How Real Romans Lived
Pompeiian kitchen; Ancient form of spoons; Ancient knives; Pompeiian pots and pans. (1883) © NYPL Digital Gallery
What You Want to Know
If you're anything like me, you wish you could learn all about the minutiae of daily life about exotic people. While paparazzi can pursue modern celebrities, it is harder to find out what ancient people, also exotic to us today, might have done. We're very limited in the information that's available, mostly because it was considered too mundane to put to papyrus. [See: Caveats.] Nonetheless, historians and archaeologists have done a fair amount of sleuthing and we can enjoy the fruits of their labors. Here are some articles I've written for this site based on the work of such helpful scholars.
Click on the headings for the articles.Names and Times of the Roman Meals. For the popular concept of the vomitorium, see Roman Colosseum. Roman soldiers ate somewhat differently since they needed a bit more energy: Roman Military Diet. See more on Foods of the Classical World.
Tunics, togas, etc., worn by women. © NYPL Digital Gallery
"Bathing in Rome was a communal activity. Public baths could include libraries and lecture halls. Baths would contain a dressing room, a frigidarium containing a cold-water pool and a warm room called a tepidarium. The caldarium had a hot water tub and the laconicum was a room which provided hot steam. The hypocast system was used to heat the baths." © NYPL Digital Gallery
You can't get much more intimate than a look at the bathing and hygiene procedures of the Romans, so here you go, complete with a picture of the banks of toilets.
If you want to know the connection between magic and hygiene, look for the curse tablets in this article on Bath Thieves.
An A-Z dictionary of Roman terms. Learn significant words about Rome from the 7 hills, 12 tablets, and Ab Urbe Condita to ... well, not exactly z, but Rome's Gallic enemy Vercingetorix and the Vinalia festival. Also see: A to Z Condensed, an index to the basics on ancient history, and Roman Terms for Beginners, a short list of terms to know when reading Roman history and literature.
Here is an index of famous Romans by name. Should you want a chart of Roman Authors, Renowned Military Leaders, or the Consuls, they're here too. You may prefer to look up people on this Occupation Index. Also see: (In)Famous Roman Mothers and Fathers.
Related:• Ancient Rome in Pictures
• The Roman Family
• Did the Romans Believe Their Myths?
• Decay as a Reason for the Fall of Rome
Related:• Dates of the Roman Emperors
• Roman Roads
• Roman Treaties
Related:• An Introduction to the Pronunciation of Latin
• Vulgar Latin
• The Romance Languages