Ancient Rome FAQs

By: Vitus Rossi

Writing

Did the Romans have paper? The Romans used paper called, papyrus.


What did the Romans use to write? The Romans used a variety of materials to write. Some include wax tablets, papyrus paper, and parchment. To write on papyrus and parchment, they would use ink made of soot and vegetable gum. To write on wax tablets, they would make impressions using a stylus.

Family

How was a Roman family different from a modern family? In a Roman family, the oldest male (paterfamilias) held all legal power. The paterfamilias could make life or death decisions for the family. Nowadays, the oldest male or father does not have that power. Also, a Roman family might have had slaves. Today, men and women in families have the right to equality.


What did Roman parents do that is different from modern parents? In Roman times, the mother would rule the home, the slaves, and teach the children. The paterfamilias would hold all legal power over the family. In modern times, both mother and father are usually equal, or have the right to be.


Are Roman names different from modern names? If so, how? Roman names are different from modern names, but they also share similarities. In Roman times, male names would end in -ius. Female names would end in -ia. Sons would take the name of their father and daughters would take a variation of their father's name. In modern times, there is a great variety of names, but, males still carry on the family name, like in Roman times.

Clothing - Men's and Boys'

How did Roman men and boys dress? Discuss how social class dictated clothing. Male Roman slaves wore basic garments, a tunic. Middle to Upper-Class men and boys wore undergarments, a tunic, and a toga. The more colorful and higher quality clothing a man or a boy wore, the more money they obviously had.


Did ancient Roman boys wear jewelry? Explain. Ancient Roman boys would wear a bulla, which is a neck chain with a round pouch containing protective amulets. Upper-Class boys wore bullas made of gold.

Clothing - Women's and Girls'

How did Roman women and girls dress? Girls whose parents were not slaves would wear a toga over a tunic. Women's dress depended on their marital status. A married woman would wear a dress with straps and a cloak. Others would wear a variety of togas, dresses, shawls, etc. depending on their marital and social status.

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.


"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.


"Clothing." Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998. 148-153. 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.


"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.