Women in Ancient Greece

Behind every great man there is a great woman. The woman being the mother and wife of the household, the caretaker and glue that held things together while the man was the “breadwinner”, this was an ideal that held true throughout history only until recent years. In Ancient Greece, women held an obligation to their house and husband, they were property in a sense, but at the same time they almost held an important position of power, only it was hidden behind the veil of the home life.
While they were reliant upon their husbands, it can be viewed that it was the females that helped their husbands and sons obtain the positions that they held, for good or bad. The female role of power in Greece varied from slave to queen, the woman’s role was the important but often subservient glue that was meant to keep the family together. Greek culture did not have to write down what was expected of women of the ancient time, because the men in society spent the entirety of a female’s life leaving their impressions of how they were meant to behave.
Analyzing the work of various philosophers and writers, women were viewed as tools of the household, as the glue that held the household. However women were not considered anything outside of that, and were expected to remain in the household and tend to the children. The wives and mothers were at the center of the household, even when the husband was home. The husband would have seniority in the household, but when he was gone, the women were in charge of everything, including the slaves and the children.

While the men were gone, the women were meant to follow a stern set of rules in order to avoid being seen with the suspicion and gossiped about by her neighbors. The women of Ancient Greece sought to please their husbands and everything described to be a “good wife”. If they feel that another woman has been unfaithful, even if she simply let her husband’s friend into their house when he isn’t home, the other women will talk and attempt to ruin the reputation of the woman.

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