oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - : the double picture in adultery laws from Romulus to Augustus

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



This article investigates the double set of standards applicable to Roman spouses' adultery. It argues that adultery occurred from Romulus to Augustus and was always considered to be the extramarital relationship by or with married women. It examines the position of both the unfaithful husband and the unfaithful wife with regard to conduct which resulted in adultery, its consequences and the measures or remedies available to the injured spouse. Furthermore, the article argues that the social role of the Roman and , the Roman male-dominant society and the hidden agendas of Roman authors could be seen as possible reasons for the different moral principles. The article concludes by pointing out that the unfaithful husband was in a much more favourable position than the unfaithful wife and that the social role of the Roman and in a male-dominant society appears to have justified these double standards.

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