In some cases, if women had been seen to touch upon their husband’s involvement in politics, they have been reprimanded. Suggestions of this may be seen in a play written by Aristophanes referred to as Lysistrata. The rights of metic women have been closer to those of metic men. Metic women only paid 6 drachmas per 12 months poll tax, compared greek brides to the 12 paid by their male counterparts, and did not perform navy service, however other than this their authorized rights and obligations were the identical as those of male metics. Even the most respectable citizen women emerged on ritual occasions , where they might have interacted with men.

The Thesmophoria, an necessary pageant to Demeter which was restricted to women, was organised and performed by Athenian citizen women. M. Schaps , the ideology of separation in classical Athens would have encouraged women to remain indoors however essential outside actions would have overridden it. In apply, only wealthy families would have been able to implement this ideology. Women’s duties would have compelled them to go away the house regularly – to fetch water from the properly or wash clothes, for instance. Although wealthy families might have had slaves to enable free women to remain in the home, but most would not have had enough slaves to stop free women from leaving at all.


Women influenced funeral arrangements, with the speaker in Isaeus On the Estate of Ciron explaining that he acceded to his grandmother’s needs for the way his grandfather would be buried. This responsibility continued after the funeral, and women regularly visited the graves of relations to current offerings. A tomb was typically visited three, nine, thirty days, and a yr after the funeral. Images on Attic lekythoi present women bringing choices to a grave. Along with the major neighborhood-based mostly spiritual rituals, women performed an important role in domestic faith.

Other proof of the presence of women on the theatre in Athens includes the absence of surviving prohibitions towards their attendance and the significance of girls in Athenian rituals, especially those related to Dionysus. Most women’s festivals were dedicated to Demeter, however some festivals honoured different goddesses. Both these festivals had been rites of passage during which girls turned grownup women. Women have been able to participate in virtually every religious competition in classical Athens, but some significant festivals have been restricted only to women.

Views Of Greek Slavery

The most essential women’s competition was the Thesmophoria, a fertility ceremony for Demeter which was noticed by married noblewomen. During the festival women stayed for 3 days on Demeter’s hilltop sanctuary, conducting rites and celebrating. Although the precise rituals of the Thesmophoria are unknown, pigs had been sacrificed and buried; the stays of those sacrificed the previous yr have been provided to the goddess. In most instances, Athenian women had the same rights and duties as Athenian men.

Ancient Greek Views On Women

They also played a major function in funeral and mourning rituals. In classical Athens women were liable for visiting graves with offerings, as proven on this lekythos. Jeffrey Henderson writes that women had been present in the theatre, citing Plato’s Laws and Gorgias as saying that drama was addressed to men, women and kids. Henderson also mentions later stories about Athenian theatre, such as the story that Aeschylus’ Eumenides had frightened women in the viewers into miscarrying.

Dowries normally consisted of movable goods and money, although land was sometimes included. Marriage was considered crucial a part of a free Athenian woman’s life. This field, generally known as a pyxis, would have been used to hold a girl’s jewelry or cosmetics and is decorated with a wedding-procession scene. More is understood concerning the position of Athenian youngsters in faith than about another aspect of their lives, and they seem to have played a distinguished position in non secular ceremonies.

They have been especially important in celebrating rites of passage – especially weddings, childbirth, and funerals. Women took part in a variety of private rituals to prepare for and celebrate marriage.

However, Athenian women did have some important disabilities at regulation in comparison with their male counterparts. Like slaves and metics, they had been denied political freedom, being excluded from the law courts and the Assembly.

Athenian women might also purchase property by inheritance if they had been the closest surviving relative, however could not contractually purchase or dispose of property. By the classical interval, legal guidelines designated which women could mourn at a funeral; mourners needed to be cousins of, or extra closely associated to, the deceased.

Depending on the household, a dowry may need been as a lot as 25 p.c of the household’s wealth. Daughters of even the poorest families apparently had dowries price ten minae. Rich families might present much bigger dowries; Demosthenes’ sister, as an example, had a dowry of two talents .

Girls made choices to Artemis on the eve of their marriage, during being pregnant, and at childbirth. Although girls and boys seem on the wine jugs connected with the early-spring competition of the Anthesteria, depictions of boys are way more common. Classical Athenian girls in all probability reached menarche at about age fourteen, after they would have married.

Were Women The True Artisans Behind Ancient Greek Ceramics?

According to Gould, even Athenian women forced to work exterior the house for financial reasons would have had a conceptual boundary preventing them from interacting with unrelated men. In contrast, Kostas Vlassopoulos has posited that some areas of Athens were “free areas” where women and men might interact. Marriage most commonly involved a betrothal , earlier than the bride was given over to her new husband and kyrios . A less common type of marriage, practised within the case of epikleroi, required a courtroom judgement . Athenian women married with a dowry, which was intended to offer their livelihood.