The Role of Athenian Women in Classical Greece (MLA Bibliography)

Essay by alfaholicHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2008

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Downloaded 26 times

In Classical Greece, Athenian women played an important role in Athenian society, however they were not as highly regarded as one might expect. Perhaps Spartan women may have been more advanced and important in the sense that they were more educated, and had the ability to read, write and defend themselves (Freeman 234), however the women in Athens weren't as fortunate. Athenian women were relegated to household duties and were not allowed to read or write let alone learn anything at all that didn't have to do with tending the household or the family. This is quite contradictory of Athenian society, considering the fact that women played an indispensable role in citizenship, as well as ensuring a proper household and a respectable family. It was a rather bipolar relationship that Athenian men had towards their women; as much as they thought so little of them and wanted them to have no part in society and to keep them at home and out of the affairs of men, women were "indispensable for a settled life and an Athenian woman who was a citizen herself and married to one was allowed to pass on the privileged status to her children," (Freeman 228).

In order to understand how the influence Athenian women had, as well as their depiction in the arts and other important elements, we will take a look at the two main groups of Athenian women; the wives, and the mistresses. After analyzing the influence that both groups of had in Athens, their depiction in the arts will be looked at, such as in paintings, sculptures and pottery. After those three elements have been looked at, the role of women in Athenian society will have been revealed, showing the deep ambivalent and contradictory nature of Athenian women.

To an...