Ancient Roman FAQs

Cato Phelan

Writing

Romans did not have paper like we do today. They used a reed that grew on the banks of the Nile river. This reed was called papyrus. To make papyrus in to a sheet, and be able to write on it required a lot of work. First it was harvested, then it was processed, flattened, dried, and weaved in a criss-cross pattern. Romans had to figure out a way to write on the newly made papyrus sheets. What they typically used was a quill dipped in ink and wrote a word or two, then dipped it back again into the ink. Writing back then was a much harder process and took a lot more time.

Family

Roman families back in the day were nuclear. They were very tightly knit, and stayed together. In roman families the father was the head of the family and made all big decisions for the whole family. Most families owned slaves and absolute power was in the man's hands. Parents in ancient Rome were a lot less caring for their children. It was the fathers decision to either leave the baby to die or to take them in as a part of the family. Abandonment was a extremely common occurrence. Another surprising fact is that in ancient Rome slaves were primary care givers to babies and children if the family was rich enough.

Names in ancient Rome were: Praenom(First name), Nomen (Family name), and Cognomen(Third Name). Women usually did not have a Praenom, and slaves just went by one name.

Clothing- Men's and Boy's

Roman men wore togas for almost everything. It was a sign of social status since they were expensive. Togas though were only allowed to be worn by legal citizens and be at least 16 years old. Boys tended to wear a tunic which was usually white and in a T-shaped woven garment. This was either covered by a classical robe or cloak. They wear, cloaks, boots, and sandals on their feet, and amulet necklaces, and rings is all else.

Clothing- Women's and Girl's

Girls wore a tunica with shoes or sandals and sometimes when they would go outside they would be required to put on a second tunica. One thing not alike from the boys is that they wore belts! Sometimes their togas would have a specific color such as purple just to represent themselves. Another fine touch they would add, is a piece of wool cloth in her hair. Girls back then dressed completely different than girls today.