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The life of a Woman of Rome was filled with many traditions and rules which were carried on generation after generation Many say that Roman women were oppressed because they were not allowed to be an active part of society and politics The book Roman Women by JPVD Balsdon gives what I consider to be an accurate and detailed account of a typical woman in Rome during the Roman Empire Balsdon writes about the married women of Rome and the formidable ceremonies needed to perform a wedding The children that soon came after marriage which was in itself another worry for women of the Roman culture Rome also had its share like most civilizations of happy and unhappy marriages that women lived through In addition there were the less reputable women of Rome the prostitutes and courtesans And last but not least Balsdon gives a detailed account of a womans daily life down to hairstyles make-up and jewelry A womans looks were very important in Rome A woman revealed no more of her body than a nun does today She usually wore the standard dress called a stola with light undergarments beneath this It is a rather interesting fact that this style of dress did not change for three hundred years Purple and gold and a dark rose scarlet or amethyst were a few of the favored colors for the women of Rome Womens hair arrangements often occupied a large portion of their time and were performed by a hairdresser Younger women dressed their hair very simply by drawing it back into a knot at the back of the neck Most hair was parted down the center and curled into waves or styled with small ringlets Make-up an important part of a womans beauty process was only moderately applied unless the woman was a prostitute Jewels however were sometimes lavishly applied Opals sapphires emeralds and diamonds were popular among the wealthy women The
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