Essay on Prostitutes in Ancient Athens

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Prostitutes in Ancient Athens Works Cited Missing Ancient Athens was a highly polarized society in which citizenship meant everything. Citizenship permitted individuals to not only participate in the democratic government but also gave them access to all the rights and splendors of the city. A citizen controlled influence over slaves, foreigners and most importantly women. Athenian women were relegated to the status of child bearers and keepers of the household. There was no room for personal expression or freedom and the strict moral code in many cases restricted these women from even leaving their homes. There was a select group of women however who overcame these obstacles to achieve greater sexual, economical, and social…show more content…
This is evident in the way that women were referred to in conversation as they were called aste (city woman) rather than the feminine form of citizen which was politis (Just 1989: 21). Furthermore, women's subservient status is also demonstrated in the common practice during formal speech of specifying women by their relationships with men. Wives remained in the house for the majority of the time and did not perform strenuous activity as the procreation of a son was all-important (http//:www.perseus.tufts.edu/classes/JKp.html). Another example of the inferior status of women is the fact that adultery was a more serious crime than rape as it was an offense to the husband and put into question the legitimacy of his sons (http://www.ucd.ie/~classics/94/Arkins94.html). Perhaps the best description of the way in which wives were viewed by Athenian men is given by Ischomachos in the Oikonomikos: Why, what knowledge could she have had, Sokrates, when I took her? She was not yet fifteen years old when she came to me, and up until that time she had lived under the utmost care, seeing as little as possible, hearing as little as possible, and saying as little as possible. If, when she came to me, she knew no more than how to turn out a cloak when given the wool and had only seen only how to the spinning had been given out to the maids, is that not as much as could be expected (Xenophon: 7.5). He goes on

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