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Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome$
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Mark Golden and Peter Toohey

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613199

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613199.001.0001

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Ideology and “the Status of Women” in Ancient Greece†

Ideology and “the Status of Women” in Ancient Greece†

Chapter:
(p.30) 2 Ideology and “the Status of Women” in Ancient Greece
Source:
Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome
Author(s):

Marilyn Katz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613199.003.0002

Is a ‘History of Women’ possible? Does Woman exist? The dominant research question in the field, centred around the ‘status’ of women in ancient Athens, has in fact only recently been fully redefined, but without developing an adequate historiographic basis for it. This chapter examines the ideological parameters which informed the constitution of the original research question, and suggests that the new reformulation, centred around women in Greek society, must itself be modified in order to incorporate an analysis of female sexuality in ancient Greece. It first investigates the constitution of the dominant research question in the field, focusing on patriarchy and misogyny, and then looks at women's place in civil society and analyses the phrase ‘Oriental exclusion’. The chapter discusses the interrelationships among race, culture, and sexuality, and takes up the theory of the constitution of woman as a separate race, based on eighteenth-century reevaluations of ancient medical theory, within the context of the development of racial theory overall. It also considers sexual pathology and the current controversy over homosexuality in ancient Greece.

Keywords:   Athens, ancient Greece, women, sexuality, homosexuality, patriarchy, misogyny, Oriental exclusion, civil society, race

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