Ancient Roman FAQs

By Longinus Johnson

Roman Writing

Romans did have paper to write on. However it was imported across the Mediterranean from Egypt. This paper was known as papyrus made from the plant of the same name. It was a difficult task which made it very expensive not to mention the shipping fees included. A typical roman would write with a quill dipped in ink. This quill could be made from a feather or a small bone.

Roman Families

Roman families were extremely different from our modern families in this era. They were not as technology advanced as we are a prime example could be found by look at how short there life spans were. The average roman life expectancy was 47 years. Also back in those days the dominant figure of the household was the father or oldest living male. He had control over his whole house which included the power to take a life. It was also very common for numerous relatives to be in once household at a time. The wife or mother of the house was bonded to the '' Paterfamilias''. Roman parents also were culturally distinct from modern ones. They married and became parents at younger ages to mach there short lived lives. A typical wife would marry at 10 and possibly have kids as early as 12. A male would would do this earlier though. he would marry at 18 and possibly become a father a year later.

We get a lot of our words in the English langue that are derived from Latin. Although when it comes to names we rarely hear about them and when we do they sound very weird. In roman times there would be only about twenty roman names. The son would take the same first name as his dads but possibly change the middles name to avoid confusion. The male names would end in '' us'' for example Maximus. Female names were harder to differentiate. Female names would in '' ia'' for example Lucia. They would take they name of there father and alter it to sound more feminine. The last name of roman families was to represent a special branch of the family.

Clothing for Men

Social class dictated dress attire due to money. The more financial income you acquired the better cloths you could by which would show to the public how much money you had. For example the color purple was extremely hard and long to make therefore it was very expensive. If it was expensive the rich could only wear it. A typical roman would wear either a toga or an tunic. Togas could go all they way towards the feet because they wear basically bed sheets wrapped around the body. The cloth was loser on the arms and legs but tighter at the waist and shoulders. Covering the feet a roman would wear sandals. A roman boy would wear a locket around his neck. This would symbolize the child's growth from infancy to becoming a man. Although some roman men could wear rings, and slaves adorned themselves with bracelets that symbolized that they were slaves.

Clothing for Women

Women didn't where togas. If one did it would be a represent that they worked at a brothel. Instead Romans wore longer and loser tunics. Married women were greatly encouraged to cover there heads when out in public. Roman women also could wear jewelry.


"Writing and Language." World Eras. Ed. John T. Kirby. Vol. 3: Roman Republic and Empire, 264 B.C.E.- 476 C.E. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 170-172. World History in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

"Family." The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. 153-155. World History in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

"Names, Roman System of." Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 66-67. World History in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

"Clothing." Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 148-153. World History in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

"Roman Clothing." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear Through the Ages. Ed. Sara Pendergast, et al. 2nd ed. Vol. 1: The Ancient World. Detroit: UXL, 2013. 157-174. 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.