A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome – Ray Laurence


Translator: tom carter
Reviewer: Bedirhan Cinar It’s March the 17th in A.D. 73. We’re visiting ancient Rome
to watch the Liberalia, an annual festival that celebrates
the liberty of Rome’s citizens. We’re looking in at a 17-year-old
named Lucius Popidius Secundus. He’s not from a poor family, but he lives
in the region known as the Subura, a poorer neighborhood in Rome,
yet close to the center of the city. (Gong) The tenants of these
apartments are crammed in, (Grunting) which poses considerable risk. Fires are frequent and the smell of ash
and smoke in the morning is not uncommon. Lucius, who awoke at dawn,
has family duties to perform today. (Cheering) His 15-year-old brother is coming of age. Half the children in ancient Rome
die before they reach adulthood, so this is a particularly
important milestone. Lucius watches his brother
stand in his new toga before the household shrine
with its protective deities, as he places his bulla,
a protective amulet, in the shrine with a prayer of thanks. The bulla had worked.
It had protected him. Unlike many others,
he had survived to become an adult. At 17, Lucius has almost
completed his education. He has learned to speak well,
make public speeches, and how to read and write
both Latin and Greek. His father has taught him
the types of things you can’t learn in the classroom: how to run, how to swim, and how to fight. Lucius could choose, at 17,
to become a military tribune and command soldiers
on the edge of the Empire. But in other ways,
Lucius is still a child. He’s not trusted
to arrange business deals. His father will take care
of that until he is 25. And Dad will arrange Lucius’ marriage
to a girl 10 years younger. His dad has his eye on a family
with a 7-year-old daughter. Back to the Liberalia. As Lucius leaves with his family, the shops are open as the population
goes about its business. The streets are full
of itinerant traders selling trinkets and people bustling from place to place. Large wagons are not allowed
in the city until after the ninth hour but the streets are still crowded. Fathers and uncles
take the kids to the Forum Augustus to see statues of Rome’s famous warriors like Aeneas, who led Rome’s ancestors,
the Trojans, to Italy. And Romulus, Rome’s founder. And all the great generals of the Republic
from more than 100 years earlier. Lovingly, we can imagine
fathers and guardians with their now adult children remembering stories of Rome’s glory and re-telling the good deeds and sayings
of the great men of the past: lessons on how to live well, and to overcome the follies of youth. There is a sense of history in this place,
relevant to their present. Romans made an empire
without end in time and space. (Thump) Rome was destined to be
eternal through warfare. Wars were a fact of life, even in A.D. 73. There are campaigns in the north
of England and into Scotland, to the north of the River
Danube into Romania, and on the frontier
between Syria and Iraq to the east. It’s now the eighth hour —
time to head for the baths. Lucius and his family head up
the Via Lata, the wide street, to the Campus Martius,
and the enormous Baths of Agrippa. The family members leave
the clients and freedmen outside, and enter the baths with their peer group. Baths would change from dark,
steamy rooms to light ones. The Romans had perfected window glass. Everyone moves from the cold room to the tepid room and to the very hot room. (Man) Oops! More than an hour later, the bathers leave massaged, oiled, (Whistling) and have been scraped down with a strigil to remove the remaining dirt. At the ninth hour, seven hours
after they left home, the men return for a celebratory dinner. Dinner is an intimate affair, with nine people
reclining around the low table. Slaves attend to their every need if the diners, through gestures,
demand more food and wine. As the day closes, we can hear
the rumble of wagons outside. The clients and freedmen, with a meal of robust
— if inferior — food inside them, shuffle off to the now tepid baths before returning
to their apartment blocks. Back at Lucius’ house,
the drinking continues into the night. Lucius and his stepbrother
don’t look too well. A slave stands by in case
either of them needs to vomit. With hindsight, we know Lucius’ future. In 20 years’ time, the Emperor Vespasian’s
youngest son, Domitian, as emperor, will enact a reign of terror. Will Lucius survive? (Drums)

100 thoughts on “A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome – Ray Laurence”

  1. Girls in ancient Rome: I am IX and this is slavery
    14 year olds: I am XIV and this is WAR
    grown up politicians: I am XX and this is VETO

  2. the Dacia was never captured.Only the part were is the Romania today was captured.

  3. You can't really do a comparison of "teenage-hood" as in today's conception of "teenager" because such concept wasn't conceived until the term and meaning was coined around 1900 by psychologist Stanley Hall (1846 – 1924), so this video it's very informative but it can't be compared thinking of todays teenagers. Since humanity existed and up to the last century, kids were considered kids up until coming-of-age when they were considered adults.

  4. I think we are more superior to them since they are dead today and we are not ;P
    14 Year Old White Girls humor

  5. This is probably one of the only Ted-Ed videos that ends with am actual cliffhanger. There was also a cliffhanger in the episode about fractals.

  6. This makes me happy because I can flex on 5yo kids in the future, saying that “I had to WALK to school, and I had to cook the pizza rolls MYSELF!” And then just grobble about how future millennials are so lazy, only because I ruined their economy and future of being the ambassador for our world for other extraterrestrial life.

  7. NO. This video is plain brainwashing.
    THIS is how it was to be a teenager and a citizen in Rome:
    1. Only men can be citizens of Rome.
    2. ALL Romans must serve in the military.
    3. Roman citizens (who are all soldiers) DESPISE all types of LABOR. Working is for the weak. A true Roman man join the army and take by force what he wants – from the enemy: Women, slaves, land, gold.
    4. As a teenager: All your life is training for the battle. You train with a wooden dagger TWICE the weight of the real steel one.
    5. After 20 years as soldier (18-38) you retire. As a soldier you get vast land (that you helped to conquer and save from barbarians) and with the land slaves (known also as "honest workers" today) that live on the land and plow, saw and rip the harvest for you.

  8. R.O.M.E
    Featuring
    Lucius Popodimus Secundus
    Starring: some 7 year old girl
    Also featuring: Lucius's dad
    And also: Big wagon boiz

  9. They will say that the kids of our generation were obsessed with watching a little box and that they seemed to worship these strange flamboyant singers with a hand always mysteriously covering one eye.😀Oh, and they seemed to revere the triangle for some reason too!😀

  10. 0:40
    Ok two questions
    1. Is this where the word "suburban" comes from?
    2. Is this literally the ancient Roman version of the hood

  11. So according to BBC England many centuries ago- country in north Europe.

    Was 50% white European
    And 50% African

    Hmmm… BBC… why aren't we Europeans all mixed and brown now then?

    Why? Why do you change history?

    I wonder if Africa then was also 50% European white according to you…

  12. Arranged marriage? Did anyone check the roman law on that aspect? Or was it just: "okay, in past they all had their marriages arranged, so screw this."

  13. This only talks about what it is like to be a male teenager in ancient Rome.  What about female teenagers?

  14. A seven year old wife? Well, romans knew what a good life means. Of course, I'm referring to learn latin and greek.

  15. The narrator needs to keep up the volume of his voice through to the end of each phrase, so the last word or two aren't inaudible mumbling. I kept having to go back a few seconds to replay things I couldn't hear.

  16. Hol up so is he married to the girl when she’s 7 years old or do they just start planning it then and if they are married when she’s 7 why age do they have kids this makes me shudder

  17. You DONT KNOW anything about teens from back then. All your doing is extrapolating from teens in general today. Kids are kids, no matter where or when they lived.

  18. When I heard “7 years old” I couldn’t help but think of my 10 year old sister, and now I’m even more glad that we don’t live in Ancient Rome 🙂

  19. There's a very ancient Egyptian text I read where a father scolds his son for wasting his life with his buddies making fun of the people as they walk by in the marketplace! Nothing really changes, does it?

  20. Hmmmm this vids a bit sacrin for me, it wasn't all bubble baths and late night drinking sessions, it was fairly common for male teenagers at this time to be learn about other things from their guardians. They were often errrm 'guided into manhood' In more ways then one. If you catch my drift

  21. "Lucius has family business to do today"

    Yes, he must make sure that draco has the best broomstick this quidditch season.

    Sorry i had to 😂

  22. A warmongering empire that spends most of its resources on the military while most of its population is in heavy distress with only a handful of people sharing the nation's wealth, with the regime also trying to brainwashed the citizens into thinking they are blessed with liberty and prosperity in their supposedly great country. Reminds me of a certain notorious country in the present world.

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