Ancient Roman FAQs

Lucius Miroulis


In ancient Rome the Romans used papyrus to write, instead of paper. Papyrus was a very long process involving the papyrus plant. They made a grid like structure weaving the plant in and out to make a flat surface. Then they submerged the papyrus under water for around 3 days before it became one solid piece. In order to now right on the newly formed papyrus they had a quill feather dipped in ink. The poorer class of Romans were not able to purchase the papyrus and had to use wax. They had tablets of wax and made imprints in the wax with a stylus.


The Roman family differs greatly from the modern day family. In ancient Rome the father, or eldest male in the house, had total control over everything. The father bought slaves, had a job, and decided the marriage for the daughter. When a child was born the father was able to choose whether they wanted to keep and abandon the baby. The father also had the total control over any-ones life in the family.

The Roman women also had a role but of much less significance. They were very domestic, took care of the children, looked after the house, and created togas for the men. The life and responsibility of a Roman differs greatly from modern day family's. the women now can hold jobs and be the main financial source for the family, while the fathers is domestic

The names of a Roman were picked from their father. If a son, he took the name of his father, and a middle and last name as well. If a daughter she was given the feminine form of her fathers name. So if the fathers name was Cornelius, the son would be Cornelius Augustus Caesar, and the daughter would be Cornelia

Male Clothing

The Men of at least age 16 wore togas over their tunics. The type and style of toga they wore showed what class they were and how much money they had. Certain colors like white and gold showed a very high level of class. The boys under 16 however wore togas with a purple strip to show that they were not out of their juvenile years yet. The men wore one piece of jewelry which was a signing ring. The ring was a seal that was much like a signature today. They dipped the ring in wax and stamped the papyrus leaving the imprint on the papyrus.

Women Clothing

The women children wore the exact same toga as the men. A white toga with purple boarders. Once ready for marriage however they wore all the different types of jewelry that their fiance gave them. Before they went anywhere the put all the jewelry to show other boys that they were taken. The roman women wore very colorful dresses with lots of jewelry to show their amount of wealth. The more beautiful the dress and the more beautiful the jewelry meant they had a lot of money.


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"Names." The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. 181-182. World History in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

Tortora, Phyllis. "Toga." Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Ed. Valerie Steele. Vol. 3. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 329-331. World History in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

McManus, Barbara F. "Roman Clothing, Part I." Roman Clothing, Part I. VROMA, Aug. 2003. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

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