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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Society)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Poverty in ancient Rome

According to Carl Gustav Jung, the individual culture of antiquity was higher and more developed than the modern one, at the price of a collective culture, which was handicapped compared to our times. For wonderful literary works by people like Cicero, multitudes of slaves had to work, whose efforts guaranteed the well-being of the upper classes.

Roman piggy bank, made of bronze, in the shape of a homeless girl reaching for coins

Ancient Romans cast curses

One of the curiosities is the fact that in ancient Rome, black magic was very common and often practiced, and thus the casting of curses. There are traces of this fact dating back to the 5th century BCE to the 5th century CE.

Roman curse

Plan of Roman house

The plan shows a typical Roman house (domus) in ancient Rome. Obviously, the number of rooms and the structure changed, depending on the times and wealth of the host; nevertheless, the layout and location of the rooms in the house were basically similar.

Peristyle in the House of Venus in a shell, Pompeii

Toga – typical Roman garment

The toga was a garment that distinguished Roman citizens, consisting of a 3- to 6-meter piece of cloth that was wrapped around the arms and body. Usually, the toga was made of wool (thicker or thinner) and was worn over the tunic. It was believed that the legendary King Romulus was a great supporter of wearing it.

Toga - typical Roman garment

Nicknames and names of Romans?

In ancient Rome, to the first name (praenomen) and family name (nomen) in the first century BCE was added nickname (cognomen). It happened because at the end of the republic’s existence the families began to grow significantly. Initially, only patrician families adopted the nickname.

Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

Romans decided whether to accept infants

In ancient Rome, the very birth of a child was a solemn event for the household. When the boy was born, the door of the house was decorated with olive branches. When the girl was born – woollen ribbons. Shortly after birth, the infant was placed at the father’s feet – as the master of the house and family, who was to decide his future.

Roman child bust

Roman women were educated

In ancient Rome, it was appropriate for a woman in upper and middle social classes to be able to read and write. Sometimes the family invested in girls even more and provided private Greek or grammar classes.

Fresco showing a girl reading papyrus. Dated to the 1st century BCE

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