Family life in ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece
Family life in ancient mesopotamia and ancient greece
In general, family life in both Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece were both very patriarchal - Family life in ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece introduction. Men were deemed as the head of the family but women were supposed to manage the household matters. Basically, the assignment of familial roles is very much in line with the societal roles assigned for the gender. In Ancient Mesopotamia, men were supposed to take relevant social positions among the work force, the religious sector or the war force. As for women, they were supposed to stay at home and give birth to sons. (Fiero, Ch.1 “Mesopotamia: “Land Between the Rivers”) Such gender expectation could also be observed among the men in Ancient Greece.
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Also, family life in ancient Mesopotamia was largely influenced by their social economic classification. This means that familial interaction was largely dependent on economic standing and the financial ability of the family. Basically, the treatment and the delineation of the gender roles in the familial setting were based on the level of wealth and power of the family members. (Fiero, Ch.1 “Mesopotamia: “Land Between the Rivers”)
For example, men from wealthy families are considered as the head of their family. They should be more concerned with providing honor, dignity, and wealth to the family. As for their female counterparts, they were supposed to provide harmony within the household, supervise the slaves, and gain social approval and recognition from the society by interacting with other women that share the same status. However, men from lower social statuses should be concerned with earning a living for their family and defending their society. Typically, women from lower social statuses had more freedom to interact with unrelated men than women that below to upper classes, especially the slaves. The same familial roles could be observed among the familial life in Ancient Greece. (Fiero, Ch. 2, Ancient Greek Civilization)
Fiero, Gloria K., Landmarks in Humanities. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.