Daily Life in Ancient Rome by Florence Dupont This excerpt from Dupont’s book about the Roman republic gives us some valuable insight into how Roman social and political attitudes and values shaped Roman citizens’ behavior and institutions.
Use the questions below to guide your reading.
As you read also choose five significant quotations that you would like to discuss with the class.
What was the census? Why was it so important?
What was the job of the censors?
How was the Roman voting system set up to favor the upper class? Why is that called “geometrical equality”?
Freedom or Death
What were the obligations of a freeborn citizen?
What was the highest aim of each citizen?
How did the notion of citizenship create strong community in Rome?
Why was freedom so important to Romans that they would prefer death to losing freedom?
Liberty gave Romans the right to work for power and honors. What does the article mean when it says, “Roman society, though based on divisions of class, was not a caste-based one.”?
The City or Death
Why was being a member of a group so critical to Romans?
What was the connection between cities and being “civilized”?’
How were Romans expected to behave in each of their many communities?
What does the author mean when she says, “Great souls demanded great challenges if they were to achieve great feats”?
Why did the Romans think only citizens had souls? Whom did that leave out?