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The Roles of Women in Ancient Rome and in the Middle Ages

Powerful Essays
Historical Research Project

Plan of Investigation

This investigation attempts to answer the question, ‘To what extent are the roles of women in Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages similar and different?’ The question is important because it discusses the prominent roles that women played in society during those time periods. Women had important parts in both cultures, including being workers, business owners, wives, and powerful social and political figures. The Ancient Romans states that “Ancient Rome existed from about 2000 - 1000 BC to about 680 AD.” The empire was already crumbling by 476 AD, with tribes invading from the North and East. When the government fell, the Middle Ages began. The Middle Ages rose in the 1300’s and lasted roughly 1000 years. Both the Middle Ages and Ancient Rome took place in Europe and were both centered in Italy. This examination will be accomplished through an in-depth analysis of women and their contributions to society in Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages.

Summary of Evidence

Ancient Rome existed from about 2000 - 1000 BC to about 680 AD. Men primarily controlled all of Rome and were the main aspect of society. Women were never allowed to hold political positions or vote during any period of roman history, but they still had some influence in society. The richer Patrician women that were closely related to political men such as the wife, mother, sister, or daughter of the emperor, had a great influence in politics. Few other women had high positions in society. It was rare for any woman to hold a job such as a doctor or a painter. Most lower class women worked as wives and mothers in the home. Roman society believed that women embodied all the values of their culture including courage, ...

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...s train with them. All of these roles are equally significant and the women who played them contributed to their civilizations greatly.

Bibliography

BBC. “Roman Women: Following the Clues.” Last modified March 3, 2011.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/roman_women_01.shtml.

British Library. “Learning Medieval Realms: Women.” Accessed April 9, 2014.

http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/medieval/women2/medievalwomen.html.

Dean, Ruth, and Melissa Thomson. Women of the Middle Ages. Michigan: Lucent Books, 2003.

History Learning Site. “Medieval Women.” Accessed April 14, 2014.

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_women.htm.

Lassieur, Allison. The Ancient Romans. Canada: Scholastic Inc., 2004

PBS. “The Roman Empire: Women.” Accessed April 7, 2014.

http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/women.html.
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