Ancient Roman FAQs

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Roman people did not have paper we have now. Roman people used papyrus and a quill clipped in ink to write. But only wealthy people could afford papyrus because of the lengthy process used to make papyrus paper. An alternate way of writing was shallow wooden tablets with a think layer of wax and the stylus was a pointed stick. Romans also used parchment paper made of skins of cattle, sheep, and goats.


Roman families were very different from a modern family. Most roman families consisted of father, mother, children, and their slaves. Although some families may have extended to include their grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and/or in-laws. The head of the family was usually the paterfamilias, the oldest father present. By ancient tradition he held power over all other members, including slaves or any hired workers.

The materfamilias, the paterfamilias's wife or mother, was in complete submission to the paterfamilias authority. Although women were seen as citizens in Ancient Rome, they did not hold the same rights as men.

If a couple had a child, it was the father's decision to raise the baby or not. If he walks away then the baby is put away to die. If he picked up the baby, that meant he was willing to raise the child and the child is named right then and there.

Roman names were different from modern names because most roman men had three names. All roman citizens were named after their father's first name. The name ended in -ius for men and -in for women.

Clothing for Men and Boys'

Roman people wore certain clothes according to their social class, age, and the occasion. Ordinary citizens wore plain, white togas. Rules of proper dress were enforced not only by custom, but sometimes by law.