The Role of Women in Ancient Rome

Abstracts

Hello everyone! For our second blog post, we decided to create a song together with creative lyric video on role of women in the Roman Empire. Life of women in Rome was uneasy that it was almost unthinkable that women secured appointments and Rome was very much a male dominated society. Women’s life was decided upon their social class and age, and the strive for freedom grew bigger and bigger, but men detest and even objected their freedom. The first Roman emperor, Augustus, was one of them. He legislated several new laws that are unfair to women and even sacrificed his own daughter, Julia.

The song is written through the perspective of a middle class widow living in Rome, questioning the laws of society while demanding for the freedom that she deserves. By providing a visual and auditory piece we have composed, we aim to teach viewers about how women were treated compared to men in ancient Rome and how they long for freedom while men testify against it. Women today have equal rights as men and enjoy freedom without sexual discrimination, and we believe that it is attributed to women in ancient time who made a constant effort for the fight for gender equality. Although women in the Roman Republic were restricted due to the oppressing laws, they yearn for freedom and equal social class, causing a huge uproar in society. We sincerely hope that everyone will be able to learn something through the sounds of this melody. Please enjoy.

 

Youtube

 

Song (lyrics)

It wasn’t easy to live as a girl

In the Roman Empire where I was under control

Of people like my father and the man that I have wed at the age of ten,

With a price that I had to pay

 

It wasn’t something that I would have chose

To be moving into someone else’s home

But I did what was right in my time, where girls had no say

In life but it shouldn’t be this way

 

Oh Augustus, why must you reform the society to make it so wrong?

You even hurt your own child, banished Julia to the ground

Oh why can’t you just be fair all around?

 

When my husband had died due to the fighting of a war,

I had a deadline to remarry someone

After two years he had passed,

I couldn’t even mourn his death

 

As a widow, I managed to learn

To be independent and had my own career

But there were no rights to vote or to have my own name

Why did it have to be this way?

 

Oh Augustus, why must you reform the society to make it so wrong?

You even hurt your own child, banished Julia to the ground

Oh why can’t you just be fair all around?

 

Before the deadline, I was married again

To a man that I met while I was at work

But he always drank as though he was a bachelor

So I wanted to leave

 

But he had threatened to bar me from kids

If I chose to divorce, that’s the price I had to pay

So I stayed in this unhappy union

To remain a mom to my most important gifts

 

Oh Augustus, why must you reform the society to make it so wrong?

You even hurt your own child, banished Julia to the ground

Oh why can’t you just be fair all around?

 

References

Cartwright, M. (2014 February, 22). The role of women in the Roman world. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.ancient.eu/article/659/

History Travels with Nancy Padgett: Seeing History. (2015 August, 04). Women in ancient Rome: Legal rights. Retrieved from http://travelswithnancy.com/women-ancient-rome/law-&-identity.htm

Public Broadcasting Service. (n.d.). Gladiators. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/gladiators.html

Public Broadcasting Service. (n.d.). Slaves & freemen. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/slaves_freemen.html

Public Broadcasting Service. (n.d.). Women. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/women.html

Simkin, J. (1997 September). Paul of Tarsus. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved from http://spartacus-educational.com/ROMtarsus.htm

Simkin, J. (1997 September). The Roman Empire. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved from http://spartacus-educational.com/ROMempire.htm

Simkin, J. (1997 September). Women in the Roman Empire. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved from http://spartacus-educational.com/ROMwomen.htm

Thompson, J.C. (2010 July). Julia, daughter of Augustus. WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. Retrieved from http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/julia,%20daughter%20of%20augustus.htm

Thompson, J.C. (2010 July). Patria potestas: The law and the reality for women. WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. Retrieved from http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/patriapotestas.htm

Thompson, J.C. (2010 July). Women and slavery in ancient Rome. WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. Retrieved from http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/women%20and%20slavery%20in%20ancient%20rome.htm

Thompson, J.C. (2010 July). Women in ancient Rome. WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. Retrieved from http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/women_in_ancient_rome.htm