Ancient Roman FAQ's

Lucia Henry

Writing

Ancient Romans used papyrus as paper; An Egyptian plant that took about a week to create a single sheet of paper. The price of a single sheet was that of a single day's wadge for an unskilled worker. A less expensive option would be to use a clay or wood tablet coated in wax. To wright on a clay or wood tablet, ancient Romans used a pointed stick called a stylus. To wright on papyrus, writers usually used ink made of soot and vegetable gum, or ink made of vegetable dye mixed with iron sulfate; and used pens made from dried reeds.

Family

Back in Ancient Roman times the oldest father in the house was the head of the house hold and it was very common for the elderly parents to live with their adult children where they held the power. This was known as patria potestas which gave them the right to control all property earned or acquired by these dependents and to be able to regulate and punish them. Unlike today, where it is just usually the parents and children and once the child becomes an adult, they have the rights to their own property.


The fathers of ancient Rome even got to decide if they kept the newborn child after birth, or left it to die. Now, women can keep their children even if the men don't want to be involved or vice versa. However, not all fathers back then were cruel and over used their power; Many fathers would consult with and take advice from friends and families on punishing their kids . In Ancient Rome, children were born at home and then nine days later there would be a naming ceremony where the child would take on a variation of the father's name. And, in the case of divorce, the children belonged to the father, unlike today where the mothers usually get custody. Women would usually stay home while their husbands were out and about and control the house hold and teach/take care of the children. Women did not have any political rights and very rarely ever had jobs such as doctors, writers, gladiators, or business owners, unlike today when it is more common than ever.

Names

Free Roman men typically had three names, like today. Slaves, on the other hand usually had one name. But, if they were freed, they took the name of their liberator. Children were named after the father using the suffix -ius for boys and -ia for girls. Women normally kept their names when they married

Roman men's clothing

Men wore a basic garment called a tunica (tunic) over simple garments. Like we do today, ancient Romans wore many layers. To symbolize wealth/power they would have a purple stripe on their tunic or a decorated boarder with colors and patterns based on their class and age. Ordinary citizens just wore a plain white tunic .
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Jewelry

Roman men wore a ring, but men who wanted to show off class wore up to sixteen rings. Some men also wore a bulla or locket which contained an amulet used to warn of evil spirits.

Young girls wore gifts from their fiances such as necklaces, rings, and earrings.

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Women's clothing

Young girls wore a tunic with a purple wool boarder. Once, she they hit puberty, women would wear a square himation called a palla. Married women covered their heads in public. Any woman that wore a toga was assumed to be a prosisitute.
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Bibliography

  • "Writing and Language." World Eras. Ed. John T. Kirby. Vol. 3: Roman Republic and Empire, 264 B.C.E.- 476 C.E. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 170-172. World History in Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
  • "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. 12 Oct. 2015
  • Names." The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. 181-182. World History in Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
  • "Family." The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome. Don Nardo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. 153-155. World History in Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
  • WEISS, JESSICA. "Fathering and Fatherhood." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: In History and Society. Ed. Paula S. Fass. Vol. 2. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 348-353. World History in Context. Web. 12 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. 12 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. 12 Oct. 2015.
  • Clothing." World Eras. Ed. John T. Kirby. Vol. 3: Roman Republic and Empire, 264 B.C.E.- 476 C.E. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 268-271. World History in Context. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
  • Roman Jewelry - citation = McManus, Barbara F. "Roman Clothing, Part I." Roman Clothing, Part I. VROMA, Aug. 2003. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.