Ancient Roman FAQs

Hades Lewis


The ancient Romans used lots of different objects for their writing needs. The most poor members of the society used broken pottery with a stylus and some also used a wood slate with wax inside of it. Using another stylus the user would scrape into the wax and could erase all the work by heating up the wax. Some Romans used parchment which was dried animal skins of cattle, sheep, and goats. The wealthy members of society used papyrus and dye which was made and imported from Egypt.


A Roman family was very different from the modern family. For starters the father and his children were all one family while the wife was still technically part of her fathers family. Once children were born the father would decide if he wanted to keep them or not. If they were kept a nurse would take care of them from birth until age, usually around 16. Women had less rights then modern women of America but compared to some ancient societies and even some modern societies they had plenty of rights.

The oldest father of the family had complete control over the family. When a baby was born the father could decide to keep or leave a baby for dead in the elements. He also could punish the members however he saw fit, even killing them. Parents in ancient Rome didnt take much care of the kids, this job belonged to the nannies.

In ancient Rome men had three names, the praenomen, or first name, the nomen, or family name, and cognamen, the third name or nickname. Women on the other hand only had two or one name, the nomen and sometimes the cognomen. For women the nomen didn't change after she married unless it was a special circumstance.

Clothing - Men's and Boys'

When Rome was still a republic only free males could wear a toga. After that period more and more people began to wear the. Boys wore a praetexta, a toga with purple borders, until he came of age. Men wore a regular toga while political candidates wore the toga candida, which was bleached white. Generals and Roman citizens who were called upon for their amazing contributions were given the toga picta, a toga with gold embrodery.

Adult males could only wear one item of jewelry, a utensil used to put their seal into sealing wax. Boys on the other hand wore a good luck charm called a bulla.

Clothing - Women's and Girls'

Freeborn girls wore the same thing as freeborn boys, the toga praetexta. They also wore a white headband called a vitta. Married women wore a stolla and always had their head covered while in public. Disgraced women wore a plain white toga, they no longer had the honor of a stolla. Widowed women traded their stolla for the ricinium which translates to, to throw back. Finally unmarried women wore the same thing as a widowed women or a women divorced for political reasons, the plain white toga.