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5 Weird Prohibitions of Ancient Rome


When someone mentions Ancient Rome, you almost always think of insane orgies, or remarkable architecture, depending on your preferences. But what almost nobody mentions about are some of their idiotic laws and prohibitions, especially when viewed from a modern-day perspective.
Let’s quickly jump in on those and judge the filthy Romans, as if we’re any better than them! Enjoy!



Prohibition of suicide
Simply put, if you wanted to commit suicide in Ancient Rome, you’d have to first ask for a permission from the Senate. In written form, of course, stating all the why’s and how’s. If the Senate deemed your request worthy, you’d be given a flask full of sweet relief. And by that I mean “poison that will probably make you cough your heart out before it kills you”. I hope I’m wrong. Also, I’m not a historian.

Weeping during funerals
Let’s get this out of the way – nobody gave a sh#t about the deceased in Ancient Rome. They threw huge parties to celebrate their recently departed fellows, laughed their asses off, hired actors to play out the “good times”, sometimes there were women who would cry and tear their hair off for a few bucks, or whatever the currency was back then. Not all people liked those weeping women, they were obviously killing the buzz, so they decided to ban crying in general. Yup. That’s how awesome those Ancient Romans actually were.

Women were not allowed to cheat on their men
Rome was a patriarchy, it’s no secret, but wait till you find out how messed up that system really was. As an example, if you were a married woman back then, and decided to have a fling with another guy, you’d better not get caught, because your hubby caught you red-handed – he’d divorce you, and would be allowed to kill the dude you slept with no repercussions. What’s funny is that if you caught your husband in bed with 10 other women, all you could do was join them.

Prostitutes were not allowed to dye their hair black
The subtitle pretty much says it all – prostitutes in Ancient Rome were not allowed to dye their hair black or even dark, only blonde and red. Why, you might ask? Well, Roman soldiers brought a lot of women from their European conquests, most of which were blondes and redheads. Needless to say, almost all of the “trophy” women became slaves and prostitutes. This is why only the black-haired women were considered to be the wife material.

The ban on luxury
You’ve probably heard at least something about the countless feasts thrown by Roman Emperor Nero. But a few decades before his reign in Rome there was a law that limited excessive luxury in everyday life. Romans were allowed to host up to three people on weekdays, and no more than five – on market days, and holidays. Romans also tried to restrict how much they were spending on food and had a limit on plates, cups and other utensils in their homes. When Nero came to power, these bans were lifted, and till this day he’s a symbol of fear, terror, mayhem and being a party guy.