10 Curious Facts About Ancient Women in History That Teachers Don’t Mention

Women have a long history of emancipation, and even nowadays total gender equality is yet to come. However, in ancient times, things used to be quite different. Women in ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, India, and China had many rights, limitations, hobbies, and habits that we are not completely aware of.

We at MBB have collected the most interesting facts about ancient women that are not often mentioned in history classes.

1. Roman girls had their own version of a Barbie.

In ancient Rome, girls used to get married when they were only 12. Although their childhood didn’t last long, they still played with toys. One of them, as was discovered at the end of the 19th century, was a wooden doll. It was found in a sarcophagus that belonged to a girl named Crepereia Tryphaena, and she lived in 2nd-century Rome. As we can see, it has certain similarities with our modern Barbie. However, it lacks the ideal dimensions of a modern Barbie, having rather a rounded belly and wide hips. A little box full of clothes for dressing the doll was also found in the sarcophagus.

2. Ancient Egyptian women had an equal right to inherit the throne.

Egypt was way more democratic than many other ancient kingdoms. The main proof of that was the fact that, despite the gender, any child of a ruler could inherit the throne. The rights of men and women were almost equal, which wasn’t really common at the time. Moreover, the family line in ancient Egypt was drawn from the mother’s side, not the father’s. This took root in a belief that the inheritance can be proven if the mother is known (because DNA tests for fathers weren’t available back then).

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