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Life in Ancient Persia


Life in Ancient Persia Key Questions What was the family law in Ancient Persia? Where did people live in Ancient Persia? What was the role of women in Ancient Persia? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Life in Ancient Persia

Life in Ancient Persia
Key Questions
  • What was the family law in Ancient Persia?
  • Where did people live in Ancient Persia?
  • What was the role of women in Ancient Persia?

Family Law in Ancient Persia
  • Structure of the Persian family
  • Master of the household Father and this was
    seconded by his wife.
  • Members of the family were bound by a highly
    developed set of legal prescriptions. There were
    established rules and restrictions.

  • Rights and obligations within the household
  • The master of the household was to support his
    wife as long as she lived, his daughters until
    they married and his sons until they come of age.
  • After the death of the master, the most
    authoritative member of the family was guardian
    (stur) who was responsible for the care of women
    and the protection of minors.
  • If a stur was not appointed it was the duty of
    the citizens to care for the family.

Persian homes
  • Where did people live in Ancient Persia?
  • The Persians were nomadic people and so at the
    beginning of the Achaemenid period, many still
    followed their traditional way of life and lived
    in tents made from animal skins and would be
    transported by horse, donkey or camel.
  • Access to raw materials and weather patterns
    encouraged Persians to adopt and adapt the styles
    of buildings to that of their middle eastern
  • Raw materials used for building
  • included brick, stone and timber

  • Bitumen occurs in the Middle and Near East in
    Iran and is only available in this region. It was
    used as an adhesive and helped to bind bricks.
  • During the Achaemenid empire, houses were two
    storey, rectangular structure divided into two or
    more separate living quarters. Access to the top
    floor could be via stairs or a ladder.
  • This housed one or more extended families in
    separate living quarters.
  • It would be constructed of unbaked mud bricks,
    possibly on a foundation of fired bricks or
    stone. The roof consisted of whole and split
    timber beams covered with reed matting, a layer
    of lime and then a thick layer of mud.
  • Persian homes are characterised by the inclusion
    of landscaped courtyards and high stone or brick
    walls surrounding the homes. Rose gardens, shade
    trees or food crops, such as citrus or pistachio
    trees would be a common inclusion. Water, ponds
    and fountains were also a Persian feature.

Women in Ancient Persia
What was the role of women in Ancient Persia?
  • Had a high level of socio-economic status
  • Made up over 60 of the population
  • They were powerful women
  • Women had to be obedient to their husbands and
    lord and master but this did not result in a loss
    of individuality or personality.

  • Women were described in three different terms
    mutu, irti and duksis
  • Mutu ordinary non royal women
  • Irti unmarried members of the royal family
  • Duksis married women of royalty

  • Women of the royal household travelled
    extensively and often administered their estates.
  • The Queen and her ladies in waiting played polo
    against the emperor and his courtiers.
  • Non-royals and ordinary women received rations
    depending on their skill and level of
    responsibility in the workplace.

  • The highest ranking female worker was called
    arashshara (great chief). They were employed in
    different areas and managed large groups of women
    and children and sometimes men. They received
    high rations of wine and grain exceeding even the
    males in their group.
  • Pregnant women also received higher rations as
    did women with newborn children for one month
    after the birth.

  • It is rumoured that Cyrus the Great established
    the custom of covering women to protect their
    chastity. The veil was passed down through the

  • Discussion
  • What do you think about the role
  • of women in Persian society?