BenTha'er-Horizons

Life in Ancient Rome

I suppose this would be something that doesn't stick in the average person's mind on a summer day. Well, if we had a summer day which much of June is like Juneuary this year (blah!!).

Someone did post recently what living in Rome was like for Roman citizens. They lived in high rise apartment type buildings and living on the top floor was not cool, in more ways than one.

"Most Romans lived in tall (up to 100 feet), rectangular apartment buildings called insula, meaning "island." Rome was crammed with these buildings, which were spaced very closely together, creating a labyrinth-esque network of narrow alleys.

These buildings were built so close together that one man wrote that he and the man in the apartment across from him could stretch their arms out and shake hands from their windows. And unlike today, the worst apartments were on the top floor, where it was darker, more cramped, and less safe. If the building burned, you'd need to haul it down those stairs. Richer citizens lived on the bottom floors.

There was no running water or sanitation in the insulae. Poorer folk had to rent apartments with several other roommates, who were day laborers, so the places stunk. It also was not uncommon to hear the agony of childbirth if your neighbor was a pregnant woman, as women gave birth at home in Rome.

And the buildings were cheap, so the insulation was terrible."

More details here.
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