By Peter Chrisp

ISBN-10: 0756619556

ISBN-13: 9780756619558

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The best known of these is the mosaic – a picture made from hundreds of tiny tiles called tesserae. ≤ GLASSWARE One Roman invention was the glass cameo, a relief carving in different layers of coloured glass. A glassblower made this vase using dark blue glass wrapped in an outer layer of white glass. Then a sculptor carved the figures, cutting away the white layer to reveal the darker layer beneath. One of only 13 complete cameo vases to survive, this vase was smashed into 200 pieces in 1845 by a visitor to London's British Museum.

Playing with nuts One way of saying that someone was no longer a child was that they had “stopped playing with nuts”. Nuts were thrown like marbles, as in this relief from Ostia. They were also used in a game called par impar ("odd or even"). One child held some nuts in a closed fist while another had to guess if their number was odd or even. 52 A DINNER PARTY Ornamental pool with fountain Rich Romans ate their main meal, called cena, in the evening, reclining on couches. For the host, this was a chance to display his wealth and taste, impressing guests with lavish dishes, unusual ingredients, and expensive tableware.

Conditions of slavery varied greatly, from the comfortable lives of many household slaves, to the harsh existence of the underfed and overworked slaves in mines and quarries and on farming estates. Like most ancient peoples, the Romans took slavery for granted. Yet many writers argued that slaves should be well treated.

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