Mason Any historical investigation into the lives of ancient women involves individual interpretation and much speculation. One can read the ancient sources concerned with women and their place in society, but to a large degree, they are all secondary sources that were written by men about women.
The role that women performed in Iron Age Celtic societies was most likely similar to that of other societies in the past as daughters, wives, mothers and priestesses.
The idea that Celtic women could also be queens and leaders of war bands, might not come as a surprise to modern historians, but to the Greek and Roman men who witnessed and recorded the exploits of these women it was considered abnormal for them to act publically and autonomously.
The primary source documents from historians Gaius Julius Caesar and Publius Cornelius Tacitus will provide the majority of literary evidence for this study, with supporting evidence from the works of Strabo, Plutarch, Polybius, Cassius Dio and Diodorus Siculus also considered.
In addition to the literary evidence, Celtic, Roman and Germanic art and archaeology of the Iron Age will be consulted to provide to support or refute the claims of ancient writers where available. Throughout this study recourse will be made to Boudicca of the Iceni as the ancient sources provide a record of her performing most of the roles assessed.
The role of women in the most basic sense comes down to mothers and daughters and though it is difficult to determine which should come first, this essay will begin with Celtic and Germanic women as daughters.
As daughters, Celtic and Germanic women can fit into almost all of the roles assessed by this study. It can be suggested that Celtic and Germanic women were in a position to assist their families in regards to politics and community. The most well-known of Celtic daughters, are those of Queen Boudicca and King Prasutagus of the British Iceni tribe, who had, since the invasion in AD43 become clients on behalf of the whole tribe to the emperor of Rome.
According to Tacitus, when Prasutagus died, in an effort to control the future of his family and tribe, he bequeathed half of his estate to his daughters and the remainder to the Roman emperor Nero.
Another aspect of Celtic daughters aiding the position of their family is via political alliances gained through inter-tribal marriages, which places Celtic and Germanic women in the role of wives.
To Caesar, this study owes its knowledge of Celtic inter-tribal marriage. In the Gallic Wars Caesar describes a network of inter-tribal alliances existing between the Aedui and other tribes of Gaul through the marriages of female relatives.
Of famous British wives Tacitus provides source information for not only Boudicca but also the only surviving literary source for Cartimandua of the Brigantes.
Although both Celtic women were Queens and the wives of male Britons, there is a difference in the way which Tacitus reports on their status as wives.
In regards to Boudicca, he introduces her to his narrative as the wife widow of Prasutagus and mother to his children, before any other role she may be responsible for is presented. In the case of Cartimandua however, he depicts her as a wife because she has two husbands or consorts, although not at the same time.
Support for the idea of the sexual freedom of British women can been seen in the discourse of Caesar on Britons. Caesar, Gallic Wars, 1. Bohn, MobileRefence ebook.
He then goes on to qualify that the aforementioned wife-sharing usually takes place within a familiar unit, brother and fathers sharing wives. The first is that British women, when they married a particular man, become the property of his family to be shared around at the leisure of the men.
The second interpretation is that British women had more sexual freedom than Roman men are used to, thereby exercising their choice on the men closest to them on a daily basis and Caesar misunderstood what he was witnessing. Of Germanic marriage gifts, Tacitus has something to say. Suggesting that Germanic wives are less of a possession to their husbands he describes their dower rules of Germanic man bestowing on their wife to be certain marriage gifts believed to represent a partnership in life symbolised by work and weapons.
Caesar also describes a sum of money which the men and women of Gaul each bring to their marriages, which may symbolise partnership.
Tacitus describes German men and women as being chaste until they made their marital match and excepting in the case of sovereignty where more 7 Caesar, Gallic Wars, 5: With his praise of Germanic chastity and faithfulness it can be suggested that Tacitus means to highlight in irony the opposite behaviour of Romans in relation to marriage.
On the subject of the marital faith of Celtic wives, both Polybius and Plutarch have a story to relate in regards to Chiomara the wife Ortiagon of the Galations.The played essay the in roman role catholic that church medieval europe the relationship between the Catholic Church and science is a widely debated subject.
Grammar essay band school, University, Guild and private tuition for men and women and the church. Roman Woman Profile Essay Words | 5 Pages Roman Woman Profile The sculpture that we have observed has been dated to the first half of the first century C.E.
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Roman Woman Profile - Roman Woman Profile The sculpture that we have observed has been dated . By the age of twenty, 59% of Roman women were married and 26% would already have at least one living child. It is revealing to consider that there is not one record of an unmarried, aristocratic Roman woman in the time of the Republic.
Wifely responsibilities only intensified when the Roman Republic became an Empire under Augustus. In the ancient Roman culture, women played prominent roles. Ideally, a woman in Roman society’s right to act independently was restricted by legal norms, but in reality, women found ways to influence home life, marriage, and overall society.
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