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Aeterna Roma RPG


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Blog Entries posted by Sharpie

  1. Sharpie

    (Mostly because I have to hunt for them and this'll make then easier to find - hopefully!) I'm also hoping to be able to get these full-size, or at least to have a link to the full-size version, if I can figure it out...

    Link for bigger

    Link for bigger
  2. Sharpie
    I'm honestly not quite sure how to describe this... the link is to someone's dissertation (in English!!) on Roman sleeping habits. Being a dissertation, it's a little waffly especially at the beginnings, but it's pretty interesting nonetheless.
  3. Sharpie
    This is by no means an exhaustive list, a lot of links are to Wikipedia articles, but it will hopefully serve as a quick reference list for people who want ideas, maybe for a throwaway reference in a single thread or similar.
    Roman names - Forum Romanum; text of The Private Life of the Romans by Harold Whetstone Johnston
    Some Roman slave names
    Roman names - Carol Ashby; a wordpress site with research by a published author
    Roman personal names
    Roman Names on Nova Roma
    List of Roman consuls A list of all the known historical consuls From Wikipedia - useful for discovering new/unusual nomina and cognomina from the historical record
    Roman name generator - this site has generators for all sorts of things - check under the 'real names' tab for things like Egyptian and Phoenician names as well as the linked Roman name generator. I believe that the site owner has put in actual historical names from various sources, but don't quote me - as always, when coming up with a name for a new character, run it past the staff to ensure it fits with the board!
    Sex and Sexuality:
    Homosexuality in Ancient Rome (subsection on male/male sex)
    Reader's reply to query in fail_fandomanon
    Sexuality in Ancient Rome: Master-slave relations
    Slavery in Ancient Rome
    Roman debt bondage (abolished in 326BC in this form)
    A Bitter Chain: Reflections on Slavery in Ancient Rome
    Interesting discussion about the status of slaves here (homo, non persona est - a man but not a legal individual)
    Slaves in Ancient Rome: Numbers, Sources and Laws
    Roman Slavery: The unique features and longevity of slavery system in antiquity
    Roman slavery and rate of manumission
    Ancient Roman Slavery

    According to Marcel Mauss, in Roman times the persona gradually became "synonymous with the true nature of the individual" but "the slave was excluded from it. servus non habet personam ('a slave has no persona'). He has no personality. He does not own his body; he has no ancestors, no name, no cognomen, no goods of his own."(Source)

    servus … homo est, non persona; homo naturae, persona iuris civilis vocabulum

    a slave ... is a man (human being), not a person; man (human being) is a word of nature, person (is a word) of civil law.

    It means that a slave is a human being, but not a person, in the sense that a "person", legally speaking, is a human being with civil rights and duties (and, of course, a slave cannot have civil rights). (Source)
    List of Roman place names in Britain: Settlements
    List of Latin names of cities
    Map of Roman Britain - includes overlays for villages, villas, vici, roads...
    Map of Roman Britain, c 150AD
    Roman Britain: Maps from Roman Britain

    Kinda for fun but... Tube-style map of Roman roads in Britain
    Roman festivals
  4. Sharpie
    The Ancient World was not a small contained place. Two great civilisations, the Romans and the Chinese, knew about eachother - there may even have been some contact of sorts, though very limited due to the vast distances and slowness of travel. Sino-Roman relations on Wikipedia
  5. Sharpie
    Focussing on men's clothing because I'm far more familiar with it - also I got irritated by a story I was reading on AO3 in which the author quite obviously doesn't know the difference between a tunic and a toga. With screenshots because I like pretty pictures!! If there are any errors in this, I apologise for them! Please note I am not going to discuss military gear in this post as I don't know enough about it to give any accurate descriptions.
    I don't have any pics of the underwear! This took the form of a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and between the legs and was called a subligaculum.
    Next was the tunic. Worn by men and women, boys and girls, slave and free, citizen and non-citizen alike, there were several varieties. It was made of two rectangular pieces of cloth sewn up the sides (this gives the drop-shoulder look) and across the shoulders, or fastened by brooches. Men's tunics could be ankle-length or knee-length, and were worn with a belt so that the final length could be adjusted to the wearer's preference. They could be long or short sleeved and layered for warmth if necessary (Augustus was famous for wearing several tunics in the winter because he felt the cold). Workmen and some slaves wore theirs on one shoulder for ease of movement. Tunics could be plain or decorated with braid or embroidery, depending on the status and wealth of the wearer.
    Tunics were generally made from wool, linen or cotton; silk was A. hugely expensive and B. considered suitable only for women, very highly regarded sex slaves (of either sex) or for the dining/party garment known as a synthesis. Men would never be seen out in public wearing silk.

    The senatorial striped tunic and toga were also worn by free-born boys, as shown above right. He is also wearing a bulla, a kind of good-luck charm that also denoted a free-born boy. On the evening of the day before he took his toga virilis, the sign of manhood, he would dedicate his bulla and the shavings of his first beard at the lararium, the family shrine to the household gods in the atrium.
    The mark of the citizen, and the formal garment, was the toga. There were several varieties of toga: the basic toga virilis (plain white), the toga praetexta (with a purple border), the toga pulla (black, worn for mourning) and the toga picta (the purple toga, worn only by the Emperor). The toga was worn over the top of a tunic, either plain white, with purple stripes, or black with the toga pulla. Togas were woven of wool, were semi-circular in shape and could be up to twelve yards long by the time of the Empire. They were worn without any fastening, being draped over the wearer's body and held in place by their weight and the texture of the wool. The wearer could only put it on with the aid of a specially-trained slave, and then had to keep adjusting it as he wore it.
    Alaraic Aetius Stilicho (l) is wearing the basic toga virilis, the mark of the ordinary citizen.  Gaius Fabius Maximus (r) is wearing the tunic and toga of the Senator

    The fourth picture above shows another garment that was limited to citizens only, the pallium (plural pallia). This was a smaller, less cumbersome and less formal garment than the toga, could be any colour and could be worn over a tunic of any colour. It was often fastened at the shoulder with a fibula, a brooch, and could be draped any way the wearer chose, unlike the toga which had a specified way of being worn.

    Please note how, in the picture on the right, above, the newsreader's slaves' tunics are sewn or pinned only at the shoulders, leaving the arm 'seam' open.
    I'm putting this separately because I think Augustus is wearing a pallium rather than a toga picta, but it isn't easy to tell from this angle.

    An outer garment that could be worn by slaves as well as free was a cloak called the lacerna, pinned at the shoulder with a fibula. This would be woven of wool and worn on damp drizzly days, in cool climates, and when travelling.
    Spurius Antius Claudus wears one below:

    Slaves and poor working folk could also wear a simple poncho-style garment called a paenula, which would be made of a heavy felted wool. Please note that the below picture is not Roman, but from a medieval drama, but still gives an idea of what a paenula would have looked like.

    Clothing would be dyed using natural vegetable-based dyes (apart from a few colours, such as purple which came from the murex snail - the exact shade depended on several variables, including how fast it dried! Did you know that the blue that observant Jews used in their prayer shawls and for the blue thread in the tassels also came from the murex snail?). White would be the basic colour of undyed linen or wool, red came from madder, blue from woad and green from any of a variety of different plants. Other plants gave other colours - and I am so not an expert on dyes and dying to say what colours were available! Black was a notoriously hard colour to dye evenly, right up to the Victorian era, so black cloth would be patchy, a rusty sort of colour, or the natural black of black wool.
  6. Sharpie
    Trying to find what the Whites (Blues, Greens and Red...) racing factions stables might have looked like, I ended up with these results from a Google images search and figured I'd share them to help those of you who also like visuals. (If I was an artist, I'd attempt my own illustrations, but I'm not!)
    While not racing stables, I did come across this neat article by English Heritage about cavalry stabling, which may be of use to anyone whose character is or has been associated with cavalry at any point.
    On Pinterest:

    I imagine that when complete and in use, they may have looked a little like the Royal Stables of Cordoba in Spain:

    Bonus pic: The Circus Maximus as the Romans knew it:

    Videos of the Circus Maximus:
  7. Sharpie
    I have pinched this bit directly from my nice handy Latin dictionary

    a - a as in rat
    ā - ah as in rather
    e - e as in pen
    ē - ay as in pay
    i - i as in kin
    ī - ee as in keen
    o - o as in rob
    ō - oh as in robe
    u - u as in full
    ū - oo as in fool

    ae - y as in try
    au - ow as in town
    ei - ayee as in payee
    oe - oy as in toy
    ui - oo-ee as in Louis (Lewis)
    Any other pairs of vowels are pronounced as two separate syllables. Double consonants prolong the sound of the consonant - you say both L's in something like puella, girl: puel-la

    b - same as English
    bs - ps as in apse
    bt - pt as in apt
    c - as in car, (never as in ceiling)
    ch - as in ochre
    g - as in go or gate (never as in giraffe)
    h - as in hand but very softly
    l - as in let
    m - as in man
    ng - as in finger (not ginger or ring)
    p - as in apt
    ph - as in pill
    qu - as in quite
    r - slightly rolled, as in Scots brae
    s - as in sister (never z as in rose)
    t - as in stop
    th - as in take
    u, v - w as in win
    x - as in six (ks not gs)
    z - as in zero
  8. Sharpie
    Discovered on the Internet: Tube-style map of Roman roads by Sasha Trubetskoy. Scroll down the page for a more detailed look at province level... The included pic is merely a teaser!
    Britannia; Gallia Iberia; Italia;

  9. Sharpie
    This is the Roman Empire at its largest historical extent, c. 117AD, shwoing the provinces and whether the governors of those provinces were appointed by the Emperor or by the Senate. Map unashamedly pinched from Wikipedia. Click here for the full-size map.
    Please note that this is the RL Roman Empire; conquests made during the course of AeRo won't necessarily match up.

  10. Sharpie
    I have a collection of images showing various (recreated) rooms of a Roman house, or houses, and thought you might like to see them! Very image heavy!!
    A cubiculum:


    Private reception room? (Don't think this one was actually labelled as anything other than 'Roman room'!)

    Another private reception room, with a very contemporary-looking sofa


    Another triclinium:

    The kitchen, this one a reconstruction of the kitchen of a grand country villa:

  11. Sharpie
    I ended up practically tying myself in knots working this out for Reasons. This is pretty much the conclusion I came to, and a copy of something I posted elsewhere, for those reasons. I hope you find it helpful; if people would like, I could copy/paste this whole thing into an actual post somewhere to make it easier to find down the line...
    Back to the topic at hand. Roman currency:
    4 quandrantes = 1 as (both bronze coins)
    2½ asses = 1 sestertius (a silver coin - well, 'silver') (also known by the Anglicised version 'sesterce'; they're both correct.)
    4 sestertii = 1 denarius ('silver' - roughly a day's pay in the early 1st century AD)
    25 denarii = 1 aureus ('gold')

    Modern currency is no longer based on the gold standard, which really complicates things. BUT. 1000 sestertii = 4oz gold, so working from the modern value of gold, hopefully, we can get this.

    In today's money, 1oz gold would cost between £930 and £940. To make things REALLY easy, I'm going to round up by quite  bit and say 1oz gold costs £1000.

    So. 1oz gold = 250 sesterces. £1000 = 250sesterces. 1 sestertius = £4.

    I'm not sure I can get a closer equivalent without bending space and time. For ease of arithmetic (and because it'll make it a damn sight easier) I'm going to say 1 sestertius = approximately £5 or US $6.5 (modern conversion is SO MUCH EASIER!)
    Coin Value Modern Value   Quadrans As Sestertius Denarius Aureus £ sterling USD Quadrans 1 0.25 0.1 0.025 0.001 £0.5 (50p) $0.65 (65 cents) As 4 1 0.4 0.1 0.004 £2 $2.6 Sestertius 10 2.5 1 0.25 0.01 £5 $6.5 Denarius 40 10 4 1 0.4 £20 $26 Aureus 1000 250 100 25 1 £500 $650 These figures give a very rough rule of thumb! Modern currency has denominations of notes and coin much closer in value to each other than the Roman currency where the value escalated sharply between a denarius and the most valuable coin of all, a gold aureus.  This is the currency system as used in the time of Augustus; it did change as the Empire progressed, but I think this is the system most people are familiar with. Why is all this so complicated? It was complicated even back in the day! Roman currency.

  12. Sharpie
    While not specifically a Roman game, this was still being played in the days of the Empire... Youtuber Tom Scott and Irvine Finkel, a curator at the British Museum, go head-to-head in one of the oldest board games we still have the rules to!
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