Rockstar Romans

4 Feb

From the Greeks the Romans learned the basic skills such as reading and writing. Their religion is derived largely from Greek mythology; for example Jupiter write Zeus, Mars is Ares, Venus is Aphrodite, etc.

Roman life centered around the city itself. The marketplaces and government areas were centrally located and the roads and homes radiated out from there. Obviously the location of your home depended upon your wealth and social status. The richer would be located closer to town, and the poor would be further out in the suburba and made up what would be considered the ghettos. Although it was said that the countryside was a lovely place to retire to stay in touch with nature and such things like that; it would be a highly unsuitable place for a true citizen of Rome to live.

City Plan of Ancient Rome

Roman architecture as a whole was well built, and still lasts to this day for us to study. The typical Roman home for the wealthy were single story homes built around a center hall refered to as the atrium. Room would then open off of the atrium. The Romans were very handy in their engineering. They would use troughs in the atrium to collect rainwater (very sustainable). They also had heated floors, hypocaust. Hot water was run through pipes built under the floor to heat the floor. So yes the Romans did have a plumbing system in place, but only to the wealthy. The poor would not have running water and would have to go to the baths. The pipes were taxed by the their size; the larger the pipe the higher the tax. Archaeologists would today be able to distinguish the wealth of a home by the size of the pipes that ran to it.

Roman Home Atrium

Hypocaust Remains

Atriums were the center of the home. They served many purposes such as a reception area or a living room type space. One would then enter into the tablinum, the room where the family records and portraits would be stored. The cubiculi, bedrooms, would be located off of the atrium. They also had a dining room called the triclinia. Kitchens and lavatories were also part of the homes, if one was wealthy. They may also have baths and libraries to!

Early Roman House Plan

 

Advanced Roman House Plan

Roman Bath House

The main rooms in the homes would be decorated with coloured plaster walls. If you were wealthy you would also have mosaic works on the floor and walls. The grander mosaics had to be done by experts and they were expensive. A master mosaic craftsman would map out the picture while those who worked for him did the actual work in making a mosaic. One of the most famous Roman mosaics is in Britain at Fishbourne Palace.

Dolphin and Boy

Floor Mosaic

Floor Mosaic

The furniture in the Roman house was fairly sparse. They did not use a lot of furniture within their homes. The most popular items were couches.They were often extremely ornamental. The couches would also double as beds. They  would often be a wooden frame, with a back and one or two arms, with straps interwoven across the top, on which a mattress was laid. Early mattresses were stuffed with straw; later they were made of wool and even feathers.

Roman Couch

The primitive form of Roman seat was a four-legged stool or bench with no bench. Some could be folded. The curule chair a famous form of the Roman stool, was a cross-frame and was traditionally make of ivory. The chair had no back, but usually had low arms. The chair was easily folded, and so it made for an ideal transportable seat for the magistrates to take to the events at the Colosseum!

Common Roman Folding Stool

Curule Chair


The Forum

Forum

 

The area that the Forum occupied had actually been a marshy valley where the dead were buried. It was central located so it just made sense that the hub of the city would populate around it. The Forum was seperated into two parts the comitium where the political action and where celebrations took place. The southern part of the Forum was the market place was placed.

Architecture

Colosseum

Pantheon Exterior

Occulus in the Pantheon

 

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