What Life Was Like for Teenagers in Ancient Rome: Get a Glimpse from a TED-ED Animation

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That adage often holds true, but not in this his­tor­i­cal case. While your aver­age Amer­i­can teenag­er devotes more than 7 hours a day to imbib­ing media — to watch­ing TV, play­ing video games, hang­ing out on Face­book — the aver­age 17-year-old Roman kid (cir­ca 73 AD) had some more seri­ous busi­ness to deal with. Like mas­ter­ing read­ing and writ­ing in two lan­guages, fight­ing in impe­r­i­al wars, tak­ing care of (obscene­ly young) spous­es and var­i­ous oth­er items. All of this gets con­veyed to us by Ray Lau­rence, a clas­sics pro­fes­sor from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kent. The video itself comes from the TED-Ed series that oth­er­wise fea­tures a clip about the his­toric walls of Con­stan­tino­ple, built dur­ing the Byzan­tine peri­od.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

The His­to­ry of Rome in 179 Pod­casts

Rome Reborn: Take a Vir­tu­al Tour of Ancient Rome, Cir­ca 320 C.E.

How Many U.S. Marines Could Bring Down the Roman Empire?

Free Online Cours­es in the Clas­sics

The Rise & Fall of the Romans: Every Year Shown in a Time­lapse Map Ani­ma­tion (753 BC ‑1479 AD)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.