Who knew there was so much going on in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome back in 8000-30 BCE. In this paper, I will be discussing some of the interesting things that I read over and dug into for more information. Mainly being about how the women acted upon certain situations because of how they were treated in both cultures. Greek and Roman women lived in a world where strict gender roles were given; where each person was judged in terms of compliance with gender-specific standards of conduct. I found it quite oddly offensive how marriage in Ancient Greece was considered one of the most important aspects of a woman’s life, yet she had no control or say over it. When a woman was to get married, she had to be “given” in marriage by her father or another male figure.
Women back then were seen as “objects”, thus they were “given” away to a man. They had no say in who they wanted to marry, because marriage back then in this culture was not for love, it was more along the lines of a business relationship between two men, the father and the groom, and maybe more: “Young women were expected to marry as a virgin, and marriage was usually organised by their father, who chose the husband and accepted from him a dowry. If a woman had no father, then her interests (marriage prospects and property management) were looked after by a guardian (kyrios or kurios), perhaps an uncle or another male relative” (Cartwright 1). Unlike women, men were free to explore in relationships with courtesans and prostitutes after their marriage. Before reading all of the articles given, I had little to no clue that Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome women basically struggled to exist in the world. There was no way they would ever be equal to men in either culture, but even to be seen was unheard of. Women either married, had menial jobs, or they were slaves.
Their role in society was essential, however, no matter how poorly they were treated. The woman’s main purpose was to produce a child for her husband. She was not completely accepted by her husband’s family until this was done. Women were mainly busy with taking care of their children and carrying out household duties. Women were restricted and kept in the house. The life of a wife and mother that women lived was now seen as a necessity and a duty.
If a woman never gives birth to a boy, her daughter would then have to take on the responsibility of producing a son. Giving birth to a girl was seen as an embarrassment and disgrace. Females were looked down from the very beginning even when they were first born. Although this has always been an offensive thing for me to read, unfortunately this is how things were back then, and are still continuing to build up from the stance. Among the many things that were happening all at once in the time period I like to say everything always came right back around and having to do with the women (hint: the tragic rape then death of Lucretia).
There isn’t much on how modern day life is treating our women overseas, but I did read somewhere that there a lot more privileges. They are less dependent on the men and are finally shifting to becoming the independent women they have always deep down wanted to be. They aren’t treated as like the low life the men saw them as.
They can finally be their own person.From reading this I hope the idea of how women in both Greece and Rome were treated as second class citizens. And that the only way a woman was useful was a wife and mother (has drastically changed in modern day). They were only good as a mother if you delivered a heir AKA their “son”.
Turns out Greece and Rome had more in common when it came to women than they had in differences.