4. Filling the Mind
Education was very important to the Roman citizen: just as today, it was believed to be a ticket to a better life. What was on the curriculum and who were the pupils? One of the topics which was popular then, but which has slipped somewhat from school lessons today, was rhetoric. Rhetoric was seen as a vital social and professional skill. How was it taught, who wanted to learn it, and why did Roman citizens place so much emphasis on it?
We also explore the development of the novel and the passion for public readings. From romantic novels to science-fiction, what books were the Roman equivalent of best-sellers? Who attended the readings and what sort of person was considered a celebrity?
The people of the Roman Empire cared deeply about posterity, and liked to think that their memory would live on after they'd died. What sort measures did rich and poor take to ensure that they wouldn't be forgotten?