Women Of Ancient Greece Essay

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Women in Ancient Greece

Women’s role in Greece can be seen when one first begins to do research on the subject. The subject of women in Greece is coupled with the subject of slaves. This is the earliest classification of women in Greek society. Although women were treated differently from city to city the basic premise of that treatment never changed. Women were only useful for establishing a bloodline that could carry on the family name and give the proper last rites to the husband. However, women did form life long bonds with their husbands and found love in arranged marriages. Women in Athenian Society Women are “defined as near slaves, or as perpetual minors” in Athenian society (The Greek World, pg. 200). For women life didn’t
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The groom’s choice in bride was largely determined by the amount of dowry the bride would bring with her. Although the wedding was a happy ceremony, it was only the beginning of a woman’s loss of independence. Not only did women possess no independent status in the eyes of the law; she always remained under the supervision of a male. If her husband died, she was returned to her father’s or brother’s home where they would take charge of her. After the wedding, the wife’s duties were centered on the management of the home. She would overlook the slaves, mend and make clothing for her family, usually done by spinning or knitting, weave rugs and baskets for the home, or just fold and refold the clothing kept in the family chest. The wife was also responsible for maintaining her attractiveness for her husband. A proper Athenian wife would adorn herself with jewelry and use rouge upon her husband’s arrival home. Sometimes she might spend an entire evening sitting next to the couch where her husband lay reclining. Most importantly the Athenian women were seen as “fine upstanding matrons” fit to bear a race of excellent athletes” (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, pg. 86). An Athenian man married primarily to have children. These children were expected to care for him in his old age, but more importantly to bury him with the “full appropriate rites” (Daily Life in Greece, pg. 57). Moreover, Athenian men married to have male children in order to perpetuate the family
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