The Role of Women in the Art of Ancient Greece

Beauty was a psycho-physical parcel that had as much to do with character and divine favour as chest size. The philosopher Socrates famously confounded all ideas of how a beautiful Greek should look, with his swaggering gait, swivelling eyes, bulbous nose, hairy back and pot belly. Passages in the Socratic dialogues are dedicated to a radical exploration of how this satyr-like shell might in fact contain a luminous character. But Socrates and his pupil Plato were fighting an uphill battle. The sheer number of mirrors found in Greek graves show that beauty really counted for something. Looks mattered. The Ancient Greeks were, I'm afraid, faceist.

Women in Ancient Greece - WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT …

It was very important to be a citizen of Athens, especially after the democratic reforms of the sixth century BC. Being a citizen entitled a person to own land, and at the age of thirty, to hold political office. Citizens could also speak in the and they voted on all affairs of the state. Men were the citizens of democratic Athens and all women were excluded. This exclusion meant that women had no political rights; it meant that they could not own land, which constituted power in the ancient world; and that they could never hold political office. Roger Just makes a very interesting point in : life was worse for women in democratic Athens than in other periods of the city's history because:

Life in ancient Greece was quite different for men and women

In Ancient Egypt women had a great deal of freedom. They could come and go as they pleased. They could own property and they could sign contracts. women could also divorce their husbands.

Ancient Greece for Kids and Teachers - Ancient Greece for …

In a rich family the wife was expected to run the home and very often to manage the finances. However rich women would normally stay indoors and send slaves to do the shopping. Poor women, of course, had no choice. They might also have to help their husbands with farm work. Women, even rich ones were expected to spin and weave cloth and make clothes. However in Sparta women owned much of the land. We also know from records that women owned land in Thessaly and in the Cretan city-state of Gortyn. In Ancient Greece some women were tavern keepers. Others sold food or perfume. Some were wool workers.

Pederasty in ancient Greece - Wikipedia

Thucydides was writing the history of the Peloponnesian Wars, not a social history. His interest was war and the military, so it is not surprising that women do not play a central role in his analysis. He does mention women in (431 BC), in which he has Pericles say on the subject of women: "Great will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men whether for good, or for bad." But Pericles loved a woman named Aspasia, who was undoubtedly talked about all the time since she was said to be a foreign woman of ill-repute. If Thucydides thought that women should strive to be "least talked about among men," did he mean that women should somehow be kept separate from men? Or just make themselves invisible in some way? In either case, these ancient histories do not shed very much light on women or their importance, which is to be expected considering that much of the history of ancient Greece and especially of Athens, involved so much warfare and the building of an imperialistic empire. Of course, this was the domain of men. Women were expected to give birth to future soldiers and citizens. Were women's lives really that one-dimensional? What was life like for an Athenian woman during the Classical Period?


that attempt to make some sense of the world. They often include some very basic beliefs about life, society, and what roles men and women play in a culture. The fact that these tales became traditional and were handed down from one generation to another shows the important role they played in transmitting a culture's attitudes. And as Sarah Pomeroy writes, "the myths of the past molded the attitudes of successive more sophisticated generations and preserved the continuity of the social order." For the Greeks, Hesiod's was a very important work because it gave them a catalogue of their gods and explained the details of each god's creation and lineage. Central to the is the Prometheus myth, which explains how once upon a time gods and men lived happily together and the fields gave food without the necessity of tilling. It was the Golden Age and life was blissful. No work, just leisure. Eventually, Prometheus angered the gods. As punishment, Zeus sent "the renowned Ambidexter," a woman named Pandora. Pandora brought the Golden Age to an abrupt end by opening the jar and letting out "grim cares upon mankind. Only Hope remained there ... under the lip of the jar, and did not fly out ..." The myth transmits the message that before women, everything was fine. Because of them, men had to work for even less than they used to have and farm the land for their food. Hesiod was very likely a misogynist, and "his views of gods and humankind not only shaped, but probably corresponded to the ideas held by the population as a whole."