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I don't think it was too bad. Having gone to Italy and been to some of the ancient sites I think the standard of living was pretty good. Roman cities and towns were laid out in grid pattern with paved streets and shopping areas. There were plenty of fountains and public areas for people. Generally, there was a government center where people could to to get business done with the various agencies in Roman government, the Temple areas, and sports complexes as well as baths. The cemeteries were also located outside of the cities in an logical place.

The rich, of course, lived very well. In Pompeii the wealthy had homes with inner gardens and were built around a central courtyard with fountains and plants. The walls in houses were painted with figures of people and animals. The poor didn't live as well and I know in Rome that there were apartments for the poor that were pretty close together and crowded. It is one reason when the fire that broke out in Rome during Nero's rein burned the city. It just spread from place to place very fast. The fire got so hot that today you can still see marble steps where the fire melted them.

As a modern people I think that if we went back a Roman city we would feel right at home and understand how things worked pretty fast. We aren't that different from the Romans.

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Q: What was it like to live in a roman town?
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