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“Was Rome a pleasant city to live in?”

Well, writers who wrote about it say that they didn’t think so. This

is based on survived writings.

One big reason why life was not that good

was the plan of the city. To many buildings were being built.

Emperors were building too many impressive, marble temples. Then

in the residential areas were the insulae. They are unplanned blocks

of poorly built apartment buildings. These buildings were for the

ordinary Roman. They were built very closely, and building collapse

was common.

Nero made a more systematic reconstruction

of the buildings. He used brick concrete instead of wood. Even

though he did this, less than twenty years later half the city got on fire.

This probably happened because the Romans use torches, oil lamps, and cooked

on gas stoves. An hour couldn?t go without a fire starting somewhere.

The streets of Rome were also very noisy

especially at night. This was because Caesar said that chariots were

allowed on the streets only after sunset. The streets were also very

crowded. So even when the chariots weren?t there, the people were.

Another very chaotic place was the Argiletum. This is the most known

shopping center in the empire. Most Romans didn?t own land.

“The average Roman had little privacy and still less money.” Most

Romans who lived in the city were craftsmen, shopkeepers, or general laborers.

“Trade was always conducted on a small

scale.” This was because each merchant was responsible for himself.

The large trading place was between the Forum and the Tiber. The

tradesmen and the bankers worked together. The artisans and craftsmen

had their own district. If people were in the same trade, they would

join together to form a collegia.

When children were born, they were placed

at the front of their father?s house, so the father could inspect the baby.

The father could accept or reject the child. To accept the child,

the father would pick it up. The baby is given a name eight or nine

days later. Children were sent to school at about age six or seven.

“The Twelve Tables decreed that a man might only sell his son three times.”

There are tree types of marriage in Rome.

Parents permission was required for all marriages. One was the confarreatio,

which was a religious ceremony. The bride and groom would eat cake.

The second type of marriage was coemptio, which means purchase. The

last type of marriage was called usus. Women could never be totally

independent. If she wasn?t under the authority of a husband, then

she was owned by her father. “Divorces were very common.”

Rome was a very advanced city. It

was also very strong. Even though it was strong and advanced, it

wasn?t very good to live there. They had many problems. We

know this from survived writings about Rome. Writers Horace and Juvenal

didn?t think that the city was very pleasant. Writings

about Alexandria and Antioch, smaller cities, made the cities seem like

a more pleasant and quieter place than Rome.

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