In the ancient times, the inequality gap between males and females was so wide that it was legally accepted. The societies had well-stablished systems of dealing with the wicked people in the society and way of appreciating peoples efforts. In Rome, peoples hardworking was appreciated by setting laws that protected their properties, while laziness was discouraged by punishing those who borrowed yet they were unwilling to refund their creditors. However, the ancient societies failed to recognize women in activities that would bring about economic or political development as her place was seen to be home.
One of the ways that the Rome law adopted in protecting the peoples property was to prevent aliens from acquiring other peoples property by usucaption. The law gave Roman citizen rights to claim the property from the alien as long as they are the legal owners (The Twelve Tables). That way, the Roman law protected its citizens property from exploitation by people from other countries and especially the rich ones.
To punish the debtors, the law required that a fine of 500 asses if given for property worth more than 1,000 or 50 asses in case the property is worth less than 1,000 asses. To the debtors are well-punished, the law required that any person convicted with property fraudulent be supposed to pay double the value of the property (The Twelve Tables). This was usually the case especially when the debtors fail to acknowledge the existence of the debt yet there is enough evidence. In instances where the debtor agreed to the existence of the debt, the law required that they are given thirty days to repay the debt. Failure to repay the debt within the stipulated timeline of thirty days, the creditor was empowered by the law to take their debtors back to the court for judgment forcefully. The debtor would be jailed if after thirty days he/she has not paid the debt and did not seem to have means to do so. In some extreme cases, the creditor would be granted the debtor to be his/her slave for an agreed period.
In the Roman Empire, the ideal characteristics of women were influenced by heroines from the Republic. Women such as Cornelius were so dedicated to being housewives and always upheld traditional Roman values. All other women in the Roman empire were striving to emulate. Women such as Cornelius were committed to honoring their families by embracing acceptable virtues and leading a chastity life (Propertius). For instance, Cornelius dedicated all her efforts in bringing up her children and their education. She also supported the move by two of her sons Gaius Gracchus and Tiberius to influence the politics of their Republic with the aim of helping the poor; but who were helplessly assassinated later.
In both scenarios, women were seen to be inferior to men. According to Propertius work An Ideal Roman Woman, it can be seen that women were mistreated as they were seen to be inferior. The same is true with The Twelve Tables as women were not supposed to inherit any property as they were considered to be incapable of making good use of it. Thus, they were portrayed as weaker than men. Also, the ideal characteristics of a Roman Woman portray her to be weaker as women were not allowed to participate in economic, educational and political activities. Their place was home, and they were supposed to focus on taking care of their families.
Propertius. Republican and Imperial Rome: An Ideal Roman Woman. 1st ed.,
"The Twelve Tables." Avalon. Law. Yale.Edu, 2017, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/ancient/twelve_tables.asp.
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