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The ancient city of Pompeii is best known for being covered by an erupting volcano and being almost forgotten From the time the city was rediscovered in the 1700s scientists and archeologists have managed to piece together evidence to show not just how people died but how they lived We now know that before the eruption of Mt Vesuvius on August 24 79 AD Pompeii was a resort town From the remains of Pompeii scholars have deducted the socioeconomic religious and political life of Pompeiis last inhabitants Pompeii was a city where women declared themselves the equal of men Women could own land operate businesses be priestesses and were often educated Despite these equalities Pompeiian women were still mostly owned by men and from birth knew their position New born boys were placed at the fathers feet while newborn girls were given straight to the nurse Most girls were bought up by their mothers at home learning weaving and other domestic skills Upper-class girls however were taught to read and write either at school or at home by slave tutors It was believed by some that educated women made better wives and mothers Literacy amongst the upper class both women and men was a symbol of status and respect One of the most famous Pompeiian artifacts the fresco of the merchant Terentius Neo and his wife depicts her holding a wax tablet and a stylus Girls were considered grown up by the age of 14 when marriages were usually arranged by their family with the objective of uniting good families At this time a woman would leave her fathers ownership and become the property of her husband As many women as possible were kept married and bearing children Women were expected to be married by the age of 20 and it was law to remarry after the
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