Women in Ancient Religions

Women in Ancient Religions - Women in Ancient Religions An...

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Unformatted text preview: Women in Ancient Religions An Overview Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Role and Status of Women in Ancient Greece Minoan Civilization 3000­1100 BCE) A Minoan wife retained full control of her dowry, divorce was a right equally available to husband and wife, and a wife who proved her husband at fault could reclaim any property given him during the marriage Hellenic (Classical) Age 479­323 BCE Athens Women possessed no legal or economic status; by law they were under control of the males of the household Sparta Women were given public education (which included choral singing, dancing, and athletics) and were able to own land and manage their own property Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Role and Status of Women in Ancient Greece (continued) Hellenistic Age 323­31 BCE Royal and non­Greek women were able to conduct their own legal and economic affairs Unmarried respectable women had the option of working in the liberal arts (i.e. poets, philosophers, etc.) and in the professions (i.e. artists, physicians, etc.) Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Women in the Ancient Greek Religions Female Priestesses, Prophets, and Oracles Priestesses for each divinity Lysimache (late 5th and early 4th century BCE) ­ priestess of Athena Pythia – high priestess/prophetess/ oracle of Apollo at Delphi Priestesses at Eleusis – priestesses of the Eleusynian Mysteries and rites associated with Demeter and Persephone Maenads/Bacchae – female followers of the god of wine and fertility, Dionysus/Bacchus Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Major Ancient Greek Goddesses Gaia – Primordial Earth Mother Hera – Marriage and Domestic Stability Demeter – Fertility and Agriculture Hestia – Hearth and Home Athena – Wisdom and War Artemis – Moon and Hunt Aphrodite – Beauty and Love Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Role and Status of Women in Etruria Etruscan women and men apparently enjoyed about the same rights and liberties Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Major Etruscan Goddesses Uni – Supreme Goddess Menrva – Wisdom and the Arts Turan – Love, Health, and Fertility Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Role and Status of Women in Ancient Rome Republic 509­31 BCE The Roman matron attended and presided at gatherings alongside her spouse and supervised the education of both her male and female offspring Empire 31 BCE­476 CE Under the emperor Diocletian, women and their wealth was in census data Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Women in the Ancient Roman Religions Priestess for all goddesses The Vestal Virgins – virginal priestesses of the goddess Vesta Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Major Roman Goddesses Juno – Marriage and Domestic Stability Ceres ­ Fertility and Agriculture Vesta ­ Hearth and Home Minerva – Wisdom and War Diana ­ Moon and Hunt Venus – Beauty and Love Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Major Goddesses of the Mystery Religions in Rome Isis – Egyptian mother goddess of love and destiny Cybele (Magna Mater) – Phrygian goddess of fertility Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Role and Status of Women in Judaism Earliest times to the founding of the monarchy 2000­1020 BCE Women exercised some freedom, mothers’ and sisters’ roles were taken seriously, and the family rights of wives and mothers were protected bylaw The founding of the monarchy through the Babylonian Captivity 1020­538 BCE Women were assigned domestic duties and subordinated and restricted within the economic, social, legal, and cultural system Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Women in Judaism Theraputae – male and female Jewish ascetics Essenes – a sect in which women were educated and venerated Heads of Synagogues Sophia and Theopempte Rabbis Beruriah Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Biblical and Apocryphal Women in Judaism Lilith – counterpart to Adam and predecessor to Eve Eve – counterpart to Adam in Genesis Sophia – the female principle of divine wisdom Judith – heroine who killed the Assyrian general, Holofernes Seila – heroine who was the daughter of Jepthah Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Role and Status of Women in Christianity Women were attracted to the promise of salvation and the egalitarian vision of the apostle Paul Female converts found the Christian community to be a refuge from the anonymity and cruelty of Roman society After the death of Jesus, women served as missionaries, deaconesses, and ministers Between the third and fifth centuries CE, women were gradually eliminated from any meaningful participation in official church rites Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Women in Christianity Prophets Teachers Missionaries and Leaders Priests Martyrs Saints Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Biblical and Apocryphal Women in Christianity Mary – virginal mother of Jesus Mary of Magdala – follower of Jesus and “Apostle to the Apostles” Thecla – heroine and pupil of Paul Perpetua – early martyr Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright Food for Thought What was the status of women in the ancient Greek religions? What was the status of women in the ancient Etruscan religions? What was the status of women in the ancient Roman religions? What was the status of women in Judaism? What was the status of women in Christianity? Copyright 2006, Sean William Doyle Copyright ...
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course HUM 120 taught by Professor Seandoyle during the Spring '11 term at Moraine Valley Community College.

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