This week’s homework will focus on the Greco-Roman world. It should be noted that a substantial portion of the people who lived in the Greco-Roman world were slaves (in some places, as much as 40% of the population), and we cannot meaningfully talk about the first-century world without saying some things about slaves. Be advised that some of the below content does make reference to slavery, and in some cases, violence toward slaves.
1.  Watch the following two (short) videos about life in first-century Rome, then answer the questions below:
Laurence, Ray. “A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome.” TED-Ed (2012):A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome – Ray Laurence (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Laurence, Ray. “Four Sisters in Ancient Rome.” TED-Ed (2013):Four sisters in Ancient Rome – Ray Laurence (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
a.  What elements of these videos do you find surprising? Interesting? Offensive? Do any elements clarify passages of scripture to you?
b.  Identify three elements of ‘cultural distance’ between our context and the context of the people profiled in these videos. In other words, where are the biggest differences?
2.  Read the below (brief) article, then answer the questions below:
Hope, Valerie. “Social Pecking Order in the Roman World,” BBC: Ancient History, Romans (2003): (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
a.  Do you find any elements of this article surprising? Does it leave you with any further questions?
b.  Based on the categories and facts provided in this article, construct some sort of diagram of the system of social classes (or, ‘Pecking Order,’ to use the article’s title) in the first-century Roman world. This does not need to be especially artistic – it might be as simple as an ordered list, or you might find some other approach more appropriate.

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New York University

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