Women's role in that society is another verification of their modernity. Women are more self-determining and dynamic in Phaeacian culture. They have their proper share in the way of civilization; they are weaving all the time because there is no other way of getting clothing. And their king, Alcinous, is quite broadminded because he let his daughter go far away to wash clothing with other girls (170) and he says, " I am hardly a man for reckless, idle anger. / Balance is best in all things"(Homer, 189) when he learns his daughter and Odysseus have met before but they've decided to come to the city separately lest there may be rumors. Their queen, Arete, is highly honorable and she is the dominant one in ruling. Nausicaa, the daughter of the queen tells Odysseus, " If only the queen will take you to her heart, / then there is hope that you will see your loved ones, <em>reach your own grand house, your native land at last (Homer, 178).
Penelope is a great example of how Greek women should act in early society. Penelope was loyal to her husband, she was clever, and she was a good mother to her son Telemachos. Penelope honored her husband and didn’t go against him even though he was gone for over 20 years. She also had to face over 100 suitors while Odysseus was gone. Penelope showed her cleverness when she told the town she would remarry when she finished weaving the rug. Every night Penelope would undo the work she weaved so she could buy time for her husband. She was very faithful to her husband and believed him that he would return to her. These traits that Penelope show are how other Greek women should act in society. The roles women played in society was that they
Another female who is portrayed in a very positive light is Odysseus’ and Telemachos’ old nurse, Eurykleia. Eurykleia is repeatedly shown to be noble and extraordinarily devoted. Laertes, Odysseus’ father, in fact, favored her as much as his own wife. Also, Homer says that she loves Telemachos more than any other servant does. These traits are admirable and again show the female as virtuous. Like Penelope, Eurykleia is described as “shining among women”; a trait which, while not exactly virtuous, is positive. Homer also gives Eurykleia traits which are stereotypically male. She is commanding and can keep the other servants in line: “she spoke, and they listened well to her, and obeyed…” ( XX, 157). Eurykleia plays a minor role, but still contributes to the favorable view of women in the Odyssey.
The story of Theseus and Hippolytus is another myth that shows the role of women in Greco-Roman society. In this story Hippolytus rejects Aphrodite to follow Artemis. In revenge, Aphrodite makes Hippolytus' mother Phaedra fall in love with him. Phaedra, unable to control her sexual desire, makes her move on Hippolytus. After he rejects her, she hangs her self and leaves a note saying that Hippolytus raped her. When his father Theseus returns he kills him. This story shows that the Roman-Greco society thought women were filled with lies and the cause of many bad things. This is different than women's roles in today society because today it is usually thought that more men lie to avoid
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
One of the most striking differences between ancient Athenian women and ancient Egyptian women was the ability to hold positions of power. Egyptian women were monarchs and held other positions depending on their social status. (Capel 1996, 176) Women were allowed to participate in low ranking government jobs, especially during war when the men are off fighting and leaving behind their positions. However, these positions were not kept for long because the men upon return automatically earned their position back by being the superior sex (Watterson 1991,).
Women in Ancient Egypt and Greece By Morgan L. Harvey Throughout history women have faced many struggles in gaining equality with men. Freedoms and boundaries have been dependent upon the time period, rulers, religions and civilization. Ancient Greek women and Ancient Egyptian women were both equal to men as far as the law was concerned in certain areas; however, their equalities were different in the sense that Greek women were married out of necessity and viewed as property while Egyptian women were respected and loved by their husbands. Ancient Greek women and Ancient Egyptian women also both lived with limitations such as being thought of as domestic servants, yet these views solely depended on the time and polis.
Athenian Women Athenian society was very dynamic in many areas while it was strict in regard to the treatment of women. Although Athenian women were protected by the state and did not know a different way of living, they were very stifled and restricted. The only exception was slaves, and heteria, prostitutes, and this was due to the fact that they had no male guardians. Since these women were on there own they had to take care of themselves, and therefore were independent. In a more recent and modern way of viewing the role of a woman, independence and freedom to do as one likes is one of the most important aspects of living. In Athens the wives had none of this freedom and the prostitutes did. Who then really had a “better”
(Lacey: 1968, 151). Studies concerning the lives of women in classical Athens have sparked much controversy because, despite the apparent fascination with femininity manifested in art and drama, we have no evidence voicing the opinions of the actual women themselves. This presents a
The Ideal Women of Homer’s Odyssey Ancient Greek society treated women as secondary citizens. Restrictions were placed on the social and domestic actions of many aristocratic women in ancient Athens. The women depicted in Homer's Odyssey, on the other hand, are the ideal. Penelope, Clytaemestra, Athena, and Helen
Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Classical Women of Antiquity The title of Sarah B. Pomeroy's book on women in antiquity is a summary of the main categories of females in the literary imagination and the societies of ancient Greece and Rome, over a period of fifteen hundred years. Beginning with goddesses, Pomery retells some Greek myths, outlining the social functions of female Olympians – the goddesses are archetypical images of human females, as envisioned by males. Desirable characteristics among a number of females rather than their concentration in one being are appropriate to a patriarchal society. Demosthenes states in the fourth century B.C. this ideal among mortal men, "We have mistresses for our enjoyment, concubines to serve our person and wives for the bearing of legitimate children (Pomery 1995)." Pomery’s goal in writing this book was to detail and outline the true significance of women in all other their roles in antiquity.
Women in Ancient Persia Introduction Until recently, much of what we thought we knew about ancient Persia was derived from the writings of Greek historians and philosophers (Borbor 101). Not many original written records—ones produced by Persians in their own time period—have survived to this day. The common view of ancient Persia is therefore based more on myth, speculation, and the historical perspectives of outsiders than concrete archaeological evidence. Even less is known about the status of women in that time period. If asked to describe ancient Persia, most modern readers might picture a civilization in which women were confined to harems or marriages that were essentially a form of enslavement. The truth, however, is much more complicated. A detailed examination of primary documents reveals that women in ancient Persia—particularly women in the royal family—had a surprising degree of social, legal, and economic independence.
Despite Athenian and Spartans being associates of the same influential nation, these two states or ‘Peloi’ and denominations of people in Ancient Greece in (400BC) were substantially different. The women in their own distinct societies endured several problematic issues and experienced inequity, demoralisation and condemnation. The notion of women and their purpose was typically conjectured by men in society, specifically Aristotle who claimed that women brought ‘disorder, were evil, were utterly useless and caused more confusion than the enemy’ . However despite misogynistic, biased and loathsome perspectives of women, both Athenian and Spartan women have all played exceedingly significant roles and contributed substantially to the prosperity of Ancient Greek society in their own inimitable ways.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be primary sources written by the women, or any work they did create has been lost to time. Aspasia was considered not only a close friend of Socrates, but a teacher of rhetoric to him (Swearingen 32). This fact should be unsettling for the modern reader. Socrates is considered to be the father of western philosophy in many ways. In spite of this, we rarely hear of a female influence to him. She could quite possibly be a “mother” of western philosophy, but she is rarely discussed. It is said that Diotima also was an influence to Socrates by teaching him on the matters of love, discourse and rhetoric (Swearingen 26). They are seen as a rebuke to the general misogynist history of Greece. These beliefs fed into the suppression of women that would take place in Athens and would continue through much of western
Many critiques of Pericles made gabs at this personal life in which his first wife born him two legitimate sons, he later divorced her. His later foreign lover was Aspasia she was described by Socrates as the most intelligent and witty woman of her time. Pericles treated her as an equal, which was unheard of during that age. They lived together but were never married. It was common for them to host the most intellectual company for parties and conversation. Pericles was forced to defend Aspasia in a trial has he later gained power, and the only way his rivals could harm Pericles was by attacking those that were close to him.(PBS)