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Elderly people in ancient Rome

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Bust of an elderly man - the so-called patrician of Torlonia
Bust of an elderly man - the so-called patrician of Torlonia

Elders played an important role in Rome, based on the privileges granted to them by Roman law. The Romans both criticized and admired the old. They treated them individually and without referring to the whole problem of old age. Problems with old age were noticed independently: demographic, political, social, as well as psychological and medical.

Medicine in Rome did not treat old age in any special way – it was considered an incurable disease. During the time of Augustus, a treatise written by Celsus on the ailments of old age was written.

Regardless, older people tended to be respected, namely those of whom the state could be proud and needed. Especially in the face of a political threat, Rome relied on the elderly, because it trusted their wisdom and prudence.

  • Carcopino Jeorome, Życie codzienne w Rzymie w okresie rozkwitu cesarstwa, 1966

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