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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

history begins to become clear and it involved unusually strict 

subordination of the woman to her father first and then to her husband. 

But nothing is more certain than that the status of women in Rome rose 

with the rise of civilization, exactly in the same way as in Babylonia and 

in Egypt. In the case of Rome, however, the growing refinement of 

civilization, and the expansion of the Empire, were associated with the 

magnificent development of the system of Roman law, which in its final 

forms consecrated the position of women. In the last days of the Republic 

women already began to attain the same legal level as men, and later the 

great Antonine jurisconsults, guided by their theory of natural law, 

reached the conception of the equality of the sexes as a principle of the 

code of equity. The patriarchal subordination of women fell into complete 

discredit, and this continued until, in the days of Justinian, under the 

influence of Christianity, the position of women began to suffer.[284] In 

the best days the older forms of Roman marriage gave place to a form 

(apparently old but not hitherto considered reputable) which amounted in 

law to a temporary deposit of the woman by her family. She was independent 

of her husband (more especially as she came to him with her own dowry) and 

only nominally dependent on her family. Marriage was a private contract, 

accompanied by a religious ceremony if desired, and being a contract it 

could be dissolved, for any reason, in the presence of competent 

witnesses and with due legal forms, after the advice of the family council 

had been taken. Consent was the essence of this marriage and no shame, 

therefore, attached to its dissolution. Nor had it any evil effect either 

on the happiness or the morals of Roman women.[285] Such a system is 

obviously more in harmony with modern civilized feeling than any system 

that has ever been set up in Christendom. 

 

In Rome, also, it is clear that this system was not a mere legal invention 

but the natural outgrowth of an enlightened public feeling in favor of the 

equality of men and women, often even in the field of sexual morality. 

Plautus, who makes the old slave Syra ask why there is not the same law in 

this respect for the husband as for the wife,[286] had preceded the legist 

Ulpian who wrote: "It seems to be very unjust that a man demands chastity 

of his wife while he himself shows no example of it."[287] Such demands 

lie deeper than social legislation, but the fact that these questions 

presented themselves to typical Roman men indicates the general attitude 

towards women. In the final stage of Roman society the bond of the 

patriarchal system so far as women were concerned dwindled to a mere 

thread binding them to their fathers and leaving them quite free face to 

face with their husbands. "The Roman matron of the Empire," says Hobhouse, 

"was more fully her own mistress than the married woman of any earlier 

civilization, with the possible exception of a certain period of Egyptian 

history, and, it must be added, than the wife of any later civilization 

down to our own generation."[288] 

 

 

 


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