Culture Weird

8 Weird Laws Of The Ancient Roman Empire

“If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.”

Julius Caesar

Rome was the pinnacle of human civilization during the ancient times. The total Roman Empire was built up on virtues like dignity and integrity. There were certain laws in the region which were so stringent and peculiar that they even baffled each and every ruler around the world. Given below are 8 of those most weird laws which were prevalent in ancient Rome.

1. Wearing purple was not allowed, it was totally illegal

compitalia_frescoA rare painted depiction of Roman men wearing togae praetextae participating in a religious ceremony, probably the Compitalia; note the dark red color of their toga borders.

– According to the ancient Roman culture, the color purple was associated with the royalty and only the privileged were allowed to wear this color. Wearing purple was the right of only a chosen few and rests were debarred from wearing this color.

2. It was illegal to cry during funerals

sarcophagus_crotone_musei_capitolini_mc2783In order to impress the neighbors, Romans hired professionals to pretend to cry.

– Due to excessive overacting by the hired actors who came to cry at funerals, it became a very hectic and even tiresome. Funerals almost were transformed into publicity stunts rather than a sad and somber event. To prevent these unwanted actors from participating in the funeral ceremonies, crying was banned.

3. Fathers could kill their daughter’s lover legally

father-killsFathers, in Rome, could legally murder their daughter’s lovers no matter how nice of a toga they wore.

– The husband of a cheating wife could talk to her wife’s father and ask her to kill her lover. In Rome, according to the law only fathers were allowed to kill their daughter’s lovers no matter what was the status of the person.

4. To be drowning with animals was the most extreme death sentence


– If a person had killed his father then this extreme punishment awaited him. He was blind folded then taken to the outskirts of the city. Once there he was stripped and beaten with metal rods mercilessly. Then he was put in a sack with a dog, a serpent, a rooster and even an ape and then thrown in to the ocean to drown.

5. Prostitutes had to die their hairs blonde

pompeii_-_lupanar_-_erotic_scene_-_manSince the prostitutes couldn’t be associated with the dignity of a proper Roman woman, they had to make themselves look like barbarians, so they made them dye their hair.

-There were many natural brunettes in the Roman Empire. Within the civilization blondes were considered to be barbarians. Since according the law that none of the prostitutes had full rights as that of any other normal Roman women, so they had to die their hairs blonde to look like those barbarian scums.

6. All the suicide had to be approved by Senate


– Most often the Roman Empire believed that it was a forward thinking to plan for ones suicide. All the noble people had poisons with them for the use during any emergency. To end their suffering sick people had the provision to poison themselves. But soldiers, prisoners as well as slaves were prohibited from committing suicide by the law

7. A person killed by lightning did not receive a proper burial ritual

sarcophagus_death_of_meleager_louvre_ma539Romans believed if something got hit by a lightning bolt, it wasn’t bad luck.

– It was believed that being struck by lightning meant that one was on the receiving end of the wrath of Jupiter.  The Roman people firmly believed that if lightning struck any person or even any establishment, Jupiter was not happy with his or her actions and wanted to punish them.

8. A father had a few opportunities to force his son into committing slavery


– For any father living in the Roman Empire, they had the opportunity to sell their son to be salves. Through the agreement done with the buyer, the buyer had complete possession of the boy but it was expected that he would bring the child back home positively.

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