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Roman Women

  • Date Submitted: 05/06/2014 12:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.6 
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- Women and Marriage: The original form of marriage with 'manus' meant that all the goods of the wife passed to the ownership of the husband. A married woman was no longer permitted to possess anything in her own name. In the later form of marriage marriage 'without manus' only the dowry became the property of the husband. The wife remained mistress of all her other belongings and all that she might acquire

- In the home the woman was mistress and equal to her husband, joining guests at meals attending festivals etc.

- Women were allowed to go out alone and attend the theatre and gladiatorial games

Roman women were certainly restricted by many aspects o Roman Law but once they were married the enjoyed far more freedom than the Greek women did.

Marriage
Roman women entered into arranged marriages. Contracts between families were drawn up at a very early age. Young girls were therefore expected to live highly morale lives. If a girl was discovered flirting this would be seen in breach of the betrothal contract. Dowries were settled according to the wealth and status of her family. A girl from a good patrician family was seen as a good political 'catch' benefiting the aspirations of her husband. In the home the woman was mistress and equal to her husband, joining guests at meals and attending festivals etc. Wives were expected to act with some decorum and would generally sit upright during meals rather than adopt reclining positions. The wives of Romans during the period of Empire were allowed to drink wine but never to join in drinking parties. In many households it would be the wife who would oversee the slaves, ensuring the smooth running and discipline within the household. Romans allowed married women far more freedom than the Greeks, who virtually imprisoned their wives at home. Roman wives were not expected to live secluded lives and could freely receive visitors and leave the house on visits to other households or on shopping expeditions....

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