full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Ray Laurence: A glimpse of teenage life in ancient Rome

Unscramble the Blue Letters

It's March the 17th in A.D. 73. We're visiting ancient Rome to watch the Liberalia, an aanunl fsvtaiel that celebrates the liberty of Rome's citizens. We're looking in at a 17-year-old named Lucius Popidius Secundus. He's not from a poor family, but he lives in the region known as the Subura, a poorer neohrbgoohid in Rome, yet close to the center of the city. (Gong) The tenants of these apartments are crammed in, (Grunting) which poses cribaodnslee risk. Fires are frequent and the semll of ash and smoke in the morning is not uncommon. Lucius, who awoke at dawn, has family duties to perform today. (Cheering) His 15-year-old brother is coming of age. Half the children in ancient Rome die before they reach adulthood, so this is a particularly important milestone. Lucius watches his breothr satnd in his new toga before the household srnihe with its protective deities, as he places his bulla, a ptoircvtee amulet, in the shrine with a prayer of thanks. The bulla had wrekod. It had protected him. Unlike many others, he had survived to become an auldt. At 17, Lucius has almost completed his etacoidun. He has learned to speak well, make public speeches, and how to read and write both Latin and Greek. His fthaer has taught him the tepys of things you can't learn in the classroom: how to run, how to swim, and how to fight. Lucius could cohose, at 17, to become a mitiarly tribune and command soldiers on the edge of the Empire. But in other ways, Lucius is still a child. He's not trusted to arrange bussiens deals. His father will take care of that until he is 25. And Dad will anragre Lucius' marriage to a girl 10 yares younger. His dad has his eye on a family with a 7-year-old daughter. Back to the lairielba. As Lucius leaves with his family, the sophs are open as the population goes about its business. The steetrs are full of itinerant traders snleilg trkenits and plopee blistnug from place to place. Large wagons are not allowed in the city until after the ninth hour but the streets are still crowded. Fathers and uncles take the kids to the Forum Augustus to see satteus of Rome's famous warriors like Aeneas, who led Rome's ancestors, the Trojans, to Italy. And Romulus, Rome's founder. And all the great generals of the Republic from more than 100 years eaerilr. Lovingly, we can imagine fathers and gniaurads with their now adult children remembering stories of Rome's glory and re-telling the good dedes and sayings of the great men of the past: lessons on how to live well, and to overcome the felolis of youth. There is a sense of history in this place, rnelvaet to their pnesret. Romans made an empire without end in time and space. (tmhup) Rome was destined to be eternal through warfare. Wars were a fact of life, even in A.D. 73. There are campaigns in the north of England and into Scotland, to the north of the rvier Danube into Romania, and on the frontier between Syria and Iraq to the east. It's now the eighth hour — time to head for the btahs. Lucius and his family head up the Via Lata, the wide street, to the Campus Martius, and the enormous Baths of Agrippa. The family members leave the clients and femdreen outside, and enter the baths with their peer group. Baths would change from dark, steamy rooms to light ones. The Romans had pfterceed window glass. Everyone moves from the cold room to the tepid room and to the very hot room. (Man) Oops! More than an hour later, the bathers leave massaged, oield, (witnlihsg) and have been scraped down with a strigil to remove the remaining dirt. At the ninth hour, seven hours after they left home, the men return for a celebratory dinner. Dinner is an intimate aaiffr, with nine people reclining around the low table. saevls attend to their every need if the diners, through gestures, demand more food and wine. As the day closes, we can hear the rumble of wagons outside. The clients and freedmen, with a meal of robust — if inferior — food inside them, shuffle off to the now tepid baths before returning to their apartment blokcs. Back at Lucius' house, the drinking cninuteos into the night. Lucius and his stepbrother don't look too well. A slave stands by in case either of them needs to vomit. With hindsight, we know Lucius' furtue. In 20 years' time, the Emperor Vespasian's youngest son, Domitian, as emperor, will enact a reign of terror. Will licuus survive? (dmurs)

Open Cloze

It's March the 17th in A.D. 73. We're visiting ancient Rome to watch the Liberalia, an ______ ________ that celebrates the liberty of Rome's citizens. We're looking in at a 17-year-old named Lucius Popidius Secundus. He's not from a poor family, but he lives in the region known as the Subura, a poorer ____________ in Rome, yet close to the center of the city. (Gong) The tenants of these apartments are crammed in, (Grunting) which poses ____________ risk. Fires are frequent and the _____ of ash and smoke in the morning is not uncommon. Lucius, who awoke at dawn, has family duties to perform today. (Cheering) His 15-year-old brother is coming of age. Half the children in ancient Rome die before they reach adulthood, so this is a particularly important milestone. Lucius watches his _______ _____ in his new toga before the household ______ with its protective deities, as he places his bulla, a __________ amulet, in the shrine with a prayer of thanks. The bulla had ______. It had protected him. Unlike many others, he had survived to become an _____. At 17, Lucius has almost completed his _________. He has learned to speak well, make public speeches, and how to read and write both Latin and Greek. His ______ has taught him the _____ of things you can't learn in the classroom: how to run, how to swim, and how to fight. Lucius could ______, at 17, to become a ________ tribune and command soldiers on the edge of the Empire. But in other ways, Lucius is still a child. He's not trusted to arrange ________ deals. His father will take care of that until he is 25. And Dad will _______ Lucius' marriage to a girl 10 _____ younger. His dad has his eye on a family with a 7-year-old daughter. Back to the _________. As Lucius leaves with his family, the _____ are open as the population goes about its business. The _______ are full of itinerant traders _______ ________ and ______ ________ from place to place. Large wagons are not allowed in the city until after the ninth hour but the streets are still crowded. Fathers and uncles take the kids to the Forum Augustus to see _______ of Rome's famous warriors like Aeneas, who led Rome's ancestors, the Trojans, to Italy. And Romulus, Rome's founder. And all the great generals of the Republic from more than 100 years _______. Lovingly, we can imagine fathers and _________ with their now adult children remembering stories of Rome's glory and re-telling the good _____ and sayings of the great men of the past: lessons on how to live well, and to overcome the _______ of youth. There is a sense of history in this place, ________ to their _______. Romans made an empire without end in time and space. (_____) Rome was destined to be eternal through warfare. Wars were a fact of life, even in A.D. 73. There are campaigns in the north of England and into Scotland, to the north of the _____ Danube into Romania, and on the frontier between Syria and Iraq to the east. It's now the eighth hour — time to head for the _____. Lucius and his family head up the Via Lata, the wide street, to the Campus Martius, and the enormous Baths of Agrippa. The family members leave the clients and ________ outside, and enter the baths with their peer group. Baths would change from dark, steamy rooms to light ones. The Romans had _________ window glass. Everyone moves from the cold room to the tepid room and to the very hot room. (Man) Oops! More than an hour later, the bathers leave massaged, _____, (_________) and have been scraped down with a strigil to remove the remaining dirt. At the ninth hour, seven hours after they left home, the men return for a celebratory dinner. Dinner is an intimate ______, with nine people reclining around the low table. ______ attend to their every need if the diners, through gestures, demand more food and wine. As the day closes, we can hear the rumble of wagons outside. The clients and freedmen, with a meal of robust — if inferior — food inside them, shuffle off to the now tepid baths before returning to their apartment ______. Back at Lucius' house, the drinking _________ into the night. Lucius and his stepbrother don't look too well. A slave stands by in case either of them needs to vomit. With hindsight, we know Lucius' ______. In 20 years' time, the Emperor Vespasian's youngest son, Domitian, as emperor, will enact a reign of terror. Will ______ survive? (_____)

Solution

  1. annual
  2. father
  3. follies
  4. shops
  5. smell
  6. shrine
  7. statues
  8. worked
  9. freedmen
  10. business
  11. relevant
  12. adult
  13. river
  14. streets
  15. selling
  16. slaves
  17. years
  18. affair
  19. drums
  20. baths
  21. trinkets
  22. types
  23. deeds
  24. bustling
  25. stand
  26. liberalia
  27. blocks
  28. whistling
  29. future
  30. guardians
  31. oiled
  32. military
  33. lucius
  34. perfected
  35. education
  36. earlier
  37. continues
  38. festival
  39. people
  40. thump
  41. arrange
  42. present
  43. choose
  44. brother
  45. considerable
  46. neighborhood
  47. protective

Original Text

It's March the 17th in A.D. 73. We're visiting ancient Rome to watch the Liberalia, an annual festival that celebrates the liberty of Rome's citizens. We're looking in at a 17-year-old named Lucius Popidius Secundus. He's not from a poor family, but he lives in the region known as the Subura, a poorer neighborhood in Rome, yet close to the center of the city. (Gong) The tenants of these apartments are crammed in, (Grunting) which poses considerable risk. Fires are frequent and the smell of ash and smoke in the morning is not uncommon. Lucius, who awoke at dawn, has family duties to perform today. (Cheering) His 15-year-old brother is coming of age. Half the children in ancient Rome die before they reach adulthood, so this is a particularly important milestone. Lucius watches his brother stand in his new toga before the household shrine with its protective deities, as he places his bulla, a protective amulet, in the shrine with a prayer of thanks. The bulla had worked. It had protected him. Unlike many others, he had survived to become an adult. At 17, Lucius has almost completed his education. He has learned to speak well, make public speeches, and how to read and write both Latin and Greek. His father has taught him the types of things you can't learn in the classroom: how to run, how to swim, and how to fight. Lucius could choose, at 17, to become a military tribune and command soldiers on the edge of the Empire. But in other ways, Lucius is still a child. He's not trusted to arrange business deals. His father will take care of that until he is 25. And Dad will arrange Lucius' marriage to a girl 10 years younger. His dad has his eye on a family with a 7-year-old daughter. Back to the Liberalia. As Lucius leaves with his family, the shops are open as the population goes about its business. The streets are full of itinerant traders selling trinkets and people bustling from place to place. Large wagons are not allowed in the city until after the ninth hour but the streets are still crowded. Fathers and uncles take the kids to the Forum Augustus to see statues of Rome's famous warriors like Aeneas, who led Rome's ancestors, the Trojans, to Italy. And Romulus, Rome's founder. And all the great generals of the Republic from more than 100 years earlier. Lovingly, we can imagine fathers and guardians with their now adult children remembering stories of Rome's glory and re-telling the good deeds and sayings of the great men of the past: lessons on how to live well, and to overcome the follies of youth. There is a sense of history in this place, relevant to their present. Romans made an empire without end in time and space. (Thump) Rome was destined to be eternal through warfare. Wars were a fact of life, even in A.D. 73. There are campaigns in the north of England and into Scotland, to the north of the River Danube into Romania, and on the frontier between Syria and Iraq to the east. It's now the eighth hour — time to head for the baths. Lucius and his family head up the Via Lata, the wide street, to the Campus Martius, and the enormous Baths of Agrippa. The family members leave the clients and freedmen outside, and enter the baths with their peer group. Baths would change from dark, steamy rooms to light ones. The Romans had perfected window glass. Everyone moves from the cold room to the tepid room and to the very hot room. (Man) Oops! More than an hour later, the bathers leave massaged, oiled, (Whistling) and have been scraped down with a strigil to remove the remaining dirt. At the ninth hour, seven hours after they left home, the men return for a celebratory dinner. Dinner is an intimate affair, with nine people reclining around the low table. Slaves attend to their every need if the diners, through gestures, demand more food and wine. As the day closes, we can hear the rumble of wagons outside. The clients and freedmen, with a meal of robust — if inferior — food inside them, shuffle off to the now tepid baths before returning to their apartment blocks. Back at Lucius' house, the drinking continues into the night. Lucius and his stepbrother don't look too well. A slave stands by in case either of them needs to vomit. With hindsight, we know Lucius' future. In 20 years' time, the Emperor Vespasian's youngest son, Domitian, as emperor, will enact a reign of terror. Will Lucius survive? (Drums)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
ancient rome 2

Important Words

  1. adult
  2. adulthood
  3. aeneas
  4. affair
  5. age
  6. agrippa
  7. allowed
  8. amulet
  9. ancestors
  10. ancient
  11. annual
  12. apartment
  13. apartments
  14. arrange
  15. ash
  16. attend
  17. augustus
  18. awoke
  19. bathers
  20. baths
  21. blocks
  22. brother
  23. bulla
  24. business
  25. bustling
  26. campaigns
  27. campus
  28. care
  29. case
  30. celebrates
  31. celebratory
  32. center
  33. change
  34. cheering
  35. child
  36. children
  37. choose
  38. citizens
  39. city
  40. clients
  41. close
  42. closes
  43. cold
  44. coming
  45. command
  46. completed
  47. considerable
  48. continues
  49. crammed
  50. crowded
  51. dad
  52. danube
  53. dark
  54. daughter
  55. dawn
  56. day
  57. deals
  58. deeds
  59. deities
  60. demand
  61. destined
  62. die
  63. diners
  64. dinner
  65. dirt
  66. domitian
  67. drinking
  68. drums
  69. duties
  70. earlier
  71. east
  72. edge
  73. education
  74. eighth
  75. emperor
  76. empire
  77. enact
  78. england
  79. enormous
  80. enter
  81. eternal
  82. eye
  83. fact
  84. family
  85. famous
  86. father
  87. fathers
  88. festival
  89. fight
  90. fires
  91. follies
  92. food
  93. forum
  94. founder
  95. freedmen
  96. frequent
  97. frontier
  98. full
  99. future
  100. generals
  101. gestures
  102. girl
  103. glass
  104. glory
  105. gong
  106. good
  107. great
  108. greek
  109. group
  110. grunting
  111. guardians
  112. head
  113. hear
  114. hindsight
  115. history
  116. home
  117. hot
  118. hour
  119. hours
  120. house
  121. household
  122. imagine
  123. important
  124. inferior
  125. intimate
  126. iraq
  127. italy
  128. itinerant
  129. kids
  130. large
  131. lata
  132. latin
  133. learn
  134. learned
  135. leave
  136. leaves
  137. led
  138. left
  139. lessons
  140. liberalia
  141. liberty
  142. life
  143. light
  144. live
  145. lives
  146. lovingly
  147. lucius
  148. man
  149. march
  150. marriage
  151. martius
  152. massaged
  153. meal
  154. members
  155. men
  156. milestone
  157. military
  158. morning
  159. moves
  160. named
  161. neighborhood
  162. night
  163. ninth
  164. north
  165. oiled
  166. open
  167. overcome
  168. peer
  169. people
  170. perfected
  171. perform
  172. place
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  174. poor
  175. poorer
  176. popidius
  177. population
  178. poses
  179. prayer
  180. present
  181. protected
  182. protective
  183. public
  184. reach
  185. read
  186. reclining
  187. region
  188. reign
  189. relevant
  190. remaining
  191. remembering
  192. remove
  193. republic
  194. return
  195. returning
  196. risk
  197. river
  198. robust
  199. romania
  200. romans
  201. rome
  202. romulus
  203. room
  204. rooms
  205. rumble
  206. run
  207. sayings
  208. scotland
  209. scraped
  210. secundus
  211. selling
  212. sense
  213. shops
  214. shrine
  215. shuffle
  216. slave
  217. slaves
  218. smell
  219. smoke
  220. soldiers
  221. son
  222. space
  223. speak
  224. speeches
  225. stand
  226. stands
  227. statues
  228. steamy
  229. stepbrother
  230. stories
  231. street
  232. streets
  233. strigil
  234. subura
  235. survive
  236. survived
  237. swim
  238. syria
  239. table
  240. taught
  241. tenants
  242. tepid
  243. terror
  244. thump
  245. time
  246. today
  247. toga
  248. traders
  249. tribune
  250. trinkets
  251. trojans
  252. trusted
  253. types
  254. uncles
  255. uncommon
  256. visiting
  257. vomit
  258. wagons
  259. warfare
  260. warriors
  261. wars
  262. watch
  263. watches
  264. ways
  265. whistling
  266. wide
  267. window
  268. wine
  269. worked
  270. write
  271. years
  272. younger
  273. youngest
  274. youth