What was it like to live in a Roman city? Theatres, amphitheatres, a forum (a public gathering place and market square), baths, temples, and law courts were common in Roman communities. However, the majority of people lived in filthy slums. There were no clean streets or houses. People made do with what they had. If it weren't for the factories and industries, you would never know there was a city anywhere near where you live.
In the arena, men fought each other in gladiatorial contests or as games for money. Women watched from the stands with their husbands or boyfriends. Children watched too - if they were lucky enough to find places inside the walls. Outside the walls, crowds of people gathered to watch trials by battle, executions, and anything else that might entertain them. Sometimes these events were rigged by the bosses of the arena who could make lots of money by allowing only losers in their fights to go down into the arena...
The middle class lived in houses built on large plots of land. They used some of this land to grow vegetables or flowers for sale. But most people kept animals and sold their milk and meat. Some people even made a living selling just sweets - because sugar was very expensive.
The rich lived in big houses with many rooms. They owned shops and businesses. Sometimes they even became politicians and officials.
All of the larger Roman towns had some public venues for amusement. There was an outdoor amphitheatre (used for gladiator battles), a circus (used for chariot racing), a theater, and public baths. Cleanliness was vital to Romans who lived in the city. Bathing was a common leisure activity among the Romans. In fact, there were public baths in most large towns of Italy and Rome itself had twenty-one.
The baths were important institutions for socializing as well as cleaning yourself after a day's work or playing sports. You could meet friends or family members there if they were living nearby. There were also shops where you could buy food and other goods.
As for the theaters, they usually showed movies made from filmed plays or musical performances. The best known example is the Hollywood Bowl, which is actually a copy of one of these theaters built about 100 years after they were constructed in Rome. It is used for music festivals each year during summer months.
Gladiatorial fights were very popular events held in the amphitheaters of Rome and Italian cities from about 75 B.C. until A.D. 500. Here, slaves and criminals were put on display before a crowd that came to see violence, blood, and death. Sometimes animals were added to the mix to make things more exciting for the audience.
There are still gladiator fights today, but they are mostly done for entertainment purposes rather than as a way to determine justice.
Forums, markets and shops, temples, basilicas, colosseums, amphitheatres, Circus Maximus, theatres, baths and bath houses, forts, Gymnasiums, Stadia and Xysti, Campus Martius, triumphal arches and triumphal columns, Ancient Roman Aqueducts and Factories were among the various types of public Roman buildings. Private houses were built with wood, brick or stone; some had roofs that covered them completely while others had shingled roofs or tiles. The wealthy lived in large homes built with marble or concrete.
The Romans used timber, mud, and straw to build their houses. They also used stones to build their roads and bridges. However, after the coming of Christianity, most building techniques changed. No longer would people build using wood, instead they used bricks or stones. Bricks are fired clay mixed with sand and sometimes small rocks to make them harden into shape. These bricks can be colored any color you want by mixing different amounts of other colors together before they're baked.
People used to think that the first humans came out of Africa but now we know this isn't true. Scientists have found evidence of humans living in Europe and Asia as early as 400,000 years ago! So, there's no reason why someone wouldn't have gone outside of Africa at some point.
Our knowledge about ancient civilizations is limited because not much was written down as history began to become organized around dates and events.
Roman towns were packed with gorgeous structures and temples, and they were very well organized, with a grid shape. There was a "forum," or town center, in the center of this grid, which was a huge plaza utilized for meetings and marketplaces. Around the forum were arranged streets called "aedes" that led to different points within the city walls.
The houses inside these towns were usually two stories high, with an attic room where you could store goods. Some had shops on the ground floor, while others served as factories or warehouses. There were also many public buildings in Roman cities, such as basilicas for religious ceremonies, theaters for entertainment, and arches for roads.
Each town had its own government based on power-sharing between senators (old politicians who held important positions in the empire) and knights (younger men who worked for their reputation). Senators were elected by the people, but only if they were rich; otherwise, they took it upon themselves to rule. Knights supported senators because it was in their best interest to have wise leaders who could protect them from other groups that might want to harm them.
In addition to this political system, some cities also had councils made up of non-citizens who were responsible for making decisions about city business. These bodies often included representatives from different industries in the city, such as metalworkers, builders, farmers, and so on.