Shops in Rome produced all kinds of items which people of the city would need. The shops were often only one room which was open to the street. The owners of a shop had living quarters on a second floor or behind the shop. The items to be sold were displayed on stone counters. At night, wooden shutters were put up to keep out thieves. The Forum in the middle of most Roman towns was a center for much ofthe shopping. In Rome, large markets were developed which had a large variety of stores similar to a modern-day mall. Trajan's market, for example, had over 150 stores in one location.
Women did most of the shopping for food and household items.
Rich women would send slaves to
do their shopping, while poor women had to do it themselves. The Roman government
set weights and measures around the city and employed inspectors to protect
buyers from being swindled.
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