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ROME-MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.

superiors must be visited or saluted, and all of those political civilities

attended to, upon the observance of which the man of Rome was as much dependent

for success as the citizens of modern times. The clients were thus afforded an

opportunity to see their great patron as much subordinated to the general order

as themselves had been to him. The poet Martial, who had himself been a client

for thirty years, found some solace in addressing his patron in the following

strain:

"Maximus, yes, I own it with shame, I am hunting a dinner; But thou huntest

elsewhere: both of us here are alike. If I come early to pay my respects, I find

thou hast started On a like errand elsewhere: here, too, we both are alike. If I

attend thee, walking before my magnificent patron, Thou dost to others the same:

here we again are alike."

He who has read history carefully will have observed how gradually-

notwithstanding the great shocks of civil war-the Roman Republic was transformed

into the Empire. At the first the court of Augustus was nothing more than the

house of the First Consul and greatest senator of Rome. The great atrium was

thronged with petitioners and friends who came and went as freely as to the

palace of any other noble. The duties of the establishment were performed by

freedmen. The Emperor sat, or walked and talked, receiving salutations, giving

public audiences, hearing claims preferred, addressing the senators and knights

as friends, and in some sense as fellow citizens.

In the like manner did the Empress as it respected the wives of the distinguished

men who thronged her lord's palace. Time brought its changes. The duties of the

court grew into offices to be filled by Roman citizens, who anxiously sought such

preferment. Formality came in ape-like, and pomp and ceremony took the place of

the semi-republican simplicity with which the Imperial regime was ushered in.

Of course, Roman society had its exactions. It was expected that the citizen and

his household should attend to the fashionable demands of the times. The current

order must be observed. Calls of friendship must be made and the small flatteries

of life delivered a la mode. The court of justice, the public lecture, the family

festival, the ordinary visit-all these must receive a share of attention, and all

the more as Rome grew great and luxurious. There were, perhaps, in the Imperial

City as many things to demand, and as many other things to distract, the

attention of her people as in any other great community, either ancient or

modern. The man of affairs must be always abroad attending to the calls of duty

and competing with his fellows in the maintenance of his rank in society and the

state.

The daily meals of the Roman were three in number-though the first, or morning

repast was hardly worthy to be dignified by the name of meal. At an early hour

the members of the family repaired to the board and partook sparingly of bread

and salt, fruit, olives, and cheese. There was no attempt at gathering around the

table, but each ate as he would. At noonday came the prandium, or luncheon, at

which were served fish, eggs, shell-fish, and wine; but the principal meal was

the dinner, or caena, which was served toward sunset, and sometimes continued

into the night. This principal daily feast began with certain appetizing articles

like the entrees of a modern bill of fare, and then followed two full courses and

a dessert.

In the early times the Roman table was spread in the plainest and most frugal

manner. The fare was like that of the Spartans. A simple porridge of pulse was

the principal article of food. To this, as the people acquired means, were added

fruits and vegetables; nor did the Roman commons ever rise to a level of living

much more luxurious than that of the primitive republicans. In the upper classes

of society, however, there was rapid progress towards the refinements of the

table.

From the year B. C. 174, cooks and bakers began to ply their vocation as

professionals, and about the same time the foreign wars of the Romans made them

acquainted with the gastronomic luxuries of the East. By nature the man of the

city was a great eater. A corporation that began with fratricide and ended in

barbarism was not likely to lack in stomach.