Roman Farmers

When thinking about Ancient Rome, most people know that the people lived in Roman towns that were full of temples, marketplaces, and homes, but a lot of people do not realize that the Ancient Romans lived on a lot of lands and that they lived in areas that were close to the countryside.

This countryside was very important for many people that lived in Ancient Rome, and it was a way that many of the people were able to make a living.

Living in the Country

The people that lived in the country were usually farmers or had a particular trade that they were good at.  They were very hard workers, and they would get up before daylight, and work until it was dark.

The jobs that the people that lived in the country had were farming jobs.  They would have to work hard to get the fields ready, to plant food, pick food, and other posts on the farm.

Other Jobs

Some of the people that lived in the towns and the country had other skilled tradesmen jobs such as being carpenters, innkeepers, blacksmiths, and bakers.  All of these jobs were important, and they helped the people to be able to support and give their families what they needed.

Farm Goods

The country was essential to the Roman Empire because, without the country, the people of Rome would not have the food that they needed to eat and to trade for other goods.

Many different farm goods were grown in the areas of the country, and much of the countryside was full of farms that were full of grains and other essential crops.

Grains were essential because barley, for one, was used to make wine, which was a very popular and important drink to the Romans.

Grapes were other things that were farmed in the Roman society, and the grapes, just like the barley, we’re used for making wine.

Roman harvesting machine

Smaller Farms

No two farms were just alike, and some of the farms were very large, and some of the farms were very small.

People that were poor were not able to have big pieces of land, and so they had farms that were small and so they were able to work the fields themselves, and they were ready to trade food to get other goods that they needed.  They also made money from their crops, and this helped them buy things that they needed and sometimes even educate their children.

Wealthy ancient Romans had larger farms.  Most of the time, these people did not work on their own farms, and they hired slaves to work the farms.  Many times, a bunch of slaves at once would operate the farm, and they would grow crops and pick them.


In the country, most of the farmers lived in small homes that were made out of wood.  These homes were called villages, and they were small, but they provide protection from the weather and thieves.

The village was a place that farmers and other tradespeople lived.  Most of the people that lived in these areas did not know much about the Roman Empire, and most of them had never even visited it.

Farm Homes

Many of the farm homes were small and were made out of materials that were found locally.  They had only one or two rooms, and each of the rooms was small enough to fit the family and the farmer’s animals.

Many of the animals lived with the farmers because the farmers had to keep them safe from other animals and from people stealing them.  This made living in such as small home hard at times, but it was the best way for the farmers to be able to continue working.

The farmers that had bigger farms and were richer were able to have larger farm homes, and they were able to have separate rooms for their animals, their bathroom, the kitchen, and more.  These farmhouses were substantial sometimes and could fit many members of the family.


The wealthiest people lived in what was called villas.  The villas were huge, and they had different rooms that the servants could live in, a place with a pool, a garden, and other rooms that allowed the house to be comfortable and fun.

Sometimes, wealthy people in Ancient Rome had a separate villa that they would visit, kind of like how we have vacation homes.

Facts About Roman Farmers:

  • The army of Rome was found in the countryside.
  • Forts were found throughout the countryside for military soldiers to stay in during times of war.
  • Sometimes, people of Ancient Rome would go to the countryside to go hunting just for sport.
  • The poor farmers would eat things like beans and porridge that they made from stuff out of their garden.
  • Olives were brought into Rome from North African and Spain.
  • Wives of poor farmers worked on the farm and in the home and worked from day to night to take care of the house, the farm, and the family.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What were Roman farmers?  Roman farmers were people that owned farms and did farming as their jobs.
  2. Where did farmers live? Farmers lived in different homes, depending on how wealthy they were.  Some lived in farm homes, villas and villages.
  3. What else was located in the countryside? The military had forts and other things in the country where they would stay in times of war.
  4. What were the differences in the sizes of the farms? The wealthier farmers had large farms that were run by servants or slaves, and the more impoverished farmers had small farms that they ran themselves.
  5. What did the animals of poor farmers do at night? The animals of poor farmers came inside at night to live in the home with the farmer.