Roman Education

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Roman Daily Life video

Most Roman education was based around Greek traditions, but it also included things like Roman politics and different religious beliefs.

Education

The education that the Ancient Roman children had was a strong education.  This education was important to Roman families and children that were from rich families would find tutors that would teach their children.

These tutors cost a lot of money and people that were poor, or slaves could not afford to have this type of education.

Children that were poor, most of the time, they had no education at all.  This meant that those people would usually have jobs and would have to find work.

Most of the time, the children would be taught at home and most of them would not go inside of a school.  If a family member was able to teach the child to read and write, that would be his or her job for a period of time.

Jobs

Children that were not able to get a tutor or have someone in their family teach them education, they would be taught how to run a farm and how to work a business.

They would be taken out into society and would be taught how to act.

Girls were taught how to clean and how to be a good wife.

Roman Schools

The Romans picked up ideas about education from the Greeks.  They felt that the Greeks had a great educational system and they wanted to try this out for themselves.

A school in Rome would be a very small school.  These schools would be only one room and they would have one teacher.  The teachers were not paid very good and they would work very long hours.

Learning

Learning would consist of the children learning to write and to read.  They would have to learn to read and write because it was important for them to know how to do these things so that they could get into high paying jobs and into politics.

Other things that the teachers taught were Greek, literature and math.  The main subjects in school were public speaking.

Most of the time, school started before it would get light out and the students would use candles or oil lamps in order to see in their classes and then around noon, they would take a break to eat lunch and then they would go back to work.

Discipline

If a child did not listen or was not able to answer the question in school, the children would be beaten by the teacher with a cane.

The teacher would beat the child if he spoke in class and was not given permission.  The child could be beaten with a whip or a cane in front of the class for anything he did wrong.

Boys and Girls

The boys and girls were given a different kind of education and nothing was the same for them.

Boys

Boys were taught to read, write and would be given physical training that would make them strong.  The boys were taught how to fight in case they ever had to go into the military.

Boys were also taught math, but it was usually simple math and they would learn to count, add and subtract numbers.  It was hard to add numbers in the Roman system because the numbers were so difficult to write down.

When the boys turned around 12 or 13, most of them would be in grammar school.  They would study things like Greek, Latin and literature and they would learn to speak properly.

When boys turned 16, they would go to another school where they would learn to speak publicly and work towards being an Orator or a public speaker.

Girls

Girls were taught how to read and write and then they were also taught how to work inside of the home.  Girls were expected to get married and to be able to run their home and take care of the children.

Facts About Ancient Roman Education:

  • Ancient Romans could speak, read and write very well.
  • Most Ancient Roman pottery is signed by the artist.
  • Most people in the Roman army could read and write.
  • School was not free and so sometimes the parents or the siblings would teach the school.
  • No learning was as important as learning to speak publicly.
  • Sometimes slaves were educated, and they could teach people in the home to read and write or they could become tutors.

What Did You Learn?

  1. Was learning important to the Ancient Romans?    Ancient Romans thought learning was very important.
  2. Who was able to learn to read and write? People in rich homes were able to learn to read and write, but some poorer people could learn to read and write depending on who lived in the home.
  3. What did poorer families do instead of education? Poorer families would teach their children to run farms, work in the home and run businesses.
  4. What was the most important thing about education in Ancient Rome? The most important thing to do with education in Ancient Rome was public speaking.
  5. Were girls and boys educated the same?   Boys were taught to read, write and do math and to be physical so they could be warriors.  Girls were taught only to read and write and to run the house.