What were Roman schools like?

In Rome, you had to have rich parents to be able to go to school – and forget about it if you were a girl! But what was the school day like in the ancient empire?

Today almost everyone goes to school, but in Ancient Rome that was definitely not the case. Only the sons of rich parents could go to school, while most other children would have to work in the fields or in blacksmiths or bakeries. Poor children would learn their parents’ craft, but they would never see a classroom. And almost no girls, not even the rich ones, would go to school.

Roman schools were formed of small classes and catered only for privileged children, such as the sons of wealthy merchants and senators


The schools themselves were different from today’s schools as well. Most were very small. About 10 to 15 children between 7 and 12 years old would study subjects like reading, mathematics, philosophy, music or astronomy together. Their teacher was often a Greek scholar who had moved to Rome – and not always willingly.


Written by Dave Harfield

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