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Marriage among this people was a ceremony surrounded with much pomp; and another great mark of the consideration in which the females were held, was the custom uniformly adopted of adding the mother's name to the designation of the son, an acknowledgment of woman's claim as the foundress of families—a claim beyond all the cavils of scepticism to deny. The elevated social position of the sex is, perhaps, further marked by the exquisite beauty and lofty bearing of the female figures, universal on the monumental records of the public and domestic ceremonies of the people. Regular features, high foreheads, well developed forms, and graceful attitudes, give assurance of a physiological excellence; while a spiritual expression of countenance, betokens a corresponding superiority of intellect.* Those families which could boast a succession of eminent mothers, were held in the highest veneration; an evidence of the confidence placed in the virtue of the sex, which, if we are to believe Roman authorities, must, in the latter ages, have survived the primitive purity of manners, which caused it.†

These, indeed, may be but faint and unsatisfactory evidences of the state of women in Etruria; but they are all that can be discovered concerning a people known only through fragmentary traditions, and the pictorial monuments which time has spared. Enough, however, exists to mark the superiority of the nation, over their rude and semi-barbarous neighbours-to authenticate the refinement of their manners-and to attest their possession of that

of these monuments is cited by Michale, full of moral beauty. It represents the death-bed of an Etruscan matron, surrounded by her husband and children; and exhibits, in its action, the best affections and highest duties that have ennobled the sex in all ages.

"Le femmine d'Etruria avevano l'invidiabile pregio d'essere reputate sommamente belle."-Michale.

+"Non te Penelopen difficilem procris
Tyrrhenus genuit parens."


This is an accusation generally brought by the less refined communities against the more civilized. As coming, too, from a political enemy, such a statement is not to be very literally taken. The Romans, forming their women to a servile submission, and founding female innocence upon ignorance, not unnaturally looked with suspicion on a more liberal sysIn the same spirit, the English public are scandalized at the intellectual superiority of French women, and are unjust to their virtues.


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sensibility of temperament, which is most favourable to female influence.

Etruria was still the centre of Italian civilisation, the main pivot of its political combinations, and extended its influence from the Alps to the shores of Calabria, at the period, when a band of reckless fugitives, (congregated by common wants and common crimes, and derived, probably, from various Teutonic tribes, which had migrated into Italy by the Tyrol,) halted, and fixed themselves on one of the seven hills of the future Rome.* The Palatine was then covered with wood, and surrounded by the stagnant waters of the Tibur. It had long been abandoned to neglect and desolation, and afforded an appropriate site for the encampment of a destitute and predatory multitude,

"Di nido e di difesa di gente ribalda."

Such were the founders of "the eternal city," the mas ters of the future destinies of mankind, whose influence and whose tenets may still be traced in the spirit of existing civilisation, rendering its laws arbitrary and harsh, and embittering its religion. For if the modern world owes to Greece its arts, its science, and its philosophy, it stands indebted to Rome for much of its jurisprudence, and for its church; and il latte della Lupat is still found circulating its energizing vitality through the institutions of both.

Scarcely had the northern savages hived among the clustering hills of Latium, and directed too successfully their brute force against the comparative civilisation of their neighbours and victims, when they found the necessity of imposing some restraints on their own ferocious passions, of seeking protection against themselves, in such rude laws as nature itself suggests, or in a wholesale imi

* Michale says "a troop of shepherds and fugitive slaves:" but the language of Rome determines the origin of the people to have been Teutonic; and thence it may be inferred that they were the remnant of some migratory body, conquered in battle, or reduced by starvation, to fix themselves in a wild and uncultivated part of the country, away from the natives and inhabitants.

"Il latte della lupa si perpetuo nelle vene de' Romani, ne quindi conobbero mai i sentimenti di sociabilità, i piaceri della società, le regole che all'adempimento di essi prescrive la natura."-Delfico, Richerche sul vero carattere della Giurisprud. Romana.

tation of whatever they could comprehend in the polity of the Etrurians.*

But however rude the outline of their political legislation, the domestic despotism incidental to all savage populations had firmly traced its brief but arbitrary and comprehensive code, for the government of the interior establishments of Rome. It is in the very nature of things that this antithesis should subsist; since the woman and the child have no where to look for protection for their physical weakness against the passions of the man, save in the paramount authority of a constituted public body. Wherever that authority exists not, or is silent, the father and the husband exert a right of life and death over their subject family; and that, for the simplest of all reasons, because they have the power.

Romulus, whether a mythic or an historic personage, is generally considered as representing the first who constituted the robber band a political community, by engrafting on his own superiority of captainship, some portions of the more liberal institutions, which he found in practice in the surrounding cities: but it was Numa Pompilius who filled out his meagre outline :-establishing a civil rule, curbing the fierce volitions of the soldier population through their superstitious fears, and providing for the possibility of those occasional truces, which were then all that was known of a state of peace.

But, in thus conciliating the conflicting interests of a nascent society, what god or demon did this almost inspired pagan implore? what synod of men, practically experienced in the passions and the weakness of the species, did he consult? Not one. The originator of Roman civilisation, in order to stamp his code with authority, and to ensure the submission of his people, declared that he had derived his wisdom from a nymph-a female spirit— the assumed impersonation, probably, of those images of feminine beauty and intellectual majesty, with which Etruscan art might have brought his subjects acquainted.

* L'importanza delle leggi, cioè di un vincolo proprio a ritener gli nomini, ne sentimenti d'umanità, ed a confermare i loro diritti, stabilendone i doveri, fu un sentimento che precede la stessa formazione de' corpi sociali, un sentimento univoco della specie umana, e ripetuto dovunque essa pote formare delle associazioni.-Giuresprudenza Romana.

It was from Egeria (he asserted) that he had derived his code, during conversations carried on in that solitary and secluded grotto, to which the pilgrim feet of modern wanderers are still turned with reverential steps. It was by the inspiration (he said) of this female intelligence, that he was directed; and the hitherto indocile and ferocious people saw no incongruity in the circumstance. It was Egeria who commanded them to fear the gods, and to obey the law; and, accustomed as they were to tyrannise over their females at home, they must have still acknowledged the divinity of woman's spirit; for they implicitly followed her counsel. The college of pontiffs presided by its sovereign pontiff, then established under female influence, (six hundred and seventy years before the birth of Him, "the servant of whose servants" still bears that sacred title,) is to this day shadowed in the sacred College of Cardinals; and the vestals, priests, and augurs of Numa and of Egeria, constitute the machinery by which the church still serves and rules the state.

Numa Pompilius was a moral man, had been a married man, and had retired to sylvan scenery and rural seclusion, that he might devote his days to the study of religion and of law. Who, then, was Egeria? Was the goddess of his inspiration a reflection of the wife of his bosom, an impersonation of feelings and thoughts which had grown up during his intercourse with a mortal woman, and while he was in intellectual communion with a mind, to which sex had imparted an instinctive perspicacity, and an intuitive grasp?

But, nymph or woman, a fabulous or a real personage, it is curious to remark that, while her influence was effective in subjecting the will of a barbarous race, and changing, as it were, the very nature of a people, the condition of the sex was either wholly neglected, or noticed only for the purpose of a cruel oppression. Amidst the progress of civilisation, the gradual enlargement of the dominion of law, and some improvements in the political constitution, favourable to the happiness of the citizens at large, every new enactment tended to rivet more closely the galling chain, which the primitive barbarism of man had wound round the women of Rome. From Servius to Justinian (the father of modern jurisprudence), no male legislator

sought a repeal of the early laws against the rights and liberties of the sex: they rather desired to abrogate the little that had been provided for its protection.

The Roman law, however, (differing in this respect less from the equality of nature, than the code of the Jews, or that of the Athenians,) sanctioned not the privilege of primogeniture; but in the inheritance of property, placed both sexes on the same level. But even this solitary right, (confined in its enjoyment to the single alone; for the property of a married woman was, from the hour of her union, absorbed into that of her husband), did not fail to excite the jealousy of the men, as soon as the increasing wealth of the nation converted the privilege into a power. At the expiration of six hundred years, the Voconian law* took from the women their right of inheritance, and that, too, during the brightest epoch of female virtue, and of female influence. The younger Scipio seized on this occasion for exercising his generosity towards his mother and sister; and what these august women should have received at the hand of justice, they were glad to accept as a benevolence from the free-will offering of affection. The immediate motive of this law was an apprehension, lest the independence of the women should transfer the wealth of the aristocratic families into the new lines: for the Roman law, like that of the Jews, favoured the inalienable descent, both of property, and of religious power, in a few privileged families.

The absolute dominion of the Roman father over his children, like that over his slaves, was adopted among the first attempts at legislation; and the wife being considered but as a child or servant of her husband and master, she was, by a strange legal fiction, converted into the sister of her own children, and the daughter of her own husband. By his sole judgment, or caprice, the wife was approved or censured, acquitted or chastised. In cases of adultery or inebriety (the vices of his own habitual practice), a sen

* This law, in abolishing the natural right of inheritance, restricted all the legacies in favour of a woman, to the sum of one hundred thousand sesterces. An only daughter was considered almost as an alien in her father's house; and where the law was directly silent, the artifices of legal subtlety were resorted to, as stumbling-blocks in the way of probity and equity.

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