Women's Roles in Ancient Greece and Rome Essay

1138 Words May 9th, 2006 5 Pages
Women's Roles in Ancient Greece and Rome Women have played important roles throughout history. They have been responsible for the rise and fall of nations, sustaining families, and have been the focal point of worship in ancient religions. Moving forward in history, women's roles have continually changed. Their status as matriarchs changed as the more advanced ancient civilizations rose. The patriarchal societies of ancient Greece and Rome viewed women differently from some societies of past eras. The study of the economic and political status of women, their rights, and their contributions to both these ancient societies reveals how views change throughout history. In Ancient Greece and Rome, much off what we know about the lives of …show more content…
Women were divided in to two groups, those of wives and those of non-wives. The wives group included both current wives and those with potential as future wives. The non-wives group was subdivided into further groups. Women who lived in brothels were treated much as slaves with little freedom. Some non-wives offered their services on the streets, and could barter prices with customers but were required to wear certain garments to ensure they were recognized in public places. A more desirable role of the non-wives is the hetera. This woman, more than an object, was capable of entertaining the men. They were often sought out to entertain the men during Symposiums with conversation, songs, and music. These women could become self sustaining and own homes and live life as they pleased. Concubine women enjoyed perhaps the most beneficial lives as kept mistresses of men. They were provided homes and cared for by primarily one man. Women were used at the disposal of men and their whims throughout the society. Women in Ancient Rome enjoyed a slightly better life than those in Ancient Greece. Roman men "placed a very high value on marriage, home and the family and this made quite a difference to society's treatment of women" (Thompson, 2005). Women still were passed from their father's supervision to their husbands, but enjoyed a more important role. While women could not hold
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