Athenian Women : The Ancient City State Of Athens

1717 Words Oct 26th, 2016 7 Pages
Athenian Women:
The ancient city-state of Athens, spawned many of the essential ingredients of modern civilization--democracy, philosophy, science, and drama. However despite these aspects, Athens like many other civilizations throughout history, was dominated by men. Although the role of women in Athens is highly controversial, the examination of Athenian laws, philosophical and moral writings, and information about the conditions of daily life and the organization of society, reveals women were excluded from many aspects of public and private life. While men held a monopoly on every aspect of daily life, women remained secluded in the sphere of domestication.
The primary role of free women in Athens was to marry and bear children. Athenian women, often married young, usually between the ages of twelve and eighteen, while husbands were often thirty years or older, when they were married. Marriages, unlike in other greek-city states, were highly emphasized in Athens, due to the economic and social rewards gained through beneficial unions. Women, particularly those belonging to the aristocracy, often had no choice of who they married, having their closest male relative choose the most beneficial partner. Similar to many other cultures, Athenian women married with a dowry, which was controlled by a male relative. “At marriage a woman became the legal dependent on her husband, having the the same (and no more) rights as the children she would produce.” (Backman, 112) If a…
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