Ancient Rome w/ Mr. C Ancient Rome was at first a small agricultural community founded circa the 8th century BC (700s) that grew over the course of the centuries into a colossal empire encompassing the whole Mediterranean Sea, in which Ancient Greek and Roman cultures merged into one civilization. This civilization was so influential that parts of it survive in modern law, administration, philosophy and arts, forming the ground that
Western civilization is based upon. In its twelve-century existence it transformed itself from monarchy to republic and finally to autocracy. In steady decline since the 2nd century AD, the empire finally broke into two parts in 285 AD: the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire in the East. The western part under the pressure of Goths finally dissolved, leaving the Italian peninsula divided into small independent kingdoms and
feuding city states for the next 14 centuries, and leaving the eastern part sole heir to the Roman legacy. The Romans knew how to govern people, establish legal structures and construct roads that took them to the ends of their known world Middle of the Mediterranean Larger and more arable land than Greece- mts north and south
River valleys- Po in the North, Tiber in middle of boot Rome - inland accessible by boat- defensible,on Seven Hills Capitoline Quirinal Viminal Esquilin Clian (Coelian/Celio) Aventine Palatine
Legend: Romulus and Remus raised by she-wolf 733BC traced boundaries with plow Later: Virgils Aeneus, hero of Troy, roams the Med looking for a home Reality: Etruscans
unsure of origin used iron, bronze and silver Rome and Latins under rule of king beginning fear of kings, rebelled invaded by Gaul 390 BC Lets look at the real origins of Rome.
Romulus and Remus were twin brothers. The grandfather and great-uncle of
the twins were Numitor and Amulius. Amulius seized Numitor's share and became sole ruler. Rhea Silvia (also called Ilia) made a vestial virgin. Since vestal virgins could be buried alive if they violated their chastity vows, whoever forced Rhea Silvia to enter the equivalent of an ancient convent assumed that Rhea Silvia would remain childless. Amulius had a swineherd, Faustulus,
leave the twins on the river bank to die. BUT a she-wolf nursed them, and a woodpecker fed and guarded them The Trojan prince Aeneas, an important figure linking the Romans with the Trojans and the goddess Venus, escaped
from Troy with his son in his arms and carrying his father on his back. He led his men to Africa, Sicily and finally Etruia. Setting up a kingdom in Alba Longa. The Etruscans, who lived in Etruria, were
known as Tyrrhenians by the Greeks. They were at their height in Italy from the 8th to the 5th century B.C. They inhabited the triangular area between the Mediterranean Sea and the rivers Arno and Tiber in central Italy.
Herodotus says the Etruscans came from Lydia, in Asia Minor, as the result of a famine around 1200 B.C., like the Irish coming to the U.S. as a result of a potato famine in the 19th century. (This one has DNA
evidence!) Etruscans built such cities as Tarquinii, Vulci, Caere, and Veii. Etruscan homes were mud-brick, with timber on stone foundations, some with upper stories.
But their temples An Etruscan temple, to meet religious requirements, was located on a northsouth axis and stood on a high podium with a four-columned porch in front of three doors leading to three parallel rooms for the
three chief Etruscan gods. The brilliantly painted terracotta statuary that decorated the roof along the eaves, ridge pole, and at the gable ends also served the practical purpose of hiding and protecting tile joints and rafter
ends. Plaques with lowrelief figures adorned the entablature. Pairing: Husband & Wife Kinship among the Etruscans was vertical, or generational. They kept track of six generations. The names of persons
are generally binomial: Vethur Hathisna, Avile Repesuna, Fasti Aneina. Etruscan state government was essentially a theocracy. The political unit of Etruscan society was the city-state.
Catha and Usil, the sun Tivr, the moon Selvan, a civil god Turan, the goddess of love Laran, the god of war Leinth, the goddess of death Maris, Thalna, Turms and the ever-popular
Fufluns The Etruscans believed in intimate contact with divinity. They did nothing without proper consultation with the gods and signs from them. Augery
Auspices ADOPT The power of religion and mysticism. The Etruscans were profoundly and eternally influenced by mysticism and what we would generally refer to as
"superstition". REJECT The position of women in Etruscan society. As opposed to Roman and Greek societies, Etruscan women sat with their husbands at banquets, had their own personal possessions
and were actively involved in day to day politics. From the point of view of Roman morality Etruscan women were immoral and dissolute. Roman Monarchy (753 B.C. 510 B.C.) Roman Republic (509 B.C. 44 B.C.) (Mar. 15= The Ides of March). Murder of Caesar. 44 B.C
Roman Empire (30 B.C. 476 A.D./1453 A.D.) Caesar Augustus, 1st citizen Imperatur in everything but name. 1. Romulus 753-715 B.C. Romulus was the legendary founder of Rome. The Sabine king of Cures, Tatius, co-ruled
with Romulus. 2. Numa Pompilius 715-673 B.C. Numa Pompilius is credited with many of the ancient religious conventions of ancient Rome. 3. Tullus Hostilius 673- 642 B.C.
Tullus Hostilius doubled the population of Rome, added Alban nobles to the Senate of Rome, and built the Curia Hostilia. He was a warrior. 4. Ancus Martius 642-617 B.C. Ancus Marcius was a grandson of Numa Pompilius and a bridge builder. The bridge across the Tiber is credited to
Ancus Marcius. 5. L. Tarquinius Priscus 616- 579 B.C. The first of these new kings, it is said, came from the Etruscan city of Tarquinii, from which he derived his name. The story is told that, as he approached the city, an eagle came from the sky, and, lifting his cap from his head,
replaced it. His wife, who was skilled in the Etruscan art of augury, regarded the eagle as a messenger from heaven, and its act as a sign that her husband was to acquire honor and power. Tarquinius Priscus had a Corinthian father. Tarquin created 100 new senators and expanded Rome. He also established the Roman games.
6. Servius Tullius 578-535 B.C. The next king was Servius Tullius, who is said to have been the son of a slave in the royal household, and whom the gods favored by mysterious signs. Servius Tullius was the son-in-law of Tarquinius Priscus. He divided the Roman citizens into tribes and fixed the military obligations of 5 censusdetermined classes. 7. Tarquinius Superbus
(Tarquin the Proud) 534-510 B.C. Tradition represents the last king, Tarquinius Superbus, as a cruel despot. He obtained the throne by murder, and ruled without the consent of the senate or the people. He loved power and pomp. He was forcibly ousted by Brutus. Having witnessed the problems of
monarchy on their own land, and aristocracy and democracy among the Greeks, the Romans opted for a mixed form of government, with 3 branches of government. Consul Senate
Assembly Consuls - The Monarchical Branch of Roman Government in the Roman Republic: Two magistrates called consuls carried on the functions of the former kings, holding supreme civil and military authority in Republican Rome. However, unlike the kings, the office of consul lasted for only one year. At the end of their year in office, the ex-consuls became senators for life, unless ousted by the censors.
The 1-year term, veto, and co-consulship were safeguards to prevent one of the consuls from wielding too much power. Senate - The Aristocratic Branch of Roman Government in the Roman Republic: Senate (senatus = council of elders [related to the word "senior"]) was the advisory branch of the Roman government, early on composed of about 300 citizens who served for life. They were
chosen by the kings, at first, then by the consuls, and by the end of the 4th century, by the censors. The ranks of the Senate, drawn from ex-consuls and other officers. Property requirements changed with the era. At first senators were only patricians but in time plebeians joined their ranks. Assembly - The Democratic Branch of Roman Government in the Roman Republic:
The Assembly of Centuries (comitia centuriata), which was composed of all members of the army, elected consuls annually. The Assembly of Tribes (comitia tributa), composed of all citizens, approved or rejected laws and decided issues of war and peace. In ancient Rome, censors were census-takers and morality keepers. The comitia curiata elected the censores.
At first their term of office was a lustrum or about 5 years, but it was soon reduced to a period of 18 months. Although the censors were awarded no imperium (roughly, power), and therefore had no lictors to serve as axe-carrying bodyguards, the office was above the consul and second only to the office of dictator in dignity. (339 B.C.) One of the censors must be a plebeian. Carthago delenda
est Etruscans and Gauls squeezed out by Latins 290- conquered central Italy then Samnites in South 265 took over Greek city states Why? Staying power of army Won over conquered people Became Roman citizens
gradual struggle between the patrician and plebeian classes 2 consuls and Senate made up of patricians popular assemblies established with a representative tribune- veto power 450 B.C. 12 Tables Roman Law codified Result- increase of privileges for plebes In 449 BC a committee of 10 men formed the
tables. They become the foundation of all Roman law. Addrressed civil procedures, debt, parents & children, property, marriage, funerals, etc. Major rival in Med- Phoenician Carthage First Punic War 264-42- copied ships and corvus out of Sicily Second Punic war 218-202- Hannibal 216 Battle
of Camnae Third- treaty infringement trumped up in Catos speech Carthago delenda est Carthage plowed and sowed with salt Result Rome now the POWER in the Mediterranean Graft*, corruption, struggle between patrician and plebeians
Gracchi Brothers Tiberias and Gaius Marius consul 6 x Sulla- general seized Rome in 82 BCE restored power to Senate set precedent * unscrupulous use of a politician's authority for personal gain. First Triumvirate Julius Caesar, Pompey, Crassus
Julius Caesar challenges the Senate crosses the Rubicon 47 BCE virtual ruler, increased Senate to 900 44 BCE assassinated, Second Triumvirate Octavius, Marc Antony, Lepidus Battle of Actium 31 BCE End of an era Caesar Augustus- purpose to restore the republic 27 B.C. Augustus become First Citizen Princeps
ended strife- beginning of Pax Romanae tried to impact life- morality, building sculpture- deified him, literature as well Consolidation- of power/ Senate limited SPQR Senatus Populusque Romanus- banner Ever expanding- see maps- spread Pax Romanae Politically - emperor/ dictatorship Extended Roman citizenship as they spread The Roman family- gradual less influence for
fathers family strong unit- run like the state women become more independent- socially and ownership politically active as wives of emperors- Livia, wife of CA The Romans did not eat huge meals. Their main food was pottage. Pottage is a kind of thick stew made from wheat, millet or corn. Sometimes they would add cooked meat, offal
or a sauce made out of wine. Food for the common people consisted of wheat or barley, olive oil, a little fish, wine, home grown vegetables, and if they were lucky enough to own a goat or cow or chickens, cheese and a few eggs. As the Republic grew and expanded, the Romans came into contact with food from other countries.
They used herbs and spices to flavor their food and began eating more fish, especially shell fish. Vegetables were plentiful and most of the Roman's recipes included vegetables. They also ate a lot of fruit, especially grapes, and made wine. The Romans ate their food with their fingers. They used knives made from antlers, wood or bronze with an iron blade to cut their food. They also had
spoons made from bronze, silver and bone which they used to eat eggs, shellfish and liquids. During the Roman Republic, there were Sumtuariae Leges ('sumptuary laws') designed to limit extravagance, including the amount spent on a given meal, which directly impacted how much wealthy Romans could eat at their meals. By the Imperial period such laws were no longer in force.
Poor Romans continued to eat mostly cereal grain, at all meals, as porridge or bread. Women engaged in a daily grain-to-flour grinding. They placed the hard kernels between a concave stone and a smaller one serving as a roller. This was called called a "thrusting mill." Later, they sometimes used a mortar and pestle.
For rich Romans For those who could afford it, breakfast (jentaculum), eaten very early, would consist of salted bread, milk or wine, and perhaps dried fruit, eggs or cheese. It was not always eaten. The Roman lunch (cibus meridianus or prandium), a quick meal, eaten around noon could include salted bread or be more elaborate with fruit, salad, eggs, meat or fish, vegetable, and cheese.
The dinner (cena), the main meal of the day, would be accompanied by wine, usually wellwatered. The Latin poet Horace (lived during Augustus time) ate a meal of onions, porridge, and pancake. An ordinary upper class dinner would include meat, vegetable, egg, and fruit. Comissatio was a final wine course at dinner's end. Dont forget the fermented fish sauce (YUCK!).
It is believed that during the Roman Republic most women and the poor ate sitting on chairs, while upper class males reclined on their sides on couches along three sides of a cloth-covered table (mensa). The 3-sided arrangement is called the triclinium. Banquets might last for hours, eating and watching or listening to entertainers, so being able to stretch out without shoes, and relax must have enhanced the experience. Since there were
no forks, diners would not have had to worry about coordinating eating utensils in each hand. It is believed that during the Roman Republic most women and the poor ate sitting on chairs, while upper class males reclined on their sides on couches along three sides of a cloth-covered table (mensa). The 3-sided arrangement is called the triclinium. Banquets might last for hours, eating and watching or listening to entertainers, so being
able to stretch out without shoes, and relax must have enhanced the experience. Since there were no forks, diners would not have had to worry about coordinating eating utensils in each hand. It was VERY popular to record what was served at meals and include recipes when possible. My favorite? HONEYED MUSHROOMS Ingredients: 25g dried mushrooms 2 tbsp red wine
vinegar pinch of salt 1 tbsp clear honey sea salt to taste. Method: Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water, allowing them to soak for an hour. Pour this mixture into a saucepan, add the honey and vinegar and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for half an hour. Season with salt and serve. This mushroom mixture goes particularly well with game. See Handout on Website Hygiene in ancient Rome included the famous
public Roman baths, toilets, exfoliating cleansers, public facilities, and -- communal toilet sponge (ancient Roman Charmin). high standards of cleanliness! dutifully rinsed out after use!!! Urns for collecting urine for the fullers Call for the bathroom attendant. Dip hands in water.
Dry them on his head. Dont you want hair like Mr. C now? Mine would be useless!!! In omnibus Vacerra quod conclavibus consumit horas et die toto sedet, cenaturit Vacerra, non cacaturit. Why does Vacerra spend his hours in all the privies, and day-long stoop? He wants a supper, not a poop.
What does this mean? Why does Vacerra spend his hours in all the privies, and day-long stoop? He wants a supper, not a poop. Things like this tell us: They were comfortable places One might sit and read Or otherwise "amuse oneself sociably" Socialize and hope for [dinner] invitations
Public urinals consisted of buckets, dolia curta. The contents were regularly collected and sold to the fullers for cleaning wool, etc. That's where the tax story comes in. The fullers were the ones who were taxed. The collectors had public contracts and could be fined if late. FAVORITE STORY!!!
Emperor Vespasian (69AD to 79AD) distrusted philosophers in general, viewing them as unmanly complainers who talked too much Much money was spent on public works and the restoration and beautification of Rome: a new forum, the Temple of Peace, the public baths and the great show piece, the
urinals are still named after him (for example, vespasiano in Italian, and vespasienne in French Why? They were so poor they didnt even have a pot to pee in. Hygiene in the Roman World was limited to the rich and famous, except for those who could afford the public baths or thermaes.
Running water did not reach the poor's tenements from the aqueducts. These lesser folks relieved themselves in pots or commodes which were emptied into vats located under staircases and these emptied into cesspools throughout the city. The rich and famous, from the emperor on
down, enjoyed running water in palaces and lead pipes mansions from connected to the aqueducts. At Pompeii, for instance, all houses except the poorest had water pipes fitted with taps, and the waste water was piped away into sewer or trench. Strigil
Asmall, curved, metal tool used in ancient Greece and Rome to scrape dirt and sweat from the body before effective soaps became available. First perfumed oil was applied to the skin, and then it would be scraped off, along with the dirt. For wealthier people, this process
was often done by slaves. Strigils were often used in Roman baths and were made in different sizes for different areas of the body. The Romans recycled public bath waste water by using it as part of the flow that flushed the latrines. At the baths there were storage nooks for
clothing, utensils, oil and strigil. Theft was a problem in Roman bath houses, so slaves watched bathers' property. It was better to have someone looking out, but hot as the baths were, it was easy to fall asleep. Slaves could also be tempted by profit and sometimes sold their masters' garments. Curse tablets punished those who stole. Minerv(a)e de(ae) Suli donavi furem qui
caracallam meam involavit si ser(v)us si liber si baro si mulier hoc donum non redemat nessi sangu(i)n[e] suo. Curse tablets punished those who stole. Curse tablets which were pieces of lead or pewter rolled or folded and thrown into the spring or nailed to the bathing establishment. Inscribing on his piece of lead the victim would call on the god to right the wrong, by bringing the criminal to justice and retrieving the lost
article. A victim of theft might seek the god's vengeance or double the likelihood of divine help by transferring ownership of his stolen garment (or other article of value) to the god who would then want to retrieve the garment in his own interest. Spirits could be found in inanimate objects such as stones, rivers, furniture,
and even caves. Children were told horrifying stories of monsters who would come to kill them if they misbehaved.
Herbs could do many good things. (i.e.-they "made enemies retreat in battle" and they "opened closed doors") Animals are heavily associated with superstitions. People wore or carried amulets and lucky charms in order to avoid evil. Bees were good fortune; godly messengers An owl sighting meant "impending disaster." Warts could be removed if the person who had one took their mother's dirty dishcloth and put it under a rock outside. If somebody threw a horseshoe, good fortune could be gained by picking it up. It was unlucky to "attack the memory of a deceased person." It was a good idea to wait until after breakfast to tell somebody about a
nightmare. Odd numbers were "more powerful" than even ones. And many, many more! Requests and prayers were presented to gods as a trade: if the god did what was requested (the nuncupatio), then the worshipper promised to do a particular thing in return (the solutio). This trade was binding. In a sense, they were legal documents that
could obligate gods for particular action and protection. Religion depended on knowledge and the correct practice of prayer, ritual, and sacrifice, not on faith or dogma. Roman religion was thus practical and contractual, based on the principle of do ut des, "I give that you might give." All sacrifices and offerings required an
accompanying prayer to be effective. Pliny the Elder declared that "a sacrifice without prayer is thought to be useless and not a proper consultation of the gods. The three most important gods were: Jupiter (protector of the state), Juno (protector of women) and Minerva (goddess of craft and wisdom). Other major gods included: Mars (god of war), Mercury (god of trade and messenger of the gods)
and Bacchus (god of grapes and wine production). The God Jupiter depicted in sculpture Aeneas and Romulus themselves were believed to have been made gods after their deaths and the family of Augustus traced their roots back to these divine ancestors. As a result, the fact that Julius Caesar and his
descendants were made into gods after they died was not just a way of honoring their achievements in power, it was also simple recognition of the fact that they belonged to a divine family. Over time, the same divinity was extended to wives and children. The whole imperial family came to be seen as gods and was often commemorated with temples and coins. Etruscans practiced domestic, ancestral or
family cults very similar to those offered by later Romans to their Lares. The word itself seems to derive from the Etruscan lar, lars, or larth, meaning "lord". They were originally gods of the cultivated fields, worshipped by each household at the crossroads where its allotment joined those of others.
Later the Lares were worshipped in the houses in association with the Penates, the gods of the storeroom (penus) and thus of the familys prosperity; the household Lar (Familiaris) was conceived as the centre of the family and of the family cult. Originally each household had only one Lar. It was usually represented as a youthful figure, dressed in a short tunic, holding in one hand a drinking horn, in the other a cup.
Under the empire, two of these images were commonly to be found, one on each side of the central figure of Vesta, or of some other deity. (We will come back to Vesta because she is important!) It was at the hearth sacrifices were made to the gods and the spirits of the families ancestors.
If the fire was to burn on forever, then it was only when the family moved away to another home, that the fire would be put out with wine in a small ritual. They were represented by little figurines which would be kept in a special cupboard. Among them the lar familiaris, the family spirit, was the most important. Lares everyday prayers Extra Special days: weddings, birthdays, calends (first
days), ides (middle), nones (9th day) Penates thanks for keeping the family fed; statues placed on dinner table, then put away The third household spirit of note was the genius. Could be represented in form of a snake. Vesta was also a common genius.
Occasionally an ancestor too (if he was famous). The genius of the household was particularly celebrated on the head of the family's birthday. Romans were superstitious. Apart from friendly spirits there were also ghostly spirits of the dead which might haunt
a house. They were the so-called larvae and lemures. These could be driven out of the house by ritual, performed by the head of the family, which involved spitting our black beans and noisily bashing together metal pots. Two gods of the Roman state cult guarded the private homes of the Roman citizen.
Janus, the god of doorways and beginnings. It was he who was seen as the chief guardian of the home. His was the passage through the door, he was both inside and outside the house at once. Hence he was its guardian. not to be the only god in care of the door : Cardea, the goddess of hinges Forculus, god of the door leaves Limentius, the god of the threshold Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. As the hearth was of practical importance (for cooking) and of spiritual
significance (sacrifices) it is quite understandable that Vesta was seen to be of great importance to a Roman's home. Every day prayers would be said to Vesta. During meals some food might be set aside and passed into the fire as an offering to the goddess. Vesta, in Roman religion, goddess of the hearth, identified with the Greek Hestia. The lack of an easy source of fire in the early Roman community placed a special premium
on the ever-burning hearth fire, both publicly and privately maintained. Her worship was observed in every household along with that of the Penates and the Lares, and her image was sometimes encountered in the household shrine. The state worship of Vesta was much more elaborate. The Temple of Vesta was traditionally a circular building, in imitation of the early Italian round hut and symbolic of the public hearth.
There burned the perpetual fire of the public hearth attended by the Vestal Virgins. Vesta is represented as a fully draped woman, sometimes accompanied by her favourite animal, a donkey. As goddess of the hearth fire, Vesta was the patron deity of bakers, hence her connection with the donkey, usually used for turning the millstone, and her association with Fornax, the spirit of the bakers oven. The only man who could enter the temple of
Vesta was the Pontifex Maximus. Aedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini The public side of religion was more organized and more formal than the private. At home, the pater familias head of the family performed religious rituals for the household. Beyond the home, gods were worshipped by the state, which employed colleges of highly
trained priests and priestesses. The Pontifex Maximus was the highest pontifex or priest in ancient Rome -- like the modern Pope. Also like the Pope, once in office, the appointee held his position for life. The priesthoods of public religion were held by members of the elite classes. There was no principle analogous to "separation of church and state" in ancient Rome. During the Roman Republic (50927 BC), the same men who
were elected public officials might also serve as augurs and pontiffs. Priests married, raised families, and led politically active lives. Julius Caesar became Pontifex Maximus before he was elected consul. The augurs read the will of the gods and supervised the marking of boundaries as a reflection of universal order, thus sanctioning Roman expansionism as a matter of divine destiny. The Roman triumph was at its core a religious procession in which the victorious general displayed his piety and his willingness to serve the public good by dedicating a portion of his spoils to the gods, especially Jupiter, who embodied just rule.
The Pontifex Maximus was the highest pontifex or priest in ancient Rome -- like the modern Pope. Also like the Pope, once in office, the appointee held his position for life. The Pontifex Maximus chose the Vestal Virgins, the flamines, and the rex sacrorum. The Pontifex Maximus was, in some sense, the heir of the king (rex) who once ruled the Romans, according to their legendary history. Roman emperors held the title of Pontifex
Maximus. The Pontificus Maximus was not a magistrate and didn't wear the striped toga (toga praetexta). When presiding at ceremonies, he pulled his toga over his head. The earliest priests are thought to have been the flamines, who were
devoted to individual gods. The Flamen Dialis, who was devoted to Jupiter, was subject to many prohibitions and duties, but also enjoyed honors. Another type of priest going back to the legendary period is the pontifex (pl. pontifices) who were not restricted to specific gods, but
served as superintendents to the worship of all gods. The Pontifex Maximus came to replace the rex sacrorum in his responsibility for the vestal virgins, but the rex sacrorum maintained his responsibility to announce the fixed festival days (feriae), written on the calendar. There were also augures (priests who took the auspices), decemviri sacris faciundis ([half plebeian, and half patrician] who took care of the Sibylline books and were appointed for life), Sodales Fratres Arvales (9 or 12 who offered sacrifices for fertility of the field), Sodales Luperci, Sodales Salii (12 [patrician] priests of Mars Gradivus). In addition to these priests, there were other, minor offices, some held by men, and others by women: the wives of the flamen and the rex
sacrorum (flamenica and regina sacrorum) and the Vestal Virgin priestesses. For without them what would little boys do? Im going to show you a mosaic. Tell me what you can learn about Roman history from it. The one major public role reserved solely for women was in the sphere of religion: the
priestly office of the Vestals. Freed of any obligation to marry or have children, the Vestals devoted themselves to the study and correct observance of rituals which were deemed necessary for the security and survival of Rome but which could not be performed by the male colleges of priests. Freeborn women in ancient Rome were citizens (cives), but could not vote or hold political office.
Inscriptions and especially epitaphs document the names of a wide range of women throughout the Roman Empire, but often tell little else about them. Some vivid snapshots of daily life are preserved in Latin literary genres such as comedy, satire, and poetry, particularly the poems of Catullus and Ovid, which offer glimpses of women in Roman dining rooms and boudoirs, at sporting and theatrical events, shopping, putting on makeup, practicing magic, worrying about pregnancy all, however,
through male eyes. The Venerable Bede! Both daughters and sons were subject to patria potestas, the power wielded by their father as head of household (familia). A Roman household was considered a collective (corpus, a "body") over which the pater familias had mastery (dominium). Even apart from legal status, daughters seem no less esteemed within the Roman family than sons, though sons were expected to ensure family
standing by following their fathers into public life. A daughter was expected to be deferential toward her father and to remain loyal to him, even if it meant having to differ with her husbands. A daughter kept her own family name (nomen) for life, not assuming that of her husband. Women in the early to mid-Republic were usually known by their family name (nomen). A woman from the gens Aemilia would be called Aemilia; from the gens Cornelia, Cornelia; from the
gens Sempronia, Sempronia; and so on. If there were many daughters, a cognomen such as Tertia (Third) could indicate birth order, for example, Aemilia Tertia, the wife of Scipio Africanus. The comparative adjectives Maior and Minor, meaning "the Elder" and "the Younger" when attached to a name, might distinguish between two sisters; for example, the daughters of Gaius Laelius Sapiens are known as Laelia Maior and Laelia Minor.
Roman children played a number of games, and their toys are known from archaeology and literary sources. Girls are depicted in Roman art as playing many of the same games as boys, such as ball, hoop-rolling, and knucklebones. Dolls are sometimes found in the tombs of those who died before adulthood. Girls coming of age dedicated their dolls to Diana, the goddess most concerned with girlhood, or to Venus when they were preparing
for marriage. Some and perhaps many girls went to a public primary school. Ovid and Martial imply that boys and girls were educated either together or similarly, and Livy takes it for granted that the daughter of a centurion would be in school. Children of the elite were taught Greek as well as Latin from an early age. Children of both genders learned to behave socially by attending dinner parties and other events.
Girls as well as boys participated in religious festivals. As they got older, their paths diverged (split). Although the rights and status of women in the earliest period of Roman history were more restricted than in the late Republic and Empire, as early as the 5th century BC, Roman women could own land, write their own wills, and appear in court as their own advocates. An emancipated woman legally became sui iuris, or her own person, and could own property and dispose of it as
she saw fit. If a pater familias died, the law required the equal division of his estate amongst his children, regardless of their age and sex. A will that did otherwise, or emancipated any family member without due process of law, could be challenged. From the late Republic onward, a woman who inherited a share equal with her brothers would have been independent. The pater familias had the right and duty to find
a husband for his daughter, and first marriages were normally arranged. Technically, the couple had to be old enough to consent, but the age of consent was 12 for girls and 14 for boys. A daughter could legitimately refuse a match made by her parents only by showing that the proposed husband was of bad character. In the early Republic, the bride became subject to her husband's potestas, but to a lesser degree
than their children. By the early Empire a daughter's legal relationship to her father remained unchanged when she married, even though she moved into her husband's home. This arrangement was one of the factors in the degree of independence Roman women enjoyed relative to those of many other ancient cultures and up to the early modern period: although she had to answer to her father legally, she didn't
conduct her daily life under his direct scrutiny, and her husband had no legal power over her. Roman marriage wasn't a love match. The purpose of marriage was to carry on the family line so the spirits of the dead could be honored. Roman women were not only valued for the number of children that they produced, but also for their part in raising and educating children to become good citizens.
During the classical era of Roman law, marriage required no ceremony, but only a mutual will and agreement to live together in harmony. Marriage ceremonies, contracts, and other formalities were meant only to prove that a couple had, in fact, married. Under early or archaic Roman law, marriages
were of three kinds: confarreatio, symbolized by the sharing of bread (panis farreus); coemptio, "by purchase"; and usus, by mutual cohabitation. Patricians always married by confarreatio, while plebeians married by the latter two kinds. The nuptiae was often begun with a celebration, combining legal, religious, and social features. The typical upperclass wedding in the classical period tended to be a lavish affair. The expense of
the wedding was normally the bride's family's responsibility. The day was carefully chosen, with various religious reasons as to why certain days should be avoided. During engagement ceremonies, which typically took place before the wedding ceremonies, the groom would often hand his future wife an iron ring. During wedding ceremonies the bride and groom often sacrificed an animal and asked the gods for a
blessing. On the wedding day, the bride went with a procession to her new home, while the bridegroom went ahead of the bride to receive her. With her, the bride brought a torch lit from her family's hearth, and was offered another torch and water, symbolizing the aquae et ignis communicatio.
She was then carried over the threshold by her attendants, not her husband. The words "Ubi tu Gaius, ego Gaia" may have been exchanged at this point. Roman wives were expected to bear children, but the women of the aristocracy, accustomed to a degree of independence, showed a growing disinclination to devote themselves to traditional motherhood. By the 1st century AD, most elite women avoided breastfeeding their infants themselves, and hired wetnurses.
Since a mother's milk was considered best for the baby, aristocratic women might still choose to breast-feed, unless physical reasons prevented it. The extent to which Roman women might expect their husbands to participate in the rearing of very young children seems to vary and is hard to determine. Family-values traditionalists such as Cato appear to have taken an interest: Cato liked to be present when
his wife bathed and swaddled their child. Aristocratic women managed a large and complex household. Since wealthy couples often owned multiple homes and country estates with dozens or even hundreds of slaves, some of whom were educated and highly skilled, this responsibility was the equivalent of running a small corporation. In addition to the social and political importance of entertaining guests, clients, and visiting dignitaries
from abroad, the husband held his morning business meetings (salutatio) at home. The home (domus) was also the center of the family's social identity, with ancestral portraits displayed in the entrance hall (atrium). One of the most important tasks for women to oversee in a large household was clothing production. At one time, the spinning of wool was a central
domestic occupation, and indicated a family's selfsufficiency, since the wool would be produced on their estates. Even in an urban setting, wool was often a symbol of a wife's duties, and equipment for spinning might appear on the funeral monument of a woman to show that she was a good and honorable matron. Even women of the upper classes were expected to be able to spin and weave in virtuous emulation of their rustic ancestors. It wasn't just grandma and grandpa living
upstairs, but great-grandfather ruling the roost, along with the subordinate uncles, first and second cousins. This may have been more the ideal than the practice, but as long as that pater familias was alive, no Roman could do business in his own name unless the progenitor had emancipated him. Some obvious occupations for a woman would be wet
nurse, actress, dancer or acrobat, and midwife not all of equal respectability. Performers were deemed lowly. Inscriptions indicate that a woman who was a wet nurse (nutrix) would be quite proud of her occupation. Women could be scribes and secretaries, including "girls trained for beautiful writing," that is, calligraphers. Pliny gives a list of female artists and their paintings.
Most Romans lived in insulae (apartment buildings), and those housing the poorer plebeian and non-citizen families usually lacked kitchens. The need to buy prepared food meant that "carryout" was a thriving business. Most of the Roman poor, whether male or female, young or old, earned a living through their own labor. Among the upper classes, women seem to have been well- educated, some highly so, and were sometimes praised by the
male historians for their learning and cultivation. Cornelia Metella, the young wife of Pompey the Great at the time of his death, was distinguished for her musicianship and her knowledge of geometry, literature, and philosophy. This degree of learning indicates formal preparation. The educated and well-traveled Vibia Sabina (ca. 136 AD) was a grand-niece of the emperor Trajan and became the wife of his successor Hadrian.
Sadly, there are also a LOT of stories about bad women. It is from the stories of what is bad, that we can infer what was good. The earliest Romans living on the Palatine hill were essentially farmers and shepherds, wearing animal skins as clothing and building their abodes of whatever construction materials were readily available. Archeological digs on the hills of Rome have brought to light a number of clues as to what these huts were like and when they were built.
Roman mythology and tradition places the founding of Rome around the 8th century BC but in fact archeological finds suggest early settlements as early as the 10th century BC. These early huts were generally rectangular or lozenge shaped. They were made by planting large trunks into the ground, say three per side. The walls would be made by filling the space between them with smaller sized wood and straw/mud. The roof cover would have been held by wooden beams meeting in the
centre at the vertex (ie a traditional roof shape) and supported by one or more trunks standing in the centre of the hut. Roof covering was probably of straw. A hole in the roof allowed smoke from the internal fire to escape. Looking at the back A Ala / ??? C Atrium / ater=black E Cubiculum / A bedroom. I Hortus / _______(Horticulture) K Impluvium / cistern
P Tablinum / den (Men only!) Q Triclinium / _______ This aint your daddys hut! Weve moved out to the posh areas/country. Whats new here? F - Culina / _________ (Nom nom) L - Peristylium / A range of columns
M - Piscina / Pool or fountain Roman town planners are also famous for having invented the first apartment blocks, called "insula" or "insulae". Some examples of these apartment buildings can still be seen in cities such as Rome or Ostia (Rome's harbor). Interestingly they are not to be found at Pompeii where the highest building had something like three floors and the norm was just a single floor. In spite of its wealth Pompeii had not outgrown its limits as attested by the
many large gardens and relatively undeveloped areas to the east of the city, ie availability of space and population density was clearly a strong factor in whether or not apartment blocks were built up. Roman apartment buildings could be as high as 5 or 6 floors and measure some 30 feet in length and 60 feet in height. The insulae in the poorest areas could be built out of extremely bad materials such as clay, straw, wood and crude bricks and often owed their structural strength to the support of neighboring buildings, not a healthy situation.
This accommodation, with very little by the way of hygiene was generally regarded as a temporary stepping stone towards something of higher quality. But the sad fact is that for many, this was NOT temporary.