Application and Reflection Questions
Would you have rather been a man or a woman in Roman society? Why? How could women exercise power in Rome’s patriarchal society?
What parallels can you identify between the ideal Roman family and the ideal Roman government, which were intended to mirror one another? What characteristics would have strengthened both, and what problems could cause both to break apart?
Write a diary entry describing one day in the life of an enslaved or freed person in ancient Rome.
Is there a modern event with the social and political importance of the Roman public games? Do you think political leaders still try to pacify the public with “bread and circuses?” If so, how?
How did the emperors use the economic system to inspire loyalty among the Roman people?
How did conquest contribute to the Roman economy?
Compare and contrast religious cults and beliefs in Rome. What shared and different features made traditional Roman religion and the mystery cults appealing?
What key elements of Roman religion can you connect to the chapter’s earlier discussion of the Roman family?
What were the major differences and similarities between the peoples of the eastern and western Roman Empire?
How did Romans interact with different local populations throughout the empire, and how did Roman culture influence these peoples?