Lives of Women in Ancient Rome V Lives of Women in Ancient Egypt

Topics: Marriage, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt Pages: 5 (1921 words) Published: February 4, 2013
In ancient Rome, women possessed minimal freedoms in marriage and everyday life. In contrast, Egypt varied from that social structure as the women in Ancient Egypt played a more significant role in society when compared with the women of Ancient Rome. Ancient Egyptian women had a higher level of independence and a greater number of social, economic and political freedoms. The process and rights of women when it came to marriage varied greatly between the women of Ancient Rome and those of Egypt, with Egyptian women having more say in the matter. Marriages in Ancient Rome were a business venture, in a sense. Marriages in Rome were often for money or a more prominent position in society. A woman’s marriage was arranged by her father and her consent was unnecessary.# Roman girls were normally married around the age of fourteen, but it was possible she could be engaged as young as the age of the seven.# Roman women could contest but even if she did her father’s vote overruled hers. In the home, Roman women ruled but had no more rights than their daughters in society. Relationships in ancient Egypt were normally affectionate and faithful on both parts, male and female, whereas in Rome the husband could have affairs and the woman could not.# Marriages in Egypt were equal partnerships with the husband allowing his wife to rule in the home, # and marriages in Egypt were seen as a sacred union between a man and a woman. The husband treated the kitchen as his wife’s domain and could not complain about the cleanliness of anything within the home. Since, the Egyptians saw marriage as a sacred union and saw women as the point of happiness women were given the utmost respect. They were given free reign over the household and the husband had minimal say in what went in the home. Marriages were seen as an equal partnership with no one having total control unlike in Rome where the wife was subjugated and had no say in her own life. Women were married around the same age in both societies but in Egypt women could contest the marriage and were not forced into it. The process of divorce in Egypt and Rome had few similarities in how unofficial they were but differed in how women were treated. In 331 CE, Constantine issued an edict that created serious penalties for people who divorce except in extreme circumstances. For a Roman woman to divorce her husband, a woman had to prove he was a murderer “,preparer of poison”, or a grave robber. If she couldn’t she would lose her entire dowry and be exiled to an island.# When a couple divorced in Rome the children almost always went to the father, although rarely, the father awarded the children to the mother. Either way, the father was financially responsible for the children.# Grounds for divorce between Egyptian men and women were childlessness or adultery.# Either way, the father was financially responsible for the children.# In Egypt, divorced women were entitled to take whatever personal items she brought into the marriage, as he husband and wife’s property were never combined.# It is unsaid where the Egyptian children went in times of divorce. An Egyptian woman, like an Egyptian man, could divorce her husband for adultery, whereas a woman in Rome could not. A woman in Rome had to prove that her husband was villainous by definition of the court before she could be granted a divorce. If she could not prove the needed proof she was exiled with nothing and her family’s reputation was ruined. In cases of divorce in Rome, the children were awarded to the father and he could decide if his former wife could visit the children. If he declined her proposition to see their children his former wife was never able to see her children again. There are no concrete facts about to which parent the children were awarded in Egypt, but it is said by researchers that women raised the children until they were school age so if the couple divorced while there children were infants it is...
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