A Comparison Of Ancient Cultures: Greece And Rome.

1212 words - 5 pages

Greco-Roman history is very complex. The two civilizations developed at dramatically different rates, as well as different times in history, and comparison is both difficult and easy. It is easy to compare Greece and Rome because both societies are in relatively the same area, situated on the same major body of water: The Mediterranean. However, it is also very difficult to compare Greek and Roman cultures because of the very fact that Greece is a country, or back then, a very large group of city-states, and Rome is a single city. There are many differences in the social structure, the treatment of women and slaDiscrepancies appeared in many elements of the social structure. They way women were treated in both societies was dissimilar. In the ancient Greek city-states "women has no political role...and were rarely ever seen outside the family compound" (Sindelar, p.35). Women in the ancient world, especially in Greece were seen as "property" of their fathers', and, after marriage, of their husbands'. Even at birth, the father had the right to choose whether the baby should live or die, and often the reason for letting the infant die was just because it was born a female. In adult roles, women were married young usually to males considerably older than they, had very few civil rights, and hardly any legal rights; they could not vote, they could not even roam about the town without a specific reason. They could not attend most events on the public forum, with a few exceptions. These women, although the male was figure-head of the household, dominated Greek home life, and their duties around the house were mainly keeping order within the household and rearing the children. But since Greek society was slave-based, female slaves were expected to do the household chores such as cooking and cleaning in a well-off household. Females in Greece were controlled by the men in society from birth to death.In Rome, however, specifically under the Pax Romana, women were given greater freedom, especially in their public life. Roman women were expected to be servile to their husbands, and remained "in guardianship even when they have attained their majority" (Twelve Tables, Sindelar, p.70), but they had greater freedom in regards to the way they were treated by their male counterparts. Marriage in Roman culture was "companionate," based on the equality in marriage today (King, p.164), but as in Greek society, wives were often confined to their homes and expected to complete domestic tasks. Women, especially those of the upper classes, were permitted to attend public events as their husband's companion. Rome, under the Pax Romana, unlike Greece, was not seen as a male-only world. In the city itself, women did not have an official role, but "they were often used as the cement in political alliances" (Women in Roman Politics, Sindelar, p.67). Though the domestic lives of women in Greek and RomanLike women, slaves played an integral role in keeping Greek and Roman...

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