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Activity 2:

To be aware of different views on life in rome

[lo 1.3]

The lifestyle of rich and poor Romans differed. It is noticeable especially in their (a) type of work (b) eating habits and (c) houses.

They became very rich through trading, (e.g. with slaves or food for the army), and mining. Their wives used slaves even to help them style their hair, put on make-up and dress.

Male and female slaves were bought and sold at slave markets. Often the whole population of a conquered city was sold as slaves. They were then displayed naked on an auction platform, with notices providing information about them hung from around their necks. Young boys and educated slaves were the most popular. (Why?) Anyone with enough money could buy slaves. Sometimes slaves were ill-treated and even killed when they tried to run away.

Women were used as hairdressers, dressmakers, cooks and servants.

Men crafted silverware, pots, pans and weapons in small workshops.

Some slaves worked in mines . The circumstances underground were critical, with many security risks.

On the estates slaves digged, ploughed and performed other important


Public slaves were enlisted to build roads, collect taxes, repair

aqueducts and also served as clerks.

a) Complete the comic-strip below to indicate that slaves and rich people played a particularly important role in the Empire:

The staple food of the Romans consisted of wheat-bread with cheese and beer or porridge with herbs, vegetables and olives supplemented with seasonings. Romans also liked fruit, honey, eggs, dates and wine. If preferred, they could have their own food cooked at the public bakery. Special guests were invited to dinner on special occasions. There seven different dishes of meat and fish, fruit and choice wines were served by slaves. On such occasions they ate and talked for hours while slaves had to chase away flies with powdered peacock-feather fans. Study the menu for a Roman banquet!

b) Now compile your own MENU for a day for an ordinary family. Decide for yourself for which meals.

c) The rich could afford luxurious villas in town or on a country estate. First study this reconstruction of a manor house in Pompeii, a Roman city which was buried under lava after a volcanic eruption in A.D. 79. Add the right numbers to each description .

Staircase leading to bedroom. (Bedrooms usually were small and were sparsely furnished!) ………………….
Upper room
Courtyard with flower beds/shrubs (archaeologists even discovered seeds of the original plants during excavations.)
Reception room or study
Main living room with a bedroom next door
Dining room with 3/4 couches on which people sat or reclined while eating
Hallway (mosaic pattern on floor)
Kitchen (charcoal was burnt in stoves)

The poorer people in Rome lived in wooden houses, rented rooms (by 27 B.C. there were 45 000) or in rooms above shops – often up to five floors high! Some places collapsed because builders used inferior materials. The top floors did not have running water. Why? Furniture usually consisted of one or two rickety beds, a couch and chairs. Tenants had to use public toilets. During winter fires were made with charcoal. Women spun their own yarn for weaving clothes on spinning wheels. Most houses only had window gardens.

d) You are a slave who is in charge of the manor house. Describe the course of your day when an important visitor stays over.


LO 1

HISTORICAL ENQUIRY The learner will be to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 accesses sources:

starts asking additional questions on events, artefacts, places, people. They vary in degree of difficulty;

1.2 uses the sources:

is able to use page references;

1.3 knows which sources (books) on specific topics contain information for an assignment / exhibition;

1.4 communicates information from sources (reporting):

is able to explain information on a diagram, map, chart, sketch;

is able to explain an event from the past orally or in writing.


Activity 2

(c) 1, 7, 10, 3, 6, 8, 2, 4, 9, 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: history grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10988/1.2
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