Categories : Ancient Inventions Interesting Roman Inventions


Spurius Carvilius Ruga was an ancient Roman Freedman who lived around either 600 BCE or 230 BCE.  It is rather unclear on the specifics.  He is best known for inventing the letter “G“, which was introduced into the Roman alphabet rather quickly because until that point “C” had been used for both “k” and “g” sounds.

Other distinctions Ruga can claim are being the first recorded person in history to open a private elementary school.  It was actually during this time that he dropped the letter “Z” and added “G”, because the “dz” sound that “Z” was used for was deemed unneeded.

Plutarch is the only source found that credits Ruga with these inventions.

He can also claim the rather dubious distinction of being the first man in history to divorce his wife – the father of divorce if you will.  Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Aulus Gellius both confirm this, with Dionysius relating the story:

Spurius Carvilius, a man of distinction, was the first to divorce his wife … yet because of his action, though it was based on necessity, he was ever afterwards hated by the people.

However, both of their dating for this is 230 BCE, which conflicts with the twelve tablets (450BCE), which contain a provision for divorce.

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 Posted on : August 9, 2008 - Last updated on Jan 20, 2011

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