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by Archaeology Newsroom

Man as official and professional in Byzantine society

The position, career and diminishing status of men is closely related to the structure of Byzantine society, which has been radically changing in its thousand years course. However, throughout this long period both institutions and beliefs were more in favour of men than of women. The structure of Byzantine society was clearly a partiarchal one. Within the boundaries of the family,the power of the male leader mirrors his secular authority within the framework of the state. The Byzantine Empire recognized the important role of woman both in the family and in society. She was also granted certain financial and judicial rights along with the potential to exercise some professions, such as that of midwife and codex copyist. Nevertheless, a man in his capacity as an official, a professional or even a eunuch had more going for him compared with a woman, because the institutions, concepts and mentality of the time did not impose any limits to him in regards to his entertainment, education, career and the realization of his personal ambitions.