Compare and contrast major differences between the lives of a Roman man and a man from the Renaissance?
I'm doing a final project in Socials 8 about the lifestyle of Romans to the lifestyle of people during the Renaissance and need help writing a conclusion. Thanks :D
The lifestyles of both societies was primarily agricultural, although by the time of the Renaissance, a middle class of merchants and tradesmen had developed in Europe. Class distinction existed in both; although it was perhaps more pronounced in the Renaissance era. Roman Society was divided between Patriarchs and Plebeians, whereas Renaissance Society had a number of stratifications, from royalty to degrees of nobility to the middle class to the peasants and ultimately serfs until the latter were freed.
Oddly, seemingly unimportant factors were distinguishing characteristics in both societies. For the Romans, proper use of Latin grammar was important. Wealthy Romans and patricians had their sons (and sometimes daughters) educated in "grammar schools." The common people spoke common Latin. The Latin adjective for "common" was, interestingly, vulgaris. Hence a common person was a vulgar person. Diet did not vary greatly, most Romans consumed coarse bread and cheese with watered down wine. Fish was considered a delicacy.
During the Renaissance, diet was a distinguishing characteristic. The poor ate mostly porridges and tough stringy pork, as well as vegetables and fruits in season. Beer was the only available beverage. The nobility would not dare eat porridge or vegetables, since this was common faire. Their diet consisted almost entirely of meat dishes, including venison, poultry, beef, etc. So important was diet to class distinction that the commoners were forbidden to hunt game animals on pain of death. Large amounts of wine were normally consumed with meals. Many noblemen suffered from extreme cases of gout because of their poor diet. Later, with the introduction of sugar, many nobles suffered from tooth decay. This too, oddly became a sign of distinction; so much so that many people blackened their teeth to give the appearance that their diet was rich in sugar.