How did the Romans build their home

Museum blog

The LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn presents: A day in Roman times

The time of the ancient Romans is long gone and yet we come into contact with them every day. We owe our writing, our calendar and much more to the Romans.

The Romans lived in central Italy over 2000 years ago and the city was the center of their great empire Rome.

According to legend, Rome was owned by the twins around 750 BC Romulus and Remus founded. The city grew very quickly and became rich and powerful. From there, the Roman army and its generals went out into the world and conquered other areas in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Probably the most famous general of the Romans what Gaius Julius Caesarwho conquered Gaul and some areas in Germania with his army, for example.

Caesar's adopted son and heir was called Augustus. Augustus was the first Roman emperor and ruled the Roman Empire for around 40 years. Other areas were conquered under his rule. To honor the victories of the Roman army and their generals, were in Rome Triumphal arches built. Some of them are still in the middle of Rome today.

You can also easily remodel a triumphal arch at home. Instructions can be found here:


Many other emperors followed after Augustus. Some emperors secured their power by doing good things for the people of the Roman Empire. People should be happy and distracted by problems. This included, for example, chariot races in the Circus Maximus, Gladiator fights in amphitheater and performances in theatre.

For the people, however, there was something completely normal for us: having clean water almost always and everywhere. You probably can't imagine what life was like without tap water.

But at that time the construction of the Roman aqueducts meant the Aqueducts, a huge step forward for the people. As a result, there was always fresh water everywhere in the Roman Empire. The water was for example for Thermal baths used. Under thermal baths you can imagine huge swimming pools with a wide variety of pools. There, for example, you could sweat in hot baths and cool off in ice baths. The special thing about the thermal baths was that everyone, whether rich or poor, could visit them, because they were often free of charge or very cheap. Even then, being able to wash helped prevent diseases from spreading so quickly.


If a picture of Roman thermal baths is not enough for you, then give your own thermal baths a try Lego to recreate. You can find the right instructions here: Lego building instructions for a Roman thermal baths


Today we are noticing again how important it is to be able to wash our hands. Because even now it helps us to stay healthy and protects other people from the spread of diseases. Perhaps at the moment you have to wash your hands more often than usual. If you need a bit of variety, then try your own modeling clay:


Make your own modeling clay

For this you need:

50 ml shower gel of your choice

100 ml cornstarch

A bowl

Food coloring (as required)

That's how it's done:

1. If you like it colorful, mix the shower gel with a few drops of food coloring in a mug. You really don't need a lot of the paint. It is best to feel your way with a few drops of your desired color.

2. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and add shower gel. It's best to stir it up with a spoon at the beginning. After that, you can better knead it with your hands. If you notice that the mass is too dry and crumbly, add some more shower gel.

3. If you want, you can now shape the kneading soap into small balls or use the molds for the Christmas cookies.

If you are satisfied with the shape and color of your own modeling clay, you can start washing your hands right away.

tip: Washing your hands works best if you always take off small pieces of your soap and use them to wash your hands with lukewarm water.

And another tip: It is best to keep the supplies of your soap in a sealable jar, such as an empty jam jar.

Have fun washing your hands!


After all the conquests and celebrations, the Romans' stomach growled often. You already ate well and gladly back then. They mostly grew the ingredients themselves or bought them at markets. Some families heated their food in pots over glowing coals. In the tight Apartment buildings Open fires were mostly forbidden in large cities, as they could cause many fires. Instead of cooking, the Romans then bought baked bread, fruit and cheese at the market or ate soups and stews in so-called Food stalls - the takeaways of that time.

The Romans ate rather unusual dishes such as pig udders, snails or Garum - a sauce made from rotten fish as a salt substitute. But also dishes that could still be cooked even today. You ask yourself how do we know today what the Romans ate? In fact, recipes from the Romans have survived to the present day. Most of the Roman recipes that still exist today were made by Marcus Cavius ​​Apicius written down. He lived in the 1st century AD and his cookbook was called "De re coquinaria", which is Latin and means "About the culinary art".

The Romans liked to mix spices that we wouldn't directly combine today. But it seems to have tasted good. The combination of pepper and honey was very popular, especially on egg dishes. And if your stomach growls now, why not try a real Roman recipe. How about this, for example:



For this you need:

4 eggs

¼ liter (250 ml) milk

25 g (about 1 tablespoon) oil



That's how it works:

1. Mix the eggs, milk and oil together in a bowl so that you get a smooth batter.

2. Put some oil in a pan, heat it, and add a ladle of your batter to the pan and bake until golden brown. If you want, you can turn the pancake again. Then topple it onto a plate.

3. Before eating, pour honey over them and if you want to try the pancakes according to Roman taste, then sprinkle some pepper over them. And then let the Roman food taste particularly good!

Good Appetite!

(from: H. Schareika, The old Romans ask to table. Wheat porridge and peacock tongue. (Stuttgart 2007)).


Of course, the Romans didn't just fight, celebrate and eat. No, because the Romans also liked to play. There are many ancient representations and archaeological finds that help us today to get a picture of the games of the Romans. As a result, we are even able to play some of these games today. Like most Romans back then, we can use very simple accessories such as balls, nuts or cubes.

If you now feel like playing a Roman game: Then try this one:


VENANTES (street hunting)

For two to six players

Each player receives a dice, a pen and a piece of paper.

That's how it works:

You roll one dice one after the other. Each player must first roll a 1, then a 2, a 3 (in that order, up to 6).

If you roll a 1, you write it down and may roll again. If you now roll a 2, you can roll the dice again until the ascending row of numbers is interrupted. Then the next player rolls the die.

You write your number on a sheet of paper, from 1 to 6. If you have reached 6, you continue playing in the opposite way: you must first roll a 6, then a 5 up to the 1.

The winner is whoever is the first to roll all numbers from 1 to 6 and from 6 to 1.

Have fun playing!

(From: K. Uebel / P. Buri, Römische Spiele. This is how the ancient Romans played. (3rd edition)).


We wish you a great day with the Romans!


The entire day in Roman times can also be found here as A day in Roman times.

The PDF in simple language can be downloaded here.

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