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A Comparison Of The Status Of Women In Classical Athens And Early Chri
A Comparison of the Status of Women in Classical Athens and Early Christianity
Since the beginning of time the treatment of women has improved
dramatically. In the earliest of times women were mere slaves to men. Today
women are near equals in almost all fields. In 411 B.C., when Lysistrata was
written, men had many stunning advantages to that of their female counterparts.
Although women's rights between 30 and 100 A.D., the time of the New Testament,
were still not what they are today, the treatment of women was far better.
Overall, the equality of women in the New Testament exceeds that of the women in
Lysistrata in three major ways: physical mobility, society's view of women's
nature, and women's public legal rights.
Albeit in Lysistrata the women were shown as revolutionaries rising up
against the men, women in classical Greece were never like that. Aristophanes
created the play as a comedy, showing how the world might be in the times of the
Peloponesian war if women tried to do something. It was the women's job to stay
home and tend to the house, and never leave, unlike they did in the play, the
women were shown as revolutionaries rising up against the men, women in
classical Greece were never like that.
The activities of women in Classical Athens were confined to "bearing
children, spinning and weaving, and maybe managing the domestic arrangements. No
wandering in the beautiful streets for them." The suppression of women went so
far as to divide the house into separate areas for males and females. While the
women stayed home, the men were usually out fighting, and when they weren't
fighting, they were entertaining their friends and having sexual favors
performed by courtesans.
The rights of women in early Christianity were a far cry from today,
although they were much better off than their Athenian counterparts. In the
Christian church, women were treated as equals. The first evidence of this is
when the woman with hemorrhages touches Jesus' clothing and he says that her
faith has made her well (Mark 5:34). This shows that both sexes are treated
equally in that eyes of god even though at this time the hemorrhages that the
woman was having was a symbol of uncleanness, and that good things can happen to
both if they have enough "faith."
The rights of women are also extended in the New Testament when the
rights of husband and wife are shown as equals. It is stated that each should
show affection to their partner, and that each partner controls their mate's
body (I Corinthians 7:3-4). This shows that each person should be equal in the
marriage, unlike in Lysistrata where the man did whatever he wanted to whomever
he wanted while the woman slaved at home .
Women were also considered to be more "enpowered" in the times of the
New Testament. This is displayed when the women nearly monopolize the practice
of speaking in tongues, or even speaking at all (I Corinthians 14:36). Speaking
in tongues was thought to be much like talking from the angels, which was
considered to special talent.
Overall the women of early Christianity had a better quality of life
than those in classical Athens. They were not only allowed to leave the house
more, but they were also treated more as equals in society's view of women, and
their public rights. ... more
Find essay on Her Husband As
The Death of woman Wang
The Death of Woman Wang, by Jonathan Spence is an educational historical novel of northeastern China during the seventeenth century. The author's focus was to enlighten a reader on the Chinese people, culture, and traditions. Spence's use of the provoking stories of the Chinese county T'an-ch'eng, in the province of Shantung, brings the reader directly into the course of Chinese history. The use of the sources available to Spence, such as the Local History of T'an-ch'eng, the scholar-official Huang Liu-hung's handbook and stories of the writer P'u Sung-Ling convey the reader directly into the lives of poor farmers, their workers and wives. The intriguing structure of The Death of Woman Wang consists on observing these people working on the land, their family structure, and their local conflicts.
Chapter one, The Observers, in the Death of Woman Wang demonstrates the accuracy of the local historian; Feng K'o-ts'an, who compiled The Local History of T'an-ch'eng in 1673. The descriptive context of the Local History helps the reader to understand and literally penetrate into people's lives. The use of records of the earthquake of 1668, the White Lotus rising of 1622 and rebels rising vividly described by Feng the extent of suffering the people of T'an-ch'eng went through. Jonathan Spence stresses on how miserable the two-quarter of the seventeen-century were to the diminishing population of the county. The earthquake claimed the lives of nine thousand people, many others died in the White lotus rising, hunger, sickness and banditry. P'u Sung-ling's stories convey that after the loss of the wheat crops there were cases of cannibalism. On top of all of this came the slaughtering of the entire family lines by the bandits. The incredible records of women like Yao and Sun in the Local History present the reader the magnitude of savagery the bandits possessed. All of these factors led to the rise of suicides. The clarity of events Spence given to the reader is overwhelming.
On the other hand, Spence losses his reader as he introduces the spread of Confucius and other superstitious believes through out the county. He states that the Local History states that people became unusually superstitious in parts of T'an-ch'eng. Later on he presents the Confucianism and it influence. Confusion especially occurs then he quotes from many different sources and chapters. For instance during the exams of 1669, students were presented with quotes from different chapters, which were supposed to be placed in correct context. An entire paragraph mentions chapters, books and names without any logical order. Of course this may have occurred because of the limited knowledge I have about these chapters.
Spence gives a reader a clear insight in T'an-ch'eng's economy and it's economic policies in chapter two, The Land. T'an-ch'eng government had a rather simple philosophy, the more you made the more you paid. The taxes were paid based on percentage of what you made or volunteer to work for the government. The government did take interest in its taxpayers only then people were unable to pay at all. Local History showed that there was a schedule of nine tax payments. People paid more during the harvest seasons and less during the hottest midsummer months. Structured Chinese government devised a responsible and supervisory system, which insured that the taxes were collected at full without any spillovers. Theft and cheating was a common occurrence at city's market, thus government officials created collecting points for the farmers to avoid direct contact with middlemen. All of the factors presented by Spence give the reader a closer look on the financial struggle of an ordinary seventeenth century farmer.
Furthermore, in part tree, The Widow, Spence urges the reader of woman's values and her characteristics in T'an-ch'eng county. Through the Local History Spence defines the meaning of property in the seventeen century China. Women like any other piece of property belonged to their alive husbands. Unfortunately, because of the levels of disasters in the county, population of males dropped from 40,002 to 9881 males, leaving a lot of helpless widows. Because of the Legal Code in the county, widows alone had a little chance to inherit deceased husband's property. Spence's vivid use of P'eng's story opens the readers eyes ... more
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The Death of woman Wang The Death of Woman Wang, by Jonathan Spence is an educational historical novel of northeastern China during the seventeenth century. The author's focus was to enlighten a reader on the Chinese people, culture, and traditions. Spence's use of the provoking stories of the Chinese county T'an-ch'eng, in the province of Shantung, brings the reader directly into the course of Chinese history. The use of the sources available to Spence, such as the Local History of T'an-ch'eng,...
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