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.
And if you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!