Ancient Roman Actresses and the Dark Side of Beauty

After Thespis became the first known actor in the world, the words “actor” and “thespian” were only used to describe men for hundreds of years. Women in the theatre have always been more of an exception than the rule. But you know us… we like to break silly rules.

Blame it on the Theater: The Joys of being Actors and Actresses in Ancient Rome

The church tried to ‘release these unhappy slaves of a cruel voluptuousness’. By the time of Valentinian I, who reigned from 364 to 375 AD, the church had gained considerable grounds in ‘rehabilitating’ performers and introducing them into respectable society. An actress who, on her death bed, asked for and received the last sacraments, had to promise to never return to her ‘hateful’ theatrical life in case she recovered. This was just one episode of of the many adventures of actors and actresses in ancient Rome