Ancient Roman FAQs

Claudia Arluk

Writing

In Roman times they did not have paper made of tree like we do today. They made their paper out of a plant called papyrus, found around the Nile. This kind of paper was a much durable and thicker material. The papyrus lasted for thousands of years and still is in pretty good shape today! The ancient Romans would use a quill feather dipped in ink to write and draw symbols on the papyrus. Although papyrus was very strong it could take days or even weeks to make which raised the cost. This caused only the wealthiest people to be able to afford papyrus. Most of the population wrote on broken pieces of clay and pottery called ostraka. This was much cheaper and easier to find; instead of ink they would scratch writing and symbols on the clay.

Family

Families in the ancient Roman times were very different from today's normal families. Back then they had slaves, all kids were home schooled, and women did not have many rights. Instead of the kids going to school everyday the slaves or parents would teach them all the knowledge they needed to know. Also, the head of the house varies in everyone's home, it could either be the mom or the father just depending on your family but the Romans always had the dad as the head. The dad controlled the property and could punish the slaves or family members if they did him wrong or something he doesn't approve of. The father of the family could even kill a family member or slave without being penalized because he was the head of the house and he controlled the family.

These days people's names don't have much of a personally reason to that specific person. Usually parents just choose names that they like or are appealing to the ears. Back then Romans chose names that related to their personal identity or family history. The names could also apply to their physical appearance; such as Rufus meaning "red-head" or Naso meaning "big-nose". Though the freemen and women generally had the same two names; nomen and praenomen

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Clothing- Men's and Boys'

Roman Men's and Boys' clothing was extremely different from the present day's style. Now a days boys wear board shorts, graphic T-shirts, high socks, and name brand shoes. Back then they didn't have all of that kind of stuff and most men and boys would wear tunicas with a toga draped over kind of looking like a manly dress.This would usually be made of some type of rough material. They would usually walk around barefoot or with some kind of sandals though in the winter they did wear winter boots. The Romans also invented the first raincoat! Boys and men would also where one item of jewelry which was a personalized signet ring used for making an impression in sealing documents.

Clothing- Women's and Girl's

Women and girls today don't have as much of a contrast then the boys did but we defiantly dress different then they did in roman times. Freeborn girls (parents that were not slaves) wore the same thing as the boys did; a toga draped over a tunic. Usually a toga with a purple border and the girl's hair worn in a braid tied with a wool cloth; as well as a necklace resembling a amulet. Women would usually where a long dress called a slola. A roman bride would where a tunica recta with a woven on the ancient upright loom.

Citations

Lawall, Gilbert, Timothy S. Abney, David J. Perry, and Ronald B. Palma. Ecce Romani: A Latin Reading Program. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2009. Print.

Roger S. Bagnall, Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History (London & New York: Routledge, 1995).

Raffaella Cribiore, Writing, Teachers, and Students in Graeco-Roman Egypt (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996).

William V. Harris, Ancient Literacy (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989).

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

"Names." The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. 181-182. 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.