Paula Maximus Interviews Two Romans on Their Daily Lives

By: Megan Malezi

A map of the Roman Empire; Flavia Felix and Marcus Vita's location.
A picture of Vita and Felix.

ROME ITALY- Yesterday, October 9th, 344 BCE, reporter Paula Maximus interviewed two, typical Roman citizens.  The first one is 30 years old, Flavia Felix, who is a member of the lower-class.  Our second citizen, 45 year old Marcus Vita, is a man of the upper-class. Maximus interviewed Felix and Vita on their daily lives, and her purpose was to compare the two citizens from different class structures.  Each category is based off the questions Maximus asked them.


Paula:  Please tell me, Flavia and Marcus, what do you consider as a typical meal plan?

Flavia:   Since I can't afford a lot of food, I use the Mediterranean Triad, a system which gives away a variety of veggies and meats.

Paula: And what about you, Marcus?

Marcus:  I usually eat beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish, snails, veggies, eggs, soup, and porridge.  I like my meals high-quality and fresh.  We never starve in the Vita household!


Paula:  On to a very admired topic in human life... Fashion!  What clothes do you wear, whether it's for fancy occasions or a casual day?

Flavia:  I wear linen tunics, even though I only own a few.  I wear sandals in the summer and my old, leather boots during the winter.  Even though women are supposed to wear makeup and hair products, I can't afford any because they're costly.

Marcus:  I usually wear tunics, a robe-like dress that goes down to your knees, along with different makeups.  Yes, men wear makeup, too!  Anyways, I like spending my money wisely, and I think fashion is a great way to show your wealth.


Paula:  Alright!  Let's talk about what goes on back home.  What does your house look like, and who is in your family?

Flavia:  I live in an apartment, and I share a room with my whole family.  We share a playroom and kitchen with a lot of other families.  I gave birth to five kids, but since my husband, Balbus, and I couldn't afford raising them, we were forced to let three of them die.  My two kids, Cassia and Rufus, don't go to school.  They work in the fields with Balbus.

Marcus:  My household is lovely. We live in a three bedroom house.  It has a front yard, courtyard, office, dining room, garden, you name it!  Not only do we have a nice house, but our kids get home-schooled by my expert slave.  While my wife is helping around the house, I'm an engineer, earning enough money to care for my family.


Paula:  Interesting!  Our next topic is leisure time.  How do you spend it?

Flavia:  We entertain ourselves by playing dice games, where we roll a dice and bet on the results.

Marcus:  My family likes going to arenas and watch slaves fight to the death.  We also watch chariot racing, watching horses gallop their way to victory.  Lastly, we usually go on vacation to the Bay of Naples, a beach area south of Rome.

For further information about daily life for the Romans, watch the video at the bottom, or go to

Ask Alba

Ask Alba! Submit your problems at and she will respond and give you advice!

Dear Alba,

    I don't have a lot of friends in my life, but I do have one. Recently, she told me that she is moving to Russia. I'm very scared because once she moves, I'll have no friends. Please help!

From, Nonus

Dear Nonus,

    I'm very sorry to hear about your friend. However, you are going to have to expose yourself. There are other people out there that lack friends, and that's perfectly okay.  Try signing up for different clubs or sports, and you'll find a friend in no time!  Good luck!

From, Alba

Dear Alba,

    My school is full of bullies.  I don't even do anything, and they still find a way to make fun of me and my friends.  I have no idea what to do, and I'm too scared to contact an adult because the bullies will just make fun of me even more for being a "tattle tail."  Please help me!

From, Junia

Dear Junia,

    Bullies are very common.  I get these types of problems sent to me a lot, and here's what I say to everyone: confront the bully!  Don't let the bully take you down!  You are not worth anything less than the bully is.  Whether it's telling the bully how you feel or contacting an adult, you can't sit around and let this bully damage you.  Good luck!

From, Alba

Dear Alba,

    I really like this guy, but he doesn't know I exist.  We have had conversations before, but I just really want to be closer with him.  I don't know how to get to know him more without being awkward.  Please help!

From, Marcia

Dear Marcia,

   I know how you feel.  One suggestion I would do is to just go for it!  Walk up to him, and start conversation.  It can be about anything; the weather, politics, school, you name it!  Eventually, you guys will become good friends, and then you guys can start talking about yourselves; the hobbies you have, the sports you play, and the subjects in school that interest you.  Good luck!

From, Alba

A portrait of Alba.

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