Roman motherhood

Authored by: Lena Larsson Lovén

Women in Antiquity

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138808362
eBook ISBN: 9781315621425
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219910

10.4324/9781315621425.ch63

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Abstract

Motherhood was fundamental in Roman society, in the personal lives of women and men, and as part of a generic female identity. The biological role of women was their most important social role, and motherhood increased the status of a woman, especially for mothers with male offspring. In Roman perceptions of a female life-course, marriage and motherhood were closely intervolved, and girls would grow up with the prospect of a future marriage, childbearing and motherhood as central in their lives. 1 Females on all social levels experienced motherhood, but as the future mothers of new generations of Roman citizens, daughters in citizen families had a particular social responsibility for procreating.

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