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Meet the Romans with Mary Beard #3/3



Episode 3

Beard to learn about their family life, Beard looks at the thousands of tombstones of ordinary Romans, their children and slaves. Unwanted babies were left outside to die. Of the children that were wanted, half died by the age of ten. Children were put to work at manual labour as soon as they were able, often from the age of five. Schooling for the few would be, boys only, learning to read and write, public speaking, and poetry. Few girls were married as early as the age of twelve, but many more were given away in their teenage years. One tombstone belonged to a 16-year-old girl murdered by her husband. Childbirth was equally dangerous with the tools available at the time. Slaves were regarded as part of the family and used as sex slaves. Masters and mistresses often married their freed slaves; other slaves were buried in the same tomb as their masters. 

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