CHW 3M 2013: Background to Rome

Tomorrow, you will all become Romans. You will need a toga; any bed-sheet will suffice, but try to bring in something monochromatic.

Some Things You Need to Know About Romans:7542297538_c8914efdf5_n

  • They valued reputation above all else…but it was NOT the same as vanity. Praise for a Roman reflected the  greatness of the Republic, and Romans truly loved the Republic.
  • Romans valued competition. For Romans, freedom meant the ability to succeed through competition.
  • Romans were pragmatic traditionalists. They valued old ideas, but also understand the advantages of making the most practical choice.
  • They were extremely pious and superstitious (remember the stories of Romulus and the Sybil)
  • Romans were not afraid of bloodshed. Their legions regularly wiped out every living thing in the cities they conquered. This may be an example of Roman pragmatism: ruthlessly killing an enemy made potential enemies think twice before attacking.
  • Despite all of these traits, Romans also valued humour. For example, many Roman epitaphs told jokes about the deceased. Last year, archeologists discovered a tombstone explaining that the person laying beneath was legendary for his bowel movements.
  • Rome was the centre of Roman life, but it was no Athens. It was a poorly designed city that was surrounded by shanty towns, brothels, and mass graves; even the buildings inside the city itself were hastily constructed and unsafe. On the other hand, the rich had aqueducts and sewers, stunning marvels that make life clean…at least for those who live on the Palatine.



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