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What Do You Mean "What Was Roman Daily Life Like?"

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Author Topic: What Do You Mean "What Was Roman Daily Life Like?"  (Read 223 times)
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« on: May 10, 2009, 05:43:14 pm »

                                     What Do You Mean "What Was Roman Daily Life Like"?

Nov 20th, 2008

What Do You Mean "What Was Roman Daily Life Like"?

Quite funny if you do an English search on your favourite search engine you will get results for: Roman chariot races, circus maximus, gladiators and the ancient Roman Colosseum.

Now do the same search in Italian and you will have results like shopping for handbags or how to use the Metro
or other public transport in Rome!

The point is that to the Italians "Romans" are the people living in Rome Italy right now! They are alive and well
and if you ask an Italian what WAS Roman daily life like they will raise an eyebrow and ask you “What do you
mean WAS?”, most likely their eyes will light up and they will exclaim “Aahh, gli Antichi Romani” – aahhh, you
mean the Ancient Romans".

In fact not much has changed in the last two thousand years.

There are still Roman chariot races (albeit informal) through the streets of Rome Italy, but the vehi-
cles are more expensive, heavier and perhaps less reliable. There are roads and bridges but none last
as long as they used to, even the masses of tourists is nothing new, tourists have been traveling long
distances to get to Rome for thousands of years.

We even thought we invented light weight concrete, but we only re-invented it when we discovered that
the dome of the Roman Pantheon was built using light weight stones!

So it becomes abundantly clear that the gap of 2000 years between ancient Roman life and moldern daily
life is not that much of a stretch..

And sometimes I wonder what the ancient Romans would think about the new Rome and “improvements”
of the 21st century. Would they marvel at the warmth and  convenience of our new homes, considering
that they already had plumbing, underfloor heating, and examples of double glazing have been found in
Ostia Antica. Would they be impressed with our new sports and stadias that seat thousands of fans, when
the ancient Roman Colosseum could seat up to 70 000 fans and they could also fill it with water and stage
mock sea battles.

They would have to be impressed with our new “chariot races” where speedy thoroughbred race horses
dazzle the masses of well dresses spectators?! But then again the Circus Maximus did hold 380 000 fans
and entrance was free!

Hmmm, after the ancient Romans sniffed the air and heard the noise pollution of modern cities, and felt
the hustle and bustle of life in modern Rome (and continued corruption in politics) and compared it to
ancient Roman daily life with its average 100 festive days a year, I have an idea which version they

What Do You Mean "what Was Roman Daily Life Like"?

The Romans are alive and well… sipping espressos and nibbling pastries in the piazzas.

Marcus Ruhl

is living Roman Daily life in Rome Italy and is alive and well.

He enjoys writing articles on Italian culture and customs and spends what little free time he has
working on his website; a guide on Roman daily life in Rome Italy.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 10:09:36 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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