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The Life of a Roman Prostitute

The Life of a Roman Prostitute - Western Civ The Life of a...

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Western Civ. The Life of a Roman Prostitute [Your Name Here] [Date Here]
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[last name here] 2 [Your Name Here] [Professor’s Name Here] [Class Name Here] [Date Here] The Life of a Roman Prostitute This six page research paper explores the life and social views of Roman prostitutes by attempting to investigating the following questions: How were prostitutes viewed and treated throughout the Roman Empire, how did one become a prostitute, what were the rules that had to be followed by women of this profession, if any, who monitored the activities of prostitutes in Rome, where did most acts of prostitution take place, and were slaves put into the business, or was this forbidden? The earliest known Roman laws concerning prostitution are from Augustus’ legislation on marriage around 19 B.C. These laws, known as the Julian laws, prohibited the intermarriage of Roman citizens with prostitutes, as well as the relatives and descendants that had family ties to known prostitutes. Wives, daughters, and granddaughters of senators and Roman knights were not permitted to become prostitutes and they were not allowed to marry people who had been slaves at any point in their life. However, if the daughter of a senator became a prostitute and she had been condemned in a criminal court for her behavior, then she could marry a freedman since she had forfeited her rank. 1 Many times, women who ignored their status and became prostitutes were fined, but they were seldom banished. 2 Prostitutes were only eligible for 1 Gardner, Jane F., Women in Roman Law and Society (Indiana University Press, IN., 1986), 32. 2 Bullough, Vern and Bonnie. Women and Prostitution (Prometheus Books, New York, 1987), 54.
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[last name here] 3 receiving legacies and inheritances on specific occasions, and when they were, the most they could receive was very restricted. 3 The Roman emperor Tiberius put into effect the first legislation against adultery in Roman times. Married women who were registered as prostitutes were subject to severe penalties. To encourage the prosecution of such women, husbands and informers were suitably rewarded for pointing out the women involved in the deviant practice. Taxes on registered prostitutes were introduced during the reign of Caligula, between 37 - 41 A.D., which enforced the notion that prostitutes should paid the state the sum that they received from a single customer in one day. 4 Prostitutes were forbidden to approach the temple of Juno (the queen of the gods), since it was believed that they would taint it. 5 During his time in power, Emperor Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.) outlawed prostitutes from being carried in sedan chairs, and he prevented them from receiving inheritances and legacies completely. 6 Hadrian (117 – 138 A.D.) extended that ideal, refusing to allow prostitutes to receive a legacy under a soldier’s will.
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