Women Roles In Ancient Greece
Women’s role in ancient Greece was quite different to the roles women have in our modern society. In ancient Greece, women did not have the right to vote and they played little role in politics. In addition, women could not own property and they could not sue.
Women in ancient Greece were completely dependent on men. However, there is substantial evidence to suggest that wives and courtesans were instrumental in influencing the course of a man’s political life.
Wives were sequestered in their homes by the men and the sole purpose that wives had were to bear children for their husbands. In contrast, courtesans were freer and could move about in public. However, their work was limited to entertaining men.
This is in complete contrast to the women’s role in ancient Greece religion. Many of the religious rituals in ancient Greece had to be performed by women and they also served as oracles. The oracles were known to interpret the will of gods and goddesses to men, who had prayed to them for solutions to certain critical problems.
In ancient Greece, women had no right whatsoever. They were chattel and did not have the right to divorce. If a man could get a woman pregnant, he used to arrange for another man to do the job for him! The legal system prevalent during those times put women at a lower status compared to men. Since they spent most of their time secluded from the outside world, they had little to do with the legal system.
Today, modern women will sneer at the women’s role in ancient Greece. But the women of ancient Greece were following the norms laid down by the society and they knew nothing different.
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