Ancient Roman Women

In ancient Rome, women were held in high regard. They had access to certain things in the society and were also given almost similar rights like that of the Roman men and they also had the privilege to be successful in certain life endeavors like education, trade and business. Women who came from wealthy backgrounds had access to sound education better than that of commoners.

Regardless of the fact that women were not eligible to vote or be voted for, they still had a great impact indirectly when it came to politics through the powerful and superior male figures with whom they shared intimate relationship  (they include brothers, fathers, husbands and sons).

The ancient Roman women openly involved themselves in trade and businesses and they also had the right to own properties. Nevertheless, female slaves were sexually abused and made to carry out difficult tasks. They were referred to as their “master’s assets” and they had no legal rights.


  • The rich Roman women didn’t breastfeed their offsprings regularly, the wet-nurse were assigned to take care of their children. Most often, the female slaves and employed freed women were assigned to handle this task. A powerful Roman author of the 2nd century named Soranusworked as a gynecologist which he also prescribed the milk of the wet-nurses. Still on the notion that mothers had the tendency of being too tired to feed their children.

Soranus was against the idea of mothers feeding their babies only when they are hungry and he also said solid foods like bread dipped in wine should be given to children when they are six months old.

  • The period of childhood happened to be very short for the female children in ancient Rome. According to the Roman law, females were eligible to marry at age twelve due to high infant mortality rate which they believed they were very fertile to produce offsprings at their tender age. A day before their marriage ceremony, females were expected to do away with things that were considered childish especially her toys.
  • One of the most common and easy things that occured in matrimonial homes back in ancient Rome was the issue of divorce. Marriage was used as a tool used to create personal intimacy between families who had political reputation and prospects. However, matrimonial ties only lasted for a short period until a party is of no benefit to the other. Unlike this modern-day,where legal procedures were needed to get a divorce. Marriages were termed to be “officially over” when a party says so.
  • The Roman women always found themselves under pressure when it came to looking attractive due to the fact that a woman’s appearance was always considered to reflect on her husband. However, as important and necessary women needed to look attractive, they were also being laughed at for doing such.
  • The female education occured to be a subject of controversy during the ancient Roman era. Only females from wealthy and influential homes were eligible to good education and were taught the basic skills involved in reading and writing.
  • Women had no right to involve themselves in politics or contest for a political post, but they had the ability to influence the electoral results through the promotion or support they give to their spouses by portraying them to the public to be a responsible personalty and a great family man.
  • The Roman Empress were shown as prisoners both in films and literatures and they were also potrayed as nymphomaniac who always support their husband’s ambition by killing everyone who stood in his way and likewise everyone who stood in their way.
  • The ancient Roman women were relatively active when it came to religious affairs, festival and ceremonies. Though women were prevented from carrying out special ritual procedures and sacrifices. The only religios assignment women were allowed to participate was the society of  “vestal virgins” which included 6 priestess who ensured that religious activities were correctly onserved.


  • Question: Which of the religious assignments were the ancient Roman women allowed to participate in?
    Answer: The only religious assignment they participated in was the society of vestal virgins.
  •  Question: Was divorce a very hard thing to do in ancient Rome?
    Answer: No.
  • Question: What was the name of the gynecologist who prescribed the milk of the wet-nurses to the Romans?
    Answer: Soranus.
  • Question: At what minimum age were female children eligible for marriage?
    Answer:  Age 12.