The Changing Role Of Women In Ancient Civilizations

2594 words - 10 pages

Henrik Ibsen once said, “A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view.”(Notable Quotes) Ibsen’s statement exemplifies what life was like for women during ancient times. In many of the organized ancient civilizations, it was very common to find a primarily patriarchal civilization in government as well as in society. The causing factors can be attributed to different reasons, the main being the Neolithic Revolution and the new found dependence on manpower it caused. As a result of this, a woman found herself to be placed into an entirely different view in the eye of society. In comparison to the early Paleolithic matriarchal societies, the kinds of changes that came about for women due to the introduction of agriculture are shocking. Since the beginnings of the Neolithic era, the role and rights of women in many ancient civilizations began to become limited and discriminatory as a result of their gender.
Prior to the use of agriculture, life was extremely different for women. The information that historians have obtained is limited, but there are certain aspects of Paleolithic society that have been discovered and point towards a more liberal lifestyle for women. Generally, a woman’s job was to gather food and tend to her children while her male counterpart hunted. These simple divisions allowed both men and women to play significant roles in hunter-gatherer society, which further allowed women to be held in equal if not greater esteem then men. According to Elisabeth Gaynor Ellis and Anthony Elser, authors of World History: Connections to Today, women also held religious significance in these early groups. Devotions and paintings have been found that show women in high respects as the givers of life and the glue (so to speak) of the tribe. Unfortunately, the sharp instincts and intelligences of these early women in a way became their downfall, for many historians and archeologists accredit women with the discovery of farming. It is their belief that, while gathering foods for their tribes, women realized the connection between leaving seeds in the ground and the growth of plants. For a while these simple methods of farming were carried out by women, however, as more advancements were made in agriculture it was realized that farming could no longer be performed solely by women, as it demanded large amounts of strength that a woman wasn’t physically capable of. In addition, farming demanded large amounts of time so it began to become an expectation that a woman would remain home and take care of the house and children while her husband worked out in the fields. (Ellis 9) In his article “The Worst Mistake Made in History,” Jared Diamond discusses how women were no longer able to work as effectively, as it was expected of them to have more children, so their bodies as well as...

Find Another Essay On The Changing Role of Women in Ancient Civilizations

Changing Role of Women in Archie Comics

2859 words - 11 pages its eventual challenge of the position of men as the dominant sex, and in its inclusion of previously marginalized sexual orientations? Archie Comics has mirrored changing gender norms in its portrayal of the role of women in contemporary American society, in its eventual challenge of the position of men as the dominant sex, and in its inclusion of previously marginalized sexual orientations.   Summary of Evidence Archie first made its

The Role of Women in Ancient Greek Art.

920 words - 4 pages The investigation of the role of women in the Art of ancient Greece is complex because artists were affected both by the art of the past and the women that they saw around them every day. There is one certainty and that is that the influence of the various roles evident produced some of the greatest art ever. The purpose of this page is to investigate the various influences that women had and provide information to help the understanding of this

Role of Women in Ancient Roman Society

1496 words - 6 pages were allowed more freedoms than in many other ancient civilizations. Research: This paper will explore the historical research that indicates what roles women were allowed to play in Rome, including the Ellis textbook for some of the basic facts. Additional research information comes from another book by Bauman which contained some more detailed information on the topic of the role of women in government and politics in Rome. I also used three

Role of Women in Ancient Societies

787 words - 3 pages Role Of Women In Ancient SocietiesIt is February 14, 2005. Being a female student at the University of Southern Mississippiis a very simple task. Just get up, go to class, and learn everything possible in order to becomesuccessful in life. Some days people, especially females, take for granted the value of thiseducation. It is one of the many things that establishes superiority in this world we live in. Nolonger do we worry about gender

Thr role of women in ancient times

1122 words - 4 pages The Role of Women in Ancient GreeceWomen in Classical Ancient Greece held an inferior social position to men. Although they were prominent in the Greek Mythology and writing such as Sophocles' Antigone, the average woman stayed at home, spinning and weaving and doing household chores. They never acted as hostesses when their husbands had parties and were seen in public only at the theater and certain religious festivals. Women were prominent in

Role of Women in Ancient Sparta

1230 words - 5 pages of women to Sparta compared to their ancient Greek counterparts.- As wealth in Sparta revolved around landownership, the women played a very important role in the transfer of property.- During the classical period of Sparta, a woman could inherit part of her family's estate. She did not own it, but they had complete control over it and basically ran the estate. By the end of this period, women could not own and could not control the estate

The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

894 words - 4 pages The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey Women as Citizens For this informative report I will attempt to point out the roles women and how they are viewed in ancient Greece. I will then show how these views are present in Homer’s "The Odyssey." How are women, goddess or mortal, conveyed in "The Odyssey?" "The Odyssey" was written around 700 BC during the Archaic period (750 – 550 BC). This was a time of

role of women in ancient greece and egypt

2379 words - 10 pages The Role of Women in Ancient Greece and Egypt Throughout history, most societies held women in an inferior status compared to that of men. This was often justified as being the natural result of biological differences between the sexes. In many societies, for example, people believed women to be more emotional and less decisive than men. Women were also viewed to be less intelligent and less creative by nature. However, research shows that

Is the Ever-Changing Role of Women Affecting Marriages?

1279 words - 5 pages Is the ever-changing role of women affecting marriages? It used to be normal for a little girl to have the 1950’s housewife fantasy in her head because it is all she knew (Loh). She wants to grow up and marry a rich man who will kiss her on the cheek each morning as he heads out the door to his office. She then cleans the kitchen, makes lunch for the kids, gets the children off to school and the rest of the day is filled with laundry and chores

Australia during World War 2: Wartime government controls and the changing role of women.

1535 words - 6 pages injuries preventing them from fighting which also lead to an increase in demand for Australian troops.Changing Role of WomenThe role of women in Australia dramatically changed in the 2nd world war. Women's roles changed for several reasons and these changes generally had a positive effect on the lives of Australian women. Women were enthusiastic in volunteering their service to help Australia in the war. Women's lives were also affected during the

What is the role of women in Classical Ancient Greece, and how are they represented in the play 'Antigone' by Sophocles?"

1110 words - 4 pages Women in Classical Ancient Greece (5th Century BC) held an inferior social position to men. Although they were prominent in the Greek Mythology (Goddess of Wisdom Athena, Goddess of the Hunt Artemis) and writing such as Sophocles' Antigone (441 BC), the average woman stayed at home, spinning and weaving and doing household chores.They never acted as hostesses when their husbands had parties and were seen in public only at the theater (tragic but

Similar Essays

The Role Of Scribes In Ancient Civilizations

1746 words - 7 pages From the early Bronze Age (3500 BCE) to near the end of the Iron Age (0AD), civilizations appeared and then slowly dissolved. In all of these civilizations there was one class in common, the scribe, someone who can read and write. Scribes played a pivotal role in ancient civilizations, they were the reason we advanced throughout those ages, and against general belief, some of these scribes were women. The scribal class in Mesopotamia emerged

Women In Ancient Civilizations Essay

1289 words - 5 pages The role of women in different civilizations, even though on different spectrums of the world, had many similarities and only a few differences. Women in these four civilizations: Greece, Egypt, China, and India faced many of the same hardships, struggles, and prejudices. Some of this treatment of women didn’t even end until present day (1920’s). In some of these civilizations women were able to rise up somewhat in their communities but it

The Role Of Women In Ancient Egypt

896 words - 4 pages the average women in this society. Achieving A reversal of this unawareness is done by explaining the role of the average Egyptian woman in the family, the legal rights of women, and the role of women in the temples.In Ancient Egypt the main purpose for women was to marry and to reproduce. 'To marry and beget children may have been the duty of every right-thinking Egyptian, but it was a duty which was very much welcome.' (Tyldesley 1994). There

The Changing Role And Status Of Women In Britain

2466 words - 10 pages The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain 1. Explain why women failed to gain the right to vote between 1900 and 1914. In the twentieth century women’s role in society was hugely different to what it is today. Women were regarded as being inferior to men and were treated as such. Although girls were given a compulsory state education 1870, few went to university and those who did were not awarded a