march20 - CC303 Classical Mythology Spring 2008 Prof. P....

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CC303 Classical Mythology Spring 2008 Prof. P. Perlman Outline for 3/20 Artemis II: And the Personal Lives of Women I. Introduction II. Artemis and Amazons—Antithetic Model of Women in Society A. Introduction The Amazons are devoted to Artemis and are unigendered community, no men. Amazonian in myth may have real life historical precedent on basis of recent archaeological discoveries where burials of women richer than burials of men and remains suggested they were horseback riders. Burials goods show they exercised high political authority and weapons that suggested they were warriors. B. Review: Social Status of Greek Women Not regarded as citizens in participating in public affairs/politics but had to be daughters of citizen fathers to produce male citizens. Without role in public life but exception was important public role in religion. Women were regarded as property, first of fathers household and then their husbands. Women were meant to inhabit interior space, out of public eye, preoccupied w/running household. Women go outdoors to fetch water, in myth this is a favorite moment for girls to be abducted. Ritual celebrations outside is also another moment. Textile production and production of offspring are major activities for women, weaving important for women. Purpose of marriage was birth of legitimate offspring and birth of daughters was problematic w/exhaustion of household resources. Mother of legitimate male had higher status than mother of female. C. Amazon Society Located in Eastern Black Sea in myth. Could be Greek male worst nightmare, negative construction of females. Opposite of Greek females. Communities entirely composed of women. 1. outside vs. inside They spend their lives outdoors rather than indoors, as nomads rather than as settled female heads of household. 2. hunt vs. weaving Characteristic activity is hunting on horseback and fighting rather than weaving. 3. sex without marriage vs. sex within marriage Famous for never marrying but they still have sex w/male captives; do not harness reproduction capacity in marriage but outside of marriage 4. female offspring privileged vs. male offspring privileged Raise daughters but they murder infant sons, privileging female offspring over male 5. barbarian east vs. Greek west Amazons not located in Greek heartland, marginal, not normative. Greek view of East
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march20 - CC303 Classical Mythology Spring 2008 Prof. P....

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