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One of the arguments for the apparent restrictive segments of the NT regarding women has been the model of Roman society. Women in Roman society, we are told, were limited and under the control of the husband.

A 1911 book suggests otherwise.

many things that among the Greeks are considered improper and unfitting,” wrote Cornelius Nepos in the preface to his “Lives”, “are permitted by our customs. Is there by chance A roman who is ashamed to take his wife to a dinner away from home? Does it happen that the mistress of the house in any family does not enter the anterooms frequented by strangers and show herself amon them? Not so in Greece: there the woman accepts invitations only among families to which she is related, and she remains withdrawn in that inner part of the house called the gynaeceum, where only the nearest relatives are admitted.”

Quoted in The Women of the Caesars. Century Co., 1911 pg. 3.

When rome became the master state of the Mediterranean world, and especially dyring the last century of the republic, woman…had already acquired legal and economic independence, the condition necessary for social and moral equality.” Pg. 5

Moreover, in the home the woman was mistress, at the side of and on equality with her husband.” Pg. 10

“…under the republic there existed at Rome a kind of woman’s club, which called itself conventus matronarum and which gathered together the dames of the great families. Finally, it is certain that many times in critical moments the government turned directly and officially to the great ladies of Rome for help to overcome the dangers that menaced public affairs…” pg. 12

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Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006



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