Paterfamilias In Ancient Rome

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In many modern societies, such as the United States, increased numbers of women joined the workforce and are actively participating in political matters. However, women were not always able to do so. History and women often create a negative image, especially referring to societies that practiced paterfamilias. Two big examples of paterfamilias societies were ancient Rome and ancient China. A society surrounding paterfamilias values meant men controlled households, fulfilled political duties, and essentially ruled countries. Women existed as a man’s property and as house keepers. Women were not allowed to have a place in political office, creating an improbability for women to influence the ruling of a country. However, improbable does not…show more content…
People would be separated into two categories: Patricians and Plebeians. Patricians were the upper class, this included members of the senate and their family. People were often born into upper class by blood. Plebeians were the lower class, this included the commoners, Latins, foreigners, freed people, and slaves. Women per se were included into social classes but was considered the husband’s social role.1 Women married young in the Roman Republic, leaving their home and authority of her father into her husband’s. Women were not allowed to hold public office or become government workers nor allowed to wander around alone outside. Although these restrictions gave women a sense of slavery; Aristotle explains women were apart from slaves. Women were different from slaves “naturally.” Slaves received less respect than women and were workforce property. Basically, by law, the wife’s status was similar to the husband’s daughter. Despite the strict laws of women completely being out of the public law, during the beginning of the Empire many men sought their wives’ advice. One good old example is Livia and…show more content…
Livia was able to be politically influence through Augustus in secret. Due to ancient Roman law and etiquette, Livia had limitations. She never went into public affairs, “she never ventured to enter the senate-chamber or the camps or the public assemblies…” , however people still came to greet her in her house. Livia’s greatly influenced Augustus in private and portrayed the “perfect” Roman woman in public. Roman women were able to shape Rome through their sons. After Augustus’ death, Tiberius took over. This handed Livia the opportunity to influence Rome through her son. Her nickname was “Mother of her Country” because many of Romans believed she had saved the lives of many children and their daughter’s marriage settlement. Livia was able to secretly manipulate politics in Rome as a mother and a wife, as seen in honorific statues. Her death brought a whole year of mourning showing her great influence in Roman society as a woman. This shows Livia was favored even in a society of male dominant

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