Women: The Roles Of Women In Ancient Greece

1762 Words 8 Pages
Today, the great ancient Greek civilization is remembered in a myriad of ways. The battles they fought to maintain their independence, with their methodical and strategic combat techniques. The great philosophers, that during their times rummaged through reality to answer the unknown, that defied the customary ways of thinking. The gods and goddesses that gathered the masses with their mystical appeal, and the myths that answered what Greek societies inevitably questioned. However, one thing that appears to be disregarded when venturing into the history of ancient Greece is its women and the roles they held, considering that many facets of ancient Greek history are devoted to men. Of all Greek city- states, it can be said that Athens and Sparta …show more content…
In Greek mythology, as Hawley and Levick wrote, “There are good women and bad women: good women maintain the oikos; attractive women are a danger” (52). Inevitably, many would base their beliefs on what they believed governed the way of life. Myths, like that of Pandora, that explains how woman came into the world, how she played a role in the transformation of the world into its present state, and how she introduced “death, woe, and evil into the world, and the laborious toil of human existence” (Hawley and Levick, 58), would certainly have an impact on the held perspectives of women. Prominent philosophers would also contribute to how a woman would be viewed, in terms of her role in Greek society. Aristotle for example, criticized Spartan women and the fact that they were allowed to own land, and claimed that women were in large part responsible for the decline of Sparta (Fantham, 65-66). However, claims by philosophers were not always undermining the abilities of a woman. Aristotle’s Republic proposed that, “the minds of men and women have the same moral and intellectual potential. Therefore, in the Republic, men and women of the Guardian class are given the same education” (119). As time progressed, the roles of ancient Athenian women extended. According to Scott, after the Peloponnesian War and its devastating outcome primarily affecting the economy in Athens, prompted women to work outside their homes and to the dismay of the orator Demosthenes took positions as nurses, wool- workers, and grape pickers (37). On the other hand, women in Sparta would continue to advance, Spielvogel explained that during the Hellenistic period “women were allowed to own land, administer their own economic affairs, became wealthy, and resulted in forty percent of the land in Sparta to be owned by women” (79). Although the previous and evolving roles of

Related Documents

Related Topics