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The roles of Athenian women in the 5th century BCE were primarily those of wife and mother. The Athenians, in their patriarchal society, selected The lives of women in the Middle Ages were determined by the Church Egyptian Royal.
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Exceptions to this rigid social convention were weddings, funerals and state religious festivals in which women were expected to play prominent public roles. Click here for women and goddesses.

Vase scenes portraying women inside their houses tend to be sparing in specific details. The common presence of columns suggests that women spent much of their time in the courtyard of the house, the one place where they could regularly enjoy fresh air. Greek cooking equipment was small and light and could easily be set up there. In sunny weather, women probably sat in the roofed-over areas of the courtyard, for the ideal in female beauty was a pale complexion. Daily Life Women's Life Greek women had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at nearly every stage of their lives.

It allows the readers to choose the parts of greater interest as introduction to the general picture of the status and roles of women in Ancient Athens. The author has made a valuable contribution to history thanks to his extensive knowledge of the literature and of the Greek sites he visited many times since his first visit in A quiz, for no grade or credit, just for fun! Who was first to say that men can't live with women, but cannot live without them?

Answer: p. Who said that the credit we get for wisdom is measured by our success? What was the Greek name of the goddess "Peace"? Answer: P. Who commissioned an artist to make a mannequin of his deceased wife so he could lay in bed with it?

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For whom did goddess Athena hold night back and prevented Dawn to break the day? Who said that sad news about great men takes more than usual hold upon the heart?

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Athenian women were not allowed to cry neither sacrifice an ox, nor bury more than three garments with the body. Excavations of the Athenian Kerameikos- an ancient burial ground outside the city walls, has also revealed a lot of valuable information. Women played an important role in preparing the dead body for burial.

This was probably the only time a woman was ever allowed to be ahead of the males! On the third and ninth days of the funeral women were expected to deliver food and libations to the gravesite. People were also forbidden to sacrifice an ox at the graveside, or to bury their dead with more than three changes of clothing or to visit the tombs of others besides their own family except at the time of burial It appears that people had altered views of women.

Some saw them as important mothers of citizens and for the passing on of legitimacy, women were protected and sheltered, even in their own houses, from the peeping eyes of other men. They had limited access to society and the activities that took place there. Despite this, the writer Simonides depicted women as different types of animals- women represented the forces of chaos. Women were viewed as highly sexual beings who could not control their sexual urges and therefore had to be restricted for their own benefit. These two authors depict the most constant view of women in ancient times.

Most men felt that women were only necessary to produce children. Many scenes on Greek Pottery depicted women. Many of these women were either dancing girls or prostitutes.

Certain pots also paint the pictures of the ancient goddesses. This explains to us, that the men were a lot more taken with the goddesses of their time, rather than their own women.


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Sculptures also were made of only the goddesses, and never of the ordinary women. Occasionally, Greek vases showed rituals of their culture. For example on an Attic Red Figure Hydria from BC by the Penthesileia Painter, it shows a matron, joined by her young daughter and shorthaired servant, holding a three-legged basket. Behind is a stool with a woven cushion. The items most commonly illustrated on vases and on stone reliefs include chairs, stools, couches, tables and various kinds of chests, boxes and baskets.

Stories, poems, and plays by the Greek author Homer tell us a great deal about how men viewed the gods and goddesses. They placed a lot of importance on their goddesses, and once again proves that they regarded the goddesses more high than that of their own women. Vase scenes portraying women inside their houses tend to be sparing in specific details. The common presence of columns suggests that women spent much of their time in the courtyard of the house, the one place they could regularly enjoy fresh air.

Ancient Athenian Women of the Classical Period

Greek cooking equipment was small and light and could be easily set up there. In sunny weather, women probably sat in the roofed over areas of the courtyard, for the ideal female beauty was a pale complexion. The work and freedom that a woman did eminently depended on their social position in society. There were three main classes of women in Ancient Greece.

There was the wives class. The wives had to stay at home and weave things. They were considered respectable women. They were not allowed to go anywhere except for religious ceremonies. Then there were the Concubines. They were the poor women widows, slaves and girls that were left out to die by their parents when they were babies that were prostitutes.

There was also the hetaerae class. The hetaerae class were a lot more educated than the wives class. They were companions to men, only if men paid an expensive price.

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They met the men at parties or festivals. As mentioned, the wives class did work at home, looking after the children, the house and attending to small duties. There were obviously double standards in Ancient Greece, because citizen wives and daughters were protected, but the prostitutes or pornoi were open to all forms of sexual exploitation. These women moved freely throughout society, with basically no rules surrounding them.


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  4. Prostitutes were maintained by men, or worked in brothels and on the streets. Put on a bustle and onlookers will comment on her nice bottom Similar to the prostitutes, in that they were not protected or respected and were also open to all forms of sexual exploitation. The differences being that sometimes these women developed monogamous relationships with men, but their children were classified as illegitimate and had no rights.