Athenian Women Research Paper

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The Women of Ancient Athens and Sparta: A Comparison Bay Shore High School Juliette Kimmins Global 9H Mr. McKenna May 22, 2015 While it has been a pattern throughout history since the very beginning of civilization for women to be given unequal stature to men in most areas of society, there have been exceptions in the treatment of women in these patriarchal societies like Sparta of Greece. Athens did not offer most these freedoms to the women. The lives of Spartan women have significant differences than that of an Athenian counterpart, causing cultural, social, and political differences between the two city-states. Typically, women in most civilizations at the time…show more content…
Women were meant to live very private lives. Athenian laws, as reformed in the 6th century, “kept women out of sight and limited their influence.”[4] Women were seen as “perpetual children” in that someone (a husband, father, brother, etc.) was always in control of them, limiting their freedom and their choices.4 It was not uncommon for women to live separate from their husbands in a women’s quarter, generally in the furthest part of the house, according to archaeological excavations.4 In short, a woman’s place was in the home as going out in public was prohibited and frowned upon in the Athenian society. Women often completed mundane housework such as caring for their children, spinning wool, and preparing food.4 Athenian women could never engage in any sort of philosophical or intellectual conversation with her husband, for they were very limited in what education they did have and as it was not respectable to speak your mind as a woman.[5] Although, in most Greek city-states, oracles and priestesses were seen as highly respectable, often being women. “From a young age, an Athenian girl of a prominent family could expect to participate in a sequence of sacred service roles.”[6] Becoming a priestess was one of the few opportunities for a woman rather than being a housewife, but this was not very as it was for mostly wealthy families of high

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