This thesis examines the lives, writings, and literary legacies of Sulpicia and Ban Zhao, two roughly contemporaneous women writers from the Roman Empire and the Han dynasty. Through the incorporation of women's history and world history, this comparative study seeks to explain how the literary legacies of these two female authors in the ancient world became so distorted over the centuries. While some scholars, such as Merry Wiesner-Hanks and Anne Cova, have begun to advocate for the cooperation between women's and world historians, few scholars have put this theoretical idea into practice. While comparative histories of the ancient world are becoming increasingly popular [e.g. Walter Scheidel's Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires (2009) and Hans Armin Gärtner and Ye Min's Conceiving the Empire: Rome and China Compared (2008)], women are still discussed as an unincorporated theme or left out of the subject matter altogether. After laying the groundwork for connectivity and trade relations between Rome and China, this work provides and overview of and compares the expected social roles for upper class women in Rome and China, Sulpicia and Ban Zhao's life and familial connections in particular, their literary works, and the effect of larger socio-political events on the literary legacies—more specifically, how the decline, fall, and reemergence of central authority influenced the interpretation of their works. This thesis argues that as new governing bodies attempted to recreate the grandeur of the Roman and Han empires, moralist writers argued that it was the loss of traditional, more conservative values that caused the decline of these once great societies, and the writings of Sulpicia and Ban Zhao were the epitome of the effeminacy and decadence at the heart of the declining empires. Furthermore, these two women, who had openly criticized these core values, provide key examples to show how women can be incorporated into larger world history themes, i.e. political, economic, and intellectual history.