There was a programme on about the Romans last night, and what they did for us. Gosh, they built roads. Crikey, when they used long nails they drilled a hole in the wood first, so as not to split it. No shit.

If I didn't have modern day things like computers and guns, I'd do that too. I'd take longer to figure it out, but that's the way. Of course they did those things. They had the knowledge of a whole empire at their disposal, the combined craft of biggest civilisation the West has seen. I wouldn't expect anything less, frankly, than well-built, straight roads, ways to avoid carrying water, and a smart nailing technique.

I want to know about the things they didn't have technology for, and the things that didn't matter, and what they did about them.

Did they have The Market? How did they decide the price of fish? How did they see at night? Who paid for public lighting? What was their attitude towards recycling? Were there formalised routes for gossip? Any mass media? Were there people trying to invent ways to send information faster than the horse? What did they do about sick people? Did they shave their pubic hair, and did they have skimpy knickers (they did both in HBO/BBC's Rome)? Did everyone get involved in fashion, or only the people who could afford a new hat every year? How did they deal with ant infestations; did they care? Did they name their pets? Their genitals? Did they have cultural criticism? Post-modernism? Speculative fiction? When the end was coming, did they realise? Did they care? Did they want it?