With Dr. Eireann Marshall
Despite the vast wealth and armies of slaves at their disposal, the lives of the Roman elites were filled with challenges. Their daily routine was shaped by the need to exceed or match the achievements of their peers in order to maintain the glory of their families, both those living, as well as their antecedents. Their houses were fronted by benches which would be filled by their clients in morning salutationes, which they hoped would be busier than their counterparts. Their houses were repositories of their families’ glory, notably family trees and the busts of their ancestors which they hoped they would live up to. Success, in the age of emperors, depended on the forging of friendships and connections in high places, as well as catering to the needs of often fickle emperors. The lives of elite Romans was, on the face of it, unbelievably privileged, though it was also fraught with dangers and complications.