Ancient Roman Social Culture

Ancient Rome was located along the western coast of central Italy. Ancient Roman Social culture was deeply influenced by the Greeks. Greeks influenced their customs, laws, and habits to a very great extent.

Ancient Roman Social Culture

Population

There were more than 1 million inhabitants in Rome. It is estimated that about 10 percent of the population lived in the small cities. It was the cities which had great and magnificent public buildings. Sometimes, the wealthy and the upper class lived in the hills.

Ancient Roman Social Culture

However, the majority of the Roman population worked in the countryside and lived in flimsy agricultural huts. The wealthy class who owned the land lived in the cities. The urban elite obviously did not perform any manual labor. Local villagers lived in utter poverty and lacked all urban entertainments like games. The conditional of laborers was far from satisfactory.

Food and Dress

The day started with a breakfast. The plebeians or the lower class ate bread dipped in water or wine and the patricians or the upper class had luxurious cuisine including bread, honey, meat, fruits, and vegetables.

Ancient Roman Social Culture

Togas were popular among Men, Later they shifted to t-shirt like tunics. The teenage boys wore all-white tunics. Women wore stolas. A tunic was worn under the toga, though the poor, slaves and small children wore only tunics.

Schools

There were organized schools in Rome. School started before sunrise and did not end until late afternoon. The father instructed his sons in Roman laws, history, customs, and physical training. This prepared them for war. Girls were taught to spin, weave, and sew by their mothers.

Ancient Roman Social Culture

The forum was the business center or a place of public gathering of the town. People did shopping, business, and trading in the forum. Public activities, discussions, festivals, and ceremonies also took place there.

Home and Family

The Roman family was patriarchal. The father of the family was seen as the head and the representation of the clan. Roman houses were built around a courtyard that was open to the elements in Roman social culture. The open roof vented smoke and let the rainwater in. The open center usually contained a leisure area with a bath, chairs, and sometimes a garden.

Ancient Roman Social Culture

Public Places

There were public baths of which the Romans were very fond of. Almost all the people visited baths at least once a day. In the evenings the rich rested at their homes while the poor worked throughout the day. Worship of God was important. Ancient Rome was an abode of thousands o mythological stories. Every home had a small altar.

Ancient Roman Social Culture

It is worth noting that the Roman emperors maintained an efficient food security system and the food was provided to the people at times of need. Aqueducts were built and it was an excellent waterway system. Entertainments like chariot races, gladiatorial fights, theatrical performances, shows and wild hunts existed.

Municipal councils were established like modern local self-government. The city council and annually elected officials administered the food supply, public services, religious festivities, town finance, and local building projects.