Ephesian Lifestyle

Ephesian Lifestyle

In both Greek and Roman times, children wore white togas until they were considered to be adults, which was at age 12 for girls and 14 for boys. Whereas Greek girls usually received no formal education, the sons of high status citizens were sent to a gymnasium at the age of seven to learn reading, writing and music. In the Roman era boys and girls were educated together from the age of seven and studied language, music, poetry, history, mythology, logic, philosophy, astronomy, measurement and mathematics as well as reading and writing. Children born disabled could be rejected by their fathers and either sold or abandoned in the market place. In later times it became common for poor people to sell their children.

In Roman times the ability to read and write became quite widespread. Daily calculations, as in buying and selling, were performed by counting on the fingers and larger numbers were indicated by pointing at parts of the body, each organ meaning a different number.

Sundials, examples of which are on display in the Ephesus Museum in Selcuk, and water clocks were used to mark the time. The possession of a water clock in the home was a sign of wealth. Most Ephesians rose with the sun and went to bed not long after sunset.

Public baths were introduced late in the Greek era and became very popular with the Romans. The baths were open 24 hours a day but mixed bathing was not permitted. Women and children could bathe free of charge during the seven hours following sunrise: the rest of the day belonged to the men, who had to pay an entrance fee and often held feasts of food and drink there.

Ephesus, like most ancient cities, had a centre for its special god or goddess, who in Ephesus was the Goddess Artemis. Animals were sacrificed to the gods in daily ceremonies and especially at celebrations and festivals. The Romans had more festivals than the Greeks. Both the Greeks and the Romans believed in reincarnation and because of this, when people died, some of their treasured possessions were buried or cremated with them for their use in the next life.

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