Romen Women-Ancient World

meghan murkin

753 BCE - 300 BCE

Social Structures

In the Roman culture, there were social expectations for women, rich and poor. There were two major mythological like women who set the guidelines of what a "good" woman is like. Their names were Lucretia and Sabine. They embodied strong values of modesty and family honor in women.

Women were looked down on if they enhanced their appearance through makeup, hair dyes, or wigs. Men saw it as dishonesty and falseness of character.

Women did not possess Roman citizenship.

Employment and Education

Very few women were educated, the main focus of a girls education (poor or wealthy) was to know how to spin thread and weave clothing.

Roman women in poor families had to work hard, just like the men. Some worked as tavern keepers, waitresses, cooks, or on a farm. Women with these jobs were considered to be on the same level as prostitutes.

Marriage and Ownership

Who a woman married, was selected by her father. Once she was married, the woman would become subject to her husband, who gained all powers. Her property became his and he even had the right to kill her if given a "good enough" reason, such as committing adultery.

Upperclass women rarely left the house since they didn't have to work, but when they did they were transported in curtain litters carried by slaves, to avoid filth on the streets and to remain unseen.

250 BC

What's next?

Around 250 BC there was a huge change for women socially. The change was not over night but eventually women were respected, women contracted roman citizenship, and enhancing women's appearance was actually encouraged. Which gave the wealthy women more things to spend money on.