Essay on the Comparison Between Excerpts on Western Civilization

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 1043

Prompt 1: comparison between Greek legal traditions versus middle ages western legal tradition

Greek revolution and middle ages are two key historical periods in legal matters. Comparing the two legal historical periods of the western legal tradition is important to any historical scholar. Several key features formed the legal systems in the mentioned historical periods. Similarities and differences in their key features, such as legal codes, are areas of concern to understand legal transitions better. An analysis of the role that the key legal features played in their societies forms the discussion below.

To begin with the similarities, both the Greek revolution and the middle ages had legal codes that formed a basis for administering justice. Greek revolution tradition entailed laws each state’s laws to guide judging of different (Wolff, 1975). In the middle ages, common law and civil law provided a basis for delivering judgment in different cases, as argued by (Robbins, 1952). In addition, the judges in both Greek evolution and middle Ages periods focused on following the laid statutes to deliver judgments without considering the implications of their judgments to the entire judicial system. Having legal codes in place to guide judicial processes, to act as set standards showcased the overall society’s need to render fair judgments.

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In addition, the Greek revolution and middle ages had the legal codes written in statutes for reference during judgments. In the Greek legal tradition, procedures and substantive rules were written to guide the administration of justice (Britannica, 2011). In the middle ages under common law, the precedent decisions that guided justice delivery were well recorded. In Civil law, which was the most common in Middle Ages in most western countries, elaborate legal codes such as appropriate punishments for different offences existed within a well-documented set of law codes. These set of codes formed a basis for the delivery of justice by the judges.

Apart from the similarities mentioned above, both Greek law and Middle Ages western tradition had substantial differences. First, the civil law applied during the Middle Ages was more elaborate than laws basing judgment during the Greek revolution. For the Greek revolution law, each state made its laws used to make a judgment as argued by (Wolff, 1975). There was no uniformity of the nation’s laws and regulations as specific laws developed by each state were subject to differences. Civil law systems were very comprehensive for the middle ages, with different procedures and rules used to judge different offences. This difference can be attributed to the need to accommodate societies’ varied views on judicial systems, specifically legal codes.

Secondly, in the middle ages, the legislators made the laws and were applied to all judgments as standard procedures in all court sessions (Robbins, 1952). On the other hand, multistate development of laws was common during the Greek revolution, ensuring that laws were tailor-made for enactment in specific states. This difference can be attributed to society’s differences in governance and exercise of power.

In conclusion, the above discussed western civilizations had shared differences and similarities in their legal traditions. The legal traditions showcased the societal view of the justice system, which was guided by the legal codes established. The historical legal traditions form today judicial systems. Understanding the link and disparities between the legal systems is of great importance.

Prompt 2. A comparison of male attitudes towards women between the Greek civilization period and Renaissance period

Historically, men have had attitudes towards women, which in some aspects were similar and in others different in western civilization, particularly during the Greek and the Renaissance periods. The differences and similarities showcase how society viewed women in general. An examination of the similarities and differences in male attitudes towards women in the Greek civilization periods and the Renaissance period is covered in this section.

There existed a similarity in the way women were viewed by society/ men during the Greek civilization and Renaissance periods. Men held a top position and authority over women. For instance, in the Greek revolution, the overall role of women was to bear children and mostly engage in household activities (Seitkasimova, 2019). Women were not allowed to engage in public duties like voting, among other roles and had no rights to own property. During the Renaissance period, women were considered inferior whether in low class, working-class or upper class, as brought out by (Hurlburt, 2007). Women were considered to work under men and had no fair share of power regarding decision-making and leadership. This similarity in viewing women as inferior showcased the women’s position in society, signifying the males’ dominance and poor attitudes towards women, viewing them as unfit for societal and family leadership.

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A significant difference can be observed in terms of women’s levels of power and recognition during Greek civilization and the Renaissance period. In Greek civilization, there were no classes and roles based on the classes. The only difference came in terms of how each state treated her women. Women from Spartan had few privileges compared to those from the other states. On the other side, Women in the Renaissance period had a differential power brought out by the roles that women from different classes were allowed to undertake by the society as posited by (Goncalves E, 1999). For example, women in the upper class had servants working for them and were allowed to express themselves as opposed to those in the lower classes.

In conclusion, males’ attitudes towards women in both the Greek revolution and Renaissance periods were mainly associated with making women appear and remain inferior. However, there was a considerable improvement in the Renaissance period which showcased a change towards appreciating and recognizing the value of women in society.


Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2011, September 6). Greek law. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Hurlburt, H.S. (2007). A Renaissance for Renaissance Women? Journal of Women’s History 19(2), 193-201. doi:10.1353/jowh.2007.0039.

Goncalves E. (1999). Did Women Have a Renaissance? How did women engage and participate in the public sphere of the Renaissance? 24–33.

Robbins, L. M. (1952). the Common Law and Civil Law Traditions. The Robbins Collection, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Seitkasimova, Z. A. (2019). Status of Women in Ancient Greece. 3(2), 49–54.

Wolff, H. J. (1975). Commentaries Greek Legal History- Its Functions and Potentialities. 1975(2).

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