A Social History of Women in Europe

Topics: History, Georges Duby, Charles Scribner's Sons Pages: 4 (1488 words) Published: June 16, 2013
A social history: women in europe
One can think of European history and the mind tends to wander back to Greece and the days of Homer, Aristotle, and the Greek tragedies. But it is Herodotus and Thucydides that really started writing history, the history that was bestowed upon them to record without regard to whether it was true or not. The only women that are recorded in these ancient times are those of the gods. Women’s place in ancient society was that of wife and mother. They were property of their husbands which would not change until the twentieth century. Thousands of years in repression without a voice, woman made from the rib of man so he will not be alone and to procreate the earth. That was their function. Not to lead senate debates, run schools, run governments and corporate businesses. But women did have a voice. Their voices were not recorded into history until really the sixteenth century. The common people were illiterate unless born at least into the gentry class where women could read and write. When the Reformation began women were beginning to have a voice in a place that mattered the most to them: religion and family. It became important that both men and women could read so that they could read the bible not depending on the clergy for guidance and interpretation. What is important now is that the social history is recorded not only from a man’s perspective but from a woman’s perspective as well.

Comparing John Burrow’s A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century and John Tosh’s The Pursuit of History, from a women’s social history perspective is that Burrow writes history from the male perspective where as Tosh incorporates gender and women’s studies into his book. Burrow perceives history as that of male driven need of power and authority without regard to any feminine thought or reference. Burrow writes about a collective history of Europe and the...
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