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Bill Thayer

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Smith's Dictionary:
Articles on Daily Life

[image ALT: An engraving of a naked or half-naked man reclining on a couch, and a woman, dressed, sitting on the foot of it playing a harp. It is a mythological scene from an ancient monument, used as iconic of Daily Life in this dictionary.]

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
John Murray, London, 1875.

This index page collects the articles in Smith's Dictionary on Roman daily life. For general information about the Dictionary, and for about 600 articles on other topics, see its homepage.

Articles on Roman Daily Life republished on my site
(major articles are in boldface)

A reminder also that new clothing articles continue to be added from time to time:
the What's New Page is here.
Topic Areas Entries

clothing & shoes, cosmetics

Some 70 articles are listed on
their own separate index page.

food and drink

Vinum (wine) • Calida (mulled wine, punch) • Cerevisia (beer) • Coena (dinner) • Comissatio (drinking bout)


Abacus (sideboard) - (tray) Arca Armarium Candela Candelabrum Capsa Carchesium Cathedra Fax (torch) • Follis (bellows) • Guttus (pitcher) • Incitega (amphora stand) • Laterna (lantern) • Lectus (bed, couch) • Lucerna (lamp) • Mantele/Mappa (napkin) • Mensa (table) • Pluteus (part of a bed; shelving) • Sella (chair) • Speculum (mirror) • Tapes (carpets) • Taeda (torch) • Torus Tripos (tripod) • Urceus (pitcher) • Velum

games, sports & pastimes

Abacus (gameboard) • Agonothetae (sports judges) • Alea (games of chance) • Ascoliasmus Athletae Ceroma Cestus (boxing gloves with a kick) • Cottabos Discus Follis (ball) • Fritillus (dice box) • Gymnasium (and gymnastics) • Halteres (weightlifting) • Lampadephoria (relay race) • Lucta (wrestling) • Palaestra Pancratium Pentathlon Petaurum Pila (ball; includes Harpastum) • Pugilatus (boxing) • Talus (knucklebones) • Tesserae (dice)

hotels, restaurants, etc.

kitchen & table

Acetabulum Amphora Chous Chrysendeta Colum (pierced spoon or ladle) • Cupa (wine vat) • Cyathus (ladle) • Lanx (serving platter) • Ligula (spoon) • Mortarium Murrhina Vasa Olla (jar, pot) • Patera (plate, paten, saucer) • Patina (plate, bowl) • Rhyton (drinking-horn) • Salinum (salt cellar) • Trua/Trulla (pierced spoon, trowel) • Urceus (pitcher) • Urna Vitrum (glass)


Buccina (horn) • Canticum Cornu (horn) • Crotalum (similar to castanets) • Cymbalum Fescennina Hydraula (hydraulic organ) • Lituus Sambuca (harp) • Lyra (lyre) • Sistrum Syrinx (Pan pipes) • Testudo Tibia (flute, pipes) • Tintinnabulum (bell) • Tuba (trumpet) • Tympanum (tambourine and similar instruments)


painting & sculpture

Scalptura (engraving and cameo work)

social customs

Fescennina Hospitium Jusjurandum (oaths) • Nomen (Roman names) • Serta (garlanding houses and temples) • Sportula

For marriage, weddings, and related questions,
see the index of law articles


Slavery Anteambulones Aquarii Arca Capsarii Carnifex Ergastulum (chain gang prison) • Flagrum (cat-o'nine-tails) • Pedisequi Volones (slaves in the army)

spectacles, circus games, etc.

Amphitheatrum Bestiarii Circus Desultor Funambulus (tightrope walker) • Gladiatores Ludi Naumachia Saltatio (dance) • Venatio (animal slaughters)

the theatre & literature

time & calendar

weights & measures

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Site updated: 17 Feb 21