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Ancient Rome

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Essay title: Ancient Rome

In this report about ancient Rome I will be talking about a lot of different things. One thing is how ancient Rome was different from ancient Greek, their daily life activities and lifestyles, and also about their religion.

The ancients Romans were very different from the ancient Greek. "The ancient Romans were down-to-earth realists, not idealists."(Donn2) You can see this in their statues. The Greeks made statues of perfect people. The Romans created real life statues. A good example of this is a Roman emperor statue because his nose will be huge and the ancient Greek would have never done that. The Romans were fierce soldiers and wonderful builders. They built roads all over the empire and all 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. Each Greek city-state was its own unit, not like Rome because in ancient Rome, Rome was the heart of the empire.

Two thousand years ago, Rome was a busy place. "It was a crowded, noisy, smoky, and dusty city, with beautiful temples and public building."(Donn2) The rich had gracious homes, each with an entrance atrium, which was the center of the family life. For those who were not quite as rich, there were apartment buildings and for the poor there were shabby tenements. Some people walked around Rome, others were carried in covered litters, with curtained couches carried on poles by slaves. Soldiers strode through town in chain mail or leather armor. Workmen hurried in belted tunics of dark wool. Before daylight, boys hurried to school. Later in the day, Roman citizens strolled around town in white tunics. Even for the poor, life in the city was lively. There was always something going on, like the Great State festival including shows in the theatres, races, and fights in the arenas.

Lower class Romans or plebeians lived in apartment houses or flats as they were called, above or behind their shops. (Davis132) Their own apartment might be quite roomy, sanitary and pleasant, occasionally with running water. In these apartment houses, an entire family might all be crowded into one room, without running water. They had to get their water from public facilities. A very real threat was fire because people were cooking meals in crowded places, and many of the apartment houses were made of wood.

Upper class Romans or patricians lived in singles family homes, which in ancient Rome meant the great grandparents, parents, and kids of one family lived in a home together. Not like the plebeians their house were made quite often of brick with red tile roofs, with room arranged around a central courtyard. The windows and balconies faced the courtyard, not the street, to keep their home safe from burglars. Real wealthy Romans might have a house with front door, bedrooms, an office, a kitchen, a dinning room, a garden, a temple, an atrium, a toilet, and a private bath. (Davis132)

The ancient Romans started their day with breakfast. The lower class Romans or plebeians might have a breakfast of dry bread or dipped in wine, and water. Sometimes olives, cheese or raisins were sprinkled on the bread. "It became a custom to distribute bread daily to the unemployed."(Donn3) Workmen, on their way to work, grabbed some bread, and ate it on the way.

The upper class Romans or patricians enjoyed fresh meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, bread, and used honey to sweeten food because sugar was unknown. They had slaves to cook and clean. Slaves cut their food for them, as they didn't use forks or knives, but ate with their fingers. A wet towel was brought by slaves to clean and wash up after a meal. Early in the morning kids who went to school, on the run, often stopped at a bakery for a quick meal, or to buy a pancake to eat on their way to school. (Lee3)

Then, they got dressed to go out. The very early Romans wore a toga that looked like a white sheet 9 yards long. Togas were arranged very carefully, in a stylish way. But togas fell out of style early because the toga was inconvenient, and people felt the cold when they wore it. Then the Romans switched to comfortable tunics, which looked like a long tee shirt. They were far more practical or useful. Tunics were made of cool linen, for summer wear and warm wool, for winter. (Cowell68)

"The Roman men wore rings, the only jewelry worn by a Roman citizen man, only one ring dictated god manners."(Cowell69) Some man did not follow good taste, and wore as many as sixteen rings. Hairstyles and beards varied with the time. In early Roman times, men wore long hair and full beards. For a while they were clean- with short hair. Then they started to style their hair and wear beards again.

"The Roman women loved ornate necklaces, pins, earrings, bracelets and friendship rings."(Cowell69) Pearls were their favorites. Women often dyed

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