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How civilised were the Romans?

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How civilised were the Romans? The Romans are normally seen as being quite civilised, however there are aspects of their life that we, as modern day people, would consider very uncivilised. Such as Gladiators, slavery and forms of beauty and some civilised aspects may be fashion, food and entertainment. However what it is to be civilised has changed dramatically over the years, so what the Romans considered civilised is different now. Slavery was very uncivilised. It was used as a way of showing how wealthy people were. Richer people would buy slaves to do all their work for them. Slaves would have to do the washing, ironing, cooking and all of the housework. They sometimes had to educate the children of the house and work on farms to grow crops for the family. ...read more.


Another aspect of their life that would now be considered uncivilised is forms of their beauty. The richer of the Roman women would put a white powdery paste onto their face as they believed it opened their paws. They would also wash their mouths out once a month with tortoise blood. Women also stained their lips with red currant juice, like we today would use lipstick. Pale skin was something that most women wanted. Therefore they would go to many extremes to get it. Some ladies would even cover their face in chalk powder. Although, lots of people thought this was great others thought it was disgusting. Also cruel because to get the tortoise blood that meant killing a tortoise. On the other hand Romans were very civilised, in some ways, too. ...read more.


A lot of families enjoyed their food. I think their food was quite civilised. Fashion in those days was also very civilised. Fashion has been known to make a statement in every culture and civilization throughout the centuries. From the Hellenistic Era to present day, fashion fads and statements evolved from similar backgrounds to make styles that seem new, but are really just "doctored-up" versions that can be traced back to the times of ancient Rome. The women of ancient Rome wore a long tunic called a "stola." The stola, which went down to the feet of the wearer, often had a woollen mantle over it called a "palla". They would never have worn a 'mini skirt'! All in all I think the Romans were very civilised but like every era in time had aspects of their life that were uncivilised. But if coming millenniums looked back on us they would see uncivilised things even though we don't realise them now. ...read more.

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