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What was it like to live in Roman times?

A street in a Roman town. There were drains and sewers, but waste was mostly dumped straight into the street. People used...Read More >>A street in a Roman town. There were drains and sewers, but waste was mostly dumped straight into the street. People used stepping stones to avoid getting too dirty.Every Roman town had its own bathhouse, theatre, amphitheatre and circus (chariot racing circuit). There were also shops, bars, restaurants and workshops. Farmers from the countryside brought their produce into town to sell at the market. Wealthy Romans lived in luxurious townhouses or countryside villas. Poor people lived in small and cramped apartments, called insulae.



This Roman mosaic shows a woman from a patrician family. She is looking into a mirror held up for her by a slave girl.

Citizens

Roman citizens were divided into two groups. Patricians came from noble families. All other citizens were plebeians. Slaves could not be citizens. Patricians travelled around by carriage or in litters (portable chairs) carried by slaves.Cutaway illustration of a domus

Domus

The Romans did not have weekends, but they did have about 120 public holidays each year. Citizens would celebrate by going to the theatre or to a chariot race or gladiator fight.

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