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q&a knowledgebase

Church History


Crucifixion of Women and Roman Citizens

Question

Were Roman citizens ever crucified and were women ever crucified as criminals by Roman soldiers?


Answer

According to Hengel (Crucifixion, Fortress Press, 1977), Roman law allowed that Roman citizens could be crucified, but the penalty was rarely inflicted on Roman citizens. Where citizens were concerned, it was generally reserved for high treason. Women were subject to crucifixion just as were men (cf. Josephus, Antiquitaties 18.79ff.). In fact, women had far fewer rights and far less respect than men in the Roman Empire, so it would have been more likely rather than less likely that they would have been subjected to cruel punishment.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin