Roman Women

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Morning Routine

  • Like her husband, Roman women would sleep in their underwear without washing thoroughly and have a light breakfast.
  • She would choose her dress for the day and put on her soleae.
  • Both rich and poor wore jewels such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
  • However, wealthy women would get slaves to do her and although the style changed over the years, this would usually be high curly hair.
  • Hair could be dyed. Wigs, made of real hair, worn to make hair look bigger.
  • Unwanted hairs were plucked with tweezers.
  • Brow/arms powdered with chalk. Lips/cheeks rouged with lichen. Eyelids darkened with ashes - some items may have been toxic/harmful.
  • Powders and lotions kept in boxes and phials, some of which have survived.
  • The woman would put on her stola (an elegant version of a tunic which were made in dazzling colours and adorned with splendid embroidery).
  • She'd have a light scarf to protect hair and parasol to protect her from the sun.
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  • Woman's responsibility to manage household but slaves did all the work.
  • They's raise children and a traditional job for women: spinning cloth.
  • Women would often gossip but had no part in politics and weren't allowed to vote. Upper class-women were not expected to have any sort of career.
  • This meant upper class women found themselves unlikely to be persecuted by Emperors which was a threat faced by men in Roman politics.
  • It was likely that upper class women led boring lives.
  • There is evidence to suggest that lower class women began undertaking men's work such as becoming secretaries, doctors, and teachers.
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  • Around midday, a short nap was taken.
  • Since there were slaves, women had a lot of free time with nothing to do.
  • Playing board games such as draughts was popular.
  • Like men, women attended the baths to wash and socialise.
  • Although some baths were mixed, women probably attended before men so that men could spend longer enjoying the facilities.
  • Also attended Games like men but kept separate and given worse seats.


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