Roman Social Life

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abacus

counting frame

aedile

magistrate with responsibility for civic affairs

ala

room in a Roman house

andron

passage from house to garden

apodyterium

changing room at the baths

atrium

hall in house

bestarius

gladiator who fought and killed animals

bulla

good luck charm, like a locket, worn by children

calcei

sandals

caldarium

hot room with pool at baths

cena

dinner, main meal of the day

client

family retainer

coemptio

marriage ceremony involving bride purchase

comissatio

drinking party following a dinner

conclamatio

calling the name of a dead person

confarreatio

patrician marriage ceremony with many rituals

consul

supreme magistrate - two elected annually

contubernium

'marriage' between slaves

cubiculum

bedroom

culina

kitchen

cursus honorum

list of magistrates' positions in the order in which they were held

deductio

client escorting a patron to the forum

domus

private house, only afforded by the wealthy

equites

second social class, businessman

exhedra

summer sitting room, opening into the peristylium

far

spelt flour, used for religious ceremonies

fauces

entrance passageway inside the front of a roman house

Forum Romanum

the religious and political centre of Rome

frigidarium

cold pool at the baths

fullonica

laundry

grammaticus

teacher of students aged 12-15

hypocaust

under-floor heating system

ientaculum

breakfast

impluvium

rainwater basin

insulae

buildings bounded by streets, containing rooms and apartments

lacerna

man's cloak

laconium

hot, dry room at the baths

lanista

trainer of gladiators

lararium

shrine of the lares, household gods

latifundia

large estates owned by the wealthy and worked by slaves

libertus

freedman

litterator

teacher of students aged 7-12

ludi circenses

chariot races

ludi scaenici

theatrical performances

manumission

the freeing of slaves

materfamilias

wife of paterfamilias

metae

conical turning posts on the spina in the circus

munera

gladiatorial combats

naumachiae

mock naval battles

oecus

guest room opening into the peristylium

paedagogus

slave supervising students of school age

palaestra

exercise ground

palla

woman's cloak

paterfamilias

male head of household

patria potestas

a father's power over members of his family

patrician

wealthy aristocrat

patron

wealthy man who accepted responsibilty for a plebeian's welfare

peculium

slave's pocket money

peristylium

peristyle, garden with a collonade

petasus

hat used for travelling

piscina

pool in the peristylium

plagosus

"full of blows", used to describe a schoolmaster

plebeian

one of the common people

posticum

side entrance to a house

prandium

lunch

pronuba

once-married woman who acted as a bride's attendant

quadrigae

four horse chariots

retarius

gladiator dressed and equipped like a fisherman

rhetor

teacher of the arts of the oratory, especially to boys 16-18

salutatio

escorting of a patron to the Forum by a client

secutor

heavily armed gladiator who fought the retiarius

senate

governing body of Rome

senatorial class

top social class; eligible for the magistracies

spina

barrier down the centre of a circus

sponsalia

betrothal

sportula

payment of money to client by patron

stilus

wooden pen used to write on wax

stola

woman's dress

strigil

scraper used for cleansing at the baths

tabernae

shops

tablinum

study/sitting-room

tepidarium

warm pool at the baths

thermae

bathing complex

toga

distinctive garment of Roman citizens

toga praetexta

toga with a purple edge, worn by boys and magistrates

toga virilis

plain white toga worn by men

triclinium

dining room

tunica

simple garment worn by workers or under a toga

univira

a once-married woman

usus

marriage by one year's uninterrupted cohabitation

velarium

huge awning used at the colosseum

venationes

wild-beast hunts in the amphitheatre

vernae

slaves born and reared in a Roman household

vestibulum

passage leading to front entrance of a Roman house

vilicus

slave overseer of a farm

villa rustica

simple collection of farm house and buildings

villa urbana

country mansion

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