Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Roman City Life (J199/22)

Insulae: How the Masses Lived

[Source: Romans in Focus: University of Cambridge School Classics Project]

ersininsulae

Dr Ersin Hussein explains what life was like for the 95%, what was life like for the urban poor in Rome, and what sources are available to us. Includes downloadable resources on Fires; House of Diana in Ostia; Life in the city and the emperor; Proximity of rich and poor; Waste, washing and hygiene; insulae transcript.
Religion: public display & private worship

[Source: Romans in Focus: University of Cambridge School Classics Project]

ersin

Dr Ersin Hussein explains what religion meant to the people of Rome. Includes downloadable resources on Apuleius and the cult of Isis; Augury; do ut des; Multiculturalism; Religion and politics; Religious festivals; The problems of monotheism; and transcript of video.

The Roman Way - Filling the Day

[Source: BBC Radio 4 - The Roman Way]

er

We have an image of Roman citizens living in spacious villas, the floors and walls decorated with mosaics, with courtyards and fountains. In fact, the vast majority of urban people lived in cramped and dingy flats, paying rent on a daily basis to landlords who cared not a jot for their welfare, and paid scant attention to the structural integrity of their own properties. From the morning visit to one's patrons, to the afternoon baths, how did Romans, rich and poor, spend their days? What were the working hours of the lower orders and, though there was no such thing as a weekend, what sort of free time did they have? And what did they do with it? The Romans had interior design fads and polite dinner-parties, but were feasts and orgies as commonplace an occurrence as legend insists, and what were the dining rooms like? And, though pretty well everyone went to the baths at some point in the day, the whole business involved a great deal more than just washing.

Asmolean Latin Inscriptions Project

Click on the image below to find resources on Roman Life, including slides, Teacher's notes and craft ideas on: Roman objects and inscriptions; the Roman Calendar; Roman Education; Roman funerals; Roman Religion; Roman Society; and Roman Warfare.

a2