There were factories in ancient times

Crafts of the Romans in the provinces


Where did you work?

Faber or opifex were called craftsmen in ancient Rome. Her place of work was that taberna, mostly workshop and sales room at the same time. The apartment was mostly in a small room behind it, halfway up the stairs or in the upper area of ​​the house.

A sales counter usually delimited the house workshop towards the street. The hammering of blacksmiths, for example, and the noises of other working craftsmen contributed significantly to the much lamented noise in Rome. Tabernae such as bakers, shoemakers, goldsmiths and butchers were spread all over the city. Usually you could watch the craftsmen at work and hold sales talks with them.

The crafts of the Romans outside the city

In the countryside, handicrafts were carried out by staff. There were also hiking craftsmen who offered their services and visited the villages.

Roman factories?

There were also larger craft businesses in antiquity - but only in a few sectors. The iron processing industry belonged to it, for example, brick production, ceramic and glass production or the textile industry. Bakery businesses or banks also grew to a considerable size in some cases. Usually this type of trade was built in front of the cities for reasons of safety, such as fire hazard, or because the appropriate raw material was available there.

Were there many different trades?

In the 10,000-inhabitant city of Pompeii alone, 85 different craft professions are attested. This indicates a specialization in the trade. In Rome alone 525 names of craftsmen, which have been handed down in Latin, were probably represented - scribes, doctors, architects and artists were also among them.

The teaching !?

The training of craftsmen took place exclusively in companies. The social prestige of the artisans, however, was low. The Roman ruling class regarded the craft as "dirty". However, the artisans, small traders and wage workers had their own world and this "world of the little people" had its own values: Proud of their own achievement, for example, is attested by the note on workpieces "me fecit“(Made me ...).

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