When orators speak of the glory of Rome, I sometimes feel as though they forget to mention plight of the lesser members of the empires. Us of the Proletarius class lead far from glamorous lives, as you probably can tell from my previous journal entries. Well, as time goes by my family’s situation worsens even still.
Following the death of my sweet sister, my father fell into a deep depression with this tragedy compounded with our already terrible living conditions. His performance at the glass factory was severely effected. His attendance was streaky at best, and even when he did attend, his work was sub par. It was not long until he was let go.
My mother’s prostitution was simply not enough to support the entire family, even with my sister passing. Even in the most peaceful eras of Roman history, theft has always been very alive throughout the empire (Fuhrmann 46), its appeal is to people like us, desperate and struggling to feed ourselves. Dating back to the republic, many believed morality in their lifetime had a direct correlation with the quality of after life (Fuhrmann 4). Perhaps times have changed, but in many ways my father had no choice as he put his family before his salvation.
My father chose the villa of a man of equite status as his target. He went in the dark of night in order to maintain a level of secrecy,attention is the thieves greatest enemy (Fuhrmann 57). My father entered the villa with ease, and went after some golden jewelry which he hoped to pawn to for grain for his wife and children. His rummaging must have caught the attention of the owner and he did not hesitate to grab his dagger, stab my father multiple times and kill him. This killing is completely legal, unfortunately, according to The Laws of the Twelve Tables (Mellor 2) because it took place at night. The owner secured the jewelry, the authorities were contacted and nothing more was done, as it was a legal kill.
My father took a risk, perhaps he was driven out of despair for his lost young daughter or just to keep his families bellies full for just a couple more weeks, but he failed to complete the task. Now three remain of the original five, the main breadwinner has been legally killed, with no reimbursement for us. My mother now prostitutes her self to such a degree that I hardly ever see her anymore, but it is the only means of survival. I am angered by the circumstances of our social class, but there is nothing I can do but try to survive and aid my last remaining family members.
Fuhrmann, Christopher J. Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.
Mellor, Ronald. The Historians of Ancient Rome. New York: Routledge, 1998. Print.