In the Roman times, life was great. Unless you were a Celt. The Romans invented baths, toilets, flats and even underfloor heating – which would be very useful when they invaded Britain in AD 43.
Life in Roman times
If you lived in Roman times, then your experience would depend on whether you were poor or rich.
If you were rich, then you would have lived in a nice, large town house and you may have also had villas (more on those later) in the countryside where you went to avoid the crowds.
However, if you were poor, then you would have lived in a cramped flat with no running water or toilets. This didn’t change because the Emperor couldn’t be bothered to build better housing for the poor.
All Romans loved going to the public baths. Because of this, all of the large cities in the empire had at least one public bath. There is one major Roman bath that still exists today in a town called (wait for it) Bath in England.
At the baths, Romans would meet their friends and catch up on the latest gossip. Men and women went to the baths, but they tended to bathe seperately, since bathing together wasn’t acceptable. Unlike housing, baths were cheap and sometimes, wealthy people would allow normal people to bathe in them for free for a day by “sponsoring” them. They usually did this to make themselves popular with the local people.
As well as bathing in public, they also went to the toilet in public. I know it sounds weird, but they were a lot less squeamish when it came to hygiene than we are now. Only the very wealthy had their own private toilets.
There were two types of toilets that existed in Roman times: a large jar fastened to the wall of a building (which was hopefully regularly emptied) and a multi-seater public toilet which had many seats and was also where Romans had a chat whilst they had a poo. Charming!
And to make things even more disgusting (we hope you aren’t eating whilst reading this), they also didn’t have toilet paper. Instead, they used a sponge on a stick. Once it had been used it was dipped into the fresh water supply running down in the centre of the toilets and passed onto the next person.
The Roman army
In order for the Romans to conquer countries, they needed a good army.
How the army was organised
The Roman army was organised in legions. How you make a single legion is rather complicated, which is why we’ve created a diagram to help.
Firstly, here’s a key of who’s who:
So know we know who is who, let’s see how they made what’s called a “tent”:
A tent was made up of 8 soldiers. As you can see below, you needed 10 tents to make a century. Each century was led by a centurion.
The next level up was a cohort. You needed 6 centuries to make up a cohort. (Represented in diagram by centurions.)
Now, this is the final part, which is where it may get a bit confusing. So, in order to make a legion, you needed 10 cohorts and around 500 tradesmen and clerks. And you now have a legion!