Poverty in Ancient Rome

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Social Studies
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Poverty in Ancient Rome

Poverty in Ancient RomeBy: Suki, Erica, Lauren, Joe, and Jason

The Colosseum was the most common place the poor would go for Bread and Circuses. (Above)

Tunics are shown above. (center and left)

A Roman wedding between a poor girl an a wealthier man (above)

Some Sources:Website --------------------------------------------------> http://library.thinkquest.org/26602/diet.htmWebsite-----------------------------------=---------------> https://sites.google.com/site/voyagebackintime/home/rome-roles-of-men-women-and-childrenYoutube - A Teen's life---------------------------------------------> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juWYhMoDTN0Youtube - Child, woman, slave, and emporer's lives ------> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt9rZcWelbg Youtube - A poorer boy's life----------------> https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=jOo7dLrJmYU

Due: December 11th, 2012

A map of Anciet Rome , "Roma Antiqua" (above)

Sculpted depictions of the rural poor, harvesting Rome's main staple: Wheat (above)

THE BASICS AND RECRUITING:• People in Poverty woke up at early sunrise because they had a lot of work to do before the sun set.• Poor people wore the same tunic everyday, which is much like a toga only made of shorter, rougher material• Poor men usually wore sandals made out of cheap leather. • Many male adolescents in poverty chose to volunteer as a military tribune. • The volunteer soldiers would defend the edges of the Empire and take back things from the government.• The generals promised the potential soldiers that they would take care of the poor soldiers as long as they behaved and followed orders.• Some generals even promised the conquered farmers that they would help to get back any land that was taken by the Roman government.

IntroductionAround 44 B.C. the Roman Empire just began rule under Augustus, Julius Cesar’s adopted heir. The already-wealthy upper-class became excessively affluent. Their greed led them to hoard all of the goods from the neighbors that the Roman Empire has conquered.

RURAL LIVING:• Many outside farmers and their land been conquered by the Roman Empire. • Many small areas that had been farming sites were in Cinigiana.• There were less people in rural poverty than urban.• The poor paid more taxes to the government than anyone else, especially farmers who had things to be taken away from them-not much. • Both the rural and urban poor have become poorer because slaves have taken their jobs and the wealthy have taken their land. • People in rural poverty usually grew grains and or a few simple vegetables. • They were paid cheaply for harder work.• They were outnumbered by slaves who took their jobs. • People tended to only produce the bare minimum. • There were only a few small farms left because there was not enough profit from goods.• 90% of Roman population consisted of the rural poor.

URBAN LIVING:• “Beggars” were poor people of whom lived in or near the city.• Urban women in poverty did not have voices.• Surbia was one of the poorer areas of the Roman Empire, close to the center of the city. • There were many gangs that roam the streets in the city• Large wagons are not allowed to come out until after "the ninth hour” which was usually around sundown. • Wagons chaotically rattled along the stone streets of the city at night. • Simple vegetables and chicken were sold in the subura to the poor.

FAMILY LIFE (Rural and Urban) :• Parents hardly showed any affection for their children. • Mothers or older generations usually had to raise both boys and girls• Often, people in poverty abandoned their children as babies to die.• This mass killing of babies is now known as infanticide.• The parents that abandoned their infants often hoped that their babies will be found on the streets. • If the babies were lucky, they were taken off those streets usually end up as slaves rather than dying. • Half the population’s children usually die before reaching adulthood.• Poor parents had to teach their children how to run, swim, and fight, because they couldn’t afford to buy a slave to tutor them. • Adolescents were not trusted to arrange business deals. • Fathers took care of things like business and marriage that until the child reached 25 years of age. • The head of each household is (obviously) the man.• Fathers have each even arranged marriages. • Poor women were married in their late teens or early 20s rather than young childhood.• Most marriages were regarded more as public political alliances than personal romantic associations.

URBAN HOUSING:• Surbia was one of the poorer neighborhoods of Rome, close to the center of the city.• Poor people lived in insulae (plural for insula).• The insulae were poorly structured wooden apartments. • Insulae couldn’t be built above loft.• The poorest people lived on the top floors of the small dirty apartments.• People were fortunate if each insula had only 1 toilet on the ground floor of insulae.• Anyone who used the toilet had to pay to use it.• The poor also had to fetch water from taps outside if they wanted it, or buy it from carriers.• Most people used slop sails, emptied them out their windows.• Crowded populations in apartments were common.• Fires were frequent in the apartments which were made of cheap wood. • It was common to wake up to the scent of ash and smoke in the morning. • Poor people had to wake up early at sunrise to start their work.• They ate on the floor or the ground outside.• They cooked outside as not to burn down the insulae in the city of their shacks.• There were no forks in ancient Rome, so everyone (not just the poor) ate with their hands.• Bread and Circuses provided for most of their meals.• When they ate at home, they ate a lot of bread and very little meat• Farmers had no way to defend against unpredictability of weather, rainfall, or pests.• City streets were crowded with traders during the day.

An Urban Insula (above)

Ancient Roman Bread was mostly made of wheat and looked something like this.

A poor Roman family at the Legion of Honor Museum, in San Francisco, California (above)


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