5 Insane Ancient Roman Laws


“My wife cheated on me. Come and take a look.”

  1. The law which allowed fathers to kill their daughter’s lovers.

If a man found his wife in bed with a lover, he would lock them for 20 hours and gather as many people as possible to witness the betrayal. After that he had three days to make it public, describing the place where he found them all the intimate details. According to the law, the man was obliged to divorce his unfaithful wife, or he could be accused of pimping.

If the wife’s lover appeared to be a slave, the husband had a right to kill him. Speaking about free citizens, according to the Roman law, a father could kill the lover of his daughter, regardless of his social status.

If a woman accused her husband of cheating, the only thing that she could do about it according to the law was to cry.

  1. The law requiring prostitutes to lighten the hair

Roman women had dark hair. Blonde people were regarded as barbarians at that time. Considering the fact that prostitutes were not worthy of the Roman women title, they had to die their hair in order to look like barbarians.

This law had some interesting unintended consequences. Some of the Roman women from upper classes were jealous about the fair-haired girls and began to dye their hair as well, or made hair wigs from their slaves’ hair.

Soon, it became difficult to distinguish upper-class ladies from prostitutes.

  1. The law, which requires a obtain a permit to commit suicide

A suicide in Ancient Rome was considered to be a natural outcome of a number of circumstances. The rulers used to keep a poison in case of rebellion or captivity. They also gave the poison to seriously ill people in order to relieve their suffering.

Soldiers, slaves, and prisoners did not have the right to commit suicide due to economic reasons.

The state needed soldiers constantly and could not afford to lose them. Criminals were not allowed to commit suicide as well. If a criminal died before the verdict, the state could not seize his property. If a slave committed suicide, his master could claim damages from the seller.

All in all, they adopted the law, which enabled a citizen to ask the Senate to allow him to commit a suicide. If the Senate agreed, the petitioner received a poison for free.

  1. The law forcing women to leave their houses annually

The Romans used to register, how long you need to hold something (including human beings) before it becomes your property legally. Thus, a wife becomes the property of a husband, if she stays in the house for a year. If a woman wanted to be considered free, she was forced to leave her home for three days and to hide from her husband every year.

  1. The law authorizing the killing entire families

In Ancient Rome, the father of the family had the most extensive powers, when it came to his wife and children. If children were intractable, he could give them a flogging, and once they were grownups, he could even kill them.

Daughters were afraid of their fathers even after marriage, and sons were to become independent only after the head of the family died.

Over time, this law was mitigated. In the 1st century BC, fathers were allowed to kill sons, only if they had been convicted of committing a crime.

The article was provided by the dating experts with love affiliates!


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