Roman Housing - Video & Questions

Roman Housing - Video & Questions

This activity has been designed to fit a 20-minute slot for your class and is suitable for both online and classroom teaching, as well as homeschooling.

Students have to complete some short answer questions, based on a video.

It is part of our Daily Life in Ancient Rome pack where you can find:

  • Complete lesson plans, with teachers' instructions (Word & PDF)
  • Multiple choice quiz questions (Excel)
  • Glossary of keywords and concepts (Excel)
  • Open questions adaptable for debates, presentations, and essays (Word & PDF)
  • Recommended resources to provide you and your students with a comprehensive list of trustworthy references on the topic. It includes all media types: videos, texts, primary resources, maps, podcasts, 3D models, etc. (Word & PDF)

Our Daily Life in Ancient Rome lesson pack covers the following topics:

  • Roman food
  • Roman housing
  • Roman daily life
  • Roman Cena seating
  • Roman amusements

Should you need it, check out our “cheat sheets” to give your students such as tips to write a great essay or tools to make your life easier, such as marking grids.

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57 history questions for your home pub quiz

In our current times, many of us are taking the opportunity to create a quiz from home to share with family and friends – but you might be stumped for the right questions. We have rounded up a selection of questions from across HistoryExtra feel free to mix and match to create your own history pub quiz…

  1. Which queen had the shortest reign of Henry VIII’s six wives?
  2. In 16th-century Japan, who was Yasuke?
  3. Who wrote the 12th-century account Historia regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain), which is often credited with making the legend of King Arthur popular?
  4. It is thought that Harriet Tubman directly rescued around 300 people from slavery and gave instructions to help dozens more. But in which conflict did she become the first woman to lead an armed assault?
  5. In which country is the Bay of Pigs?
  6. Which medieval queen was married to both Louis VII of France and Henry II of England?
  7. Who was the first human to journey into space?
  8. Whose body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, more than two years after his death, to be ‘executed’ for treason?
  9. Who ultimately succeeded King Alfred the Great as ‘king of the Anglo-Saxons’?
  10. By what nickname is Edward Teach better known?
  11. Julius Caesar was assassinated on 15 March 44 BC, a date now often known by what term?
  12. Where did the Great Fire of London begin, on 2 September 1666?
  13. What German dance, which sees partners spinning together in close contact, was condemned as depraved when it was first seen in Regency society?
  14. Which king preceded Queen Victoria?
  15. Guy Bailey, Roy Hackett and Paul Stephenson made history in 1963, as part of a protest against a bus company that refused to employ black and Asian drivers in which UK city?
  16. Who famously duelled Alexander Hamilton on 11 July 1804, resulting in the founding father’s death?
  17. What, in the 16th and 17th centuries, was a ‘drunkard’s cloak’?
  18. What is considered the world’s oldest writing system?
  19. Who was the mother of Emperor Nero and the wife of Emperor Claudius?
  20. Which pioneer of hair products became America’s first black female millionaire?
  21. What was Mary Anning (1799–1847) famous for?
  22. Who gave Queen Elizabeth I the soubriquet ‘Gloriana’?
  23. Although never taking her seat, who was the first woman to be elected to the houses of parliament?
  24. Where was Napoleon Bonaparte born?
  25. Can you name the five beach codenames used by Allied forces on D-Day?
  26. Where was the first British colony in the Americas?
  27. In August 1819, around 60,000 peaceful pro-democracy protestors were attacked in an open square in Manchester. This event was known as…
  28. Which rock band formed in 1994 takes its name from a term used by the Allies in the Second World War to describe various UFOs?
  29. In which year did Emily Wilding Davison die as a result of a collision with King George V’s horse during the Epsom Derby?
  30. In medieval history, what was a ‘schiltron’?
  31. Which English king died in 1066, leaving no heir to the throne?
  32. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and…? Who was the third astronaut involved in the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon?
  33. What was Matthew Hopkins famous for in the 17th century?
  34. In what century did the Peasants’ Revolt take place?
  35. During the US civil rights movement in the 1960s, who said: “We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being…by any means necessary”?
  36. Who was the wife of the future Henry VIII’s older brother, Arthur?
  37. What is trepanning?
  38. In which decade did the potato famine strike Ireland?
  39. Who led the Scottish army to victory over the English at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314?
  40. What were the four humours that the ancient Greeks believed made up the body and determined illness?
  41. Who sent the Spanish Armada to England in 1588?
  42. Which English king built castles in the 13th century to help conquer Wales?
  43. The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law by which US president in 1882?
  44. Which 19th-century Englishwoman became the first qualified medical doctor?
  45. Which part of Berlin was enclosed by the wall?
  46. Which prominent Kurd, born in Tikrit, united Muslim forces against the crusaders in the 12th century?
  47. Which rebellious leader of the Catuvellauni tribe was caught and taken to Rome in AD 50, then pardoned by Emperor Claudius?
  48. Which American president was in power during the ‘Black Thursday’ Wall Street crash?
  49. At what famous French landmark was the document signed which set out the terms of ‘peace’ following the First World War?
  50. Where were Charles I’s headquarters during the Civil War?
  51. Who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914?
  52. Who was the last king of the Plantagenet line of monarchs?
  53. The controversial film Birth of a Nation, which was released in 1915, was used as a recruiting tool for which organisation?
  54. What was Eleanor Roosevelt’s maiden name?
  55. Who was the last tsar of Russia?
  56. During 1963, in Washington DC, Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech on the steps of which famous landmark?
  57. Which monarch appointed Pitt the Younger to the office of prime minister in December 1783?

Want to put your history knowledge to the test? Browse our full range of history quizzes here

Siege of Masada

Following Menahem’s murder in 66 A.D. in Jerusalem, Eleazer Ben Yair fled from Jerusalem to Masada to command a group of Judean rebels. When Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D., the remaining rebels joined਎leazarਊt Masada to live in Herod’s former palaces.

With Jerusalem in ruins, the Romans turned their attention to taking down Masada, the last community in Judea with 960 rebels, including many women and children. Led by Flavius Silva, a legion of 8,000 Romans built camps surrounding the base, a siege wall, and a ramp on a slope of the Western side of the mountain made of earth and wooden supports.

After several months of siege without success, the Romans built a tower on the ramp to try and take out the fortress’s wall. When it became clear that the Romans were going to take over Masada, on April 15, 73ਊ.D., on the instructions of Ben Yair, all but two women and five children, who hid in the cisterns and later told their stories, took their own lives rather than live as Roman slaves.

According to Josephus’s account in The Wars of the Jews:

“They had died in the belief that they had left not a soul of them alive to fall into Roman hands The Romans advanced to the assault … seeing none of the enemy but on all sides the awful solitude, and flames within and silence, they were at al loss to conjecture what had happened here encountering the mass of slain, instead of exulting as over enemies, they admired the nobility of their resolve.”

For several centuries, Masada remained uninhabited. During the Byzantine period, in the fifth century A.D., a group of monks known as the Iaura took of the Masada and built a hermetic monastery.

Two centuries later, as Islam took hold of the region, the site was again abandoned.

One sponge to conquer all

Sponges are a personal hygiene item. But not in Ancient Roman times. The Roman toilets were a dangerous and a scary place.

Despite the wealth and gold, people in Ancient Rome didn’t have the luxury of toilet paper. So, they had to manage with what they had. One of the most common tools for wiping was a sponge, and they all used it.

The tool, called “xylospongium” is the ancient precursor of the modern toilet brush. The tool consisted of a wooden stick with a sponge fixed at one end. And there were only a few of them in public toilets. People shared them, and never cleaned after usage. It is no surprise bacteria and disease like cholera and typhoid were common in Ancient time.

Roman Housing - Video & Questions - History

Under Floor Heating (hypocaust)

Rich Roman houses had central heating which was under the floors. This heating system was called a hypocaust. The floors were supported on stacks of tiles (pilae) and hot air was circulated under the floor from a furnace stoked outside the building.

Mosaic Floors

Mosaic have been found on the floors of many Roman buildings. Rich Romans decorated the floors of their main rooms with mosaics - tiny coloured stones (tesserae). These were stuck to the floor with mortar, a type of cement. Each mosaic used thousands of pieces to make a pattern.

Mosaic floors were a statement of wealth and importance.

The on suite bath room often consisted of three rooms a hot room (caldarium), a place where bathers could sweat, a room of tepid heat (tepidarium, and a cold room (frigidarium).


Roman buildings often contained collumns.

Stone Walls

Rich Romans built their houses from stone.

The walls were painted in pretty colours or covered with marble.

There was glass in the windows.

Rich Roman roofs were made of terracotta tiles

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VA Loans to Buy, Refinance, or Improve a Home

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers home loans and grants. These programs help service members, veterans, and surviving spouses buy, refinance, or modify their home. The VA guarantees part of the loan, meaning they will cover a portion of the loan if you default. This allows lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies, to offer you more favorable terms.

Learn if You&rsquore Eligible and How to Apply for a VA Loan

    - You must meet the credit and income requirements and get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). - You can apply online, through your lender, or by mail.

VA Loans for Homebuying and Refinancing

  • If you're planning to buy a home, check into the variety of home loans offered by the VA. The most common are VA purchase loans. This type requires no down payment and no private mortgage insurance.
  • If you have an existing VA home loan, you can apply for an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) to save money with a better interest rate.

VA Loans and Grants for Home Improvements

  • You can get a VA cash-out refinance loan to get money from your home&rsquos equity. This can help you pay for home improvements, college costs, and more.

If you have a service-connected or age-related disability, you may be eligible for a veteran housing grant. These grants help you modify your home for disabilities related to military service or aging.

Patricians in Ancient Rome

The patricians were the rich landowners. They would often have a house in the city and a villa in the country that was run by slaves. Those who were well-off lived in townhouses with central courtyards know as atriums.

Archeological evidence suggests that even the wealthy Romans did not have much furniture. Wealthy Romans ate on low couches in a reclined position. They were known to have large banquets where much food was consumed and the reclining position would help them digest the food. "Dinner might begin with shellfish, hardboiled eggs, olives or smoked fish, washed down with plenty of wine sweetened with honey. The meal then went on to include several meat courses, all heavily spiced with herbs or smothered in sauces, and ended with cakes, pastries, fruit and nuts (Lewis 1980, pg. 38). The large banquets would have entertainment consisting of music and dancing.

Children in a patrician home had their own bedrooms and plenty of toys. They had personal slaves to carry books to school, to wrestle with, and to meet the child's needs. Mothers and daughters would have slaves to help them with their hair. The popular hairstyle could take hours to develop. Slaves in patrician households rarely had their own bedrooms. They often had to find a place to sleep, or had a spot in the basement.

Roman Food

The rich Ancient Romans enjoyed their food. Expensive food, along with a lavish villa, was an obvious way of showing off your wealth to others. If you hosted a banquet at your villa to which other Roman worthies had been invited, it had to go well if your social standing was to be maintained – hence why elaborate and expensive foods were well provided. Roast peacock and ostriches and the like, would be provided.

A different lifestyle also meant that the eating habits of the Ancient Romans were different to ours today. Breakfast (the Romans called this jentaculum) was taken in the master’s bedroom and usually consisted of a slice of bread or a wheat pancake eaten with dates and honey. Wine was also drunk. Lunch (the Romans called this prandium) was eaten at about 11.00 a.m. and consisted of a light meal of bread, cheese and possibly some meat. In many senses, everything was geared up towards the main meal of the day – cena. This was eaten in the late afternoon or early evening. If the master of the house had no guests, cena might take about one hour. If he did have guests, then this meal might take as long as four hours. A light supper was usually eaten just before the Romans went to bed, consisting of bread and fruit. The Romans were usually not big meat eaters and a lot of their normal meals involved vegetables, herbs and spices together with a wheat meal that looked like porridge.

However, for a rich man’s banquet anything exotic that could be purchased was served. Many meals were served with sauces. The Romans seemed to be particularly fond of sauces as it gave a cook the opportunity to make a dish seem a little bit more exciting than it may have been without the sauce. One particular favourite was garum which was made by mixing up fish waste with salt water and leaving it for several weeks until it was ready for use. By all accounts, it was a salty and highly flavored sauce. Sauces made from vinegar, honey, pepper, herbs and spices were also popular. The Romans seemed to be very keen on sweet food and drink. One of the favoured drinks was called mulsum which was a mixture of boiled wine and honey.

One sign that a meal or a banquet had gone down well was if guests asked for bags to take home dishes that they had enjoyed. This in particular pleased a master as it showed to everyone who was there that at least some of the courses on offer had been well received.

Most food was either boiled or fried in olive oil. Very few homes needed an oven as so little food was roasted.

Roman comprehensions with answers

Loved this resource - just what I was looking for. Thank you.

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Thanks. Long enough to teach the skills and links with topic - bonus

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Thank you! Wonderful, easy to read facts to support the children in learning about the Romans. Going to use for English over a week to help in creating a non-fiction leaflet about the Romans.

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Thank you for all this, very useful for history and art links

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Your Big Stinky Guide to the Fascinating History of Farts

The fart is the ugly stepchild of bodily functions. The sneeze, the cough, and the hiccup have earned their place in proper society. Even the burp is excusable. But farts still get no respect.

Did you know that last Wednesday was National Pass Gas Day? Neither did we! Most media outlets didn't even acknowledge it, and to be honest, we can't blame them. After all, if prepubescent boys have taught us nothing else, it's that you should never, ever be the first person to identify a fart. He who smelt it, they say, has most certainly dealt it.

"Farting is one of those unmentionables because it reminds people of our animal origins," says flatulence expert Jim Dawson, author of the books Who Cut the Cheese?, Blame It on the Dog and, most recently, Did Somebody Step on a Duck? "It still has a certain shock value to it."

You could fill a textbook with What You Don&rsquot Know about Your Farts. But it's more than just the physiological aspects of farts that get ignored. There's a fascinating history of farting that you never heard about at school (unless you went to the most awesome, fart-friendly school in the world). Where are the Howard Zinns of flatulence?

Well, I did once almost get beaten up in jail for a fart. So I suppose if anybody is qualified to be your fart historian, offering you the most comprehensive exploration of historical farts ever assembled, it would be me. Let's do this.

Wind of Change

In 569 B.C., according to Greek historian Herodotus, a single fart sparked a revolt against King Apries of Egypt.

It started when Apries sent one of his generals, Amasis, to quash a rebellion among his troops. But the rebels crowned Amasis the new king which, as Mel Brooks would note a millennium and a half later, it's good to be.

So Apries sent over another dude, a popular advisor named Patarbemis. According to Herodotus, Amasis honked his rectum and told Patarbemis to "carry that back to Apries."

It's not known how exactly this message was relayed, but Apries responded by ordering the nose and ears lopped off his messenger. News of this brutality swayed Egyptians against their king, who was eventually torn apart by a mob, and insured the official reign of Amasis from 569 to 525 B.C.


A fart in Jerusalem in 44 A.D. led to the deaths of 10,000 people. In his 75 A.D. bestseller, The Jewish War, Josephus (37-100) describes an anti-Semitic Roman soldier who dropped trou before a crowd of Jews celebrating Passover. The guy "pulled back his garment, and cowering down after an indecent manner, turned his breech to the Jews, and spake such words as you might expect upon such a posture."

This angered the Jews, the angriest of whom began stoning the soldiers. The Roman leader of Jerusalem, Cumanus (no joke), called in backup and a riot ensued. Most of the dead were Jews killed as they trampled each other trying to escape the Temple, where they crowded when the Roman Army arrived.

"This was the granddaddy of all fart destruction," Dawson says. "As far as a direct result of a fart, you can't get bigger than this."

The Wizard of Ass

In Francois Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, published in 1532 and widely considered the first fantasy novel, a giant rips one so powerful, it creates actual little people: "But with the fart he blew the earth trembled for twenty-seven miles round, and with the fetid air of it he engendered more than fifty-three thousand little men, misshapen dwarfs."

Fans of the book note that it synchronizes perfectly to Pink Floyd&rsquos Dark Side of the Moon.

Parliament Fart-Adelic

In 1607, British Member of Parliament Henry Ludlow farted during a debate about naturalizing the Scots. The farting nay-vote was probably an accident, but it passed into folklore, inspiring many poems including The Censure of the Parliament Fart. No reBUTTals were reported.

Founding Fartman

In 1781, while Benjamin Franklin lived abroad as U.S. Ambassador to France, he wrote an essay called "Fart Proudly." Distributed to friends but never published, it includes the lines: "A few Stems of Asparagus eaten, shall give our Urine a disagreable Odour and a Pill of Turpentine no bigger than a Pea, shall bestow on it the pleasing Smell of Violets. And why should it be thought more impossible in Nature, to find Means of making a Perfume of our Wind than of our Water?"

Trust us. For 1781, this was hysterical.

(From a Japanese scroll, titled "He-Gassen"&mdashtranslated as &ldquoFart Battle"&mdashdated approx. 1846)

The Real Fartman

As a child, Joseph Pujol (1857-1945) discovered himself in possession of a superpower that would save no one. He could inhale air through his rectum and expel it, much as some people do with belches only much, much grosser.

Taking the stage name Le Petomane (fartomaniac), the Frenchman went on perpetual tour, ass-blowing out candles, ass-playing the flute and even ass-smoking cigarettes. At his peak, Le Petomane outgrossed even popular actress Sarah Bernhardt&mdashin every sense of the word "outgrossed."

Adolf Shitler

Not that Adolf Hitler wasn&rsquot already crazy, but it couldn't have helped that the flatulence he suffered&mdashaccording to medical reports&mdashled him to poison himself with medications containing strychnine and Atropene.

"Hitler suffered from uncontrollable farting," Dawson says. "By 1936, the cramps were so severe, he said that he could scream." So Hitler&rsquos consulted Berlin doctor Theodor Morell, who prescribed Dr. Koester&rsquos Anti-Gas pills, which contained the poisons in amounts that were less than immediately lethal. (And this still may have been better than Hitler's favorite fart medication before that, which contained machine oil.) By early 1941, when Hitler was invading the Soviet Union, he was up 120 to 150 pills a week.

&ldquoStrychnine and Atropene tends to make you very edgy and affects your sleep and emotional health,&rdquo says Dawson. How large a part his fart treatments played in World War II and the Holocaust, we'll never know. But when the effects of his pills became known&mdashonly six months before the mentally eroded Furor killed himself in his bunker&mdashMorell was fired and barely escaped with his life.

Ironically, Hitler&rsquos flatulence, according to biographer John Toland, was caused by the most widely known benevolent thing about him: his vegetarianism.

Smelluloid Hero

The farts of the Blazing Saddles campfire scene were louder and more famous. But Hollywood's ass-wind barrier was broken three years earlier by Norman Lear, in a little-seen 1971 film called Cold Turkey starring Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, and the by-then elderly Edward Everett Horton, who dealt the flatulence in question.

The film could have made fart history two years earlier, when it was made, but it was shelved due to concerns (later justified) about its box-office potential. In fact, Horton was dead by its release date, robbed of the chance of basking in his historical significance.

Record Breaker of Wind

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bernard Clemmens of London has the longest official butt burp at 2 minutes, 42 seconds.

(Farts are always funnier when they're happening to somebody else. Make sure your gas-passing is at a minimum with our video guide to Fending Off Flatulence.)