This Roman Life, Episode 3: Non-elite Romans: Immigrants, Freedpeople, Slaves, and Citizens

SUMMARY: Ask any educated American if they can name an Ancient Roman, and you’ll get a lot of  responses of Julius Caesar. Some may also think of emperors, like Augustus, Nero, Trajan, Hadrian, or Caligula, and still others may suggest characters from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, such as Cicero or Mark Antony. But what can people say about Romans who weren’t emperors or senators, or Romans who had minimal, if any, power in society?


Full Transcript

Works Cited:

Aldrete, G. 2004. Daily Life in The Roman City. Greenwood Press.

Beard, Mary. SPQR. Profile Books, 2015.

Couture, Thomas. 2019, “Guide to the Classics: Juvenal, the True Satirist of Rome.” The Conversation, 7 Jan.

 Francese, C, RS Smith. (eds. and trans.) 2014. Ancient Rome: An Anthology of Sources. Hackett.

Kennedy, Rebecca Futo. 2017. “Why I Teach About Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World.” Eidolon.

Kennedy, Rebecca Futo. 2018. “Using Freedpersons as an Argument for an Inclusive Rome?Classics at the Intersections, 27 February.

Kennedy, RF, ML Goldman, and CS Roy, (eds. and trans.) 2013. Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World: An Anthology of Sources. Hackett.

Suggested Readings:

Ancient Rome’s Social Ladder

Assessing Afterlife: Tombs of Ancient Roman Slaves Visiting a Bar in Ancient Rome

Border Security in Ancient Rome Cultural Exchange in Roman Society

Suggested Audio / Visual Content:

BBC in Our Time: Roman Satire (Podcast)

BBC in Our Time: Roman Slavery (Podcast)

The Life of an Average Slave (Video)

Ancient Rome Immigration Policy (Interview with Mary Beard)

Sex in Ancient Rome (Interview with Mary Beard)