The Role of Women During the Renaissance Period In stark contrast with the role of women in society today, the role of women during the Renaissance period was very limited. For most women, the best they could hope for, and the only thing they were conditioned to aspire to was to marry. The destiny of most women were to find a man, marry him and bear his children.
Not a single female voice echoes through history, telling the tale of her gender and how they felt about their position in society. Instead there are only resoundingly masculine voices, portraying expectations and conveying women as either the failure or satisfaction of these.
It is possible to look to Roman literature and pieces written by Pliny, Cicero, Livy and others to get the most accurate view of women, but one can also turn to portraits and sculptures, mostly of goddesses, which are key in deciphering what values women were expected to embody.
A plethora of eulogies allow us to understand how women were memorialized and remembered by those they left behind and certain telling elements of Roman architecture offer us a window in to the daily lives of Roman women. Such constructions as the Roman house, which provides no separate quarters for women, reveal the extent to which male and female lives were integrated in the private sphere.
Most importantly in understanding Roman women, Role of women in ancient societies essay, we have Roman legend which established in no uncertain terms the expectations that women were expected to fulfill and the virtues that they were demanded to exemplify. What sets legend apart from the other sources with the exception of sculpture, in itself a physical representation of legend is that Roman women themselves would have been very aware of the messages that the legends were intended to impress upon them.
The significance of legend and virtues in establishing the morals and essence of the Roman Empire was equally applicable to its significance in dictating the expectations for Roman women.
The virtues and expectations portrayed in Roman legend were consistent throughout the existence of Ancient Rome.
The virtues that would have stood, larger than life, for all women to observe and respect can be summarized in three Roman terms: Pietas, meaning piety, was expected of all Roman citizens but was particularly important for women.
This virtue is exemplified when we see statues that portray women with their heads covered. Pudicita can be considered the cardinal virtue of a woman in Rome and is slightly more complex than piety.
Pudicita was a mix of chasity, modesty, sexual fidelity and most importantly fertility. Particularly following BCE, when women had the right to own their own property, harmonious equality became the rule in Roman households. As was previously discussed, these ruling virtues were displayed most obviously in Roman legend.
All of these virtues were embodied by historic women, most of whom are familiar to all who have studied Rome. The first of these women were the Sabines who were kidnapped away from their men at the festival of Consuelia and were raped to become the first mothers and wives of the Roman Empire.
These women are forever credited in helping to launch the Roman Empire in the 8th century BCE and are remembered mainly in the context of the battle which occurred eight years after their original kidnapping.
When the Sabine men returned for their women and entered Rome the women themselves protected the city of Rome and its male inhabitants, urging both parties to abandon the fight as their brothers and fathers on one side and husbands on the other. In this way the women exemplified the balance that was expected of their gender: Based on their interference in the battle, the Sabine women have forever stood for endurance, courage, perseverance and honor.
It is important to note that these particular virtues are not gender specific, and in this way the women set the bar for not only the females but also the males of the Roman Empire. The Sabines are also significant in that they are respected as the mothers of Roman society.
This is important as an explanation to the respect that was due to all Roman women as mothers: Lucretia was the picture of the ideal Roman woman. She was chaste, modest, loyal to her husband; famously, she sat at home knitting while other women went to dinner parties.
In true Italian fashion, the family was to come before the individual and the woman was expected to kill herself. This seems harsh to us today but was a norm in the past. What is also notable about Lucretia is that she shaped Roman history; the ensuing revenge that her friends took on the Tarquinius family, ended their tyrannical rule and gave birth to the Roman Republic.
It is important to take note of the way in which women, Lucretia and the Sabines, are regarded as essential figures in the unfolding of Roman history. Women abound in Roman legend. In an act of extreme courage and self-sacrifice for the state, Cloelia offered to return herself to Porsenna.
He was so impressed that he granted her her freedom and in addition allowed her to bring friends back to the empire with her. Instead of taking her female compatriots with her, Cloelia recognized that the Romans needed warriors and left her friends behind in exchange for the freedom of male hostages.
In direct opposition to the example set by Cloelia, Tarpaeia stood as her antithesis. Tarpaeia is notorious for leading the Sabines into Rome in exchange for gold. Her unbounded greed was severely punished when the Sabines crushed her under their shields. Tarpaeia is important in that she represents the extent to which treason was intolerable to the Romans.
Her preference for personal, material wealth over the good of the state is memorialized in legend. An important aspect of this legend is that it represents the way in which men portrayed women as either virtuous or wicked.
There was no middle ground for women in the Roman Empire, all portrayals cast women at one extreme or the other.
This is slightly ironic because in reality Roman women were a balance between the extremes of other women who preceded them in antiquity: Etruscan women were treated as equals to the men in their society. They exercised beside their men, were politically ambitious, educated and renowned for their sexual promiscuity.Modern and ancient historians agree that women were especially responsive to the early ChrisS tian circles than itl the surrouring pagan societies.
In this essay I first explain how these two aspects RECONSTRUCTING THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY: THE ROLE OF WOMEN 23 1 by Eusebius are unknown (Stark , ; Stark and Bainbridge ).
The Roles of Men and Women in Ancient Greek Society Essay Sample. In most of the ancient Greek world, gender roles were fairly static throughout time and outside circumstances had little or no influence on gender construction. Essay about role of women in ancient greece and egypt Words | 10 Pages.
The Role of Women in Ancient Greece and Egypt Throughout history, most societies . The role of women in the social structure of ancient Greece is most discernible in the city-states of Athens and Greece. Plato, for example, the great Athenian philosopher, "held that women had a very poor mind but a strong emotional realm" ("Women in Ancient Greece") and thus advocated that they have their own guardian -- whether fathers.
Essays on Ancient goddesses as role models for Greco-Roman women July 10, Posted by essay-writer in Free essays In fact, Greco-Roman goddesses did not only mirror the position of women in ancient Greece and Rome, but they also served as role models which were supposed to provide ancient Greek and Roman women with models of behavior to follow.
respective roles in their societies. 2. Women were supposed to have kids and stay home to take care of the family and the household. Everywhere (Women) • Ancient Greeks’ religious practice was largely based on a give-and-take approach; people Men’s role in society was to keep the family stable, both financially and in general.