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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Society)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Sex in middle of female cycle?

Roman doctors recommended having sex in the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle, which would guarantee a zero chance of becoming pregnant. As we currently know, this is the most “dangerous period” for such activities.

Messalina with Britannicus

Only free-born Roman men were allowed to wear toga

Only free-born Roman men were allowed to wear the toga (symbol of citizenship). Putting on a toga was a difficult, not to say burdensome activity. The strip of fabric was folded lengthwise, one end was thrown over the left shoulder, a toga was placed over the back, the other end was passed under the right shoulder and thrown over the left shoulder from the front.

The Triumph of Titus, Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Marriages in Rome were made of sense

Most Roman marriages (especially in the above sphere) were entered into out of reason, not love. Political rivals, through the union of their children, could forge a lasting alliance between the houses and pursue politics together.

Roman couple

Man ruled in Roman house

A man ruled the Roman house, but he often entrusted his wife with some duties, for example, looking after the treasury or managing slaves. Traditionally, it was considered that the only work a free woman could do was spinning wool.

Centurion in front of centuria

Roman women did not have unique names

Roman women did not have unique names. They usually took the female form of the family name. This is how Julia came from the Julius family, and for example, the daughter of Marcus Tullius Cicero was called Tulia. This name-surname was the first member of the name of a woman, and for a very long time, until the end of the republic, the only one.

Roman bust of a woman

Hair coloring was popular among Roman women

Hair dyeing was extremely popular among Roman women. The most famous colours were red, black and blonde. The latter was popular thanks to the Germans and Gauls with whom the Romans began to come into contact. Prostitutes were even legally obliged to have a blonde colour to distinguish themselves from ordinary Romans. However, this did not prevent the residents from dying their hair.

Roman lady on the painting

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