Effects Of Xenophon's Attitude Towards Athens

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The evidence to be discussed is that of Xenophon from his work The Economics, however there is no record of when it was produced. Xenophon was born in to a wealthy Athenian family in C.430BC and lived until 354BC. He participated in campaigns but was exiles from Athens in 394BC after fighting against them along side the Spartans. This therefore could affect his attitudes towards Athens however it is still an important piece of evidence concerning social history. In these particular verses Xenophon is speaking from the perspective of a conversation between the philosopher Socrates and an Athenian man named Ischomachus. Ischomachus is explaining to Socrates what he said to his wife when she asked about her roles as a woman and wife. The evidence …show more content…
‘Prefect partnership in mutual service’, this suggests in order to create a strong oikos men and women needed one another to create children. Therefore because men and women had an equal share in creating a strong oikos they had equal respect ‘one being competent where the other is deficient’. As for metal ability Xenophon argues ‘granted both impartially memory and attention; and so you could not distinguish whether the male or female sex had the larger share of these’, suggesting although their bodies varied in strength there minds were equal in some aspects and therefore suggests women would have the same acknowledgement of this. However Sue Blundell presents the idea girls were married off at such a young age because they needed to be controlled suggesting they were not considered to be equal on a intellectual scale. Other historians have argued ‘women were recognised as an aspect of men’s existence rather than as existing in their own right’ showing women were essentially just objects to use in order to make children further demonstrating there roles were not seen as equal and therefore causes question as to how reliable the work of Xenophon is if he isn’t portraying the popular opinion of the …show more content…
For instance, as I mentioned at the introduction, although Xenophon was an Athenian, due to his exile from the city his attitudes may be affected when writing about its history and aspects of the city and thus affect his reliability. The passage its self also has a questionable background. Without a record of when the work was produced it is hard to assess if Xenophon was present during the conversation or if the conversation even existed. Some historians have argued Ischomachus didn’t exist and was in fact a representation of Xenophon himself. Although this would cause implications as to the accuracy of the views at the time of its production, it still allows us to see the opinions of a Greek at this current point in history and can therefore still be of use to us. An advantage of Xenophon’s background is he came from a wealthy Athenian family; the result of this is he was able to access many levels of society as a citizen and therefore create a better-rounded view of the lives of citizens. This makes his work more useful because he himself was experiencing society at this time so even if they were not Ischomachus view they were still contemporary views. The language and tone seems to suggest this piece could be a form of propaganda because it appears to be promoting the creation of a strong oikos and an attempt to

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