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The Roman Family

Growing up in the center of the Roman Empire was an exercise in polar opposites. You were either one of the rich elites, the patricians, or the lower class, the plebeians.

The Plebeian Household
Since many of the lower class were tradesmen, the majority of power-class housing were apartments and flats attached to shops. While some of the richer tradesmen could afford to live in better quarters, many chose to live above their shops anyway.
A typical flat housed an entire family, commonly spanning three generations. Sometimes these flats were only a single room with no running water. Water was routinely hauled daily from public reservoirs. There were also usually no toilets in these dwellings, so public latrines had to be utilized.
Fire was a major threat in plebeian neighborhoods. Meals were cooked in close quarters and many of these dwellings were made of wood.

The Patrician Household
These homes were more like contemporary houses, and usually centered around a courtyard. Full families, sometimes up to four generations, still lived in a single household but not in nearly as tight quarters.
The houses were made of brick and tile. Painting adorned the walls and mosaics decorated the floors. Romans didn't have much furniture, running water and private baths were usually present. Some more wealthy families even had private temples as part od their houses.

Fun in Ancient Rome

There were many open-air theaters in Rome, and plays were quite popular among both the upper and lower class. Entertainment in general was free in Rome so all could attend. Even the smallest theaters in Rome could seat thousands. Contests were often held to see which recently written plays were the best, and often there would be festivals with plays running night and day.

The Colosseum
Able to seat over 45,000 people, the Colosseum is still a wonder to behold today (at least it's ruins). This is where the famous gladiator games were held. The public loved to see blood, and men fought each other as well as animals in this arena. On occasions, the Roman even flooded the Colusseum and held mock naval battles, in which many people were killed.

Roman School

School in ancient Rome was ultimately meant to teach one thing: How to make an effective speaker. Orators were highly successful in Roman society, and every educated male was expected to have at least some skill in public speaking.
School began before sunrise, and pupils learned by candle light until daybreak. there was a break/nap time in the afternoon and then back to school for a few more hours. Children were taught reading, writing and arithmetic using scroll and books. at age 12, the upper class children went on to higher education and at age 16, the smartest went on to study public speaking in preparation of a life as an orator.
School was not free, and some of the poorest couldn't afford to go. They were taught by household slaves, or if there were no slaves to teach, their parents.

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