Women in Athens and Roman Society

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Jacob Gratton
11/30/2011
Gen-ed 110
Research Essay 2
Dr. M. Pieracci

Women in Athens and Roman Society

Athens and Rome, two civilizations that are drastically similar in region, politics, art, social structure, and even in their economic structure these civilizations had one significant difference. This significant difference was the role of women in these two civilizations. My contention in this essay is even though civilizations can be drastically similar in economics, politics, and social structure it is still possible that the role of women can still be different. Both civilizations were a vital agricultural based economy this means almost all the work done in both civilizations were almost the same. Also, both civilizations were located in the Mediterranean and these cultures were located close enough to each other that the Greek empire had influence on the Roman Empire. While the Roman Empire was largely influenced by the Greek Empire, they had their own methods of how women should be treated and the laws that should be in place. In the later Roman Empire, all free people were considered citizens this was not determined by gender. In Jo-Ann Shelton's novel As the Romans Did she explains the Roman social behavior and expresses that the Roman Empire “took the remarkable action of granting Roman citizenship to every free person within the borders of the Roman Empire” (Shelton). This statement alone sets the role of women in Rome apart from the role of women in Greece. Athenian women were not considered citizens this took away their power of “owning land and holding political office” (Just). While the Athenian women were not citizens and were in same social caste as slaves, Roman women were above slaves due to their citizenship. Roman women had the power to control slaves within the household, influence finances, and educate the children (Pomeroy). Evidence proving that women had power within the household shows that Roman women were respected and...
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