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At one time, many years ago the
ruler of the world was the Roman Empire. How it all started is very fascinating
knowledge. In a time period where we can only imagine what life was like for a
common person living in that period of time. How did the common people make a
life for themselves, their family and survive? According to the (“Founding of
Rome”, 2012) In 753 BC Rome was founded by Romulus. Romulus was a name of a
king, one of the seven kings who ruled Rome at one time. In a recent article
Cary et al (2017), Rome started out as a city-state located in the continent of
Europe along the Italian Peninsula in 509 BC. After all the seven kings were
expelled, the complex republic government took over and made a constitution of
law and rules. The government was held by the senate. Rome continued to grow as
it fought and captured Italy, and over the following two centuries it again
fought and dominated Greece and Spain. 
As the empire grew with territory so did the population of people also.
Rome again gained more territory with a fight and was persistent to conquer
much of the Middle East, Northern Africa, France and the Britain. The
Mediterranean Sea was also located in the middle of the empire. This came in
very convenient for the people of the Roman as the empire grew. According Cary
et al (2017), as the Roman Empire evolved in 27 BC so did the first dictator of
Rome. The dictator was Julius Caesars son Augustus. This marked the end of the
Roman Republic and a new beginning for many people. Western Civilization
developed from a cosmopolitan city with many different languages, religions,
array of multiple cultures and people of all beliefs. As many of the
individuals helped to shape and form parts of Rome in the first century such as
emperors, poets, salves and peasants. Rome adopted Latin as the common language
and the Greek culture. They also had many problems to sort out such as civil
war, assassination, overarching ambitions, personal freedom, government control
and control of many different class of people and sexes. As the new ruler of
the Roman Empire Augustus and his descendants had a deep and lasting impact on
the internal political and economic structure of Rome. Augustus remained to be
hard driven to keep and sustain the appearance of how the Republic had worked.

In a recent article (“Pax Romana”, 2017)
for nearly a 206-year span, the Roman empire was a period of time called the
Pax Romana. As the empire worked on putting security, law and order in place. Peace
was also important for the people. The region stayed moderately calm with
slight to little expansion of new territory. This was ordered and followed by
the military. In a recent article, it states (“Pax Romana”, 2017) during this time period, the Roman empire
reached its peak of land mass area and its population continued to grow with
population up in the 70 million people range. Most of the
population resided within range of the Mediterranean Sea, making sea trade
easier and survival simpler. Civilization for these people all depended on
where you came from and what kind of family, background and how much money you
were born into. Rome had some different classes of individuals along with
citizenship. Slaves being the lowest within this class. They were owned by the
people and not free. They had no rights as people and no citizenship of Rome. Slaves
mainly were captives and prisoners of war. Some of these people were educated
while most had no knowledge, couldn’t read or write and it would remain that
way. Some spoke different language making it hard to communicate and
communicate between themselves also. They were treated inhumanly as they were
beaten, raped, starved and murdered for nothing. The owners could do as they
wanted with them anytime. They locked them up at night to prevent them from
running away. The owner would shave their heads or half the head so the public
would know what class of people they were. Slaves did all different types of
work. Because Rome’s chief industry was agriculture they needed many slaves to
manage the fields but they also worked in the mines, rowing of galleries, made
roads, built building, tutored the wealthy children and the work was endless. They
were also used as entertainment. Sometimes sold to fight the beasts in the
arena.

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            Plebeians
were common free working-class people with little to no say. Most lived in an
apartment like structure with three to four floors in the city. They shared a
living space with other families. The home was badly contracted, many buildings
collapsing or starting on fire. Most of the families did not have any beds. They
didn’t have toilets to excrete their waste so going in a pot was typical. They
would dump the waste from the pot outside the windows leaving living conditions
very smelly and unsanitary. Most didn’t have kitchen so they would purchase
food from local take out restaurants or bring food to places that would cook
them for them. Their food choices mainly consisted of coarse breads,
vegetables, beans, soup and porridge. The children got little to no education
on reading and writing. Most of the time they followed in their parent’s
footsteps. Families in Rome were called paterfamilias. The father in the family
is head of the household. They have all the authority. If the father is living
he makes all the decisions regarding his wife and children. He controls all the
property for the wife and children. He can beat his wife and children for any
reason. He can murder or sell his children to the slave trade if they don’t
obey his wishes. He can murder his wife’s newborn if he feels that the child
will be a burden to the family or if he thinks his wife was unfaithful to him
and became pregnant with another man’s child. He can divorce his wife for any
reason as an example this being totally ridiculous as she can’t conceive a
child or she couldn’t bear a son for him. If he does divorce his wife the
children remain with the father. Women are not allowed to divorce their
husbands. The female wife has no rights in the marriage and can’t own any
property. If something happens to the husband and he is deceased, the oldest
son will take over head of the house with all the authority. “Women in Romans
society were not given much power. Politics and trades were the domain of men.
In fact, the Romans often feared powerful women such as queens. For example,
the Romans did not look favorably on Cleopatra, fearing that their Emperor Julius
Caesar was under the spell of this foreign queen. Another woman, Queen
Boudicca, lead a revolt in Britain. Yet there were times in which women
influenced the political process. For example, in the time after the
assassination of Julius Caesar, the political leaders targeted 1,400 rich women
to raise taxes for their war. Hortensia, the daughter of a lawyer, spoke out
against the tax which caused the political rulers to tax only 400 of the women”
(“Women in Roman Society”, 2017). Women mainly stayed home and managed the
house. When the husband returned home from work, they expected that the house
was clean and in order. They used brooms made from sticks or animal hair.

Women were also responsible
for washing clothes, harvesting foods and making clothes. Birth control wasn’t
invented in this time period so most of the women were pregnant. The
rich landowners were called Patricians. The wealthy lived in large lavish
houses called domus on the hillside mainly located close to the imperial
palace. They were built with beautiful views of mountains and the Mediterranean
Sea. They had courtyards with atriums with some of the best décor. The walls
were painted, pillars and they had marble sculptures and fountains. They had
the best servants and slaves to waited on them hand and foot. They cleaned the
house and provided plenty of food for them to indulge on. Meals were large and
plentiful with an array of assorted foods. According to (“Patricians in Ancient
Rome”, 2016) “Dinner
might begin with shellfish, hardboiled eggs, olives or smoked fish, washed down
with plenty of wine sweetened with honey. The meal then went on to include
several meat courses, all heavily spiced with herbs or smothered in sauces, and
ended with cakes, pastries, fruit and nuts”.   They had library within their homes, teachers
to teach their children to read and write, they got the best educations. Children
even had someone to carry their school books, play with them and wrestle, they
had the best toys also. They basically had someone around besides their parents
to meet their basic daily needs. Wealthy family had plenty of entertainment. They
had all the finest items from beautiful clothes to lavish jewelry. Women who came from
wealth had it pretty simple, most had a slave who would help them with their basic
life function such as washing her face and hair. They would give her daily
massage with special oils and then fix her hair with beautiful lock curls.
Mainly the wealthy women would plan out entertainment events with other women.
Between the wealthy and the common person in Rome, they had a few things in
common. The children played with the same kind of toys. Some of their favorite
things were bats, balls, board games, kites, jacks, war games, wrestling wooden
swords and dolls. Some of their pets included are dogs, pigeons, ducks, quail,
geese and cats. Marriage was arranged by the couple’s parents. The average age
of the female was age thirteen and average age of the male was around fifteen. According
to Cokayne (2005), “The average life expectancy was 25 years of age”.

            Civilization
has been in place for many centuries. Society comes from the influence of Rome.
Law and order is very much still in practice today as it was back in Rome. We
have a comparable government. We also still have the upper and lower class of
people. People that benefit much more than the common person because of wealth
and power. As slavery laws have changed for the better. Women rights have also
come along way. Although, Western Civilization has adopted many different
practices that the Roman people implemented.  

             

            

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