- Slides: 15
The ancient Romans were very different from the ancient Greeks The ancient Romans were realists, not idealists. You can see this in their statues. The Greeks made statues of perfect people. The Romans created real life statues. A statue of one of the Roman emperors is a good example. His nose is huge! The ancient Greeks would never have done that. The Romans built roads all over the empire, and all roads led to Rome. The ancient Greeks had roads, but they were not built nearly as well, and the Greek's roads did not connect in any particular order. Connect to what? Each Greek city-state was its own unit. In ancient Rome, Rome was the heart of the empire! In both Roman and Greek culture, women had the responsibility of the home. But women's freedoms were very different.
GREEK WOMEN In ancient Greece, except in Sparta, women had no rights. ITALIAN WOMEN In the beginning, rights for women in ancient Rome were similar to rights for women in ancient Greece. Over time, things changed. They were the property of their husband. During the 500 years that Rome was an Empire, women gained even more freedom. Under the Empire, it was legal for women to own land, run businesses, free slaves, make wills, inherit wealth, and get a paid job. In ancient Rome, only free adult men were citizens. Although women were not citizens of ancient Rome, they enjoyed a great deal more freedom than did women in ancient Greece. They had to ask their husband's permission to leave the house or to talk to a neighbor who came visiting. As time went on, rights for women remained the same. During the 500 years that Rome was a Republic, Roman women could go to the Forum to shop, chat with friends, and visit a temple, all without asking their husband for permission.
Roman society was divided into different levels of social status -- from the emperor to slaves. Romans weren't necessarily limited to the social status of their birth. For example, slaves could buy or be rewarded with their freedom. Let's look at a few of the people you might meet if you traveled back in time to ancient Rome. . . Rulers Senators Soldiers Craftsmen and Merchants Slaves
Rulers Well, you probably wouldn't meet the ruler, but you would see their portrait everywhere! Under the Republic, Rome was ruled by a pair of consuls who were elected by the Senate. Beginning in the early 1 st century AD, the ruler was an emperor and was usually elected by the army.
Senators: Wealthy citizens of Rome, members of the Senate could be chosen to serve as consuls, magistrates, or provencial governors.
Soldiers: The army was the backbone of the Roman Empire. It conquered new territories, establishing Rome as the biggest power in the western world. Soldiers could be divided into two groups: Legions and Auxiliary Troops.
Craftsmen and Merchants Food shop in Pompeii Often slaves who had bought their freedom, shopkeepers and craftsmen worked hard to make a living. Many craftsmen worked in large workshops, while others worked from their own small shops.
Slaves were often captured foreigners who were brought to Rome and sold at the slave market. The quality of their life depended on the people who owned them. Some slaves were given their freedom by their owners.
Legions These tough, well-trained troops were Roman citizens. They were career soldiers who volunteered to serve for 20 to 25 years. They were key to the emperor's military and political success, so he treated them well. Auxiliary troops Supplementing the legions, the auxiliary troops protected and guarded the frontier. They were recruited from the peoples conquered by the Romans. Although they were usually not Roman citizens, they could be rewarded with citizenship for their military service.
The Etruscans How Rome Began Nearly 3000 years ago, a tribe of people called the Latins lived in a small village on the Tiber River. This village grew to become the famous city of Rome. Around 900 BCE, a mysterious group of people arrived on the Italian peninsula. Nobody knows where they come from, but archaeologists believe they probably arrived from Asia Minor. The Etruscans must have known the Greeks. Their alphabet was based on the Greek alphabet. Their gods looked like humans, just like the Greek gods. But the Etruscans were not Greeks. From the artifacts they left behind, scientists are fairly certain that in the Etruscan culture, women and men were fairly equal in status. That was certainly not the Greek way of life.
The Legend of Romulus & Remus The ancient Romans loved to hear the story of Romulus and Remus. In their eyes, this story explained why Rome had the right to rule. According to the legend, Romulus and Remus justified their right to rule because their mother was a princess and their father was the war god Mars.
The Legend of Romulus & Remus Rhea was married to Mars, the Roman god of war. Rhea had twin sons. She loved her boys, but there were plots afoot by other gods and goddesses to harm her father, herself, her husband, and her children. To protect the boys, she set them adrift on the river, hoping someone would find them. Who would not love such beautiful boys? Sure enough, first they were found by a she-wolf who fed them. Then a shepherd and his wife adopted the boys. As the twins grew older, they decided they did not want to take care of sheep. They wanted to be kings. They decided to build a city on the shores of the Tiber. They both wanted to be the only king. They quarreled. In a fit of rage, Romulus picked up a rock, killed his brother, and made himself king. That’s how Rome started.
What was life like for a Roman family? Life for women in Roman times was often hard. Mother was less important than father in the family. Father had the power of life or death over everyone. When a new baby was born it would be laid at its father's feet if the father picked the baby up it would live, but if he ignored the baby it would be taken away to die. Women were expected to run the home, cook meals, and raise children. If they were wealthy, women were lucky; they had slaves to do the work. Many girls were married at the age of 14. Marriages were often arranged between families. A man could divorce his wife if she did not give birth to a son. Many women died young (in their 30 s), because childbirth could be dangerous, and diseases were common.
What did Romans eat? Poor Romans ate bread, vegetable soup, and porridge. Meat was a luxury, unless they lived in the countryside and could go hunting or fishing. Poor people's small homes had no kitchens. So they often took food round to the baker, to cook in his oven. Many people bought take-aways, such as sausages or fried fish, from food-shops. Rich Romans had food cooked at home in the kitchen by slaves. Most ate a light breakfast, and a snack at mid day - perhaps bread and cheese, or boiled eggs and salad. They ate dinner in late afternoon, with a starter, a meat course (such as hare, pig, beef, goat, chicken, fish or pigeon) followed by fruit or nuts. Ice cream was a treat. Lettuce was served at the end of a meal because Romans believed it helped you sleep.