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Daily life in the Roman Empire

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Presentation on theme: "Daily life in the Roman Empire"— Presentation transcript:

1 Daily life in the Roman Empire

2 CLOTHING Roman men generally wore two garments, the tunica and the toga. The tunica was a short woolen under garment with short sleeves. The classic toga was a distinct Roman garment that only actual citizens were allowed to wear. The toga was a large robe like garment of white wool and used up to 9 yards of material.


4 Roman women also wore tunica in much the same fashion as the men.
Married women were required to wear the loose, toga equivalent, stola. This long sleeveless tunic was strapped at the shoulder, gathered in and belted at the waist with the garment extending to the feet

5 Foot-gear was mainly of two kinds, but was worn in many styles and customs.
The calceus was a sandal like shoe strapped to the foot, The soleae was a full shoe completely enclosing the foot, much more similar to the modern shoe.


7 Marriage Children took the social rank of the father, be it patrician or plebeian, regardless of the mother's status. The bride was dressed in a long white robe, with a bridal veil, and shoes of a bright yellow color. She was escorted in the evening to her future husband's home by three boys, one of whom carried a torch, the other two supporting her by the arm.


9 The groom received the bride at the door, which she entered with distaff and spindle in hand.
The keys of the house were then delivered to her. The day ended with a feast given by the husband, after which the bride was conducted to the bridal couch which was adorned with flowers.

10 The position of the Roman woman after marriage was very different from that of the Greeks.
She presided over the whole household, educated her children, watched over and preserved the honor of the house, and shared the honors and respect shown to her husband

11 Entertainment: Chariot Races
Less violent than the gladiators, chariot racing was still an extreme, dangerous sport, in which drivers could die. Chariot races took place in the Circus Maximus, a huge, oval shaped stadium that could seat nearly 200,000 spectators Races were rough and raucous – they lasted seven laps and would include as many as 12 chariots at any one time. To be as fast as possible, the chariots had to be very light, which made them very dangerous for their drivers, who were usually slaves or freedmen.



14 Gladiators Successful gladiators were the movie stars of the first century – so famous that even free men lined up to take their chances in the arena. Bloody, brutal but popular, gladiatorial contests are often seen as the dark side of Roman civilization.

15 There were five types of gladiator, each with their own unique weapons.
The Mirmillones were heavily armed and wore helmets decorated with fish, while the Thracians carried just a shield and scimitar, making them much quicker on their feet. The Retiarii were armed with just a net, a long trident and a dagger, and the Samnites had a sword, an oblong shield and a helmet with a visor. Finally, the Bestiarii fought wild animals.


17 The Baths Every day, Romans would finish work around the middle of the afternoon and make their way to the baths. Men of all social classes mixed freely together. Old, young, rich and poor would share the daily ritual of the baths.

18 This ritual was so entrenched in daily life that, to many citizens, it was nothing less than a symbol of Rome itself. To Romans, the baths proved that they were cleaner – and therefore better – than inhabitants of other countries.




22 FAMILY ROLES Families were dominated by men. At the head of Roman family life was the oldest living male, called the "paterfamilias," or "father of the family." He looked after the family's business affairs and property and could perform religious rites on their behalf.

23 The paterfamilias had absolute rule over his household and children
The paterfamilias had absolute rule over his household and children. If they angered him, he had the legal right to disown his children, sell them into slavery or even kill them. Only the paterfamilias could own property: whatever their age, until their father died, his sons only received an allowance, or peliculum, to manage their own households. Sons were important, because Romans put a lot of value on continuing the family name. If a father had no sons then he could adopt one – often a nephew – to make sure that the family line would not die out.

24 Materfamilias Roman women usually married in their early teenage years, while men waited until they were in their mid-twenties. As a result, the materfamilias (mother of the family) was usually much younger than her husband. As was common in Roman society, while men had the formal power, women exerted influence behind the scenes. It was accepted that the materfamilias was in charge of managing the household. In the upper classes, she was also expected to assist her husband’s career by behaving with modesty, grace and dignity

25 The paterfamilias had the right to decide whether to keep newborn babies. After birth, the midwife placed babies on the ground: only if the paterfamilias picked it up was the baby formally accepted into the family. If the decision went the other way, the baby was exposed – deliberately abandoned outside. This usually happened to deformed babies, or when the father did not think that the family could support another child. Babies were exposed in specific places and it was assumed that an abandoned baby would be picked up and taken a slave.

26 Even babies accepted into the household by the paterfamilias had a rocky start in life.
Around 25 percent of babies in the first century AD did not survive their first year and up to half of all children would die before the age of 10. As a result, the Roman state gave legal rewards to women who had successfully given birth. After three live babies (or four children for former slaves), women were recognized as legally independent. For most women, only at this stage could they choose to shrug off male control and take responsibility for their own lives.

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