Today we have a wedding planner or an event planner, but in the old days people saw orgy as a feast that had to be organized irreproachably. The orgy planner had a very unusual but very exciting job – he got to plan festivities for the rich of society and, in some cases, got many perks.
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 popular orgy planner was Gaius Petronius who wrote the satirical book about Roman debauchery called “Satyricon”.
A funeral clown had the main job obligation of going to funerals dressed as the dead person. Moreover, he also had to mime his gestures, walking and favorite expressions. During the funeral process, the clown ran all around the coffin together with other clowns in order to make the grieved relatives laugh. In Ancient Rome people thought that this type of ritual could comfort the spirits of the dead and bring joy to the living. There were also famous and very valuable clowns who had the opportunity to mock the emperors at their funeral. Macabre clowns were very well payed, historical sources saying that they gain even better than gladiators.
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.
A whipping boy, was a young boy who was assigned to a young prince and was punished when the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling. 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.Whipping boys were established in the English court during the monarchies of the 15th century and 16th centuries. link
This peculiar job was popular in England and Ireland during the early days of the industrial revolution, before alarm clocks were affordable or reliable. A knocker-up’s job was to rouse sleeping people so they could get to work on time.
The knocker-up used a trucheon or short, heavy stick to knock on the clients’ doors or a long and light stick, often made of bamboo, to reach windows on higher floors. In return, the knocker-up would be paid a few pence a week. The knocker-up would not leave a client’s window until they were assured the client had been awoken.
There were large numbers of people carrying out the job, especially in larger industrial towns such as Manchester. Generally the job was carried out by elderly men and women but sometimes police constables supplemented their pay by performing the task during early morning patrols. link
A dog whipper was a church official charged with removing unruly dogs from a church or church grounds during services.
In some areas of Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries it was not uncommon for household dogs to accompany – or at least follow – their owners to church services. If these animals became disruptive it was the job of the dog whipper to remove them from the church, allowing the service to continue in peace.
In some areas a portion of village land was made available for the use of the dog whipper, the small park named ‘Dog Acre’ in Birchington-on-Sea is the remnant of such a grant.
Some villages employed dog whippers in a more general capacity, dealing with stray and disruptive dogs throughout the village. In this sense dog whippers were precursors of modern animal control officers. link
Curse Tablet Writer
A curse tablet or binding spell is a type of curse found throughout the Graeco-Roman world, in which someone would ask the gods to do harm to others. These texts were typically scratched on very thin sheets of lead in tiny letters, then often rolled, folded, or pierced with nails.
The curse tablet writer had sit day in and day out hearing the complaints and woes of his customers who needed curses written. Here is one example: “bind every limb and sinew of Victorius, the charioteer for the Blue team.. the horses he is about to race… blind their eyes so they cannot see and twist their soul and heart so they cannot breathe.” link
A tosher is someone who scavenges in the sewers, especially in London during the Victorian era. The word tosher was also used to describe the thieves who stripped valuable copper from the hulls of ships moored along the Thames.
The toshers decided to cut out the middle man and it was a common sight in 19th Century Wapping for whole families to whip off a manhole cover and go down into the sewers, where they would find rich pickings.
As most toshers would reek of the sewers, they were not popular with the neighbours. One unexpected side effect of the sewer work was that toshers – or, at least, those toshers who survived – built up a strong tolerance to typhus and the other diseases that swept the ghettos. link
The stercorarius (or `night soil man’, as he was known well into the Fifties in Britain) had regular, if rather more disagreeable, work. We can assume that the average Roman generated about 1.5lbs of bodywaste a day. Imperial Rome, with a population of one million, would therefore generate more than 650 tons of daily sewage. Though we hear of the need for sewercleaners and the risk they ran of choking to death, little of this human waste would disappear down a sewer. Very few Romans were connected up since, in the absence of the S-bend, stench and vermin could find their way from sewer into house and, when the Tiber rose, sewage too (we hear of one house which an octopus nightly entered via the drain to eat the pickled fish stored inside). But, more importantly, Romans regularly used human excrement to supplement animal manure. Where there’s muck, there’s brass, and it was the job of the stercorarius to empty the cesspits and sell on the contents to farmers on city outskirts. A graffito from Herculaneum records a payment of 11 asses for the removal of ordure (the as being the lowest denomination of coin). link