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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

 

On the strength of the statements of two satirical writers, 

Juvenal and Tacitus, it has been supposed by many that Roman 

women of the late period were given up to license. It is, 

however, idle to seek in satirists any balanced picture of a 

great civilization. Hobhouse (loc. cit., p. 216) concludes that 

on the whole, Roman women worthily retained the position of their 

husbands' companions, counsellors and friends which they had 

held when an austere system placed them legally in his power. 

Most authorities seem now to be of this opinion, though at an 

earlier period Friedlaender expressed himself more dubiously. Thus 

Dill, in his judicious _Roman Society_ (p. 163), states that the 

Roman woman's position, both in law and in fact, rose during the 

Empire; without being less virtuous or respected, she became far 

more accomplished and attractive; with fewer restraints she had 

greater charm and influence, even in public affairs, and was more 

and more the equal of her husband. "In the last age of the 

Western Empire there is no deterioration in the position and 

influence of women." Principal Donaldson, also, in his valuable 

historical sketch, _Woman_, considers (p. 113) that there was no 

degradation of morals in the Roman Empire; "the licentiousness of 

Pagan Rome is nothing to the licentiousness of Christian Africa, 

Rome, and Gaul, if we can put any reliance on the description of 

Salvian." Salvian's description of Christendom is probably 

exaggerated and one-sided, but exactly the same may be said in an 

even greater degree of the descriptions of ancient Rome left by 

clever Pagan satirists and ascetic Christian preachers. 

 

 

It thus becomes necessary to leap over considerably more than a thousand 

years before we reach a stage of civilization in any degree approaching in 

height the final stage of Roman society. In the eighteenth and nineteenth 

centuries, at first in France, then in England, we find once more the 

moral and legal movement tending towards the equalization of women with 

men. We find also a long series of pioneers of that movement foreshadowing 

its developments: Mary Astor, "Sophia, a Lady of Quality," Segur, Mrs. 

Wheeler, and very notably Mary Wollstonecraft in _A Vindication of the 

Rights of Woman_, and John Stuart Mill in _The Subjection of Women_.[289] 

 

 

The main European stream of influences in this matter within historical 

times has involved, we can scarcely doubt when we take into consideration 

its complex phenomena as a whole, the maintenance of an inequality to the 

disadvantage of women. The fine legacy of Roman law to Europe was indeed 

favorable to women, but that legacy was dispersed and for the most part 

lost in the more predominating influence of tenacious Teutonic custom 

associated with the vigorously organized Christian Church. Notwithstanding 

that the facts do not all point in the same direction, and that there is 

consequently some difference of opinion, it seems evident that on the 

whole both Teutonic custom and Christian religion were unfavorable to the 

equality of women with men. Teutonic custom in this matter was determined 

by two decisive factors: (1) the existence of marriage by purchase which 

although, as Crawley has pointed out, it by no means necessarily involves 

the degradation of women, certainly tends to place them in an inferior 

position, and (2) pre-occupation with war which is always accompanied by a 

depreciation of peaceful and feminine occupations and an indifference to 

love. Christianity was at its origin favorable to women because it 


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