Daily Life in Ancient Rome by Florence DupontThe Roman citizen consisted of a name and a body
What did the Romans do in their leisure time?
Firstly, it is probably useful to understand how Romans viewed each year. The year was divided into two sections, with March to September being known as military season (p. 199), and September, November, and December set aside for social life (p. 203), which was largely filled with feasts, in which war plunder was consumed. Feasts were also held at the beginning and the end of the military season. The latter feast was accompanied with The Roman Games, which was held during the first fortnight of September. After this celebration, the audience, sometimes up to 300,000 people, would flock to the circus show. Slaves were also allowed to witness, as long as they stayed in the back.
Now the macro is covered, the micro can be explored:
Romans lived out their life according to the annual and daily alterations of effort and rest. In the morning, a citizen would crowd into his atrium, and then arrive to the forum. Likewise, peasants would begin to work. By the middle of the afternoon, everyone would have returned home to rest and repair themselves by having a bath (p. 181).
The evening, which the Romans saw as a time of rest, was a time for pleasure, and banqueting to unwind physically, freeing the spirit which, with the help of wine, forgot all worries. Rest was all about lying down, sipping wine, eating tender food, and recovering from the toil of the day (p. 181).
Later in the evening, Romans returned to the forum. Everyone would wander and mingle: men, women, citizens, slaves, courtesans and male prostitutes. People sold honey cakes, sausages and hot drinks. There were jugglers, storytellers and prophets. The day then ended with the only real meal of the day, the cena, either at home with family, or at the house of a friend who was throwing a banquet (p. 181). This opening up the house to friends formed the terrain for an expression of sociability that linked the outside world through a shared intimacy (p. 99).
A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome - Ray Laurence
Ancient Roman Daily Life :
She specialized in restoration and urban design. Her restoration projects have brought her to work in direct contact with the rich historical layers of Rome and Italy. She has been leading study walks for Context Rome since its beginning and has lived in Rome since practicing architecture, researching design and lecturing at university study abroad programs. She is the author of a book, published by the Accademia dei Lincei, on the antiquities collection of Pope Julius II and has written various articles in important scholarly journals on the history of Renaissance and Baroque collections. More recently, she had published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome which introduces a new interpretation of the works, based on philological data, and which is changing the way we look at this artist. For many years, she has combined her philological research with her work as a university instructor, museum educator and professional tourist guide. Giovanna is an art historian and Rome native.
At its height the population of the city of Rome was probably over one million. However the Roman Empire was an agricultural society where most people made their living from farming although there were many craftsmen. Only a small minority of the population lived in towns. In the Roman Empire there were two types of people - citizens and non-citizens. Roman citizens had certain privileges.