CHILDHOOD IN ANCIENT ROME - FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

• For the first six years, a child stayed at home and was minded by his or her mother and slaves. • Some Roman toys survive (see handout) • The Pater Familias (father of the family) could often be very strict. Beating a child was an acceptable form of discipline. nd • Back in the 2 century AD Tacitus complained that modern children were getting much too cheeky and disrespectful (so this attitude is not new!). • Education was not compulsory. It was a luxury that only the rich could afford. Schools were only in the big towns, outside of these, a private tutor would be hired. • Like today, Roman education was divided into three levels: Ludus (Primary School); Grammaticus (Secondary School) and later on a boy might go on to study to be a rhetor (public speaker). • A child would be brought to the Ludus by a slave. There, he would write with a stylus on a wax tablet for practice or with ink on a scroll of papyrus for good work. • Class stopped for lunch and continued in the afternoon. • Some games played by Roman children included "Odds and Evens" a guessing game; a kind of marbles played with nuts and they loved dice games. • At 10 or 11 boys (but not girls) went to the Grammaticus to study Greek, Latin, History, Geography, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. • Third level education centred on being a good public speaker which was really important if you wanted to be a politician.

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