Classical Civilisation thepiggrinder
How did the life of ancient Greek or Roman woman differ from the life of a woman in the west today?
Women in the modern western culture of today enjoy many more rights than those of ancient Greek and Roman women.
Woman in the modern culture of the west today have an unrestricted amount of freedom (often supported by law such as diversity and equality legislation) Women in the west today have greater choice in number of areas including:
• Whether to have children or not
• Health issues
Women are much more independent and have a greater degree of equality in modern day society. For ancient Greek and Roman women it would have been entirely the opposite.
Only from limited sources do we know how the women of ancient Greece and Rome were perceived. Examples found in Pottery such as Lekythos and cylices give us an insight into their lives; much of this pottery depicted women weaving, folding finished pieces of cloth and spinning wool, implying that woman were very much expected to make the clothes for their family and focused on household duties.
Tombstones and epitaphs of women also provide evidence of women’s roles as being limited showing that their roles extended no further than just making the family’s clothes or household duties. Husbands often expressed the importance of women on their tombstones and woman were often described as “domom servait” or “lanam pecit” roughly translating to “keep the house” and “spun the wool”
... , and were taught writing. The role of an Athenian woman in Greek society was minimal. By comparison to present day standards, Athenian ... construction of most ancient societies, and remained so in much of the world until modern times. Unlike the women of Athens, Spartan ... In most of the ancient Greek world, gender roles were fairly static throughout time and outside ...
In Rome women were not citizens of Rome. Only adult free men were citizens. The ancient Roman and Greece men believed that a woman had to be under a guardianship. That guardianship could be a father or a husband. But they believed a woman was unable to direct her own activities.
Quote from Cicero (Roman writer/historian):
“Our ancestors, in their wisdom, considered that all women, because of their innate weakness, should be under the control of guardians.”
If women worked they were involved in low level or basic employment ranging from working on the land, selling goods, or even prostitution all of which were low income professions.
Women could not vote nor did they hold any high positions in society or government, even if they were fully qualified to do so.
Pieces of artwork and carvings reveal that although women may not have been thought of more than just “house keepers”, some were well educated. Artwork of women with stone tablets have been discovered which indicates the stone tablets were probably used as a form of communication like letters.
Women were very much constricted on not only what they do, but where they go as well. They were not allowed out of the home without a man, whether that be a husband, guardian or a slave. In Rome it has even been recorded that women were carried around in sella curulis (folding seats), this could indicate shows how much women were constricted but also how important they could be.
The reliability of most sources is questionable though, as virtually all sources are from a man’s point of view. In western society today woman face less constrains, more freedom and opportunities. Many of these freedoms were achieved through the women suffrage/liberation movement in the late 19th Century/early 20th Century
Women can vote and play a leading role in democratic process (there have been many women leaders such as Thatcher, Merkel) Women today have access to better education and play a much more leading role in society.
... only ten days Military Technology in ancient Rome Roman technology is the engineering practice which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of ... as it related to making its giant cities livable) Ancient roman construction was a form of technology. The two most ... were among Rome’s most famous achievements. In your paper, describe and explain the importance of Roman technology and ...
The difference between the life of ancient Greek or Roman woman from the life of a woman in the west today is vast.
Women in ancient times were often treated as second class citizens and their primary responsibility revolved round marriage, the rearing of children and supporting the household. Despite not being considered important they played a crucial role in geek and roman families, and without them a family would simply not function.
The difference between the ancient and the life of a woman in the west today could not be more different. Women today are better education, have greater freedom and opportunity.
Some women in the west today would recognise the primary responsibility of ancient women in Greece and Rome around marriage, children and leading in the supporting of the household, but the key difference is that women of today have a greater opportunity of choice.