Roman Children

  • Created by: MaaB
  • Created on: 09-06-16 17:20

Fun And Play & Clothing

  • Young kids played with rag dolls+clay/wax dolls (some=jointed arms/legs).
  • Dogs were children's favourite pets, cats introduced to Rome in 1AD.
  • There are no definite descriptions of children's games but there may have been games like blindman's buff, hide-and-seek, seesaw, and jackstones.
  • Games also played on boards, and pebbles and nuts were used like marbles.
  • Boys would often play fight and practice sword fighting.
  • Girls shown, Roman art, as playing same games as boys e.g. ball, hoop rolling.
  • Dolls sometimes found in children's tombs who died before reaching adulthood.
  • Children wore simple tunic made of linen/wool reaching their knees.
  • A boy's tunic would have a crimson edge running all around it.
  • Children wore a bulla: made of two concave gold pieces (like a locket) and was fastened together by a wide spring that contained an amulet (as protection against evil) worn on a chain, cord or strap.
  • A bulla worn by boys until he became a citizen, where it was dedicated to the lares (the god of the Roman family).
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Special Ceremonies & Role In The Family

  • Between 15-17, Roman boys would become men and citizens of Rome.
  • A coming-of-age usually took place on 17th March (the festival of Liberalia).
  • Began after he laid his bulla and toga before the lares in the morning.
  • A sacrifice was offered and the bulla was hung up.
  • The boy dressed himself in a white tunic, adjusted by his father.
  • Senator's son = 2 wide red stripes. Knight's son = 2 narrow red stripes.
  • Over this was draped the toga virilis/libera (toga of the grown man).
  • When the boy was ready, the procession to the Forum began.
  • The father used his influence to make his son's escort seem numerous and imposing by gathering his slaves, freedmen, clients, relatives, friends etc.
  • His name added to the list of citizens, formal congratulations were made.
  • Family climbed the Capitoline Hill for Temple of Liber and made offerings.
  • They returned home and had a dinner party for the new Roman citizen.
  • Marriage was usually when she would be seen as passing into womanhood.
  • Women would be expected to make offerings to the lares of their childhood toys to mark their transition into adulthood.
  • Children's training done by parents - emphasis on morals instead of intellectual.
  • Important virtues for a child to learn: reverence for gods, respect for law, unquestioning/obedience to authority, truthfulness, and self-reliance.
  • Boys became the next paterfamilias and received guidance from fathers.
  • Girls learned from mothers and marry someone who'd improve family's status.
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Early Life & Ludus

  • A wealthy family's son was carefully brought up and educated thoroughly.
  • In their early life, they were looked after by a nurse.
  • As the boy grew, his father would take a keener interest in his development, educating him in physical skills such as riding and informing him about the achievement of his ancestors.
  • Around 7, a boy would be entrusted with a paidagogos.
  • Responsibility for the boy's behaviour, appearance, and teaching the boy how to read, write and speak Greek, fell to the paidagogos.
  • Many wealthy boys would attend the Ludus (primary school) from 7, where they would be taught for 5 years by a schoolmaster.
  • Schools usually extension of a shop and separated from crowd by curtains.
  • Children worked on abacus for maths. Stylus and wax tablet for writing.
  • Lessons started dawn (late=beating) finished mid-afternoon, with lunch break.
  • Curriculum included chanting alphabet backwards/forwards and singing timetables for hours - lessons were learned by heart.
  • Children needn't know why things were true, only to learn it was right, to escape a beating.
  • Lessons were dictated as books were too expensive to have.
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Grammaticus & Girls

  • Grammaticus - advanced school with specific topics e.g.public speaking.
  • Basis of the school day would follow a similar pattern to the Ludus.
  • Teachers earned small yearly salary, which could be why some schools did not have a good education standard.
  • They studied the writings of great intellects of  Rome such as Cicero.
  • Didn't have much time for maths, history, or studying the world around them.
  • Aimed for young Romans to have a reasonble command of Latin and Greek.
  • Practiced writing on wax tablets. When showed good writing, wrote on paper - made with the Egyptian method of papyrus reeds. Mistakes were punished by beatings.
  • Wrote with quills, ink had gum, soot, and sometimes the ink of an octopus.
  • However, many Romans would look back on their school days fondly as they believed a sound beating, when needed, could do no harm.
  • Girls rarely went school as usually married at 12, boys married at 14.
  • Rich girls received an education from home.
  • Taught how to run a household and be a good wife.
  • Education included music, sewing, and competent running of a kitchen.
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