Daily Life in Ancient Rome

If you had been born several centuries back, would you have wanted to be one of the Romans? Do you see yourself walking around Rome in a tunic? Or would you rather have slaves carry you on a curtained couch?

Daily life in ancient Rome included eating breakfast long before breakfast cereals came to be. The lower class of Romans, called the plebeians, usually have bread, wine and water. The upper class, known as the patricians, have the luxury of eating meat, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, and have honey to sweeten their foods. Slaves were at their disposal and were the ones who prepare their food and clean the house. The slaves even go to the extent of cutting the food for them as forks and knives were unheard of.

School was a part of the daily life in ancient Rome. Classes started before sunrise, like most work during that time. Children were expected to bring candles which they can use till sunrise. They were given lunch break and afternoon siesta. School resumed in the late afternoon. There was no definite time frame for a single academic year. However, all schools started their classes on the 24th of March every year.

Dinner was an essential part of the daily life in ancient Rome. Meals were mostly prepared by the mothers or the slaves, if there are any. The members of the family sat around a table to eat. Food was cut into bit-size pieces before being served. Since knives and forks were nonexistent, people were obliged to eat with their hands.

Toys and games played an important role in the daily life in ancient Rome. They enjoyed playing with balls, board games, kites, and tic-tac-toes. Boys normally were fascinated with battle games or sword fights. Girls were naturally playing with their dolls or board games. Romans loved sports, and the perfect expression of this was watching gladiators fight themselves to death.

Daily life in ancient Rome seemed uncomplicated by their marriage celebrations. Actually, these are not much of a celebration as most marriages are pre-arranged by the parents. Still, most of these happen in June. The girls were considered old enough to marry when they are about twelve years old. The “celebration” dictates the bride to take her clothes and toys to offer to the goddess Venus. A sacrificial pig is killed on the wedding day and prayers are said.

The daily life in ancient Rome probably does not differ much from our daily lives right now. But they sure have harsher punishments for crimes, uncomplicated stand on marriage and divorce, and have little regard for the house help. However, they don’t seem to fuss about those, so why should we?

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