The Role of Women in Ancient Athens The role of women has changed dramatically over the last few thousand years, and some things are now very different for women from what they were before. However, there are also some similarities between the role of women in ancient Athens and the role of women today. The people of ancient Athens saw the importance of providing everyone with some level of education, so all women received an education of some sort. The main reason to educate women was so they could bring up and teach their children, the importance of the mother figure being recognized just as much as it is today.
By comparison to present day standards, Athenian women were only a small step above slaves by the 5th century BC. From birth a girl was not expected to learn how to read or write, nor was she expected to earn an education.
On reading and writing, Menander wrote, "Teaching a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! Like feeding a vile snake on more poison. Most of what has been written about Athenian women comes from the 7th century BC onward, when education in Athens began to emerge.
Prior to that date, it has been alluded to by some authors, that the status of women was not so glum. In particular, the rights of women in Athens and their decline may have been the direct result of political pressures brought about by Pericle's ruling on the legitimacy of marriage.
Similarly there is evidence to suggest that Athenian women prior to the 7th century BC had been subject to similar rites of passage as boys.
The scholar Jean-Pierre Vernant, wrote that the Arrephoroi, and many other religious celebrations of Athens, could have been reduced from perhaps an entire age grade's participation, to only a handful of girls who were chosen to participate.
Even then, it was only the noble and upper class families which were considered for participation. Typical Day of a Greek Housewife Excerpt from: Let There Be Clothes. Workman Publishing; New York, Is still hungry, but must be careful about her figure7: Looks at the four bare slightly tinted walls.
Rarely allowed out of the house, she prepares for another day at home. Asks to join them. Is reminded this is improper behavior - they suggest she ready herself for lunch. Husband leaves at She hears about his day.
He tells her she should not bother about the affairs of men. She is too hungry to argue. Does not dream of tomorrow. Athenian women can be classified into three general classes.
The lowest class was the slave women, who carried out more of the menial domestic chores, and helped to raise the children of the wife. Male slaves held the task of working in the trade arts pottery making, glass working, wood working, etc or to educate the sons of a house.
The second class was that of the Athenian citizen woman.
The third class was known as the Hetaerae. The hetaerae unlike the slaves and the citizens, were much akin to the Geisha's of China. Hetaerae women were given an education in reading, writing, and music, and were allowed into the Agora and other structures which were off limits to citizen and slave women.
Most sources about the Hetaerae indicate however, that their standing was at best at the level of prostitutes, and the level of power they attained was only slightly significant. Marriage Athenian citizen girls, since birth were raised differently than their male counterparts. Jean Vernant, likened the difference to the phrases of Xenophon, that "boys were meant to be made men in their early years, while girls were raised to be kept and protected i.
In domestic life, a boy was taught reading and writing, while a girl was taught spinning and other domestic duties by the slaves her family had.
In the ritual sphere, children of either sex were not excluded from the numerous rites of Athens until their later years, and women played an important role in the festivals which took place in Athens every year. Children in Athens were constantly subject to numerous religious rites and festivals.
Young girls and women often played a part in these festivals as for some it was the only contact the women had with other women outside of their general localityhowever, the most ritualistic and most important aspect of their life was marriage.
Marriages were arranged by the father and were accompanied by a great deal of fanfare. When the marriage was to take place the girl gave away all of her toys to the temple of Artemis, and her hair was cut in some places her girdle was offered to Athena Apatouria.
For the next several months the bride was taught the domestic duties she would perform for the rest of her life, by her mother and by slaves.
A series of rites then followed. On the night before the wedding day, the bride and groom took rituals baths, and sang hymns to Hymen.differences in leadership styles between genders, but the fact that leadership styles in their roles are highly situational.
This side of argument debates that neither of the genders are better in. Women in the ancient Greek world had few rights in comparison to male citizens. Unable to vote, own land, or inherit, a woman’s place was in the home and her purpose in life was the rearing of children.
This, though, is a general description, and when considering the role of women in ancient Greece one should remember that information regarding specific city-states is often lacking, is. Comparison of women in the past and present..
Comparison of women in the past and present.. -Women are excluded from public roles in religious life. Women are not expected to participate in public prayers. -Women must only live to serve men.
This particular quote had been going on for ages since then. Some legal religious decisors have. The relationship between education levels and earnings is clearly and accurately expressed in a single sentence: The more education you have, the more money you will make. The unanimous conclusion of social scientists, researchers and investigative journalists as we move toward the third decade of.
The Roles for Women Although later pushed to the side, women in early Christian communities often owned the 'house churches' where congregations gathered to worship. The Role of the Wife and Mother. In the later nineteenth century things for women began to change.
No doubt this had something to do with modernity and its intrinsic insistence on change, and no doubt it had something to do with the actions of women themselves, with their desire to break out of the limits imposed on their sex.