Ancient Rome

Writing, clothing, and family

Did they have paper? How did they write?

A very common question asked when learning about the ancient Romans is did they have paper? The answer is yes, but not the paper we use today they had a very close equivalent called Papyrus. Making the papyrus paper was more a task for slaves rather than an everyday family. To write the ancient Romans used a quill dripped in ink given the proper conditions the papyrus paper could last more than a thousand years. When they wrote they used capital letters and used no punctuation.

Roman names

While most modern day families have lots of names to choose from in ancient Roman times they gave a version of their own names to their children. Most Roman men had three names. All Roman citizens used their father’s name. They usually ended in –ius for men and –ia for women. A Cognomen was an additional name that helped identify an individual as a particular branch of a family or clan.

Roman families

There are so many differences between the Roman family and a modern day family like the ages of when you would get married or how you treat your children and who’s in charge around the house. For example the in charge family member in a Roman family would be the eldest father and the eldest mother if they lived with the husbands parents. In the family when they would have to make an important decision the husband would have the final say

Roman parenting

Instead of saying Mom or Dad like modern day they used a more formal name. For fathers it would be Paterfamilias for the Mothers it would be Materfamilias even children had a more formal name called liberi which means the free ones. The children in a Roman family weren’t raised by their mothers most of the time most likely they were raised by their nurse or nutrix. The nutrix would care for the child since birth. The child children usually grew attached to their nutrix and probably were their nurse for life. When a child was born into a Roman family the father made the decision about whether to keep the child.

How did the Romans dress?

Romans dressed based on their wealth or status. For example wealthy Roman men wore togas draped over a tunica with intricately patterned garments. Togas are given to boys when they turned 16 as a sign of citizenship for official activities. The toga was considered an awkward garment because they always need to be fixed or adjusted. Men or boys wore jewelry but mainly rings. Wealthy women wore their hair braided and carefully tied with a single band of wool cloth. They also wore togas praeteyta with a purple border which were believed to protect them from danger. They could’ve worn a necklace like an amulet or a charm to scare off evil spirits.


"Roman Paper." Ic Gale Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

"Roman Names." Ic Gale Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015
"Roman Womens Clothing." Ic Gale Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015
"Roman Families." Ic Gale Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015