What roles did women have in ancient greek society?

1268 mots 6 pages
Chapter 4: Summary Question: What roles did women have in ancient Greek society? In the patriarchal ancient Greek society characterized by men dominance, with the exception of Sparta, the role and status devoted to women were minimal, compared to men’s. This is based on the fact that from Hercules to Alexander the Great, men from ancient Greece are well known today, but there are no such great names among the female characters. Why so? According to the famous Greek dramatist Menander (342-291B.C.), the ancient Greek woman was not expected to have an education, like read, write, and debate. From him, was this quote: “Teaching a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! [It’s] like feeding a vile snake on more poison.” In fact, Menander’s thought itself proceeded from the general philosopher’s view in that period. The website <http://www.ancient-greece.us/women.html> brings out: “Athenian philosophers, except Plato, held that women had a very poor mind but a strong emotional realm. They could harm themselves and other people, therefore they should be protected from themselves and, if it’s possible, incapacitated. That’s why each woman had her own guardian – usually he was a father, brother, husband or other relative of her.” So, the Athenian woman was viewed as inferior to man, and confined to the boundary of a home, under the protection of her father, or her husband. In such conditions, it was not a surprise if they were not famous in literature, politics, philosophy, and other hot topics in their time. In all those topics, they were barely inexistent. They had very few rights in the society, and were subdued to men. In this case, the very only roles they played in that society were the ones in social life. Three main classes of women can be distinguished in the Ancient Greece society: the wives class, the concubines’, and the hetaerae’s. The boundary of wives class is their husbands’ home. Once given in marriage to the man chose by the

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