Ancient Egyptian Women

In Ancient Egypt, the wife was called the "lady of the house" and the "beloved of her husband." The man called his wife "my sister" in a very affectionate way.

That does not mean she was his actual sister, but as beloved and respected as his own sister. Such feelings were depicted in images and statues showing the husband and his wife.

In literature, Ptah-hotep in 2400 BC in his instructions of wisdom gave the following advice to men, "If you are a man of note, find for thyself a household, love your wife at home, as it beseems. Fill her belly and clothe her back, unguent is the remedy for her limbs. Gladden her heart so long as she lives. She is a goodly field for her lord."

Another sage called Ani, around 900 BC, advised men to "Act not the official over thy wife in her house, if you know that she is excellent. She is happy when your hand is with her."

In another place, Ani describes how to deal with a mother, "Double the bread that you give to thy mother and carry her as she carried you."