Women in the Roman Empire

1422 Words6 Pages
The role of women in the world of ancient Rome is really a fascinating topic to write about. For the most part, in this era, women were seen as objects, and far from equals. They were viewed as something pretty and valuable to around and to serve in their intended roles, but ultimately disposable. As we learned in class these roles would primarily include things such as housekeeping and child bearing1. If the women in this society, especially the women of the higher class failed at the jobs of being good wives and mothers, then you could almost guarantee that they wouldn’t be kept around very long, as we can see in countless examples from the texts. In class we learned that to own slaves was a good indicator of wealth and prestige in this time, and this was especially true if the slaves that were owned were well educated and well off. For the upper class this was for their women as well; the only exception in the women’s case was that instead of being educated in politics or the arts, they had to be well educated in “Housekeeping, child bearing and raising, chastity, submissiveness, and the ideal of being all her life univira (one-man woman)” (__). If there is one thing that hasn’t changed in history it’s the fact that when you’re in politics, your reputation is everything. If you had a good reputation and didn’t upset too many people then you could be remembered in history positively, but if just a little bit of bad stuck with you then it could very easily tarnish your entire reputation and even lead to rumors that could become the only remaining history. This is one of the reasons why it is important to take the history we have of this era with a grain of salt. Readers can never be a hundred percent sure that the historian... ... middle of paper ... ...na are true, but it is safe to say that her husband the emperor some of them because she was exectuted for her crimes against him. Conclusion To get to the point of my research on this question. Women were only really remembered in history on the facts of if they were virtous or filled with vice. We see it the women in Augustu’s family, and the women who would be compared to them. History doesn’t remember the grey areas, in ancient history things can be black and white a lot of the time. After, learning what I have I think the reason that women of this time were remembered as one or the other, is because they were used as teaching tools for other women. If you were good like Octavia, or Livia, then you will be remembered as a good mother, and have a good place in history. However if you were like Julia or Messalina then you are most likely going to be killed.
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