Ancient Roman FAQs

Flavia Holmes


The Romans used a dull quill dipped in ink on papyrus paper for their letters and other beautiful works. The papyrus was very time consuming and expensive to make so they would use a shallow wooden tablet with a thin layer of wax on it to carve their letters.


The family was the most basic and time -honored Roman social unit. The head of the family was the paterfamilias (the oldest father). He would hold all the power and authority (patria potestas). If the men didn't want to raise a child then they would make the decision to get rid of it. But for women who couldnt have children adoption first and foremost was to provide an heir to carry the family name and land on. Having children (especially a son) was sign that the god's blessed the marriage. Some women wore amulets, used potions and prayed for children. Others who didnt want children would try concoctions, ride horses or jump up and down to try to not have kids.

How people got there names were different in Roman times. Women's names were female versions of their fathers names. If a man had more than one daughter they would all have the same name. When the women get married they wouldn't change their. For men, all of them would have two or more names.

Clothing - Men and Boys

The toga is the outer most garment, worn over a tunic. Only free male citizens of Rome who were at least 16 years of age could were togas. It is a symbol of Roman citizenship and was required dress for official activities. Individuals of some significant power or status wore special togas.

Boys would also wear different kinds of jewelry. They wore a bulla (neck chain and round pouch containing protective amulets). For the upper class boys the bulla would be made of gold. Some boys would wear small gold rings carved with phallus for good luck.

Clothing- Women and Girls

Free born girls (like boys) would wear a toga over a tunic. A normal outfit for them would be a toga praetexta which is toga with a purple border that had to be made of wool. Their hair would be carefully combed, braided and tied with a single band of wool clothe called a vitta and would probably be white which was a sign of purity.