The Influence Woman Had on the Social Structure of Pompeii and Herculaneum

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Cities of Vesuvius – Pompeii and Herculaneum The influence Woman had on the Social Structure of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pompeii and Herculaneum were considered in some way as “holiday” cities for wealthy Roman citizens, yet both cities maintained a well-ordered social structure. The people of Pompeii and Herculaneum belonged to certain social classes. The upper class consisted of the patricians and the equites. The middle class consisted of freeborn or freed citizens. Then at the bottom was the slave population. Despite the social structure of Pompeii and Herculaneum there was a significant difference between the social statue of men and woman. Woman influenced the social structure in many ways, although they were denied place in office they could still impact political affairs. Upper-class women who were well educated sometimes became conspicuous public figures due to personal wealth and helped build the once powerful economy. As women could not gain political statue they often became involved in religion, becoming priestesses. The women of lower status would be legally allowed to earn profits or many women helped build the prostitution industry. Pompeian woman of all classes were commonly involved in political life. Being denied political statue and ability to vote women could still take part in political affairs in other ways. Females belonging to elite families used traditional means to promote their client, money and public gift-giving, political alliances and patronage was used to ensure political success. Other means were made to try promote political candidates. It is common to find graffiti all over Pompeii and Herculaneum, it is noted that 14.5% of painted notices on the walls of Pompeii urging voters to support candidates are done by woman. Graffiti promoting were slogans writing in big letters on walls of shop fronts and houses. An inscription

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