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Women and families in classical societies


Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.
It is clear, however, that Roman women in general had much greater independence than women in most parts of the classical Greek or Near Eastern worlds, limited as it must seem in modern terms. The contrast is particularly striking with classical Athens, where women of wealthy families were supposed to live secluded lives, out of the public eye, largely segregated from men and male social life (the poor, needless to say, did not have the cash or the space to enforce any such divisions). There were, to be sure, uncomfortable restrictions on women in Rome, too: the emperor Augustus, for example, relegated them to the back rows of the theatres and gladiatorial arenas; the suites for women in public baths were usually markedly more cramped than those for men; and in practice male activities probably dominated the swankier areas of a Roman house. But women were not meant to be publicly invisible, and domestic life does not seem to have been formally divided into male and female spaces, with gendered no-go areas.
From: Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2015), 307.
Which of the following conclusions best fits the evidence Beard presents in this comparison?
Choose 1 answer: