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Old 09-26-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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Most Roman history deals with big political and military issues but I have some questions about everyday life that seem hard for me to find answers to. Maybe some Rome history buffs can help.

When Romans traveled the Roman highways, were there hotels and inns and restaurants along the roads that catered to tourists and travelers?

In Rome and other major Roman cities, were there stores that sold goods or was shopping mostly done at open market bazaars?

I know upper class Romans lived in luxurious homes and palaces, but what about the average Roman. Did they live in apartment style buildings or did they have smaller single family homes?

Was there much of a sewer system in the large cities? Would the smell in these cities have been pretty awful?

Was there much of a mail system throughout the empire so people could write letters and have them sent and received reliably?
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Old 09-26-2009, 04:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Well, I'm no expert but I'll give it a go, anyone correct me where I'm wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
When Romans traveled the Roman highways, were there hotels and inns and restaurants along the roads that catered to tourists and travelers?
There were inns but I'm not sure if they could be found in the countryside or in towns/cities or both.

Quote:
In Rome and other major Roman cities, were there stores that sold goods or was shopping mostly done at open market bazaars?
There were shops but I don't believe they were general goods stores - I'm pretty sure that concept didn't develop until later. But I do remember seeing a documentary which detailed how Roman shop owners usually lived in an apartment above or behind their shop.

Quote:
I know upper class Romans lived in luxurious homes and palaces, but what about the average Roman. Did they live in apartment style buildings or did they have smaller single family homes?
As suggested above, many lived in apartments above/behind shops and where sometimes simply a one room apartment. If you had enough money, you could maybe afford a townhouse but I think apartments were much more common.

Quote:
Was there much of a sewer system in the large cities? Would the smell in these cities have been pretty awful?
There were sewer systems but many of the common people or poor were not connected to it.

Quote:
Was there much of a mail system throughout the empire so people could write letters and have them sent and received reliably?
Not for the common people.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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In Rome most people lived in multi story apartment buildings and often ate in small neighborhood restaurants, cooking being difficult in the apartments.

There were many shops, often on the ground floor of apartment buildings, as is seen today. Trajan's Forum included an arcade of shops, kind'a the Roman version of a strip mall.

Rome had a sophisticated sewer system and public toilets and bath houses. Such public bath house building can still be seen in Chicago.

I think if a time machine dropped an antique Roman in modern Chicago within six months he'd be a precinct captain and be on the city payroll.

I suggest the book "The Ancient City---Life in Classical Athens and Rome" by Peter Connolly.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:48 AM
 
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In Roma, people lived in three to four stories buildings (insulas). The upper stories didn't get current water. The base of those building were occupied by shops. Rich people lived in houses on some of the hills.

People ate at their house or in popinas, popular bars and restaurants.
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