Last updated on: 8/28/2013 | Author: ProCon.org

180 BC – Roman Regulations

“Rent from a brothel was a legitimate source of income…. Procuration also, had to be notified before the aedile [government regulators], whose special business it was to see that no Roman matron became a prostitute…. [I]n the year 180 B C. Caligula inaugurated a tax upon prostitutes (vectigal ex capturis)…

When an applicant registered with the aedile, she gave her correct name, her age, place of birth, and the pseudonym under which she intended practicing her calling. (Plautus, Poen.)

If the girl was young and apparently respectable, the official sought to influence her to change her mind; failing in this, he issued her a license (licentia stupri), ascertained the price she intended exacting for her favors, and entered her name in his roll. Once entered there, the name could never be removed, but must remain for all time an insurmountable bar to repentance and respectability. Failure to register was severely punished upon conviction, and this applied not only to the girl but to the pandar [sic] as well. The penalty was scourging, and frequently fine and exile. Notwithstanding this, however, the number of clandestine prostitutes at Rome was probably equal to that of the registered harlots.”