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Godesses,Whores,Wives,And Slav Essay

1172 words - 5 pages

Sarah Pomeroy asked herself the question, "What were women doing while men were active in all the areas traditionally emphasized by classical scholars?." This question is the reason for her book Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves, Women in Classical Antiquity. Pomeroy basically wanted to write a book to tell what women were doing during Greek and Roman times. This is the first book written in English devoted entirely to the subject. Pomeroy covers about fifteen hundred years starting during Bronze Age and ends with the death of Constantine in A.D. 337. The book is broken down into ten chapters that start with Goddesses and Gods and then travels through time progressing to the women of Rome ...view middle of the document...

To remain a citizen, a woman had to either marry a citizen or not marry at all. There were also slave women. Slave women worked around the house and most male slaves were sent to work and die in the mines. Woman slaves were wet nurses, housekeepers and baby-sitters. Women slaves were also subject to sexual relations with the man of the house. A free man could have sexual intercourse with his wife, his slaves, and with other males without fear of punishment. A woman, on the other hand, could only have sexual intercourse with her husband. From the time a woman is even starting in life in her mother's womb she will suffer at the hand of males. If a female survived abortion, it was up to the father on whether or not to keep her. Females were seen as a burden or just another cost to the father. Male children were needed at all times, there was hardly doubt about letting a male child live unless the child was weak or sickly. Females were only needed for baring children, making clothing and taking care of the homestead. When a daughter was ready for marriage around the age of fourteen, her father would have to supply her with a dowry, if a father had several daughters that meant several dowries, so fathers often chose to kill females at birth.Females were used to gain power through marriages to sons of prominent men. If a woman that was already in a wealthy family she usually would marry a family relative to keep the wealth and land within the family. As you can see women were thought of as property throughout their lives. The daily life of a woman in the Archaic period was to take care of potential soldiers or command a slave with the task. She would make clothing along with her slaves all day, prepare meals and bathe their husbands. Women in other cities did not have to work as much but didn't have any other privileges either. Women were not taught like the males, they weren't even given the same amount of food as males. Boys went to schools to learn rhetoric and also exercise, women were not formally taught. As far as political power, women had none. Only free citizen men had authority. Women were given some legal...

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