Athenian Marriage Essay

835 Words Aug 30th, 2013 4 Pages
‘Athenian marriages were based on usefulness rather than affection’ How far do you agree with this statement? Give the reasons for your views and support them with details from the Athenian sources you have studied.
Marriage was one of the key elements of an Athenian society, alongside the importance of children; the importance of marriage was just as valued and necessary for Athenians. The purpose of marriage in Athens was to represent a business arrangement between the fathers of the women and soon to be husbands, since most marriages were pre arranged, affection and love weren’t a factor for the basis of marriage but could develop in later stages.
Firstly, Ischomachus’ conversation with Socrates details the relationship Ischomachus
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This is evidently important because it shows how the two cared little about each other and their daughter in an affectionate way and simply used their marriage to earn ill obtained wealth.
The murder of Eratosthenes, and Euphiletus’ defense speech needed to establish that the murder of Eratosthenes was not premeditated, but a lawful act of justifiable by law murder as he was cheating with his wife. Euphiletus states that when Eratosthenes entered the home, he left to gather witnesses that could provide testimony in the trial that would follow the murder. In Athenian society, the seclusion of a woman reflects highly upon the character of the man whom she is married to or lives with. If he was able to seclude her from society and other men, he was regarded as a decent man; however, failure to control women in this society is an ultimate disgrace. Euphilitus never even mentioned he cared for his wife at all but was more focused on his status. With this in mind, once Euphiletus caught his wife engaging in an affair with Eratosthenes, he sought out justice through death for the seducer that persuaded his wife into bed. The marriage between the two was not intended for an affectionate relationship, presumably why she cheated on Euphiletus, and was instead a useful way of providing status.

The proof of legitimate marriage is incredibly important compared to the need for affectionate

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