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Customs Study Guide


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Customs Study Guide



Government/social structure:

  • cursus honorum – course of honors – steps you take to make it to the highest jobs (from bottom to top – quaestor, praetor, consul)

  • consul – two men – executives – elected yearly

  • praetor – judges (8 elected yearly)

  • quaestor – treasurers (20 elected yearly)

  • aedile – in charge of roads and public games (4 elected yearly)

  • censor – 2 elected every five years for 18 months – in charge of taking the census and public morals

  • dictator – had absolute power in times of emergency; normally ruled 6 months maximum

  • magister equitum – master of the horse/cavalry – assistant to dictator

  • senator – must be a praetor to enter – for life

  • tribune – 10 elected yearly – only plebeians can run – can veto the senate

  • patricians/optimates = highest class

  • equites = business class

  • plebians/populares = lower class

  • patron = patron

  • cliens = client

  • salutatio = visit of client to patron’s house

  • sportula = cold food basket given to client when he is received by patron in his atrium

  • deductio = patron leads clients to forum

  • paterfamilias = head of family (family includes wife, children, slaves and property)

  • patria potestas = power (of life and death in early times) of paterfamilias over family


Chariot Racing:

  • metaeturning posts

  • spina – backbone around which they raced

  • ova et delphines – eggs and dolphins (wood or bronze) used as lap counters

  • number of laps in a usual race – 7

  • 250,000 could be held in the circus maximus

  • ludi circenses – chariot races

  • factiones – racing companies

  • colors of the factiones – red (russata), white (albata), blue (veneta), green (prasina)

  • original factiones = red, white

  • longest lasting factiones = blue, green

  • circus maximus is between the Palatine and Aventine hills.

  • white cloth (mappa) dropped to start race

  • biga – 2 horse chariot; quadriga = 4 horse chariot; auriga = charioteer

  • curriculum = successfully completed lap

  • carceres = starting gates


Gladiators:

  • Myrmillones – fought with helmet, oblong shield, sword, fish crest on helmet. Usually fought the retiarius or Thracians.

  • Retiarii – lightly clad, armed with a net and trident. Usually fought Myrmillones or Secutores.

  • Samnitesoblong shield, visored helmet, sword.

  • Thracians – small round shield, curved scimitar.

  • Bestiariihunters – fought wild beasts.

  • Essedariirode chariots with 2 horses.

  • Andabata – heavily armed, but can’t see out of visored helmet.

  • Laquearii – armed with lasso and a curved piece of wood.

  • Secutores --- “pursuers” – like Samnite but without the neck protector.

  • Hoplomachi full-armed with a breast-plate and visored helmet.

  • rudiswooden sword given to gladiators on their retirement.

  • lanistagladiator trainer.

  • editor munerumgiver of games.

  • arena/harenasand put down to absorb the blood from a gladiator match.

  • venationeshunts where Bestiarii fought wild beasts.

  • premere pollicem – to press the thumb against the forefinger – crowd wants to spare gladiators life.

  • vertere pollicem – turning the thumb upwards or towards the chest – to signify the death stroke.

  • gladiator fights were brought to Rome in 264 BC.

  • gladiator fights were originally only at funerals.

  • naumachiaemock naval battles – they flooded the arena.


BATHS (THERMAE/BALNEAE):
  • apodyteriumdressing room


  • hypocausta – furnace

  • caldarium – hot bath

  • frigidarium – cold bath

  • unctorium – scraping room/ massage

  • strigil – scraper

  • palaestra – exercise area



SCHOOL:
  • ludus – elementary school


  • litterator – elementary school teacher

  • paedagogus – slave who carries books to school

  • grammaticusupper school teacher

  • rhetor – teacher of public speaking

  • stylus and tabula – pen and notebook


ARMY: (in 1st century BC)


  • century = 60 men

  • maniple = 120 men

  • cohort = 360 men

  • legion = 3600 men

  • contubernium = 6-8 men who share a tent (part of a century)

  • dux = general

  • imperator = victorious general

  • legatus = legionary commander

  • centurio = leader of a century

  • optio = 2nd in command to a centurio

  • toga picta = worn by victorious generals

  • tesserae = passwords

  • signum = standard

  • signifier = holder of standard

  • aquila = silver eagle-standard (of a legion)

  • aquilifer = holder of the eagle

  • cornicen = horn blower

  • vexillum = flag

  • pedites = infantry

  • equites = cavalry

  • scorpio = dart thrower (standing crossbow used by one man)

  • ballista = dart or stone throwing siege engine, larger than a scorpio

  • onager = siege engine (like a catapult), threw boulders; means “wild ass” for its kick

  • catapulta = siege engine which hurled javelins

  • gladius = sword

  • scutum = shield

  • galea = leather helmet

  • cassis = metal helmet

  • pilum = spear

  • hasta = javelin (used by triarii and hastati)

  • lorica = leather breastplate

  • cingulum = military belt

  • caligae = boots

  • sarcina = soldier’s cloak/blanket

  • pugio = dagger


WEDDINGS:


  • tunica recta = white wedding dress

  • flammeum = “saffron” colored veil

  • sponsalia = engagement

  • dos = dowry

  • ubi tu Gaius, ego Gaia” = what bride says at ceremony – “where you are, my husband, I am”

  • night before wedding, a girl would dedicate her bulla to the Lares

  • pronuba = matron of honor

  • bad luck to marry on: the kalends, nones, ides (and the day after each) of any month; all of May and half of June were all unlucky days; also unlucky, the days the lower world was supposed to open – August 24, October 5, November 8.

  • usus = common law marriage

  • coemptio = fictitious sale of the bride

  • confarreatio = upper class marriage ceremony

  • deductio = procession of wedding party to forum



Religion:


  • Pontifex Maximus -- chief priest, elected for life

  • Vestal Virgins – start at age 6 – learn job for 10 years, work as Vestal for 10 years, teach for 10 years – keep flame of Vesta burning, keep documents, etc. safe; only man allowed in temple (which is round) is Pontifex Maximus

  • auspex – priest who checks sky for omens (birds/lightning)

  • augur – same as auspex

  • haruspex – checks guts of animals for omens (2 hearts are bad…)

  • Saliipriests of Mars

  • Lares – household gods

  • Lararium – shrine for Lares

  • Penates – gods of cupboards


NAMES:


  • praenomen – first name

  • nomen – family name

  • cognomen – name for branch of family

  • agnomen – earned name



CLOTHING:


  • subligaculum -- underwear

  • tunica – worn by all (like long t-shirt)

  • toga praetexta – worn by boys under 16 and magistrates (with purple stripe)

  • toga virilis – all white – worn by men over 16

  • toga purasame as toga virilis

  • toga libera – same as toga virilis (boys gave up their toga praetexta on the Liberalia)

  • toga candida – worn by men running for office; bright white (chalk)

  • toga pulla – worn by men in mourning (called sordidati)

  • stola – women’s dress

  • palla – women’s shawl

  • fibula – broach, pin

  • bulla – child’s good luck charm

  • calceus – shoe (for outdoors)

  • solea – sandal for indoors

  • petasus – broad –brimmed hat

  • pileus – cap of freedom


PARTS OF A ROMAN HOUSE:


  • atrium = entry hallway/large meeting room

  • compluvium = hole in roof of atrium – allows water in

  • impluvium = basin that catches water

  • alae = wings off atrium

  • imagines = bust of ancestors, housed in alae

  • tablinum = master’s office

  • triclinium = dining room

  • culina = kitchen

  • cubiculum = bedroom

  • peristylium = outdoor garden with columns

  • hortus = regular garden


MEALS:



  • ientaculum – breakfast

  • prandium – lunch

  • thermopolium – place to buy hot, fast food

  • cena – dinner

  • garum, liquamen fish sauce

  • secunda mensa – dessert

  • gustatio, promulsis, antecena – appetizer

  • mulsum – wine mixed with honey

  • mulsa – fermented honey and water

  • mustum – grape juice

  • acetum – vinegar

  • commissatio – drinking party

  • rex bibendi – master of the drinking (he decides the games, etc.)

  • seating – Romans reclined on their left side; there were 3 couches, each seating 3 people.


Miscellaneous:


  • Via Appia – Appian Way – from Rome to Capua early on, then extended to Brundisium; known as the queen of the roads – : regina viarum” – built by Appius Claudius Caecus in 312 BC

  • Via Sacra – road which ran through the forum

  • Mare Nostum – “our sea” – Mediterranean

  • Patria potestas – power of father over familia

  • Pater familias – head of family

  • basilica -- law court

  • curia -- senate house

  • cloaca maxima great sewer

  • insulae – apartment buildings

  • vigiles – firemen/police


Vehicula:


  • cisium -- lightweight, 2 wheeled vehicle

  • raeda – 4 wheeled carriage, comfortable and large

  • lectica – litter (carried by 4 slaves)



Funerals:


  • praeficae – professional mourners

  • neniae – dirges

  • conclamatio – oldest son shakes father 3 times and calls his name

  • sarcophagus – stone coffin

  • columbarium – underground chamber for urns holding the ashes of a cremated person


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