Bust of Caecilius

Stage 1


1Caecilius est pater.
2Metella est māter.
3Quīntus est fīlius.
4Clēmēns est servus.
5Grumiō est coquus.
picture of dog, Cerberus
6Cerberus est canis.

2  Stage 1

Caecilius sitting at his desk 7Caecilius est in tablīnō.
Metella standing in the hall 8Metella est in ātriō.
Quintus reclining at a dining table 9Quīntus est in triclīniō.

Stage 1  3

Slave working in the garden 10Clēmēns est in hortō.
Slave working in the kitchen 11Grumiō est in culīnā.
Dog sitting in the street 12Cerberus est in viā.

4  Stage 1

Caecilius writing at his desk
13pater est in tablīnō.
pater in tablīnō scrībit.
Metella sitting in the atrium
14māter est in ātriō.
māter in ātriō sedet.
Quintus drinking in the dining room
15fīlius est in triclīniō.
fīlius in triclīniō bibit.

Stage 1  5

Slave gardening
16servus est in hortō.
servus in hortō labōrat.
Cook tasting food
17coquus est in culīnā.
coquus in culīnā labōrat.
Cerberus sleeping outside door
18canis est in viā.
canis in viā dormit.

6  Stage 1

estis in triclīniōin the dining room
paterfather in hortōin the garden
mātermother in culīnāin the kitchen
fīliusson in viāin the street
servusslave scrībitis writing
coquuscook sedetis sitting
canisdog bibitis drinking
in tablīnōin the study labōratis working
in ātriōin the atrium (reception hall)   dormitis sleeping
Caecilius est in hortō. Caecilius in hortō sedet. servus est in ātriō.
servus in ātriō labōrat. Metella est in ātriō. Metella in ātriō sedet.
Quīntus est in tablīnō. Quīntus in tablīnō scrībit. Cerberus est in

coquus est in culīnā. coquus in culīnā dormit. Cerberus intrat.5

Cerberus circumspectat. cibus est in mēnsā. canis salit. canis in
mēnsā stat. Grumiō stertit. canis lātrat. Grumiō surgit. coquus est
īrātus. “pestis! furcifer!” coquus clāmat. Cerberus exit.
Mosaic of sleeping dog Caecilius had this mosaic of a dog in the doorway of his house.
intratenters lātratbarks
circumspectatlooks around surgitgets up
cibusfood īrātusangry
in mēnsāon the table pestis!pest!
salitjumps furcifer!scoundrel!
statstands clāmatshouts
stertitsnores exitgoes out

Stage 1  7

About the Language
ALatin sentences containing the word est often have the same
order as English. For example:
Metella est māter.canis est in viā.
Metella is the mother.The dog is in the street.
BIn other Latin sentences, the order is usually different from that
of English. For example:
canis in viā dormit.
The dog is sleeping in the street.
servus in culīnā labōrat.
The slave is working in the kitchen.
CNote that dormit and labōrat in the sentences above can be
translated in another way. For example: servus in culīnā
can mean The slave works in the kitchen as well as The slave
is working in the kitchen
. The story will help you to decide which
translation gives the better sense.
Roman kitchen
Reconstruction of a Roman kitchen.

8  Stage 1

Practicing the Language!

Write out each Latin sentence, completing it with a suitable word
or phrase from the box. Then translate the sentence. Use each word
or phrase only once.

For example: . . . . . est in hortō.
servus est in hortō.
The slave is in the garden.

A1 . . . . . est in hortō.
2 . . . . . est in viā.
3 . . . . . est in culīnā.
4 . . . . . est in tablīnō.
5 . . . . . est in ātriō.
6 . . . . . est in triclīniō.

in viāin tablīnō
in hortōin culīnā
in ātriōin triclīniō
B1 Clēmēns . . . . . labōrat.
2 Caecilius . . . . . scrībit.
3 canis . . . . . lātrat.
4 Metella . . . . . stat.
5 coquus est . . . . . .
6 Quīntus est . . . . . .
wall painting of architectural scene
Detail from a wall-
painting from a villa
near Pompeii.

Stage 1  9


Caecilius lived in Italy during the first century A.D. in the town of Pompeii. The town was situated at the foot of Mount Vesuvius on the coast of the Bay of Naples and may have had a population of about 10,000. Caecilius was a rich Pompeian banker. When archaeologists excavated his house, they discovered his accounts in a strongbox; these documents tell us that he was also an auctioneer, tax collector, farmer, and moneylender.

He inherited some of his money from his father, Lucius Caecilius Felix, but he probably made most of it through shrewd and energetic business activities. He dealt in slaves, cloth, timber, and property. He also ran a cleaning and dyeing business, grazed sheep and cattle on pastures outside the town, and sometimes won the contract for collecting the local taxes. He may have owned a few shops as well and probably lent money to local shipping companies wishing to trade with countries overseas. The profit on such trading was often very large.

Caecilius’ full name was Lucius Caecilius Iucundus. Lucius was his personal name, rather like a modern first name. His second name, Caecilius, shows that he was a member of the “clan” of the Caecilii. Clans or groups of families were very important and strong feelings of loyalty existed within them. Caecilius’ third name, Iucundus, is the name of his own family and close relatives. The word Iucundus means “pleasant,” just as in English we find surnames like Pleasance or Jolly.

Map of the Bay of Naples Map of Southern Italy Above: Central and
southern Italy.
Left: The Bay of Naples
(Neapolis). The area
covered by this map is
about 40 miles (60
kilometers) wide.

10  Stage 1

Only a Roman citizen would have three names. A slave would have just one, such as Clemens or Grumio. As a Roman citizen, Caecilius not only had the right to vote in elections but also was fully protected by the law against unjust treatment. The slaves who lived and worked in his house and in his businesses had no rights of their own. They were his property, and he could treat them as well or as badly as he wished. There was one important exception to this rule: the law did not allow a master to put a slave to death without showing good reason.

Caecilius' house from the road
The front of
Caecilius’ house.
The spaces on either
side of the door
were shops that he
probably owned.
wax-coated wooden writing tablet from Caecilius' strongbox

This is one of the wooden tablets found
in Caecilius’ house. They recorded his
business dealings. The writing was on
wax in the central recess, and, when the
tablets were discovered, much of the
writing could still be read. The tablets
were tied together in twos or threes
through the holes at the top.

Bronze bust possibly of Caecilius
This head
found in
house may be
a portrait of
decorated wood and metal chest

Caecilius kept his tablets and money in a wood and metal strongbox like this.

drawing of writing on wooden tablet
One page of writing: it records the sale at
auction of a slave for 6,252 sesterces.

Stage 1  11


Roman women of all classes had much greater personal freedom than women in other parts of the Mediterranean. Caecilius’ wife, Metella, like many Roman wives and mothers, had an important position in her home. She was responsible for the efficient and economical management of the household. She supervised the work of the domestic slaves. In order to run the house successfully, she would need to be well organized and firm but sensitive in her control of the slaves.

Although complete equality of the sexes was never an issue in ancient Rome, the Roman wife often had considerable power, influence, and freedom of behavior. She enjoyed her husband’s confidence; she was his companion and helper; she shared his authority over the children and slaves; she shared responsibility for the religious cult of the family; she prepared for social occasions and helped to welcome guests; she dined next to her husband at banquets (a practice Greeks would have condemned as disgraceful); she played a part in his career if it took him on a tour of duty to the provinces.

statue of the Roman businesswoman Eumachia

Unlike women in Greece or the Near East, Roman women were not required to live in seclusion in the home. Although their lives did center on the home, Roman women of all classes went out to shop, to exchange visits with friends, to go to the baths, to worship at temples, to attend public events in the theater or amphitheater, and to accompany their husbands to banquets where they took a well- informed part in social and literary conversation. We know of women who were cooks, bakers, weavers, hairdressers, shoemakers, silversmiths, midwives, and doctors. Occasionally women engaged in business. Often such women were widows who took over control of their husbands’ affairs. One influential Pompeian businesswoman was Eumachia (right), a public priestess and patroness of the powerful clothworkers and merchants. She inherited money from her father, who had owned a brickmaking business. It was her donation of money that built the large meeting hall of the cloth trade in Pompeii.

Eumachia, a Pompeian businesswoman who built the Clothworkers’ Meeting Hall in the forum.

12  Stage 1

Houses in Pompeii

The town house in which a wealthy man like Caecilius lived differed in several ways from an equivalent house today. The house came right up to the sidewalk; there was no garden or grass in front of it. The windows were few, small, and placed fairly high. They were intended to let in light but to keep out the heat of the sun. Large windows would have made the rooms uncomfortably hot in summer and cold in winter.

Some houses stood only one story high; others had a second floor. On either side of the front door, many houses had shops, which were rented out by the owner of the house. From the outside, with its few windows and high walls, the house did not look very attractive or inviting.

The ground plan of the house shows two parts or areas of about equal size. They look like courtyards surrounded by rooms opening off the central space.

The main entrance to the house was on the side facing the street. On passing through the door, the iānua, the visitor came into a short corridor which led directly into the main room, the ātrium. This impressive room was used for important family occasions and for receiving visitors. In the middle, the roof sloped down slightly towards a large square opening called the compluvium. Air and light streamed in through this opening, high overhead. Immediately below was the impluvium, a marble-lined, shallow rectangular pool that collected rainwater, which was then stored in a cistern for household use.

Plan of a Pompeian House

Stage 1  13

One of the most striking things about the atrium was the sense of space. The high roof with the glimpse of the sky through the central opening, the large floor area, and the absence of much furnishing all helped to give this impression. The furniture would include a bronze or marble table, a couch, and perhaps a strongbox in which the family valuables were stored. In a corner, near the main door, there was the larārium, a small shrine at which the family gods were worshipped. The floor of the atrium was paved with marble slabs or with mosaics. The walls were decorated with panels of brightly painted plaster. The Pompeians were especially fond of red, orange, and blue. On many of these panels there were scenes from well-known stories, especially the Greek myths.

Around the atrium were arranged the bedrooms, the study, and the dining room. The entrances to these rooms were usually provided not with a wooden door but with a heavy curtain.

Below: The atrium in Caecilius’
house as it is today. We can see
how spacious it was, but for a real
sense of the dignity of an atrium,
we need to look at a better
preserved one (right). The visitor
entering the front door would see,
beyond the impluvium, the
tablinum and the sunlit peristylium.
The atrium of Caecilius' house The impluvium

14  Stage 1

From this first area of the house, the visitor walked either through the tablīnum (study) or through a narrow passage into the second part. This was the peristȳlium, which was made up of a colonnade of pillars surrounding the hortus (garden). Like the atrium, the colonnade was often elaborately decorated. Around the outside of the colonnade were the summer dining room, the kitchen, the toilet, slaves’ quarters, and storage rooms. Some houses even had their own set of baths.

The garden was laid out with flowers and shrubs in a careful plan. In the small fishpond in the middle, a fountain threw up a jet of water. Marble statues of gods and heroes stood here and there. In the peristylium, the members of the family enjoyed the sunshine or shade as they wished; here they relaxed on their own or entertained their guests.

The Pompeians not only lived in houses that looked very different from modern ones but also thought very differently about them. They did not expect their houses to be private places restricted to the family and close friends. Instead, the master conducted much of his business and social life from home. He would receive and do business with most visitors in the atrium. The more important ones would be invited into the tablinum. Certain very close business friends and high-ranking individuals would receive invitations to dine in the triclīnium or relax in the peristylium with the family.

Only the wealthy lived like this; poor people lived in much simpler homes. Some of the poorer shopkeepers would have had only a room or two above their shops. In large cities, such as Rome, many people lived in īnsulae, apartment buildings several stories high, some of them in very poor condition.

A peristylium with hanging ornaments between the columns. Peristylium with hanging ornaments

Stage 1  15

Pompeiian house
In what ways is
this house typical
of houses in
Caecilius’ day?
Painting of a garden with marble fountain

A painting of a marble
fountain in a garden.

Roman three-legged table

Three-legged table in the tablinum of the House of Paquius Proculus.

lararium, shrine to the household gods
A lararium.

16  Stage 1

Word Study

AIn the Stage 1 Vocabulary Checklist, find the Latin word from
which these words are derived:


B Match each definition with one of the words given below:
affiliate laboratory sedentary
canine maternity service

1 . . . . . a room or building used for scientific testing or research
2 . . . . . a person who works with plants
3 . . . . . motherhood
4 . . . . . the act of providing goods or assistance
5 . . . . . pertaining to dogs
6 . . . . . tending to be inactive
7 . . . . . to associate or join oneself

While the butcher
cuts meat, his wife may
be working on the accounts.
Carved butchers' shop scene with butcher and wife

Stage 1  17


Stage 1 Vocabulary Checklist

ātriumatrium, reception hall
inin, on
labōratworks, is working
sedetsits, is sitting
triclīniumdining room
Metella was very
fond of jewelry. Here
are some examples of
the things she might
have worn.
Golden snake bracelet; clustered emerald and gold earrings; silver snake ring; gold earring.

18  Stage 1