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Women in Antiquity 15.docx

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CLAS 2051
Fiona Black

The Roman Republic  as far as social processes go, many last through the changing empire  early stories may be complete fabrications to support a change of government, or embellished to encourage a certain notion of what Rome stands for  note: lots of wars and military campaigns in 3rd century BCE- pushing boundaries of Roman empire, leaving a significant difference in the male/female ratio  men constantly leaving on campaign, leaving women at home to take care of the house, slaves, investments, farming, also to some extent, some political areas- vacuum created- de facto put in charge of political and social areas of the government  by default, then, women have more liberties than in Athens  later authors may have fabricated the laws of Romulus, possible that later politicians considered themselves lenient compared to the time of Romulus  because the ancestors did it this way, this is the right way to do it- The Twelve Tablets (c. 450 BCE)All notably deformed children are to be immediately killed. Women, even though they are full of age, because of their levity of mind shall be under guardianship...except Vestal Virgins, who... shall be free from guardianship. Women's possessions can be given by the woman herself with the authorization of her (male) guardian. If anyone who has no direct male heir dies intestate, the nearest male agnate shall have the estate. Women shall not tear their cheeks or shall not make a sorrowful outcry at funerals. o anecdotes of the punishment of wives:  Egnatius Metellus- beat his wife to death for drinking wine  Gaius Sulpicius Gallus- divorced his wife for not covering her head out of doors "The law prescribes for you my eyes alone to which you may prove your beauty...If you, with needless provocation, invite the look of anyone else, you must be suspected of wrongdoing."  Ius liberorum- Augustus reformed- in doing so, Augustus guaranteed that women were "doing their part" in society by producing legitimate children- Law of Children- if a free woman (Roman who was never a slave) has three children, she no longer needs a guardian; if a free
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