Dear Diary, My name is Faustina and I am ten years old today. I received this diary as a birthday present from my paedagogus. Technically he not actually mine but my little brother Scipios. However Clement my brother paedagogus spends just as much time with me as he does with Scipios. Clement is terribly educated and speaks Greek so well. I’m jealous. My mom however tells me that this is because Clement was actually born in Greece and was brought to the great city of Rome. However in her next breath she is also telling me that I shouldn’t be concerned with learning greek or latin. I have three older brothers and one younger brother .
They have to do all the learning; I should be focused on preparing for my husband. After all I’m almost 12. Blah, blah, blah, I hate listening to these speeches. I really wish I were a boy. Did you know that Clement carries my brother to school on his back sometimes? I’m not allowed to go to school let alone be carried on shoulders according to my mom its unseemly. But I shouldn’t fill my dairy with complaining about how I wish I were a boy. Let me tell you about myself. I live with my mom, dad, three older brothers, one younger brother a older sister and we have a new baby along the way in my mom’s stomach.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
This isn’t even mentioning the couple of slaves we own. In fact im very lucky compared to most of friends that I know to have both my parents. Several friends of mine have lost one or even both parents over the years. However I can’t say I see much of a difference in their lives since we are still pretty much raised by slaves. I barely see my parents during the day; my dad is busy with clients and my mom is busy doing gods know whats. The new baby however is very exciting. I’m hoping its girl I can play with her. Clement when I asked him told me all about the ceremony of birth today.
He said as I quote directly, “When a child is born, it is placed on the floor in front of the father If it was a male and he wanted to acknowledge it as his son, he picked it up. This action meant that he agreed to accept it as his own and to raise. If it was a girl, he did not pick it up; he just instructed one of the women even his wife or a slave to feed it. If for whatever reason, he did not wan it he would leave it on the floor and the child would be taken outside and abandoned. ” Personally I think this is unfair. I think I deserve to picked up by my father just as much as any of my brother do.
I mean Scipios is even worst at Greek then me and he has an actual litterator. I asked for one. And of course just got laughed at. It seems that is all my family does is laugh at me because I don’t act the way a proper Roman girl should like my older sister Julia. This is one of the reason I want another sister. Maybe she won’t be as perfect as my older sister and we can be the family outcasts together. However as Clement reminds me, it’s a wife duty to provide strong healthy sons for her husband so I shouldn’t be wishing for my mom to have a daughter in the first place.
Also Clement told me there is no guarantee a child will even be born so my hoping may all be for naught. After all my mom has had three miscarriages after Scipios. Speaking of marriages, my engagement to Marcus broke up a few weeks ago. I have to say I’m not to broken up about this. I only met Marcus once but he seemed rather boring. But he is from a good family and his dad supported my dad in poltics until recently. This was actually why the engagement ended. They had a huge disagreement about something. I tried listening when I dawdling in the atrium but my dad personal slave shooed me away. So I’m not actually sure of the actual reason.
I hope the next boy is nice. I have to say it’s a relief not to have to wear the iron ring on my middle finger anymore. The one time I met Marcus he gave this ring to me. Clement said I had to wear because Roman doctors found a nerve in that finger that ran directly to the heart and this symbolizes something important. I have to say I stopped paying attention. But either way I’m glad I don’t have to wear the ring anymore. It was rather itchy and I found it sometime turned my finger green which isn’t too attractive. Plus I kept losing it and my mom got mad at me every time I made the slaves helped me find my ring.
Apparently im distracting them from their duties, but they never seem to do much anyway so it seems fine. When I get married I would have a manus marriage. According to Clement manus means hand in Latin and this is because a women is regarded as a piece of property that passed from the hand of the father to the hand of the husband. In this marriage I would have no say in anything and all the property I would have would be under the control of my husband. This is why I am hoping my father picks out my husband correctly. My husband now just like my father will have the power of life and death over me.
Which seems rather unfair. Being 10 I’ve already learned all the rituals that are involved in the marriage ceremony and they seem very boring. First I have dedicate all my childhood toys to the household gods symbolizing I’m making the transition from a child to a women. I have several issues with this. First off I’m getting married in probably 2 years and I don’t want to lose my toys. I still enjoy playing with them. Second off what if I want to give my kids my toys to play with. Never mind the fact that I still have younger siblings that cant play with my toys. It seems like such a waste.
Another awful tradition is my hair has to be parted into six strands which will tehn be tied together at the top of my head forming a cone shape. Then my hair would e parted using a bent iron spearhead used to be killed a gladiator. I have several issues with this. One it will take forever for my hair to be styled this way. I can’t imagine having the patience to sit for this long. Number two is the whole dead gladiator spear. I love gladiators and I think they are an inspiration to our society. As I said before they are my childhood hero’s and I would hate to see one killed.
I think they are mighty and beautiful. Personally I love to get married to a soldier or a gladiator. They seem so strong and brave. But however soldiers aren’t allowed to get married. They do form long lasting relationships but their unions aren’t recognized by the law according to Clement. Gladiators tend me to slaves so obviously they are way below my marrying status. But I love what they wear to the area. I always wanted to go see a gladiator fight at the arena but apparently I’m to young and a women. Yes Diary I know I repeat this phrase a lot but it’s the ost common thing that is ever said to me. I would like to point out I’m not to young. I am three years older then which as Clement explained to me as the end of childhood. After all at age 7 you are able to get engaged. And I personally have been engaged twice! Which I believe shows that I’m not young at all. After all before age 7 you don’t interact with your parents and I have had clearly to many interactions with my mother to be considered a child. As clearly a privilege of being a full ten years old, my parents are having a dinner party supposedly in my honor tonight which I am allowed to attend.
But my older sister says its an excuse for dad for show off his wealth and get drunk. Which I think was mean to say to me even if it might be true. Its really exciting to me I’ve been preparing for dinner party for ages and my paedagogi has been training me in polite behavior to eat with adult company. However even though its in my honor I’m not allowed to recline on the couches like the adults I am expected to sit in chairs somewhat removed from adults. Which is rather unfair. My older brother spent the day scaring me about the dinner parties.
He scared me telling that bawdy songs were sung and all the discussions were about sexual affairs. Frankly this is something I am not comfortable with. Even though I have attended two of my brother marriages already and had to listen the marriage songs and play the secular game both, which I find extremely raunchy. Clearly diary as you can see I prefer to keep my childhood. I feel as the second daughter my parents are pushing me way to hard to grow up and get married. I really just want to sit and play with the slave children. However the older I get the more its looked down upon.
However I have to go know to prepare for my dinner party. I’m so excited to get dressed up. Talk to you again tomorrow. Faustina Bibliography * Dyson, Stephen. Rome A Living Portrait of An Ancient City. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2010. * Laes, Christian. Children in the Roman Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. * Aldrete, Gregory S. Daily life in the Roman City. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004. * Rawson, Beryl. Children and Childhood in Ancient Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Alderate, 62.