Life As A Roman Slave
“Ashes were already falling, not yet very thickly. I looked around: a dense black cloud was coming up behind us, spreading over the earth like a flood”.1. Plinly the Younger describes the horror that Mount Vesuvius unleashed on Pompeii, covering the city in molten ash and pumice. The eruption of Mt Vesuvius on August 24th, 79AD was a catastrophic event which stole the lives of hundreds of people and left the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in devastation. For nineteen hours, Mt Vesuvius showered surrounding cities with ash and tons of debris. Days after, the cities gradually became drowned and immersed in ash rubble. The once thriving city of Pompeii was buried so thickly that it sat covered for nearly 1700 years. In 1749 it was accidently re-discovered and excavations began to reveal the extent of what really happened on that eventful day. During the first century AD, Pompeii and The Roman Empire were made up of a diverse range of people and social classes. There were the Patricians who represented the upper class, wealthy citizens. The Patrician men held most, if not all of the positions in office. There were also the Equites who were the wealthy elite of the army and were extremely influential in the senate. It was only the men in both these classes who were considered Roman Citizens. The last class that were considered to be Roman Citizens were the Plebeians. They were poorer than the two classes above them but were still protected under Roman Law. At this time, women, slaves and foreigners were not given Roman Citizenship. Women however, were allowed to own land and free-born foreigners were given minimal rights. The life of a slave in Pompeii during the first century AD was very different to that of the luxury of the Patrician or Equite lifestyle. The Patricians and Equites enjoyed having the indulgence of central heating both in their homes and in public bath houses. The Roman Slaves would have to keep the fires burning in...
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