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Politics and Women in Ancient Greece

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Politics and Women in Ancient Greece

During the time described by the myths of ancient Greece, the time just before and after the Trojan War, women were involved in politics. The following is from The Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles, Line 577:

Creon--
Say, then—have you married my sister? 
Oedipus--
The question allows no denial. 
Creon-- 
And you rule the land as she does, with equal sway. 
Oedipus--
 She obtains from me all that she wishes.

During the Classical period in Greece women had no vote and little role in politics. Excepte in Sparta women could not own property and could not sue. Women were entirely dependent for men to perform these roles. Wives and courtesans were known to influence the course of the men's political life as is evidenced by the comedies of Aristophanes. Wives were carefully sequestered in the homes of the men for purposes of bearing children for the men. Courtesans were more free to move about in public life but their vocation was limited to entertaining men. In religion women were more important. Many of the religious rituals had to be performed by women and the women served as oracles. The oracles interpreted the will of the deities to men who had petitioned for solutions to critical problems.

Lysistrata, the character in the play by the same name by Aristophanes is plainly into politics. Clytemnestra was plainly into politics when she killed her husband Agamemnon. She was probably within her rights to do this to, so it was a setback to women in politics when her son Orestes sought retribution and killed her. Penelope was probably into politics when she deceived the suitors. Eriphyle was in politics because her husband, Amphiaraus had sworn to her brother Adrastus that she would resolve any disputes between Amphiaraus and Adrastus. Polyneices won Eriphyle over to his side by bribing her with a wonderful necklace that had been the wedding gift of his ancestress Harmonia, and she made her husband go to war.

In Greece it was the custom for only men to be present at a banquet. Women entertainers could be present, and also the special class of courtesans called the hetairai. The hetairai were well-educated conversationalists and were known to influence the course of politics through their conversation. One such was the courtesan Aspasia, mistress of Pericles in 5th cent. BCE Athens. Plutarch wrote the following in is Life of Pericles:

"(24.1)This may be the right place to discuss Aspasia, and to ask what techniques or powers gave her such great control of the principal politicians and caused the philosophers to make her an important subject of discourse. (24.2)My sources agree that her family was from Miletus, and that she was the daughter of Axiochus. They say that she was following the example of a certain Thargelia, an Ionian woman of the past, when she set her sights on men of power. This Thargelia was a particularly beautiful woman and was endowed with charm as well as wit. She lived with many Greek men, and she won all of her consorts over to the king of Persia, and through them sowed the seeds of sympathy for the Persian cause in the most influential and important men.

(24.3)They say that Pericles had high regard for Aspasia as a philosopher and politician. Socrates, in fact, came to see her with his disciples, and his friends brought their wives to hear her, although she ran a disreputable and improper business, because she trained young hetaerae. (24.4)According to Aeschines, Lysicles the sheep-seller, an man of no family and humble birth, became the most important man in Athens because he lived with Aspasia after Pericles' death."

Women were chattel and the property of some man. They did not even have the right to divorce in classical Greece. Furthermore, if a man could not get a woman pregnant he might arrange for another man to do it for him. The lack of women's legal rights has been a common complaint from women and others about Greek law. But because of their important role they could make demands that allowed them more inflence than their rights allowed.

During the classical period the legal system put women in a lower status. But since they spent their time secluded, they had little to do with the legal system. They were in their own realm. Since their role was to have babies, it is unlikely that they could perform this role if they were unhappy. Their husbands would have to have acceeded to their demands and make them feel important or they would not have produced good babies.

One difficulty is that different societal customs would cast women's roles quite differently in different strata of society. The basic unit of government was in fact the family, with family meaning a more extended group than is customary today. At the highest level would be the elder male leader of the family. His wife would be an older women with many children and perhaps some grandchildren. She would have been secluded, but she might have numerous daughters and maidservants to command. Her husband might have the last word, but she would issue a lot of commands about the house which would be unquestioned. Younger established males would have fewer relatives and servants so their wives would have fewer to command. Younger couples and poorer ones might have no servants to command. Most issues in such households would be resolved by the eldest male in consultation with his wife. Only on rare occasions would a situation be so serious that a recourse to law outside the family be required. The sons in such households would be voting citizens but still they would be subject to their father in the house. The wives of such sons would be subject to the sons and also to their father.

Within the house numerous industries would be pursued. Perhaps the main business was a vinyard. The sons and the male slaves would work outside while the women would work in the house with weaving and food preparation. Women slaves would help with the house drudgery, grinding grain, carrying water and wastes. The daughters and wives of the sons would have more important tasks. The eldest wife would supervise the inside tasks while her husband would supervise the outside tasks.

The issue of the status of women is somewhat minimized because in the normal situation a woman supervises a woman and a man supervises a man. Only at the highest level does a man supervise a woman. This is quite different from our society where there is much mixing among the sexes in the different roles and strata. The status of women becomes fairly theoretical then. Only in difficult cases where issues in the family cannot be resolved does the legal status of women come into play. In our society, where women can even live on their own, such laws are used much more frequently.

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Politics and Women in Ancient Greece

Questions and Answers

Question: When was the turning point for women to gain power before the 17th century?

Answer: Women have depended on societies with a strong rule of law to achieve political power. Such a situation allowed Elizabeth to be queen of England from 1533 to 1603.

Question: Why were women not able to vote in ancient Greece?

Answer: Responsibilities in those days were strongly divided by sex and men had this responsibility and women did not. Voting involved meeting in the marketplace and listening to issues which were then voted on. Women were secluded in the home and could not visit the marketplace.

Question: HI, I am trying to write a 3 minunite Rebuttal on why women should be allowed to vote in Ancient Greece. Do you have any ideas/suggestions for me that I could put in my speech?

Answer: Women should be allowed to vote in ancient Greece because Greek women are very intelligent and this intelligence should not be wasted. I know the women are very intelligent because the men are very intelligent. The men got to be intelligent because they were educated by the women. It is true that the young men were sent to special schools for their training, but this training occured after they were 5 years old. Women were responsible for the training before that. The early education is the most important because it develops attitudes for study and learning that pay off big later. Had women been allowed to vote, their task would have been easier and the men even more intelligent. Maybe they would have resolved their internal sqabbles and beat the Romans. Women voting had a remarkable effect on the U.S. because the women were educated about foreign policy and they were a tremendous support for the war effort in WWII. The women in the U.S helped make the weapons that beat the Germans in WWI.

Question: Who could vote in ancient Greece?

Answer: Only male Greek citizens. Wives and Slaves of these citizens could not vote. Nor could Athenian residents from elsewhere.

Question: Did any women ever attempt to break into politics in ancient Rome?

Answer: Since some historians consider the fall of Rome to be the defeat of the Hapsburgs by Napoleon in 1802, you have to put some time limits on Rome. If you say until 550 AD then you include the very powerful Empress Theodora who did much for the cause of women. Boadacia lead an army against Rome in the 1st century AD. Hypatia was killed in 415 AD for giving political advice to the governor of Egypt. Marcella was a Roman noble woman who set the standard for Christian monastacism for women and died in 410 AD. There are records on many other women who influenced Roman politics.

Question: Were free women free to vote and take part in the government?

Answer: In classical Greece no women were really free and none voted or took part in the government.

Question: Woman rights in Greece?

Answer: Only a few men had any rights at all. Women acted officialy with the permission of men. Custom did give them rights in some sense. Custom gave them woman's work (read the rest of the page for details) and to be secluded in a women's area free from men. They also had the custom of participatng in certain religious festivals and functions.

Question: when they got a democracy was it still that womean couldnt vote

Answer: In ancient Greece only the men could vote. Democracy was just for the men.

Question: How do you think ancient Greeks would feel about goovernment subsid ies of the arts?

Answer: They did subsidize the arts. They were more community minded than we are. They spent more time in their public buildings than we do. They made these buildings better and decorated them with art better than their homes. The sculptures they produced were public art paid for by public funds.

Question: Did women have the right to participate in the democratic process?

Answer: No they did not. But they did influence the process by causing their husbands and relatives to change their votes. Hetaerae influenced the votes of their customers.

Question: were women in power in acient greek times

Answer: During Classical times they had no political power. Only in Sparta could they own property so they very limited economic power. There was a great demand for babies so they could use their wiles to get what they wanted.

Question: How were women's roles represented in Antigone by Sophocles?

Answer: Ismene says: "No, no, we must remember we were born women, not to strive with men." Antigone replies: "As for me, I will bury him; and if I die for that, I am content." Antigone is not your typical woman, but Ismene is more typical, though she really bears no fault. In fact Ismene is a very good woman. Antigone goes way beyond what is expected of anyone, let alone a woman.

Question: Did they ever have sex?

Answer: Of course they had sex. Read about love and sex: Click here

Question: economics

Answer: They knew very little about economics. Athens stabilized trade with a strong Navy that eliminated pirates. They minted coins but they had to be weighed to be evaluated. Barter was common. Gold and treasure was hoarded and not invested. Tribute was a common tax. There were no banks. When silver was discovered in Attica it was fortunately spent on a better Navy, because this Navy ultimately defeated the Persians.

Question: did women have a role in gocernment?

Answer: No, they did not. They were excluded by law. But they were known to influence even the most important politians.

Question: is it possible for a greek woman to rise to power in their societie s?

Answer: During the archaic period the powerful Greek women were all Amazon queens. During the classical period Greek women did not achieve political power. During the Hellenistic period there were a number of powerful queens including: Aretaphilia of Cyrene, Arsinoe II of Egypt, Atemisia I and Artemisia II of Helicarnassus, Cleopatra of Eqypt, Cynane of Macedonia, Olympias of Macedonia. These women were essentially Greek but they lived in an area conquered by Alexander.

Question: if you can be presedent

Answer: Ancient Greece did not have a president as we know it. Some names of similar Greek leaders include archon, polemarch, and basileus. But Pericles, one of the most important leaders of ancient Athens, did not hold any of these titles.

Answer: Women were mainly involved with bearing and raising children.

Question: what was life like for a woman living in ancient Sparta?

Answer: The women of ancient Sparta were exempt from all duties except the bearing and raising of children.

Question: What was the role of women in ancient Greece?

Answer: Their role was to bear and raise children.

Question: Can you explain women's citizenship rights in Ancient Greece?

Answer: A woman had no rights as a citizen. In some rare cases the fact that a woman was the child of a citizen meant that her sons were citizens.

Question: why couldnt women vote

Answer: Voting was public and women were not allowed to appear in public.

Question: Who were some of the most famous politics of Greece?

Answer:

Women:

Men:

Question: What are the voter's rights for women in Greece

Answer: In ancient Greece the women could not vote.

Question: most famous sex style

Answer: See the page on love and sex at: Click here

Question: can you tell me aspasia's effect on society/politics/ancient greece?

Pericles was the most powerful person in Athens and Aspasia was his advisor and confidant. It is possible that she had great influence.

Question: How did athene influence politics and the role of women in greek society?

Answer: As long as Athene was worshipped, women had an important role in that worship. This was a strong example for the importance of women. As the goddess of wisdom she also supported the idea that reason should be used in political decisions. History has strongly demonstrated the truth of this.

Question: What role did women play in Lysistrata?

Answer: The women demanded peace, and by a joint action, they got what they wanted.

Question: I'd like information on the Life as a non-citizen in Ancient Greece

Answers: This would have included slaves and foreigners. I have already dealt with the slaves so I will focus on the foreigners here. There were many foreigners in Athens and other Greek cities because of the importance of trade. Foreigners would be present to protect the interests of the foreign trade partners. This would have been fairly profitable because of the value placed on foreign goods and the difficulties of piracy and shipping over great distance. These people would have been free of the responsibility of the citizen with the benefits of the community. Women would be free of the Greek restrictions on women but dependent on their friends and families in time of troubles. Who you knew was very important.

Question: what was the role of the woman in ancient greece

Answer: Women bore babies and raised children. They had no role in politics.

Question: women and voting?

Answer: They did not have any legal or political rights. When Athens began there was a contest for which deity would be the patron of Athens, Athena or Poseidon. In those days women could vote and all the women voted for Athena and all the men voted for Poseidon. But since there was one more woman the women won. After that the men took the vote away from the women.

Question: Strenths of Monarchies

Answer: Established succession, and single control.

Question: Did any women in greece become a ruler

Answer: In Classical Greece (470 - 338 BCE) there were no women rulers. At the time of the Trojan war there is some question as to whether the Greek queens were rulers. Nausicaa instructs Odyseus to clasp her mother's knees when he begs that the Phaecians should help him. This suggests that she is the ruler. But the queens of this time, Penelope, Jocasta, Clytemnestra, are not often portrayed as rulers by the classical authors. The Amazon queens were rulers, but not strictly Greek. Dido of Carthage could also be mentioned. Artemisia I was queen of Halicarnassus, and ruler there. She may have been the most important woman related to classical Greece, but she was a commander on the side of the Persians.

Question: what is their belifes

Answer: To the Greeks the gods were part of reality as they experienced it. There was no religion as such and no word to describe it. They believed that many gods and goddesses took part in the events that happened around them and that according to their sphere of influence they could be persuaded or thanked with gifts and prayers. They looked after the temples of the gods to please them. They did not look to the gods for salvation in the afterlife, but rather rewards and favors during life. For this they offered piety, service and scarifice to the Gods.

Some sort of religious observance accompanied all important private and public events and activities, and even some less important ones. The deities were often consulted for omens regarding almost any undertaking. If the omen was favorable then there was an appropriate ceremony of thanks to the appropriate deities. Worship was often localized for some local deity or family association. Their calendar consisted of lunar months broken up by numerous holidays of observance of various deities. Every aspect of life could be assigned to the realm of one deity or another.

Question: What year were women able to vote, and why did they deciede for them to vote then?

Answer: Early in the history of Greece, before 1250 BCE, women were allowed to vote. There was a vote to decide who should be the patron deity of Athens, Athena or Poseidon. The women all voted for Athena and the men for Poseidon. Since there was one more woman than men Athena won. After that the men decide to deprive the women of the vote. They were not able to vote again until modern times.

Question: can you give me some reasons why women should have had the same rights as men did in ancient greece.

Answer: Families do better when the spouses get along. Societies do better when everyone has respect for everyone else. These situations are most likely when everyone has the same rights. We are lucky that the ancient Greeks gave rights to anyone, because what we have is a generalization of what they did. But had they educated their women better, and given them the right to vote they might have conquered the Romans instead of the other way around.

Question: do u know about what they eat

Answer: Click on the Menu directory below and click on Daily Life.

Question: With birth control methods how has womens view on sex changed from ancient times to know?

Answer: For three quarters of the world's women the view of sex has not changed in over 2500 years. Their entire role is having sex and bearing and raising children. This, in spite of the fact that the world can no longer support any more children. There are only a few women in the world today that have the advantages that are equal or superior to that of the women of ancient Greece. Birth control did change some attitudes in western industrial countries, but AIDS has changed them in a different direction.

Question: Who was Cynane?

Answer: Judy Chicago says the following:

"Cynane 4th C. BCE; Macedonia; Cynane's father, Philip of Macedonia, arranged a marriage for her, but he was soo left a widow with a daughter, Eurydice. Cynane led her army to Asia to ensure that Eurydice would marry the heir to Alenander's lands. Certain leaders conspired against her and sent Macedonian warriors to kill her, but she persuaded them from their mission. Because the soldiers refused to murder her, one of the generals caried out the deed. Nonetheless, Eurydice then became the Queen of Macedonia.

Question: what is the trojan horse

Answer: The Trojan horse was a large hollow wooden horse built at the suggestion of Odysseus during the Trojan war. He and his cohorts hid inside the horse which was placed in front of the gates of Troy. The allies of Odysseus then withdrew. The Trojans thought the horse was a peace offering and drew it inside the walls. Cassandra said the enemy was inside the horse but nobody ever believed her. At night Odysseus and his friends slipped out of the horse and opened the gates of Troy. The allies of Odysseus were then able to enter and capture the city.

Question: i need to creat relationship with some girls bettween 25 to 35 years old. can you help me

Answer: Yes. The best way to have a relationship with a woman is to make lots of money. The best way to make a lot of money is to have a good job. The best way to get a good job is to have a good education. Studying the ideas and culture of ancient Greece is traditionally one of the best educations you can get. Not only does this site help you find out about ancient ideas and culture, but it helps you learn about women. Women like to be considered and taken care of, for example. If you help women out then they like you.

It is not good that you are focusing on girls between 25 and 35. Most girls stop being girls about 13. These are women you are referring to. And this is the hardest age to focus on because they are the most desirable. You should be more generous and focus on some other criterion. A women should be able to make a serious contribution to your life. Sex is just the icing. You should base your relation on some common interest, such as cooking, or play reading. Outdoor sports are good because they will keep you both fit. You also need to be flexible and helpful even to the women that you do not like. A women who you get along with today will be a different person in ten years. But do not focus on what she can do for you. Focus on what you can do for her and then find someone worthy of your efforts. Help her to develop herself by learning about the example of ancient Greek women.

Question: What did the acient Greek weapons look like?

Answer: During the Trojan war the weapons were bronze. The armour was leather. The main weapon was the oared galley with its ramming prow called a beaked ship by Homer. On land the Greeks were less capable with javelins and swords being the main weapons. Bows and arrows were also used. The most formidable weapon on land was the chariot attached to a team of horses. For defense there was the helmet, cuirass, apron, shield, and greaves, all leather. Homer mentions shiny gold and brass armour, but there is no archeological evidence for it. Most of the references seem to be poetic embellishments. This is also supported by the many references to the armour being pierced by weapons. The leather may have had hard pieces such as bone or metal sewed on, but solid armour seems to have been developed later. Pictures follow:

Question: what kind of work did slaves do?

Answer: Menial drudgery. More Info

Question: who are 5 important women befor the year 500 a.d.?

Answer: The following important women were all from the time of the Trojan War (1190 BCE):

Question: How was life for Persian Women?

Answer: Perhaps not so good. You can read about Vashti, a Persian queen of around 475 BCE at: Click here

Question: Non-citizens had only to obey the laws and pay taxes. Slaves had to do their master's bidding as well. In addition citizens had to attend civic meetings and serve in public office or in the military.

Question: list of names of greek women

Answer:

Question: How did Athenian women's rights compare to Roman woman's rights?

Answer: The Roman ladies had more political power that the Greek ladies did. But it was because of the way their family was structured, not because they could vote.

Question: Who was Pericles, why was he famous and how did he die?

Answer: Pericles was a male statesman in Athens and this site is about women. His mistress was Aspasia.

Question: What did women have to do with how their culture operated?

Answer: Women had little to do with affairs of state except that the oracle of Delphi was often consulted in these matters and she was a woman. Women could only advise politicians but they could not vote. The father was head of the household, but his wife interpreted his requirements to the other women. Much of the entertainment in Ancient Greece seemed to be organised around the hetaerae, who were women. Some hetaerae were actually trained to converse about politics and other masculine subjects. Gods and goddesses were both important and priestesses were required to serve the goddesses. These priestesses organized the rituals and festivals for the goddesses.

Question: what was the role of women in ancient athens?

Answer: See Athens.

Question: I am doing a paper on whether the men in lysistrata were converted or coherced can you offer any help?

Answer: This sounds like an interesting paper topic. There is some question in my mind whether political issues can ever be decided by conversion or coercion. But reading the drama, Lysistrata will help you a lot. One thing is clear, though we now see the wisdom of the efforts of Aristophanes, the people of Athens did not take his advise and more misery resulted.

Question: Could you tell me something about a religious ritual in which women pariticpated?

Answer: Women priestesses officiated at the rituals for the goddesses. For example each year n Athens a new sacred pelops was presented to Athena. Special women wove this garment and made the presentation. A similar event is described in the Iliad of Homer 6.269 as follows:

'do thou go to the temple of Athene, [270] driver of the spoil, with burnt-offerings, when thou hast gathered together the aged wives; and the robe that seemeth to thee the fairest and amplest in thy hall, and that is dearest far to thine own self, this do thou lay upon the knees of fair-haired Athene and vow to her that thou wilt sacrifice in her temple twelve sleek heifers that have not felt the goad, [275] if she will take pity on Troy and the Trojans' wives and their little children; in hope she may hold back the son of Tydeus from sacred Ilios, that savage spearman, a mighty deviser of rout. So go thou to the temple of Athene, driver of the spoil; [280] and I will go after Paris, to summon him, if haply he will hearken to my bidding. Would that the earth might straightway gape for him! for in grievous wise hath the Olympian reared him as a bane to the Trojans and to great-hearted Priam, and the sons of Priam. If I but saw him going down to the house of Hades, [285] then might I deem that my heart had forgotten its woe.” So spake he, and she went to the hall and called to her handmaidens; and they gathered together the aged wives throughout the city. But the queen herself went down to the vaulted treasurechamber wherein were her robes, richly broidered, the handiwork of Sidonian women, [290] whom godlike Alexander had himself brought from Sidon, as he sailed over the wide sea on that journey on the which he brought back high-born Helen. Of these Hecabe took one, and bare it as an offering for Athene, the one that was fairest in its broiderings and amplest, [295] and shone like a star, and lay undermost of all. Then she went her way, and the throng of aged wives hastened after her.

Now when they were come to the temple of Athene in the citadel, the doors were opened for them by fair-cheeked Theano, daughter of Cisseus, the wife of Antenor, tamer of horses; [300] for her had the Trojans made priestess of Athene. Then with sacred cries they all lifted up their hands to Athene; and fair-cheeked Theano took the robe and laid it upon the knees of fair-haired Athene, and with vows made prayer to the daughter of great Zeus: [305] “Lady Athene, that dost guard our city, fairest among goddesses, break now the spear of Diomedes, and grant furthermore that himself may fall headlong before the Scaean gates; to the end that we may now forthwith sacrifice to thee in thy temple twelve sleek heifers that have not felt the goad, if thou wilt take pity [310] on Troy and the Trojans' wives and their little children.” So spake she praying, but Pallas Athene denied the prayer.'

Question: How did Aristotle feel about women.

Answer: For this you just read Aristotle.

Here are some quotes from Aristotle about women:

It should be mentioned that these quotes are not seen to derive from Aristotle's general philosophy, but merely reflect the general attitude of men in the culture.

Question: Who were some good and powerful Queens in ancient Greece, and what did they do that made them so great?

Answer:

Question: Who was the highest political figure and who was the lowest? As in, Gods at top and then slaves at bottom.

Answer: There were many different political arrangements so what follows is only approximate:

Question: HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT WORK IN ANCIENT ATHENS DURING THE 'GOLDEN ERA'

Answer: It was a democracy with an assembly of citizens and elected officials. There were also courts with juries for trying cases.

Question: where any women allowed to be in politics or were any involved at all?

Answer: Women were excluded from politics. But wives influenced their husbands and hetaerae were trained to advise their clients who were often politicians.

Question: what was most of the athenian government like?

Answer: Town meetings in New Hampshire today are similar. Also our jury system was symilar.

Question: What were women's rights in the ancient city of Corinth?

Answer: Only in Sparta did women have any rights.

Question: is athens the capital?

Answer: It is now, but it was not in ancient Greece. Greece was made up of a number of city-states which were quite independent. Sometimes they would unite against a common enemy, but more often they would fight amongst themselves. Politically Athens was one of the leading states but the political leadership was not nearly as important as her intellectual and artistic leadership. The great dramatists were all Athenian as were most of the artists and philosophers. For 1000 years Athens was the center of learning for the world. But it was Rome that spread that learning and not the politics of Athens. Athens was a major political power only for a short period, 470-338 BCE, and even then did not dominate Greece.

Question: do you think that politics had anything to do with the desitions of wemen in the tragedys antigone and medea and odipheos the king?

Answer: Politics may apply not only to the application of law to the state and its affairs, but also rumor, status, suspicion, guilt and so on. In this case, since most of the characters are royal, the decisions must relate to politics. But in ancient Greece it is sometimes difficult to distinguish law and custom.

Question: did any women stand up for their rights in ancient greece

Answer: Only men had rights, so women could not stand up for them. Actually the idea was too new for them to realize this. But women did go to court and have favorable settlements. Women like Aspasia stood up for everyone's rights and we are grateful for this. One story which may be instructive is that of Agnodice (fl. 506 BCE, Greece) which Judy Chicago relates as follows: "Agnodice studied medicine disguised as a man with the idea of becoming expert in gynecology and offering her services to women. After completing her studies, she revealed her true identity to women and they flocked to her, happy to have a gynecologist of their own sex. Male doctors were outraged that their female patients preferred Agnodice, though they did not realize she was a woman. They brought her to trial for malpractice and when she publicly revealed her sex, tried to enforce the law prohibiting women from practicing medicine. Prominent women of the city protested and thus succeeded in having the law changed, at least until the twelth century." Further discussion of Agnodice is to be found at Click here and at Agnodice

Question: You have stated that Greek women had no rights...but that Roman women did, then it was stated that only Spartan women had rights. What are the differences in these? And is it both Spartan and Roman women that had rights?

Answer: In all of Greece only the Spartan women had a few rights which freed them from any distraction to their childrearing and gave them the right to own property. The powerful Roman matrons got laws passed that protected women. The wives of the Roman emperors had political power along with their husbands. The concept of rights only began to be developed among the Greeks and then the idea was better developed later.

Question: How did the women of sparta act?

Answer: Strong and confident.

Question: what were some of the rights that women had?

Answer: Women did not have any rights except in Sparta where they were free of any labor unrelated to child rearing and they were able to own property.

Question: I was wondering what buildings they used for their government?

Answer: The public buildings were all temples. The temples of ancient Greece were all multipurpose buildings. Interior rooms were small and unheated. Sometime the building incorporated a court with a surrounding roofed gallery. In this courts a fire could be built for light and warmth. The temples were often surrounded by a porch or gallery that provided some protection from the elements. Outdoor meetings would be held here with partial protection. The altar was usually in from of the building and this is where the more public ceremonies were held. In the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles Oedipus acts like the palace is the Temple of Thebes.

Question: What were weapons like in Acient Greece?

Answer: The most important weapon was the beaked ship. Very much secondly was the chariot. The other weapons were hand weapons: Javelin or spear, sword, axe, bow and arrow, discus, and rocks. During the classical period the weapons were made of steel. During the heroic period they were bronze.

Question: Arete of Cyrene?

Answer: Click here. There is also a reference to her in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Question: is there any websites or information available on the women philosophers of ancient greece?

Answer: Which one of the following interests you?

There is the site Women Philosophers web site

Question: What was the government of acient athens?

Answer: It was a pure democracy. All final decisions were taken to an assembly of citizens.

Question: did queens have the same rights as normal women in ancient greece?

Answer: In classical Greece a woman derived her power from her husband. The husband would normally relegate his power to his wife. She would then be in charge of the women in the household, but she would still answer to her husband. In the Mycenaean period some women, queens in particular, delegated power to their husbands. The queen would delegate power over politics and the affairs of state to her husband, the king.

Question: since men had so much freedom did they ever treat on their wives?

Answer: They did not consider it cheating. Men carefully secluded their wives so the wives had little chance for extra affairs. It was also a serious crime for a man to have sex with another man's wife or marriagable daughters. Such a man could be killed. Having sex with another man's slave was also a crime but the man would be fined. But there were many women a man could have sex with without any problem. The main groups were hetaera and prostitutes. Prostitutes were usually slaves hired for sex. Hetaera were free women, some of whom were no better than prostitutes, while others were trained in music, dance, and counciling. Hetaera seemed to be social organizers who arranged social life for many of the men.

Question: what is plato's view or stand about women and politics

Answer: In the Republic, Plato talks at length about women, but he does not favor them. He talks about their unfavorable influence on the education of children, for example.

Question: What kind of citizenship rights did women have?

Answer: None.

Question: What were women's roles in clothe's making?

Answer: Women made all the clothes.

Question: What were womens role in terms of beauty culture in ancinet times.

Answer: Both men and women in ancient Greece were interested in beauty. But their beauty was an unadorned one. Men exercised nude and rubbed themselves with olive oil. Women exercised too but they wore a tunic. They depiliated themselves and wore cosmetics litely. The clothes they wore were fairly simple, but they could be very elaborately arranged.

Question: Was there a queen aspasia in ancient greece?

Answer: Some people thought Aspasia ruled Athens as a queen because she told Pericles what to do, and he did it. But there were no queens in classical Greece.

Question: what was the athens ancient government

Answer: Athens used a pure democratic form of government.

Question: My daughter has to "become a person" from China, Rome, or Greece from the period of about 500 BCE to 500 after. We are trying to find a woman for her to study - Agnodice may have been legend, as well as Mu lan, and Sappho may be too controversial - any su

Answer: Pericles said any Greek woman who was famous was so for the wrong reason. Sappho was not controversial; what people thought of her was controversial. Aspasia was a courtesan and she also has problems. Hypatia ought to do. She was a Roman who died in 415 AD.

Question: boadacia

Answer Boadaceia was not an ancient Greek. She was a British queen who fought against the Romans and died in 62 AD.

Question: why weren't women and men equal

Answer: Men and women are not born equal. They are born with different abilities and talents. It did not occur to anyone that they should be treated equally.

Question: Did women have any role in politics in ancient Greece?

Answer: In the beginning the women of Athens had the power to vote, and then used that power to select Athena as the patron of the city. Since only women voted for Athena, the men decided to remove the power to vote from the women. In classical times women could not vote. But wives were able to influence husbands, and hetaerae were trained in conversation and politics. Some of these women served as advisors to the politicians.

Question: why were blonds admred

Answer: Men find blond-haired, blue-eyed women sexy with the result that these women find mates easier. For this reason the type persists even though the genes are recessive. This is the same reason human women have permanently enlarged breasts. The ancient Greeks did include blond, blue-eyed women.

Question: queen boadacia

Answer: Boadacia lead an army against Rome in the 1st century AD.

Question: Why did there husbands treat them so bad?

Answer: Husbands treat wives badly because the husbands are:

or the wives are:

Usually life is unbearable if the husband and wife do not get along and treat each other well. In most families the husband and wife got along. The problem came in the exceptional families. In ancient Greece a woman could not bring legal action against her husband so in some cases women were treated unfairly. When Alcibiades wife tried to bring action against him he just grabbed her and carried her home, and no one could stop him.

Question: where can I find pictures of Cleopatra on the internet

Answer: Cleopatra is a Greek name that means 'Fathers glory' The most famous Cleopatra was a Hellenic Greek involved with the Roman Julius Caesar. But the name is much older and is the name of several Nereids. I do not find any pictures of any of the Nereids named Cleopatra.

Question: Where can i find ancient greek pictures of slaves

Answer: Slaves are not identifiable as such. We can either identify slaves by a circumstance or we can identify an occupation that is likely to have been done by slaves. The figure on the left seems to be a servant but she could be a slave or a relative: Click here.

Question: Did women have any political rights in Ancient Athens?"

Answer: No. Women were counted as the posession of some man.

Question: lysistrata

Answer: Lysistrata was the name of a play written by Aristophanes as a statement of his frustration with war. The main character, Lysistrata, organizes the Greek ladies so they refuse sex until the war stops.

Question: i need to now what made you qualify as a citizen

Answer: If both your parents were a citizen, then you were a citizen.

Question: was sparta dictatorship

Answer: No. It was a consitutional dyarchy (There were two kings and a parliment). It also had a lot of checks and balances on those mynarchs by a legislative body. Mainly the kings were military leaders.

Question: Can you give me a report on women's rights in ancient Greece

Answer: Only some men had rights. Rights were a new concept. Women had no rights. The ancient Greek women had freedom, though, especially compared to the rest of the world. You need to focus on freedom rather than rights.

Question: who is Perictyone? Where can i go to gather more information on her?

Answer: Perictyone.

Question: I am writing an essay on how Homer affected politics in Greece and I was wondering if you could help. Please tell me what type of system Homer would have brought the Greeks closer to. Did he make it more or less democratic? And, could you please show me evidence from either the Iliad or the Odyssey as to how he influenced politics in Greece.

Answer: Homer influenced politics by including in his works comments about Dike (right), Nomos (law), and fate. In addition, Homer included rules which even the gods were subject to.

Homer gives the example of lawlessness in the Cyclops who "have neither gatherings for council nor oracles of law, but they dwell in hollow caves on the crests of the high hills, and each one utters the law to his children and his wives, and they reck not one of another." Odyssey, Book IX.

It may be significant that Themis calls the council of the gods: "Meanwhile Zeus from the top of many-delled Olympus, bade Themis gather the gods in council, whereon she went about and called them to the house of Zeus. There was not a river absent except Oceanus, nor a single one of the nymphs that haunt fair groves, or springs of rivers and meadows of green grass. When they reached the house of cloud-compelling Zeus, they took their seats in the arcades of polished marble which Vulcan with his consummate skill had made for father Zeus." Homer, Iliad, Book XX.

Homer in the Iliad also supports a right to speak. Nestor says: I can go with my knights and give them that counsel which old men have a right to give." And Diomedes says "Son of Atreus, I will chide your folly, as is my right in council."

These statements seem to support a constitutional monarchy.

Question: how did Homer affect politics in ancient Greece?

Answer: Homer provided a moral ground against which politics could be judged.

Question: how does ancient greece relate to the play antigone

Answer: ANTIGONE is a tragedy because it represents the conflict between competing allegiances which arises from the principle of love: private (i.e., family) and public (i.e., city or regime); between nature or tradition and convention. The lesson is that political leadership must be accompanied by wisdom (i.e., the ethic of responsibility); otherwise political convention will overreach, transgress nature, and lead to disaster.

Question: Mens clothing

Answer: Often men wore just a himation but otherwise they wore the same clothes as the women: Click here. In the Iliad Homer uses the word Χῐτών (chiton) to describe men's clothing.

Question: What kind of make up did the women wear (particularly in East Greece)?

Answer: Click here

Question: 10 facts about doctors in aceint greece

Answer: Greek Medecine

Question: What was the role of mothers, fathers and lovers in ancient Greece?

Answer: Mothers raised children and worked around the house. Fathers mated with mothers, worked outside the home, and were involved in government. Lovers were a different matter. In a society where marriages were arranged by fathers, couples hopefully would grow to love one another. Lovers who did not find favor with their parents were a nuisance. Haemon committed suicide when he was deprived of his lover. Helen fell in love with Paris and the Trojan war resulted. Medea fell in love with Jason and caused her brother to be killed when he came after her. But Penelope stayed faithful to Ulysses for 20 years while he was away.

Question: How do i know that this is a credible website?

Answer: I publish all criticism and corrections. You may check the references I give.

Question: Why did the Greeks excel at warfare?

Answer: Training and strategy. They may also have better equipment.

Question: what was expected of women in ancient Greece?

Answer: They were expected to produce babies and care for them and they did many other taskes that were felt suitable for women: spinning and weaving, cooking and serving, Cleaning and carrying water.

Question: where can i find pictures of women protesting , for the right to vote

Answer: No ancient Greek women ever did this. But there are several comedies by Aristophanes which involve women protesting. There are some people that have suggested that the behavior of maenads was a reaction to the repression of women and that their meetings were actually protests. Here is a group of Maenads dancing, perhaps protesting: Click here

Question: how the people were ruled and how much they affected by there goverment compare to New Zealand

Answer: In those days people were ruled more by custom and less by law. In Minoan Crete, as with many primitive societies, people were ruled entirely by custom. The Ancient Greeks were fortunate that they were free of many customs. But a person would still be judged based on cutomary behavior. most such judgement would be made by the basic family unit and groups of families or clans. Taxes would be paid by the clan, for example. The government would be reserved for clan to clan relations and affairs of state. Ancient Greece saw the transition from the citizen politician who served for a limited period of time, to the professional politician. The type of government varies from state to state with many examplos of types of government including democracy, oligarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, and even dyarchy (The government of Sparta).

Question: why did women get treated so badly?

Answer: Most men wanted to get along with their wives and these women were treated well. Many men feared the goddesses and so they treated women well. But some men wanted to take advantage of anyone weaker than they are. Other men wanted to get back at women who mistreated them when they were young. A good society sets up laws that protects the weaker from misuse of the stronger. Otherwise there is the resort of violence. The ancient Greeks failed the women in a number of ways. They failed to insure that they were well educated, they failed to provide recourse for divorce, and they failed to provide protection for slaves. But compared the the vast majority of other societies, the women of ancient Greece were fairly well off.

Question: TRADE AND BARTER IN ANCIENT GREECE?

Answer: An article: TRADE AND BARTER IN ANCIENT GREECE but there are numerous references in various pages in this site. Click on the Menu directory below for more info.

Question: What were the voting requirements in Athens during Acient Greece times?

Answer: Voting was limited to male citizens who were in attendance at the assembly.

Question: is there any 411 on Socrates

Answer:

Question: Isle of Lesbo

Answer: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays , Sappho

Question: whom are the famous women in 5th century greece

Answer:

Question: who were some of the woman who helped human rights in politics?

Answer: The Amazons may have helped by fighting to preserve gynocratic societies. Antigone, Cassandra, and Lysistrata are also possibilities. Sappho demonstrated the potential of women. Aspasia was the most notable female politician and leader. The maenads were a reaction to female supression and could be credited in this regard. But the most effective effort occured in the 18th and 19th century when classic literature was the standard for education and women began to be trained in schools.

Question: what are some things ancient sparta would say to win the vote against womens rights?

Answer: Spartan women were the only women in the world with any rights. Some Greeks said that the ultimate defeat of the Spartans was due to this fact, but it is highly unlikely.

Question: Why did the ancient Greeks use mollusk shells to vote

Answer: Ostracism. The Assembly could vote (voting was done on potsherds called ostra) on expelling citizens from the state for a period of ten years. There were able to scratch a name in this material as paper and pencils were not yet available

Question: How did Athens treat it's allies?

Answer: Some were treated better than others. Athens required tribute of its allies.

Question: what were women unable to do in ancient greece?

Answer: They could not vote, they could not enter the olympics, and they could not participate in drama.

Question: Who was Cimon?

Answer: Click here

Question: difference between citizen and non-citizen women in classical athens are?

Answer: Citizen women tended to have more wealth and status. They also obeyed different customs which were less restrictive in spite of the fact that they tended to be confined to their homes.

Question: What was the system of goverment for ancient greece?

Answer: There was no one government in ancient Greece. Each city-state had its own form of government. And the type of governments varied widely. The politics of ancient Greece were a grand experiment in politics where many different systems were tried and documented.

Question: what are some acient facts about ATTICA

Answer: Attica was the region around ancient Athens. Many of the citizens of Athens enjoyed country homes in Attica.

Question: Whe did the roles of ancient Greek women change? What year?

Answer: Roles of women changed not once but many times. But I know of few changes that can be established to the year. Pericles did pass a law about citizenship that affected the role of women and this occurred in 451 BCE.

Question: WHO SAID.EUREKA?

Answer: Archimedes said 'Eureka' when he sat down in his bath tub. He realized that he could verify the purity of the king's crown by measuring its density. He could do this by immersing it in water just like getting in a bath tub. He was so excited he jumped up and ran out of his house naked. But Archimedes was not a Classical Greek and lived a little later, 287 BC – c. 212 BC. He was part of Magna Gaecia and a citizen of Syracuse

Question: When and why did men start hateing women in the frist place

Answer: Every man starts life as the baby of a woman who cares for him. We now know that the early years are very important to the development of the personality later. A mother can easily mistreat a male child in such a way that he will hate women later. If this hate is transferred to other women and they take out their bad feelings on another male baby, the cycle of hate is continued.

Most men realize the trials of motherhood and are supportive of their wives. Before the Greeks the societies of eastern Europe were so supportive and so admiring of a woman's ability to make babies that women were deified. Later it was realized that men had a role in the creative process and men were deified as well. Warlike tribes asserted the dominance of men and made the major deities male instead of female. This paralled an emphasis in society on controlling women and their procreative power. In some societies elaborate rituals were devised for women to facilitate this control. The Greek society avoided these rituals by separating society by sex. Women held separate roles and inhabited separate spaces. This was more a matter of respect rather than hate. As a result men viewed women from afar and some men waxed eloquent on what were considered differences of the sexes. To some what is different is always inferior. But the main women who suffered under this system were not the wives. They usually go what they wanted. But a special class of women were set up to service the sexual needs of the men. These women were not confined, but they were subjected to the sexual demands of the men. Though they were paid for their service they had to perform humiliating acts to gain the acceptance of the men. Even worse were the women slaves who could be killed if they did not cooperate, or even at the whim of their owner.

The ancient Greeks did not realize the importance of early childhood education. But there was a tremendous emphasis on education in their society and many received a good education. Women, though not required to go to school, were often caught up in this enthusiasm, and so they seem to have prepared the young children well. The result was that women were not often hated. But societal pressures and example of other society brought regulations which did not support women and attempted to confine them further. Laws were the realm of men and were often not sympathetic to women as a result. Fortunately for the Greek women some of the deities were women whom the men would expect to side with the women. Up through the classical period a man would think twice before he offended a goddess.

In ancient Greece most of the hate of women which we read about is just women as viewed from a male perspective. The small remaining amount probably can be explained as men who were mistreated as young children.

Question: why weren't women allowed in public?

Answer: There was no law against women in public, but it was a social convention. The socially prominant women felt safer at home. Even they went to women's festivals. They would send their female slaves on errands outside the home such as fetching water. Hetaera could go anywhere a man went. One way a women could go out in public was to wear a veil.

Question: What are the biggest similarities between Athens and Sparta?

Answer: Their culture, language, and religion were essentially the same. The tragedy of their society is that they both felt they should compete in a military way.

Question: What were the difference between Ancient Athenian womens roles in society ant that of Spartan women, in the areas of culture, politics, and religious beliefs and family status

Answer: The status of the Spartan women was the highest in the world at the time. The Athenian wives were not much lower but they seem culturally less important than the hetaerae. With the help of the hetaerae the Athenean men enjoyed one of the highest standards of living ever achieved. Only the hetaerae could influence politics and then only in an advisory capacity. All shared the same religious values. All Greek women benefited because some of the goddesses were very important to the men and it was customary for women to serve the goddesses.

Question: What were the duties of Athenian women

Answer: Women were to manage what was in the home while men managed what was outside the home.

Question: How did they vote in aceint greece?

Answer: The ancient Greeks only voted in an assembly. A jar was passed around and each person scratched their vote on a shell and placed it in the jar. Later the votes were counted by tallying the votes on the shells. Sometime there were two jars and a pebble was placed in the jar labeled with the proper side of the vote.

Question: Can you think of an artifact that would represent woman's role in society in ancient Greece?

Answer: No one artifact can represent women's role in ancient Greece. In spite of relegating women to baby producing, women did much more. Society isolated the women to help keep the offspring pure, but in addition to wives, daughters and other relatives, and slaves were also isolated. But there were a variety of tasks assigned to this isolation that no one woman could do. In addition some wives became involved in the work of their husbands. Finally, there was that interesting class of women who were not at all isolated, and followed the men right into their male domains. They were entertainers and sex objects, but also intellectual companions of the men, and not easy to compartmentalize.

Question: what are some reasons women in ancient greece should be allowed to have the same rights as men?

Answer: The ancient Greeks placed man and women in different worlds. In their world women did not need rights. Few people had rights. The Greeks were lucky thy came up with the idea. Thanks to the ancient Greeks we have rights. Ancient Greece would have been better of if the women were better educated and were more involved in politics, but nobody even thought of trying this. Democracy in ancient Greece was founded on the nature of the army. In the Greek army the organization of the soldiers was the power and so the soldiers often voted.

Question: What roles did women hold outside of the home?

Answer: Most respectable women had none. Some women were able to persorm the role of priestess outside the home. Hetaerae entertained outside the home.

Question: officials of ancient greece

Answer: There were many different types of government in ancient Greeks and the officials varied with each different type.

Question: Were the gods justified in punishing Penelope, Helen of Troy, or Agamemnon?

Answer: Gods and goddesses do not need to justify their actions because whatever they wish is law. When one of these persons suffered by the will of a divinity, it was necessary. We can ask if they were heroic to suffer in this way.

Question: How did society view women in terms of will, weakness, intelligence?

Answer: These qualities were not considered outside the family. Society left it to a woman's father or husband to consider these things.

Question: I am writing an essay on the benefits and disadavantages of women living in Sparta and Athens

Answer: I hope you mention that because of educational opportunities and culture ancient Greece may have had the highest standard of living ever.

Question: would the role of women in the greek society be considered strong and how was this shown? Did they have any sort of public forum to show their strength?

Answer: Women were important, but not necessarily strong. Strong women were often considered destructive. They were often portrayed this way in the ancient dramas. That they are frequently and respectively portrayed is a tribute to their importance.

Question: what are the major political figures of the time?

Answer:

Politicians of the Heroic Period at the time of the Trojan War:

Archaic Politicians:

Question: how were greek foreign womrn treated in ancient greece?

Answer: Foreign women in Greece were not as well treated as the daughters of citizens. Some foreign women were slaves and were not well treated at all.

Question: Picture of Ancient Greek goverment

Answer:

The ancient Greeks preferred to portray gods rather than men and they preferred the scenes of the heroic age to their contempory situation. So these pictures represent their idea of politics during the heroic age. But the artists of the classical age must have modeled these things on the events around them, so they do reflect activities of the classical age.

Question: What were woman's rights in Athenian democracy?

Answer: No rights. Yet almost no one in the world had any rights. What is more significant is that the Athenian men had rights. The fact is that your rights today are directly decended from these rights.

Question: I want to know about the differences and similarities between the democratic Grecian government and today's ones.

Answer: This is a very complex question which I can only begin to answer. One item of importance is that contemporary democracies are based on the governments of both Athens and Sparta using the best qualities of both. Also all citizens are involved and there is no class of slaves, or persons not genetically related to citizens.

Question: warfare on acient china?

Answer: Ancient Greeks had no awareness of China even though some trade items came from there.

Question: Can you tell me more about the greek woman Thargelia of Miletos?

Answer: Plutarch says "They say that Aspasia was following the example of a certain Thargelia, an Ionian woman of the past, when she set her sights on men of power. This Thargelia was a particularly beautiful woman and was endowed with charm as well as wit. She lived with many Greek men, and she won all of her consorts over to the king of Persia, and through them sowed the seeds of sympathy for the Persian cause in the most influential and important men."

"Many women have been renowned for their beauty (indeed, as Euripides says, "an aged bard can still celebrate Memory"). Among them was Thargelia of Miletus, who had been married fourteen times, and who was very beautiful in looks as well as clever, according to the Sophist Hippias in his work entitled A Collection."The Deipnosophists of Athenaeus of Naucratis.

"The Persian court sent the great beauty Thargelia and courtesans to gather information from lusty Athenian statesmen." reference

Question: what are the rights of spartan women

Answer: In those days nobody had any rights except the Athenian men. Spartan women did receive an education, did own property, and were relieved of all work except for raising children. But they almost had to be raped to get married and could not live with their husbands.

Question: what is the Parthanon? and what is its significance?

Answer: The Parthenon was a temple in Athens built to celebrate the assistence that Athena provided in the victory over the Persians. It is one of the most important buildings artistically ever built and it has been very influential through the years. In the U.S. Many civic buildings are patterned after it.

Question: why was the system of goverment in ancient greece was not truley democratic

Answer: Only males who were children of citizens could be citizens. Only a fraction of the population of a community qualified.

Question: were women ever used as weapons?? if so where and why?

Answer: When a princess is raped a political statement is made. Io, Helen, Europa, Medea, and Ariadne are all in this category. Sometimes women fought next to their husband. The Persians sent beautiful courtesans to spy on the lusty Athenians. Medea accomplished more with her craft than an army could.

Question: what were the roles of men, women and children in ancient megara?

Answer:

Question: What is the difference between the Athenian and the Spartan governmet in ancient Greece?

Answer: The Athenian government was a democracy of aristocrats and fairly unstable. The Spartan government was representative of the aristocrats, but it incorporated executive duplication so it was very stable.

Question: What is the difference between the Athens and the Spartans? Did they both live during the Ancient Greece time?

Answer: During the time of Classical Greece, Ancient Greece consisted of a number of independent city-states with different goverenments, economies and cultures. The city-states included:

Question: why were women not allowed to have any rights as the men do, but yet they were worshiped

Answer: It was goddesses, not women who had to be worshipped. Women had to bear babies for men and needed to be in the home for this. Men attended to politics because it was outside the home. The men did not realize they were depriving women of rights because few people had rights. The men did not realize that voting was a right.

Question: were women involved in economics of ancient greece? if so, did it change any during 1000bce and 30bce?

Answer: In 1000BCE women produced most of the material that was traded. The weaving that they did was the main export. Later men contributed to the value of exports. Wine, olives, and ceramics involved mostly the labor of men. Finally slaves dis most of the minig for the exported silver.

Question: I have to write a report on why women should have had more rights in ancient greece. Your web site has been a great help so far, but could you tell a little more about what rights the men had that the women didn't. and also what may have been different about ancient greece's history had the women had more rights.

Answer: You must remember that at the time of the ancient Greeks almost nobody had any rights. The men got rights because they were Hoplites. The Military voted for things under some circumstances. No women could vote because they were not in the military. Aritotle blamed the fall of Sparta on the fact that the women there had too much power so it is hard to argue that if women could have voted the Greeks would have been better off. The truth is that the Greek society was quite separated by sex and this separation may have hid a good interpretation of the sexes from each other. The tragedy is not that the Greek women were actually deprived. The tragedy is that the men thought they should be deprived. Later women suffered as a result because the writings of the Greek men influenced later thought.

There is a story that when Athens had to pick a patron deity the matter was put up for a vote and all men and women could vote. The men all voted for Poseidon and the women all voted for Athena. Since there was one more woman than men Athena won. The men were incensed with this outcome and forever after deprived the women of the right to vote. But Athena remained the patron deity and later was credited with saving the city from the Persians.

The play 'Lysistrata' by Aristophanes tells how the women of Athens got their men to stop fighting by witholding sex. Had the women really done this they would have saved Greece from internal bickering that eventually destroyed them.

The women of ancient Greece could have benefited more if more of them had gone to school and been educated. The Greek men did not realize the effect of the early training of the women on the children. But as it was many of them did go to school. The women were supposed to stay home and not go to dramas and athletic contests. But many women went anyway. They put on a veil so nobody recognized them and did what they liked. Can you imagine a husband keeping his wife from going shopping in the Market? So, in a quiet way they were able to participate in what must have been a very exciting culture. The result is that the ancient Greek women were the best educated, and most accomplished women of any culture except possibly our own.

Had the Greek men recognized their accomplishments and not been so negative about what they could do, other women would have had more rights and the world would be a better place. Had the Greek men given their women rights many other women would have had rights and benefited.

Question:(Women and Slaves during the Golden age) Why were the "freemen" the only people that could vote during in Athens during the Golden age?

Answer:I think you can see the roots of Greek democracy in the Iliad. Take careful note of the politics in the first chapter. The control by Agamemnon was not absolute. Various people tried to appeal to reason. But the whole army was assembled. It is clear that the majority of the army needs to agree with a decision for it to go forward. On the first page it is not a vote but rather an applause that is used to determine this. Homer describes battle as a contest between heroes but this reduces the impact of the army as a mass. The soldiers no longer use chariots for battle because they are useless against a mass of soldiers suitably prepared with spears and shields. The leadership of Agamemnon is recognized but the will of the majority must also be recognized. It is this will of the majority of the soldiers that is the foundation of the Greek democracies. It was the ability of the Greeks to raise armies with spirit and organization that allowed them to defend their way of life. So in the governments of Greece it was the soldiers who fought who actually ruled. The only people who were actually free were the ones who were able to fight in the armies. And so they were the only ones who could vote. In ancient Greece the real power lay with the soldiers and they were free for this reason.

An interesting contrast with the Athenians and their govenment of men who could fight and vote was the Amazons. The Amazons were women who fought. In their culture only the women were free. The men among the Amazons were no better than slaves. In the Iliad, book 9 the consequences of war are plain: "...the slaughter of the men, the city laid in the dust and ashes by the flames, the alien enemy carrying off the children and the women in their girldled gowns." You might expect many women to have great sympathy with the Amazons rather than be enslaved.

Plainly the reason why women were not allowed to vote in ancient Athens was that they could not fight in the army. The reason why they could not fight was probably related to the difficulty of childbirth as perceived by the men. The men needed the babies that the women produced so they were willing to exclude them from all work outside the home including governmental work. They left the care of the women in labor to other women because they did not seem to understand what was happening. Some women seemed happy with this arrangement, but not all. And that might be the reason for the stories of the Amazons. Some men were not happy with this arrangement either and for this reason there were gynecologists in ancient Greece.

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