“Our ancestors, in their wisdom, considered that all women, because of their innate weakness, should be under the control of guardians,” said Cicero (“Roman Empire”). Women in ancient Rome were oppressed by their society. The men in their lives felt that they needed to be under constant control. They believed that they were physically and mentally weaker than men, and for that, they were inferior. There is an example of this oppression in Sarah B. Pomeroy’s novel, The Murder of Regilla. This novel is about a girl growing up in the Roman society and her switch to the Greek society. While women in ancient Rome did not have much to any control over their own lives, they were gaining liberation compared to the Greeks.
In the times of ancient Rome, many aspects of life were extremely different than they are today. The drastic gender division of this society is shocking to people studying this topic today. Boys were allowed to go to school, while women were educated at home by their brothers or husbands. They were not allowed to pursue studies because they were needed to help take care of the house (“Life of a Women in Ancient Greece and Rome”). Women were forced to marry. The parents of the bride and groom arranged the marriages (“Life of a Woman in Ancient Greece and Rome”). Men were not forced to marry. They’re permitted to remain single throughout their lives. There was also a double standard on adultery though. Adultery was only when a married women had sexual relations with a man other than her husband, not if a husband cheated on his wife. It was also acceptable for a lower class woman to cheat, but it was considered a serious crime for a high class women. If a high class woman is caught with another man, her husband is required to divorce her and in some cases she may be killed (“Women in the Ancient World”). Women were to be married between the ages of 14 and 18. Girls were taught to obey their husbands, who were typically much older. The husband’s family...
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