Womens Roles and Cultures

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Women: Roles and Cultures

HIS 103 WORLD CIVILIZATIONS
Instructor Lyons
3/4/2013

During the ancient civilizations, women had their place and their roles. In many countries, the women’s roles were very different and viewed as restricted. Women’s roles and lives have changed drastically over the years. From marriage to political affairs, times have changed. During some periods of time, women were controlled by men, forced into slavery, or to carry on a family tradition. From an island called Crete, to Mesopotamia where the land is between the Tigris and Euphrates, to Egypt and Greece. All of these countries had different roles for women and what were expected of them. Whether it may be by religion, marriage, education, or politics, each civilization had its own idea for women. Although women were restricted and had many rules for their lives, their statuses remained the same. Their focus for life was getting married, having a ceremony, bearing children, and learning their role as a wife.
The first ancient civilizations started in Mesopotamia and Egypt in the Middle East, in the Indus Valley region of modern day Iraq. According to our text, “The word Mesopotamia comes from two Greek words: mesos, meaning "middle," and potamus, meaning "river," or more precisely, "land between the rivers."” (Mahdavi, 2012) Both of these civilizations had certain features in common. They built cities, invented forms of writing, learned to make pottery with the use of metals, and complex social structures with class systems.
One of the greatest contributions from the Mesopotamia civilization was the first written law, Code of Hammurabi. According to our text, “The 282 statutes, preserved on an eight-foot-high stele (stone slab), show how the Babylonians dealt with a variety of issues from trade contracts and regulation, debt, marriage, and property rights to major crimes such as adultery and murder.” (Mahdavi, 2012) The laws purpose was to celebrate Hammurabi’s sense of



References: Croix, G.E.M. (1970).The Classical Review. The Classical Association. , pp. 273-278 Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/706304 Hammurabi. (c. 1780 BCE). Code of Hammurabi (L.W. King, Trans.). Retrieved from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/hamcode.asp Hollis, S. (1987). The Journal of American Folklore. Folklore and Feminism. pp. 496-503. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/540908 Mahdavi, F. (2012) World history: The human experience to 1500. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education Sakoulas, Thomas (2013) History of Minoan Crete. Ancient-Greece.org. Visited on March 3, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.ancient-greece.org/auxiliary/about.html

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