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Patricians in Ancient Rome


roman patriciansThe patricians were the rich landowners. They would often have a house in the city and a villa in the country that was run by slaves. Those who were well-off lived in townhouses with central courtyards know as atriums.

Archeological evidence suggests that even the wealthy Romans did not have much furniture. Wealthy Romans ate on low couches in a reclined position. They were known to have large banquets where much food was consumed and the reclining position would help them digest the food. "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 (Lewis 1980, pg. 38). The large banquets would have entertainment consisting of music and dancing.

Children in a patrician home had their own bedrooms and plenty of toys. They had personal slaves to carry books to school, to wrestle with, and to meet the child's needs. Mothers and daughters would have slaves to help them with their hair. The popular hairstyle could take hours to develop. Slaves in patrician households rarely had their own bedrooms. They often had to find a place to sleep, or had a spot in the basement.


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