The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece – Some ancient Greek women led an interesting life in a male-dominated civilization. Read on to find out more about the seven real women in ancient Greece.

Statue of a woman, 2nd century BC, Met Museum; Marble tomb of a seated woman, 4th century BC, Met Museum; And a marble head of a young woman from a funeral statue in the 4th century BC. Met Museum

The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece

The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece

The evidence we have regarding most ancient Greek women is presented through the eyes of men, often causing distortions and ideals. However, there are many instances when women reach out for attention as a result of the wonderful life they lead. The seven women in this article cover the spectrum of ancient Greek society, from queens to priests and poets. Each of these fascinating women broke the mold in their impossible way.

Women In Classical Greece

Terracotta incense in the form of a group of women sitting in a well in the 4th century BC, Met Museum, New York

ស្ត្រី Women’s greatest glory is the least talked about among men, whether in praise or rebuke.

Most ancient Greek women lived in societies seeking control of their lives. Evidence of this can be seen in all eras of ancient Greek history. As Pericles’ words show above, women are meant not to be seen or heard. This is why most real female voices are absent from ancient Greek history and literature.

The rights and responsibilities of women in ancient Greece were closely linked to the social ideals of what women should be. First and foremost, women are expected to create legitimate heirs for their husbands. These male heirs will motivate the male population.

The Importance Of Women In Ancient Greece

Women’s responsibilities are focused on the home. Their lives are local and internal, as opposed to men who are expected to become soldiers, politicians, philosophers and athletes. A married housewife is known as Kiri. Kyria is in charge of the oikos, a term that refers to the whole family, including all family members and even slaves. This family management includes: preparing food, producing cloth for making clothes, and overseeing family finances and the health of children and slaves.

The education of most ancient Greek women was limited to the first year. After the age of 12, they are expected to focus on preparing for married life. Thus literacy rates among women in ancient Greece were low. However, there are some exceptions to this, mainly among the daughters of dignitaries who may be able to afford private tuition.

Women’s legal rights are few and far between. They cannot inherit property or possessions independently from men. They are also not allowed to vote in elections or participate in public life. An important exception to this is religious life. Women can be ordained priests and participate in ceremonies and sacrifices at certain times of the year. An important example is Thesmophoria. The festival is exclusive to women and involves a dedication to Demeter and Persephone in the celebration of fertility and harvest.

The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece

‘Girls, chasing Muses with purple breasts’ bright / gift and plangent lyre, lovers of psalms.’ (Sappho, a piece)

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Sappho was the first female poet in Western literature to have a legacy that continues to shine to this day. Much of what we know about Sappho’s life comes from pieces of her poetry and details provided by other ancient writers. Some of this information is skeptical, but we can fairly confirm some biographical details. Sappho was born into a wealthy business family on the island of Lesbos in the late 7th century BC. It is clear from her poetry that she was highly educated. Some scholars believe she is a girl teacher in the arts of poetry, music and dance.

Pompeian fresco of a woman inscribed on a wax pad, often referred to as Sappho, c. AD 55-79, National Archaeological Museum, Naples

Love and emotional experience are at the heart of Sappho’s poetry, a genre known as lyric poetry. She is a pioneer of this art form with her gentleness and intimacy, rich in images and emotions. The sophistication and ingenuity of her work was greatly appreciated, even in antiquity. Plato called her the ‘tenth Muse’ and Catullus was infinitely inspired by her work.

Many people believe that her poems are proof of her homosexuality since some of her love poems are addressed to women. It comes from Sappho where the words ‘Lesbian’ and ‘Sapphic’ come from. Little is known about the lives of ancient Greek women in the seventh century BC, and even less so about women in those days. Sappho and her beautiful words give us a rare glimpse into the world of women at the moment and their relationship to each other.

Just How Gay Were The Ancient Greeks Really?

Marble statue of Aspasia depicting her as a virtuous Athenian woman, a Roman copy of the early 2nd century CE Vatican Museum

Aspasia was one of the most influential women who lived in ancient Greece in the 5th century. Born in Miletus, an ancient Greek city on the west coast of Asia Minor, she came to Athens as a child. She later joined the family of the famous general and politician Pericles.

Her role in the family is unknown. All the ancient sources in her life were written by men and therefore subject to bias. Some even describe her as hetaira, a term used to describe elite prostitutes in ancient Greece.

The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece

We can be sure that Aspasia became the wife of Pericles around 445 BC after he divorced his wife. As an important member of his family, he would have a degree of independence that most ancient Greek women did not know. She is known for her frequent public appearances and has also welcomed and entertained many members of society. Senior Athenian.

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The wisdom of Aspasia is often referred to in ancient sources. An ancient encyclopedia, Suda, states that she was a rhetorician. Plutarch tells us that she even discussed philosophy with Socrates. She is also said to have exerted unusual influence on Pericles and his political decisions. This drew strong criticism from Pericles’ political rivals and playwrights of the time, who preferred to incorporate political characters into their plays. Aristophanes even blamed her for the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War in the Acharnians.

Aspasia is thus an interesting and rare example of an ancient Greek woman whose wisdom and ingenuity lifted her to an unparalleled position in Greek society.

Spartan women had greater physical freedom than any other ancient Greek woman. From an early age, they were treated the same as boys in terms of their care and upbringing. Their importance lies in their ability to be healthy and thus give the Spartan State a healthy offspring who will become successful warriors. They will get married when they reach sexual maturity and are encouraged to exercise regularly outside, often naked. Body.

Spartan women are known for their confidence, resilience and confidence. The Gorgo Princess of Sparta presents us with the perfect human head for Spartan archetypal women.

Athens: Women In Ancient Greece Walking Tour In Athens

Athenian woman: “Why are you the only Spartan woman who rules over her husband?” Gorgo: “Because we are the mother of men.”

Gorgo was the daughter of King Cleomenes I, who ruled Sparta from 520-490 BC. As the king’s daughter and his only child, she was greatly indulged in infancy. The nature of her childhood may explain her self-confidence and the nature of her assertions. Herodotus tells us that she advised her father not to enter the Persian War at the age of nine.

In 490 BC, Gorgo married Leonidas I, who later became king of Sparta. Leonidas played a brave role in the Persian War, meeting his death at the famous Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. But Gorgo also helped Sparta in their war effort. Apparently an important strategic message was sent to the Spartan elders in the form of a seemingly empty wax pad. It was Gorgo who skillfully advised them to remove the wax to reveal the hidden message below.

The Role Of Women In Ancient Greece

Princess Artemisia I was ruler of the eastern Greek cities of Halicarnassus, Cos, Nisyrus and Calymnos in the early 5th century BC. In the Persian War in the early 5th century, much of this ancient Greek alliance was made with the Persians against the rest of Greece. Artemisia herself became a close ally of King Xerxes of Persia during the war.

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Apparently she tried to warn Xerxes against joining the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC because of the risks involved in its location. As it turned out, a large number of Greeks used clever tactics to defeat the vast Persian fleet and its allies. This battle was considered a turning point in the war, and today’s historians consider it a sharp time in the West.


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