Ancient Roman FAQ's

Faustus Rogers


The English word for paper was derived from the the Latin word papyrus. Papyrus was a very popular early way to write things down. Papyrus is made from a plant and takes a long time and isn't easy. later on parchment was discovered made from animal skins the most common animal skins used were cattle, sheep, and goats. Calf's or baby cows made a very fine piece of parchment called Vellum. Other forms of writing surfaces were wax tablets and bark. Pens were made from dried plant reeds and were filled or covered with soot and vegetable gum for ink another ink was vegetable dye, iron, and sulfur. Some more expensive pens had metal tips and lasted longer.


The Latin word for family is familia. Roman family's were nuclear and in a Roman home there would be the family (Dad, mom, children, with the occasional grandparent/aunt or uncle) and the family's slaves were thought to be a part of the family. The pater familias was usually the oldest living male so usually the father or a grandfather and he had power and authority called patria potestas and he made all the important decisions and had control of the family.

The Father decided whether or not he would raise a child he would wait 8 days to decide for girls and 9 days for boys because a lot of children had short lives and didn't live long past birth. If a father decided to not to raise the child the child would be left in the elements to die but if the father decided to raise the child he would pick the child up as a symbol that he would keep the child. Children who were adopted were adopted later in their life and were usually boys so the adopting family had a heir to their family. Boys were given a bulla which was a protective amulet and the boy would dedicate it to the household gods when he became a man. Girls would dedicate their child hood toys the day before they were to get married. Roman names were different from modern day names and similar because they had three names but they were chosen differently. The first name or praenomen was chosen by the parents and the middle name or nomen came from the father's name by taking his name and adding -ius for boys and -ia for girls. As an example if the father's name is Tillius the his son's name or nomen would be also Tillius but his daughter's name would be Tillia.

Clothing Men's and Boy's

Roman boys and men dressed in togas. Togas were a sign of citizenship and rank. A roman senator would have a toga with a purple boarder to show his rank over other romans. Roman men and boys were allowed one piece of jewelry one of the most commonly worn piece of jewelry for Roman men and boys was a custom ring that they would stamp legal documents and important letters with by pressing it against the wax sealing. Some men and boys wore a metal pin on their togas to hold the toga instead.

Clothing Women's and Girl's

Roman girls would wear the same togas boys would wear. Roman girls had their hair very carefully combed and had it put so it was in style their hair styles were very elaborate. Women dressed differently because of marriage, widowed, divorce, or if they were discraced. It was important to keep styles up to date. Roman hair dyes were dangerous and some women and girls even lost their hair because of the dyes.

Research Citations

"Books and Manuscripts." Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 98-100. 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.

"Children." World Eras. Ed. John T. Kirby. Vol. 3: Roman Republic and Empire, 264 B.C.E.- 476 C.E. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 304-305. 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.

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. 8 Oct. 2015.

"The Dress of Roman Women." Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. Ed. Edward I. Bleiberg, et al. Vol. 2: Ancient Greece and Rome 1200 B.C.E.-476 C.E. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 106-109. World History in Context. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

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