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Ancient Rome

Food, Jobs, and Daily Life

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A Typical Day

A typical Roman day would start off with a light breakfast and then off to work. Work would end in the early afternoon when many Romans would take a quick trip to the baths to bathe and socialize. At around 3pm they would have dinner which was as much of a social event as a meal.

Ancient Roman Jobs

Ancient Rome was a complex society that required a number of different job functions and skills to function. Most of the menial tasks were performed by slaves. Here are some of the jobs a Roman citizen might have: Family

The family unit was very important to the Romans. The head of the family was the father called the paterfamilias. Legally, he had all the power in the family. However, usually the wife had a strong say in what went on in the family. She often handled the finances and managed the household.


Roman children started school at the age of 7. Wealthy children would be taught by a full time tutor. Other children went to public school. They studied subjects such as reading, writing, math, literature, and debate. School was mostly for boys, however some wealthy girls were tutored at home. Poor children did not get to go to school.

Roman Toy


Most Romans ate a light breakfast and little food during the day. They would then have a large dinner. Dinner was a major event starting at around three in the afternoon. They would lie on their sides on a couch and be served by the servants. They ate with their hands and would rinse their hands often in water during the meal.

Typical food would have been bread. beans, fish, vegetables, cheese, and dried fruit. They ate little meat. The rich would have had a variety of foods in fancy sauces. How the food looked was just as important as the taste. Some of the food they ate would seem very strange to us, such as mice and peacock tongues.


Toga - The toga was a long robe made up of several yards of material. The wealthy wore white togas made from wool or linen. Some colors and markings on togas were reserved for certain people and certain occasions. For example, a toga with a purple border was worn by high ranking senators and consuls, while a black toga was generally only worn during times of mourning. The toga was uncomfortable and hard to wear and was generally only worn in public, not around the house. In later years, the toga grew out of style and most people wore a tunic with a cloak when it was cold.

Tunic - The tunic was more like a long shirt. Tunics were worn by the rich around the house and under their togas. They were the regular dress of the poor.

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For more about Ancient Rome:

Timeline of Ancient Rome
The Roman Republic
Roman Army
Wars and Battles
The City of Rome
City of Pompeii
Roman Empire in England
Fall of Rome
Glossary and Terms

Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Ancient Roman Art
The Colosseum
The Arena and Entertainment
Roman Mythology
Romulus and Remus
Roman Engineering
Roman Numerals

Julius Caesar
Constantine the Great
Spartacus the Gladiator
Emperors of the Roman Empire

History >> Ancient Rome

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