Through research I have concluded that there are differences and similarities in Greek and Roman families. I hope to prove this fact in the following essay. The Greek family was mostly a nuclear family. It usually consisted of a husband, wife, and their children. The family was considered part of an economic unit. Their primary function in life was to make new citizens. The male of the household was the only person to take part in a social life. Most males thought they owned the polis, the town they lived. They controlled the government and everyone in it.
Women were permitted to go to festivals or join religious cults, but they werent permitted to join in political events or be outside the household without an escort. There were exceptions to this if the family was too poor to have slaves to do the shopping. Women were allowed to own small personal items, but not Harper 2 property. Womens main purpose was to keep up the household and to have children. Women received no formal education but they may have a tutor when they were young. They were taught how to do the work expected of them when they were young. Women were also permitted to attend festivals of some kind or a funeral.
They were also expected to make all the clothes, blankets and other cloth items. Women were usually married between the ages of 14 and 15. Womens lives were greatly eased if the family had slaves. Then the womens main duties were to watch the slaves to make sure they did the housework. The slaves jobs would include making clothes, farming, shopping and any other task that was needed that day. In Greek life there was a strong presentence of homosexuality. This relationship was usually between a young male and an older man. The older male supposedly taught the younger male about the Greek way of life.
It is suggested that a common man did not practice in homosexuality. (Spielvogel, Jackson. 1999 pp. 63-64) The Roman families had some similarities and some differences from the Greeks. The dominant male of the family was the paterfamilias he headed the Roman family and kept legal control of his wife and daughter. Unlike the Greeks this household included the paterfamilias, his wife, his sons, his sons wifes, and their children and slaves. The paterfamilias made sure that the religious ceremonies were followed correctly Harper 3 and he ruled over the family. If the paterfamilias died then the oldest male of the family took over.
Then he was the legal guardian of the females. As in the Greek world men thought women were weak and should stay in the household, although some women were starting to become successful poets and artists. All fathers arranged their daughters weddings. When married a womens legal control went from her father to her husband. Women had to have legal control by a male until the first century. Then they were married with their fathers legal control. When most women were married the fathers were dead so the women obtained her personal legal control. They could decide what to do and they may own property to make this possible.
This allowed for divorces to take place, but they werent introduced until the third century. Women were legally allowed to be married at age 12, but doctors documented that they advised against this act. Just like the Greek world most women were married between the ages of 14 and 15. Most upper class families provided formal education for their daughters rather than as seen in the Greek life. Some of the upper class families bought tutors for their daughters. Women in upper class families had much more freedom and control than others. They were usually not allowed to enter a post school career.