living. As the funeral processed, the funeral clown would run alongside the corpse with other clowns making jokes and mimicking the dead. Some clowns were very highly regarded and even got to mock the emperor at his funeral. They were well paid and an oddly happy diversion from the clowns regular job as the head of a mime troupe.

Making fun of dead people for a living? I wonder why they don’t do this anymore. Probably because it became way too sensitive to those mourning. These Romans sef!


A slinger was a man trained to use the sling. The sling was an essential part of roman military strategy because it was more effective (both in distance and damage) to an arrow. As a child, slingers-in-training would be required to kill their dinner – no kill, no food. It was an extremely good way to get youths trained fast. The slinger could throw stones up to one pound in weight and they could be used accurately up to 200 meters.

A job you start preparing for from young age…hmmm. Where they inspired to develop this job after hearing of what David did to Goliath in the Bible?

Whipping Boy

A whipping boy, in the 1600s and 1700s, was a young boy who was assigned to a young prince and was punished when the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling. Whipping boys were established in the English court during the monarchies of the 15th century and 16th century. They were created because the idea of the Divine Right of Kings, which stated that kings were appointed by God, and implied that no one but the king was worthy of punishing the king’s son. Since the king was rarely around to punish his son when necessary, tutors to the young prince found it extremely difficult to enforce rules or learning. Whipping boys were generally of high birth, and were educated with the prince since birth. Due to the fact that the prince and whipping boy grew up together since birth, they usually formed an emotional bond. The strong bond that developed between a prince and his whipping boy dramatically increased the effectiveness of using a whipping boy as a form of punishment for a prince. The idea of the whipping boys was that seeing a friend being whipped or beaten for something that he had done wrong would be likely to ensure that the prince would not make the same mistake again.

Another job that proves that ancient English people were serious oddballs. First; this was a job for a youngster. Second; the job description involved being a scapegoat all the time - getting whipped for a living.

Are these jobs bizarre or what? In those days they probably weren’t. And who knows, maybe a lot of our jobs today will be seen as oddball professions in the future!


9 Screamer(s):

sosexy said...

I've seen liter carriers,
So not funny the boy being bit up for a prince's irresponsibility
An eye opener
Would also love to be an orgy planner.

Jaycee said...

Really, the whipping boy position is sad.

Myne Whitman said...

Yeah I pitied the whipping boy. What if his master was a heartless child?

Suru said...

These are all intense especially the whipping boy

2cute4u said...

Hmmmm,Im so loving the orgy planner lol..

Olufunke said...


This is very informative, you try!
very funny indeed...thank God those days have passed and I agreewith you, people did not knwo how to name jobs back then.
I need to go read part 1

Anonymous said...

I had read about the others expect the whipping boy! wa o! What about latrine carriers that was a special job far back in the 70's-80's in 9ja? hehehe They were called ABE-GPO![latrine carriers]

Blogger said...

+$3,624 profit last week...

Subscribe For 5 Star verified winning bets on NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL + Anti-Vegas Smart Money Signals!

Blogger said...

There's an incredible new opportunity that is trending online.

Major companies are paying average people for sharing their opinions!

You can make anywhere up to $5 - $75 per survey!

This is open to anybody in the world!