The Roman Family Center Of Roman Society — страница 4

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show a change in his ideas based on his conversion, thus Christianity may bias his writings. Augustine wrote about the family and society in the way that he thought is should be. This however does not necessarily mean that this is an accurate depiction of how Roman society and family actually was. In fact what Augustine wrote about was probably not identical to what common practice. Another important weakness to Augustine is that his writings are biased in a male ideology of Roman society. His thoughts are based on male power, action and assumptions about society . Lastly Augustine lived in a religious community in Hippo. His main observed group was it?s religious community. Augustine?s writings are based on the segments of society that he could to observe, and then generalized

to the larger society. One has to wonder if what applies for one group of society can be generalized to the rest. In general Augustine was is a fairly good source, however one must remember that his writings are to be taken with some of these considerations. O?Roark, also chooses to use one main source, which is basically the only source that he uses. The source O?Roark uses is a church father, John Chrysostom. Until he was the age of 50 he served in Antioch, where most of his preaching?s were against Judaism . In 398 he became a bishop in Constantinople and died in 407 . Chrysostom wrote about the same time that of Augustine, late three hundreds and early four hundreds. With the similarities in status and time period we see that there are a lot of the same strengths and

weaknesses of the sources. As strength it is recognized that Chrysostom was a reliable rhetorician . Chrysostom was an educated man that had much experience with religion. With a more leisured life of a Bishop, and a good education Chrysostom was probably well learned and fairly accurate. His position as Bishop probably allowed him to observe the area that he practiced in. Also Chrysostom was also a firsthand witness of what he wrote about. There are also some apparent weaknesses to Chrysostom. First most of his audience was wealthy upper class. This may not be able to be applied to society as a whole . This is similar to Augustine. It was not like either of these men could get up and travel around all of Rome to view society, instead they had to rely on those close to observe.

Again, men were seen to occupy a more privileged position is society. Chrysostom?s views, like those of Augustine?s, were probably biased by the dominated male views and ideologies about how society was seen. The analysis of Chrysostom is shorter then that of Augustine for the fact that as I mentioned they have many of the same strengths and weaknesses. Chrysostom is a fairly reliable source, but we must remember to take some of his weaknesses into account. Both sources have their share of strengths and weaknesses. The Better EssayI do not think that either one of these essays was better then the other. The essays do not seek to prove the same arguments. The quality of the essays cannot be compared against each other, but rather in their own rights. Shaw does a good job of laying

out the structure and many of the functions of the Roman family. Shaw sought out to make certain points, he was successful. Shaw leaves the reader with a clear picture of the Roman family in late antiquity. The O?Roark essay was equally convincing in his own right. O?Roark sets out to prove there were close relationships between parents and children in roman society, and does a good job of this. O?Roark?s essay is especially well done because he not only looks at father-son relations, but also at mother-daughter relations. This is very important. Many of the sources remaining are written mainly about men. It is great that we are able to take at a brief look into one of the roles of the woman in the Roman family. The bottom line is that Shaw writes about the structure and the

functions of the Roman family. From the evidence in this essay one can see he supports his purpose well. Both authors looked at aspects of the family after the advent of Christianity. Both historians seek to prove something about the Roman family in late antiquity. In doing this they give us a reference of the family after the advent of Christianity, this in turn can be compared to the Roman family in the classical period. After comparison of the two essays against each other, and against the family in the classical period it seems obvious: The Roman family has always been an important institution in their society, it?s composition, roles and the functions changed little after the advent of Christianity. BibliographyFreeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the