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Roman Mothers

  • By: Emily R. Cheney
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The Roman period includes the years of the Roman Republic, dating from 509 B.C.E. to 27 B.C.E., and the Roman Empire, dating from 27 to 476 C.E., with the collapse of the eastern Roman Empire occurring much later. During this period, Roman women with citizen status could own property, but they were ineligible to hold public office or to vote, for their primary task was to bear children and care for them—although even this task was limited and varied somewhat during the span of the Roman period. Girls married by the age 12 and often died during childbirth, or were so weakened by giving birth that they died shortly afterward. Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant cite the death of the two daughters ...

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