Prostitution in ancient Rome was legal and licensed. Latin ROME ANTIQUE PDF makes frequent reference to prostitutes.
Historians such as Livy and Tacitus mention prostitutes who had acquired some degree of respectability through patriotic, law-biding, or euergetic behavior. For the clam species, see Meretrix lusoria. Unregistered, lower class or casual prostitutes fell under the broad category prostibulae. In Roman law, the status of meretrices was specifically and closely regulated.