Roman Women As Rational Human Beings

1462 words - 6 pages

Some said that women should only stay in the house and keep quiet. Others said they should be restricted of expanding their knowledge. Was this out of fear? Or was this because men did not view women as intelligent human beings? Few people recognized how essential women really were to the society because prostitutes affected the reputation of women in Ancient Rome, but those who did recognize this believed in the opportunities that the women offered. After careful thought and consideration, women were recognized as rational human beings for three leading reasons. Their vital role in the Roman society as well as within their households, notable performances in the workforce, and their praiseworthy behaviour are all major reasons why the Ancient Romans perceived the women as rational human beings.
The fundamental role that Roman women played within the Roman society is the first reason as to why the women in ancient Rome were perceived as sensible human beings. Within Roman society the young women were constantly faced with several daunting tasks, having to face them after a sudden transition from a young girl to a mature woman. This quick transition forced the women to, in a way, abandon their teen-age years, a critical growing and maturing period in a young women’s life. A young roman girl would all of a sudden have to take on all the difficult and important responsibilities that come with them becoming a wife in their teenage years, a mother and even evolve into a respected Roman matrona. Even though women received very little formal education, they were still able to overcome such tasks in such short periods of time. Pliny spoke of a young woman, wise beyond her years saying “She had not yet completed her thirteenth year, and yet she had the judgment of a mature women and the dignity of a matron, but the sweetness of a little girl and the modesty of a young maiden.” . This proves that these young women were able to adapt the necessary qualities to further progress into becoming a respected, matured adult woman. As these young maturing women aged, they developed new skills and attributes to aid the household under any circumstance. With Roman men being constantly sanctioned to their military obligations, it was up to the women to take on the man’s duties, as well as continuing to complete their own. In having little to no previous experience or knowledge in performing these duties, “in a small household, a wife’s ability to estimate the family’s usage … could mean the difference between survival and starvation.” This shows that the Roman women had to not only learn how to preform these tasks but also to execute them in a manor that would ensure their family would continue to function and thrive. Whether young or fully matured, Roman women were able to display that they performed in a vital role to Roman society as well as within their households, which proves why they there were perceived to be rational human beings.
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