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Roman woman in male world

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman bust of a woman
Roman bust of a woman

Women in the Roman Empire did not enjoy equal rights with men. Traditionally, a single woman was looked after by her father and then by her husband if the woman got married in manu. Then, the chosen one, or more often her father, took over her dowry.

In the event that a woman married sine manu , all her belongings belonged to her and her family looked after her. In addition, such a possibility was associated with mounting the guardian for the rest of her life. So how could one free oneself from her husband/guardian’s control?

At the beginning of our era in the Roman Empire, about 25% of born children did not live to the first year of life and about 50% did not see the blown out of ten candles on the cake. In the times of Octavian Augustus, the woman who gave birth to a live child was rewarded by the state. A woman who was the mother of three children (in case of freedwomen, four children) became truly independent, she could give up her husband’s care and she could decide her own fate.

Author: Andrzej Głuchowski
  • Thomas Wiedemann, Adults and Children in the Roman Empire, 2014
  • The Roman Empire
  • Wikipedia

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