Women And Marriages In Ancient Greek, Roman, And Roman Laws

1641 Words 7 Pages
In ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese societies, the ideal woman was subordinate to her husband. She was expected to obey without question and do what was best for her family. Xenophon’s Home Economics and Ban Zhao’s Lessons for Women, and the Roman Laws describe such women and marriages of the ancient world. Each of the three societies differed slightly, and some even had exceptions to the general belief of marriages in that time. Nonetheless, the writings from each of the societies illustrate the respect for women and the inequality among men and women in marriage.
Ancient Greece, 360 BCE, was a wonderful place to live for male citizens. Everyone else was relevant to society but did not exercise as much control officially as the male citizens
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In the excerpt, the husband speaks of what the most important thing in a marriage is. He states, “the best behavior in a man and woman is that which will keep up their property and increase it as far as may be done by honest and legal means.” (5) This gives readers insight into the society of ancient Greece and the marriages of that society. The marriage was about strengthening families and making alliances. Earlier in the story, he speaks about why his bride’s family chose him to be her husband and why he chose her to be his wife. As a result, readers can infer that women were not very independent and that marriage was too important to rest on the decision of a young woman. Her family needed to make the decision for her; however, the husband was viewed as responsible enough to choose his bride. This was one of the double standards during this time period. Other evidence of women being subordinate to men is also in Home Economics when the bride tells her husband that her mother taught her that her duty is to be well behaved. (5) This shows that women were just meant to do as their told and not think for …show more content…
In Home Economics, Ischomachus spoke about how a woman was meant to be indoors and man outdoors and he spoke of how both were important to strengthen the family. (5-6) This shows readers that women were important in Greek society. Without them the household duties would not have gotten done and other things would have suffered, as a result. According to Xenophon’s Home Economics, if wool was brought in, it was the woman’s job to see that clothes were made from it. Without women in the household clothes may not have been made, cows may not have been milked, daily chores that are essential to keep an estate running may not have been performed. Even though women’s contributions were relevant in ancient Greece, women were still subordinate to men.
During the reign of Caesar Augustus and after his reign in ancient Rome, women were still subordinate to men as they had been in ancient Greece. Even though they were still unequal to men, they did gain more legal protection under the reign of

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