PAPER ONE - Women and Men in Ancient Greek Culture Ancient...

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Women and Men in Ancient Greek Culture Ancient Greek culture has been studied and analyzed through historical texts such as The Iliad by Homer and Lysistrata by Aristophanes. These documents provide us with some insight into the roles of men and women in Greek society. While the upperclass and wealthier women had a better lifestyle than the average women, it was still an unequal distribution of power between men and women. Women were under guardianship their entire lives and had no rights or say in their time. 1 From the day a female is born, her father begins to search for her future husband. The main aim in marriage is the production of future citizens. If a suitable male could not be found, a father can abandon his daughter, thus leaving her to die, become a slave, or to be raised by prostitutes. The father provides the groom with a dowry that would later be used to maintain his wife. Women were often used to form bonds and alliances between families. Divorce was common in the Classical times; women frequently married two or three times. If the husband wanted a divorce, there was no shame accompanying his decision. Since women were not granted any rights, if a woman wanted a divorce, she must request that a male citizen bring her case before the court. Children are the property of their father, so a woman could produce a new family with a new husband. 2 At the time of marriage, the wife was around 14 to 17 years old and the groom was 30 to 35 yeard old. 3 As Cohn-Haft states, “A wife’s lot is to be bullied and 1 Cannistraro, Philip V., and John J. Reich. The Western Perspective: A History of Civilization in the West. Canada: Clark Baxter, 2004, 113. 2 Cannistraro, The Western Perspective, 113-114. 3
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course HST 121 taught by Professor Goldy during the Fall '05 term at Miami University.

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PAPER ONE - Women and Men in Ancient Greek Culture Ancient...

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