Role Of Women In Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece was a patriarchal society. We know a lot about famous men like Hercules and Alexander the Great but not many know the role of women in ancient Greece. Sports, literature, politics and philosophy were male domains. Men and women lived with defined boundaries that were controlled by men.
Women in ancient Greece were married off at a young age to men who were older than them. The married woman moved to her husband’s home but that home was controlled by husband’s mother. As a wife, women in ancient Greece had no status other than being the property of her husband. A woman was hardly given any education and her she was considered inferior to men. A woman’s primary use was that of giving birth and it ended there.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Women of Sparta were different from the other women in ancient Greece. Here the women were on par with men, they were educated, could own land and even have multiple husbands.
Wives and daughters of chiefs were respected as they were close to the center of power. These were powerful women but were generally in minority.
With all this, women were accorded certain rights. Like a woman who had children could remarry after her husband’s death. She was not allowed to take any possessions previously owned by her and her husband unless there was pre-signed contract. In case a man divorced his wife, the woman was allowed to keep all the belongings she had brought into the marriage along with half of the possessions gained during the marriage. However, she could be stripped of everything if the husband swore that he did not deserve the blame for the divorce.
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