History Biography Geography Science Games

Ancient Rome

Food, Jobs, and Daily Life

Art of a Roman Family
Galla Placidia and her children by Unknown

History >> Ancient Rome

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:

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.

Picture of a Roman toy with wheels

Roman Toy
Photo by Nanosanchez at Wikimedia Commons


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.

Activities For more about Ancient Rome:

Overview and History
Timeline of Ancient Rome
Early History of Rome
The Roman Republic
Republic to Empire
Wars and Battles
Roman Empire in England
Fall of Rome

Cities and Engineering
The City of Rome
City of Pompeii
The Colosseum
Roman Baths
Housing and Homes
Roman Engineering
Roman Numerals
Daily Life
Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Life in the City
Life in the Country
Food and Cooking
Family Life
Slaves and Peasants
Plebeians and Patricians

Arts and Religion
Ancient Roman Art
Roman Mythology
Romulus and Remus
The Arena and Entertainment
Julius Caesar
Constantine the Great
Gaius Marius
Spartacus the Gladiator
Emperors of the Roman Empire
Women of Rome

Legacy of Rome
The Roman Senate
Roman Law
Roman Army
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Rome

Ducksters Footer Gif with Ducks

About Ducksters Privacy Policy 


This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.