In 62 BCE Cicero was to buy a house from Licinius Crassus, located in a prestigious place – on the Palatine – until for 3.5 million sesterces1. For this, the famous orator was forced to take out a large loan; which was normal in the ancient world. But what is interesting, how did such a large transaction come about?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Under Roman law, the woman who got married was still in her father’s family (but that was not the rule) and not just the spouse. With the divorce, she lost parental rights over children who were only among her father’s family.
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.
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.