Greek & Roman Gender Roles

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Greek & Roman Gender Roles

By | May 2008
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Gender Roles between Greek and Rome

Gender Roles varied a great deal in both Greek and Rome. In Greece, the gender roles were defined differently then how Rome defined them. Men were treated differently then the women, in both cultures. Women were more or less the keepers of the house and to tend to the slaves and make sure everything ran smoothly; whereas the men worked and tended their people that they ruled over. The men in Greece and Rome had more freedom then the women of that time, meaning they could come and go as they please; whereas the women were kept sheltered.

In the Greek time, the women were kept sheltered by their fathers until they were married, which then they kept house to their husband and children. Once married, the man laid down the rules and stated what was expected of her and she was to obey otherwise. Romans treated their women a little bit differently in the sense that they did not keep them sheltered, but yet let them have some equality outside the home. Roman women still could not vote or hold public office, which has not changed not too long ago. Greek gender roles were defined as the “… roles of husbands and wives were clearly defined within the family, which was controlled and protected by the legislation. The men would marry at around age 30 to women generally much younger then them, around 16” (Infopublica, 2001). In different places it was optional to marry, such as Athens; but Sparta it was required for a man to marry. The interesting thing about Athens’s marriage was that the “father gave the groom the bride in sense that the father gives the groom a dowry, the groom accepts; he gives her to the groom to bear children, and again he accepts. Their weddings were typically done in January and took place during a full moon” (Infopublica, 2001). In Sparta on the other hand their women were chosen by the man and forced to sleep on bamboo, dressed in men’s clothing and the women’s hair was cut short. She was only visited after...