The Role Of Women In Ancient Societies

810 words - 4 pages

The role of women in ancient societies
Throughout ancient history the role of women in their respective societies has been varied from culture to culture. Some cultures viewed women as equals. Others viewed women as inferior. I will explore the roles these women played in ancient society.
Some of our earliest know ancestors were people know as hunter/gatherers. These individuals were constantly on the move in search of food and supplies. Because of this nomadic lifestyle, each person played an equally vital role in survival, regardless of sex. Men were generally seen as the hunters and women the gatherers. Fast forward to 5900 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia and things began to look much different.
Women’s rights in Mesopotamia were not equal to those of men. However, during early periods women were free to go out to the marketplace, own and sell property, attend to legal matters for their absent men, and engage in business for themselves. Women of higher status, such as priestesses and members of royal families, might learn to read and write and be given considerable administrative authority. Various powerful goddesses were worshipped and in some cities were the primary deities. However, women’s position varied between cities and changed over time.
In Egypt, women enjoyed unusual freedoms that were uncommon during ancient times. Both men and women had the right to own and sell property, make contracts, defend themselves and act as witnesses, marry and divorce, and pursue legal disputes in court. Married couples could own property jointly and protect themselves from divorce by agreeing to marriage contracts, which stipulated the financial obligations of the husband to his wife and children should the marriage end. Women were not allowed to undergo formal scribal training and were barred from holding high office, apart from that of priestess and queen. However, as time progressed and Egyptian society made it’s way into the New Kingdom, women began to play a bigger role in politics. One of the most remarkable reigns in Egypt’s history was led by a woman, Hatshepsut. This was significant in ancient times because a woman yielding such political power was extremely rare.
In Assyrian society, women’s role was less favorable. Although the Assyrians modeled their laws on the code of Hammurabi, they took a much more patriarchal stance and revised the laws accordingly. Now only husbands had the power of divorce, and they were legally permitted to...

Find Another Essay On The Role of Women in Ancient Societies

The Changing Role of Women in Ancient Civilizations

2594 words - 10 pages 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

Role of Women in Ancient Roman Society

1496 words - 6 pages Introduction: The role of women in ancient Rome is not easily categorized; in some ways they were treated better than women in ancient Greece, but in other matters they were only allowed a very modest degree of rights and privileges. One thing that does seem clear is that as the city-state of Rome evolved from its early days into a more complex society; women were not always limited to secondary roles. In some areas of Roman society, women

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

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

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

Religious and Domestic Role of Women in Ancient Rome

1248 words - 5 pages During the rise and fall of the roman republic the social role women played in society had its influence in religion and in the domestic sphere. A woman’s social status at home changed very drastically, however, her role and duties were relatively static. Religiously few legal steps were taken towards women’s equality and a patriarchal system remained intact. The original laws and customs that determined the social structure of the roman

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

The Roles of Women in Different Societies

1298 words - 5 pages in Buddhism have a more positive than negative role. Buddha has encouraged Dharma(the teaching of the Buddha) to both men and women and he made sure that everyone understands that the differences between men and women are meaningless. During the first few years of Buddhism women were treated the same as they are in Brahmanic societies. They were dominated by men. Buddha created a new way of living but he was still living in a society that has

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

Religion in Ancient Societies

828 words - 3 pages in many societies such as Mesopotamians, Egyptians and the Greeks. The similarity of all three ancient societies was that it was a polytheistic religion but the differences were their centers, physical orientation of gods and the jobs of the divine right. Centers were extraordinary sacred places, which was one of the functions that made up a civilization. It was a place where all the important things occurred. Centers were made up of expensive

Similar Essays

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

Women In Ancient Societies Essay

2097 words - 8 pages women and girls were distinct in the ancient world for the liberty and rights they enjoyed and the position they held in society. Compared to their counterparts in Greek, Roman and other ancient societies, they were allowed much freedom of activity and protection under the law. On the contrary, in Ancient China, girls were brought up to be quiet and obedient to their fathers and brothers while sons were considered an honour to a Chinese family

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 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