Cutlery today comes in all shapes and sizes. From fancy china to simple plastic ones. Cutlery consists, of course, of spoons, forks, knives, etc. They’re used in almost every household and eatery you step in.
However, during the height of the Roman civilization, cutlery had a different look. Cutlery then was mostly made of brass. The Romans usually ate their meals with knives and spoons, with forks being introduced much later.
The Roman combs were two-sided objects with bristles on both sides. The delicate item was made out of ivory and had two different sets of teeth on each side, one with wider spaces than the other.
Today, we have combs that usually have teeth only on one side. There are a variety of combs available on the market, all dependent on your needs. Wide, fine-tooth, curling, whatever you need — there’s something for everybody.
The ancient Roman civilization was the first one to ever use keys similar to the one used in the modern era. The keys were mostly made of iron or bronze, sometimes even wood or ivory. The keys were all made manually, therefore, a locksmith had to be someone with great engineering knowledge.
Today, keys are usually made by machines and in bulk. Not only are they made a dime a dozen, but getting key copies is also extremely easy. Nowadays, they’re made of many common metals like brass, nickel, and steel.
The modern era’s leather shoes are a very popular choice of footwear amongst people. They’re available in real leather as well as faux leather. Depending on their make and model, they can be used for hiking, walking, and, of course, as formal wear.
In the Roman era, shoes were a lot less common, with most people wearing sandals. The sandals had leather soles attached to the bottom of the feet. They had laces that could be tied above the ankle. The Romans removed their shoes before reclining or feasting.
The Roman kitchen, which was called culina, was a study in olden inventions. They had a clay oven built in, with a type of burner on top. These stoves could only be heated using charcoal.
The modern kitchen, on the other hand, is a technological marvel. Stoves are either gas or electrical. Those easy-to-use, hassle-free stoves have made cooking anything much easier than it was in the olden days.
Nobody can argue that soaps make our lives much easier. Today we have a variety of soaps in all sorts of scents and textures, and most importantly, we have body washes that make it all the better.
In Ancient Rome, soaps weren’t yet invented, but people did have a cleaning agent for their bodies. It was olive oil! People during those times put the oil on their bodies, and used a metal scraper to get any excess off. Not the easiest way to clean up, for sure.
Roman glasses have found a place in history as some of the best-made glassware in the world. Today, they’re collector’s items worth a pretty penny. One of the most common techniques used to make glasses during that era was the “sagging glass” technique.
This technique relies on gravity to create those unique round shapes. Today, most glasses used for drinking purposes are made in bulk by machines. They also come in a variety of materials like glass, copper, and ceramic.
Board games in today’s day and age have no limit on what they can be. They use a variety of materials and props to be played. Board games today are designed with special attention to detail, even for something as small as dice.
In the Roman era, board games were a much simpler concept. A slab of wood was usually used to make the board, while the pieces were made of precious stones or ivory.
Pots and Pans
Another everyday kitchen item used during Roman times was pots and pans. It was mostly made of terracotta or brass. The Romans were one of the first people to use pots and pans for cooking, even spearheading the process of frying fish in oil in a pan.
Today, pots and pans are used extensively in the kitchen. Pans come in a variety of styles — even non-stick ones so none of the food remains stuck on them, which the Romans would have probably loved to have.
When we think of containers, we think of something that is fit for all sizes. Whether you have to carry some salt and sugar, or you want to carry an entire meal, you have a container for everything. They’re usually made from materials that are easy to heat in the microwave or store in the fridge.
In the Roman era, storage containers were much bigger in size than your average Tupperware container. They were made with ceramic and were mostly used by farmers and merchants to store large quantities of goods such as grains and rice.
When we talk about antique mirrors, we usually imagine delicate oval-shaped mirrors with silver handles. But in reality, mirrors in the Roman Empire were actually made from silver, tin, or bronze which was polished to reflect light.
These days, mirrors are used on a variety of surfaces. There are travel mirrors, mirrors in makeup kits, and mirrors on your walls. One of the most trending styles currently is statement mirrors which are used extensively as decor items.
Before the modern clocks were invented, humans used the sun as a way to track time. The way the shadow of the sun was pointing indicated what time it was. A stone slab cut in the shape of a clock was put up in places for people to track time.
Nowadays, watches and clocks have become extremely advanced. You can have digital clocks or analog clocks. You can also opt for smart watches which sync up to your phone and perform all types of technological miracles.
Just like it is in today’s time, the jewelry used during the Roman Era was used for two purposes — to add to the beauty of the wearer and to communicate the message of social status and wealth. It was usually made of precious stones.
Jewelry today doesn’t only use precious stones. Even though big diamonds are still a symbol of wealth, everyday economical jewelry made out of plastic or cheap metals ans is more for styling purposes, is used extensively.
The shovels used in Ancient Rome were called Batillium. These iron shovels had short handles and were used for multiple purposes like a chafing dish or for burning incense. They were popular during the Roman era.
These days, shovels are usually designed to be easy and comfortable to hold and use. There are a variety of unique designs for different uses, such as edging, trenching, or tree-planting. Gardening has become such a widespread hobby that shovels now come in all shapes and sizes.
During the Roman era, commonly used instruments include the lure, the lute, and the Cithara. Music for the Romans wasn’t as popular as with the Greeks, but children and women were expected to know how to play at least some instruments.
Today, music is a major part of the world and is a booming industry within itself. The popular instruments of today include guitar, piano, violin, and drums amongst others. They come from the most basic version to as advanced as possible.
The first traces of newspapers in Roman history were daily official notices called Acta Diurna. These daily gazettes were carved on stones or metals and put up on message boards in public places. Since they relayed daily official notices, they’re the closest form of newspaper present in the Roman era.
Newspapers today can refer to the digital version or the paper version. Every region has not one newspaper specific to them but multiple.
Pens in the Roman era were used to write on items like papyrus, leaves, or wax tablets. The writing tools were made of metal or reeds. These little sticks were dipped in black ink. The ink was made of ingredients such as soot.
Pens in today’s age are much more modernized and mess-free to use. The dip-and-write has been replaced by a mechanism that lets you fill the ink to get that perfect calligraphic flow. There are also ready-to-use pens that are the preferred method for most people.
Paper today isn’t just a source of writing, it also has become a very important mode of communication. From posts to newspapers, everything was possible thanks to paper. Paper today is made from a large number of ingredients and is available very easily.
The Ancient Romans, on the other hand, used two types of items that qualify as paper. The first was based on papyrus, a plant that grew on the river Nile. The second type of paper was used with sheepskin. The Romans had books that helped preserve their history, but those were not readily available to most people.
Balls are a very important part of fun and games for children and adults alike, so it’s no surprise that they were also present in the Roman era. The balls in Ancient Rome were made of leather stuffed with horsehair and were in widespread use.
Today, these toys are made of different materials like leather and rubber. One of the most important and common denominators in both eras, modern and Roman, is that playing catch is one of the most popular and easy games to enjoy with a ball.
Vanity is a driving force behind many inventions, and perfume is one of them. In Roman times, these scented liquids were made using oil and fatty parts. For the more precious oils, olive oil and grape juice were the preferred choices.
Today, perfumes are made of ethanol or a mix of water and ethanol, and can be found in a variety of scents. Perfumes today are an everyday item, and can vary in cost from cheap knock-offs to expensive designs, depending on the brand.
It turns out that when it came to skincare, ancient humans were nothing if not creative and resourceful. To make their skin softer, the Roman civilization used creams made of wheat flour and donkey’s milk. Even crushed snails were a type of cream.
Thankfully, we moved ahead of using such raw ingredients (though snail mucin is still a popular ingredient in certain creams). You get everything from aloe vera to rose, water-based to milk-based, all in an effort to keep our skin moisturized and glowing.
Another important component of a woman’s cosmetic kit are blushes and lipsticks. These items are used to highlight one’s cheeks and lip color, to make them appear brighter and fuller.
Today, you can get lipsticks and blushes in a range of shades and kinds, like liquid and powder. However, for the early Romans, it wasn’t so easy. These olden people used red ochre to add color to their faces to make their cheeks rosy and their lips red.
Pillows are a necessary need in life for most people, as it gives one a place to rest their head and get a good night’s sleep. Today, you can get a pillow based on your choice of softness, hardness, and thickness. Pillows are usually filled with feathers, down, synthetic materials, or a combination of those.
Ancient Romans also had pillows during their time, but they were slightly different than today’s version. These pillows were stuffed with cotton, reed, or straw. Not the most comfortable option, but any pillow is better than no pillow.
There are many ways one can fish — with a pole, with a net, some even like to get creative and use their hands. But, have you heard of people fishing with a three-pronged spear? Because it seems like that was the preferred method of the Ancient Romans.
Also known as tridents, these tools were used by fishermen and sailors to catch fish, which they later sold in markets to make some money or ate themselves.
Chairs are a commonplace item now, found in a variety of sizes, and in every country in the world, they are an essential part of most households. Today, they’re made of wood or metal, and have a flat top that is cushioned for more support.
However, back in the Roman Civilisation, such chairs hadn’t yet been invented. What was used instead were curule seats, which were basically stools with a curved top.
The Romans were the first people to use cross-body bags (we do have a lot to thank them for). The bags, which were basically satchels known as Loculus, were carried by people as part of their luggage while traveling. Most likely, this bag was made of leather.
Today, cross-body bags are a very popular choice among women and men alike. They are no longer limited to being a satchel, instead, they are flourishing in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Oil lamps aren’t something that is in widespread use today as electricity has made lighting every nook and cranny very easy. But, in remote places where there is no electricity, the oil lamps used are usually made of glass.
Back in the ancient days, before electricity was invented, oil lamps were an everyday item. The lamp itself was made with pottery, and only had one wick for lighting. It was the most popular airitical light source used during the time.
In ancient times, bells were used for many purposes, like calling out to people or signaling the time. And they looked exactly like you would expect an ancient bell to look like. The bells were made of bronze and were cylindrical in shape.
The most common bells used today are the doorbell, which is used to signal somebody at the door, and the school bell, signaling the end of class. They are, more often than not, electrical.
The Roman women had elaborate hairstyles that they created, in part, thanks to hairpins. The Roman hairpin was also called a bone pin. They were made from everything from bone and ivory, to silver and bronze. One of the bone pins found during excavation had been 12 cm long.
Today, hair pins are much more versatile in their nature, but the most commonly used ones are made of metal and are black in nature.
Though umbrellas technically weren’t invented until modern times, the ancient Romans had a close enough item called umbraculum. These things were made of leather and were used by women to protect themselves from the sun. These were most often used by people from higher social standing.
Umbrellas today are used to keep people safe from the sun, but their main purpose is to provide shelter from the rain. Umbrellas are also a style statement that complete many outfits.