Patricians and Plebians
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Roman Citizens were divided into 2 groups; Patricians and PlebeiansRich and powerful Romans were called Patricians. they lived in big houses, had many slaves to wait on them and enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle. We know a lot about they life of patricians because most writers were patricians and they described how they lived. They had much more luxurious lifestyles than plebeians. Patrician families lived in separate houses called villas. They had about twelve rooms on the ground floor. A patrician boy at the age of 12 or 13 would go to a grammar school.Poorer Romans were called Plebeians. They lived in crowded flats, they had to work hard and had few luxuries. Most plebeians couldn't afford to send their children to school. They lived in crowded flats called insulate and they were four or five stories high, with shops at street level. The buildings were made of wood so fire was a constant threat.
What was school like?
For patrician boys practice made perfect. They were not allowed to write on what would be considered paper as it was very expensive. Boys first practised on a wax tablet and smoothed over after each use. Only then would they be allowed to write on paper- which was made of the ancient method of papyrus weeds.
Their 'pens' were quills and their ink was a mixture of gum, soot and sometimes the ink from an octopus.
Why didn't they have machinery?
The Romans were good at building roads and bridges but not so keen on machines. They had slaves to do the nasty jobs and heavy work, the Roman crane or example, didn't have an engine. It was powered by slaves or animals. The Romans invented war machines like catapults (a machine the throws rocks or burning tar at enemies, worked by twisted ropes, springs and a reaping machine, for cutting corn.) but the Romans never needed machines to take the place of the slaves.
What kind of jobs did the Romans have?
They could have any of these jobs;
Farmer- most Romans who lived in the countryside were farmers.
Solider- the Roman army was large and needed soldiers, it was a way for the lower class to earn a regular wage and gain land.
Merchant- merchants sold and bought all sorts of items, they kept the economy rolling and the empire rich.
Craftsman- from making dishes to weapons for the army, crafts men were important to the empire
Others worked as entertainers, lawyers, teachers, engineers or in the government.
What sort of hairstyles did men have?
All men had short shaved hair. After the time of Hadrian some men started growing beards
What types of animals did Romans have?
Ancient Romans have many types of pets. They had dog and cats as well as rats, birds, mice and fish and sometimes goats as pets. They valued their pets and they were often shown in artwork
How was Rome governed?
Rome in its earliest days was run by kings. However, ancient Rome was to develop its own form of government that allowed Rome to govern themselves. Citizens of Rome would gather at an assembly to gather their own officials. The chief officials of Rome were called consus and they are 2 of them. They governed for about a year and if they didn't live up to expectations tey could be voted out at the next electon.
What jewellery did they wear?
Men were only allowed wear one piece of jewellery- a ring which was used to make a mark in wax for sealing documents but many ignored this rule and wore several rings and brooches to pin their cloaks.
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