Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 February 2021

The Athenian Woman

The Athenian Woman

(p.44) 3 The Athenian Woman
Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome

H. D. F. Kitto

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the position of women in Athens. It is the accepted view that the Athenian woman lived in an almost Oriental seclusion, regarded with indifference, even contempt. The evidence is partly the direct evidence of literature, partly the inferior legal status of women. Literature shows us a wholly masculine society: domestic life plays no part. It is orthodox to compare the repression of women in Athens with the freedom and respect that they enjoyed in Homeric society – and in historical Sparta. The evidence also includes a large number of painted vases (fifth century) that portray domestic scenes, including some funerary-urns representing a dead wife as living, and taking farewell of her husband, children and slaves. There are also sculptured tombstones – quite ordinary ones – showing similar scenes. Then there is Attic tragedy. One of its notable features is its splendid succession of tragic heroines: three Clytemnestras, four Electras, Tecmessa, Antigone, Ismene, Deianeira, Iocasta, Medea, Phaedra, Andromache, Hecuba, and Helen.

Keywords:   Athens, women, Oriental seclusion, legal status, domestic life, repression, freedom, respect, Sparta, Attic tragedy

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.