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How to Survive in Ancient Rome

How to Survive in Ancient Rome

by L J Trafford


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The essential self-help guide to living in Ancient Rome, covering all areas of everyday life in this ancient civilization, from religious beliefs and travel through to what to wear.

Imagine you were transported back in time to Ancient Rome and you had to start a new life there. How would you fit in? Where would you live? What would you eat? Where would you go to have your hair done? Who would you go to if you got ill, or if you were mugged in the street?

All these questions, and many more, will be answered in this new how-to guide for time travelers. Part self-help guide, part survival guide, this lively and engaging book will help the reader deal with the many problems and new experiences that they will face, and also help them to thrive in this strange new environment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526757869
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 12/11/2020
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,093,856
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

L.J. Trafford studied Ancient History at the University of Reading after which she took a job as a Tour Guide in the Lake District.

Moving to London in 2000 she began writing ‘The Four Emperors’ series. The series comprises four books – Palatine, Galba’s Men, Otho’s Regret and Vitellius’ Feast – which cover the dramatic fall of Nero and the chaotic year of the four emperors that followed.

She is a regular contributor to The History Girls blog and once received an Editor’s Choice mark from The Historical Novel Society. Her proudest moment remains creating #phallusthursday a popular Twitter hashtag dedicated to depictions of penises in antiquity.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Welcome to Ancient Rome xi

The History of Rome: The Basics xiii

What is Rome like in 95 CE? xxvi

Chapter 1 Social Structure 1

What is the social structure in ancient Rome? 1

Senatorial Rank 2

Equestrians 4

How rich is rich? 5

Freedmen 6

Slaves and Women 7

Infamia 8

What else do I need to know about Roman social classes? 8

What's the difference between a citizen and a non-citizen? 9

Are there any conflicts between Roman social classes? Do those at the bottom ever rebel? 9

What are the duties of a client? 10

How does a client benefit? 10

Amicitia 11

Chapter 2 Family 12

What does a Roman family look like, and how is it different to modern families? 13

What kind of powers does the pater familias have? 13

What is the situation for women in Ancient Rome? 17

How to survive being a woman in Ancient Rome 18

How are slaves treated? 20

Will I own a slave? 21

What about children? 21

How are children educated? 23

What if I don't want children, how can I prevent having them? 23

Did the Romans have pets? Axe they considered part of the family too? 24

Chapter 3 Clothing 25

What kinds of clothes would I wear? 25

Men 25

Women 29

My Beauty Routine: Hortensia 32

What do children wear? 33

How will I wash my clothes? 34

Chapter 4 Accommodation 35

What sort of accommodation does Rome offer? 35

What should I consider when choosing an apartment? 35

Fire and building collapses 36

What are the homes of the rich like? 37

The emperor's holiday house 42

Chapter 5 Shopping 43

Where can I buy food and other items? 43

Best buys 46

Buying slaves 47

Chapter 6 Food and Diet 49

What kind of food did the Romans have access to? 49

Apicius' Cookbook 50

What did the poor eat? 52

What do wealthy Romans eat? 53

How to secure a dinner party invitation 53

What should I expect at a dinner party? 54

What kind of food will be served? 55

What kinds of entertainments do dinner party hosts treat their guests to? 56

What makes a bad dinner party? 56

What do Romans drink? 57

Chapter 7 Entertainment 58

Will I get much leisure time? 58

The Games 58

The Flavian Amphitheatre 59

What can I expect to see at the Games? 60

Chariot Racing 62

The Charioteering Emperor 63

Theatre 64

Gambling 64

The Baths 64

Where can I find a bathhouse? 65

What should I expect when I go to the baths? 65

Anything I need to be aware of when going to the baths? 66

Chapter 8 Health and Medicine 67

What diseases would I be most vulnerable to? 67

Imperial illnesses 68

Is there anything I can do to prevent illnesses? 70

What should I do if I do fall ill? 72

What to look for in a doctor 72

What to expect from a trip to the doctors 73

If I fall ill, what treatment will my doctor prescribe? 74

Eating your way to health 75

What about pain relief if I get sick? Is there anything I can take to relieve it? 75

Chapter 9 Work 77

What kinds of jobs are available in Ancient Rome? 77

Being Nero 77

Court poet 78

Being an oddity 80

Legacy hunter 81

Do women work? What types of jobs do they do? 82

Chapter 10 Warfare 85

Who can join the army? 85

What are the benefits of enlisting in the army? 85

What are the downsides of enlisting in the army? 86

How much fighting will I do? 88

How do Romans fight? 89

Punishment 92

Chapter 11 Religion and Beliefs 94

What is the religion of Rome? 94

What gods are available to worship? 94

That's rather a lot of gods, where shall I start? 96

The imperial cult 96

How do I go about pleasing the gods? 97

How do I know if the gods are unhappy? 98

Are there any specific religious holidays? 100

Festivals worth attending 101

Are there any other religions in Rome? 103

Death of a vestal 104

Chapter 12 Law and Order 106

How likely am I to be a victim of crime? 106

How is Rome policed? 106

What should I do if I am the victim of a crime? 107

Upsetting the emperor 108

How do I make sure the guilty is suitably punished? 110

What kinds of punishments are available for those found guilty of a crime? 110

Punishments for the elite 112

Chapter 13 Politics 114

How can I be involved in politics? 114

How do I vote? 115

If I don't have a vote can I still be involved in politics? 116

If I'm unhappy with an official what can I do about it? 117

Political violence 117

Acknowledgments 119

Notes 120

Bibliography 136

Index 138

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