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Ancient Greece

Women

History >> Ancient Greece

Women in Ancient Greece were considered second class citizens to men. Before getting married, girls were subject to their father and had to obey his commands. After getting married, wives were subject to their husbands. Women were looked down upon by men and were considered no smarter than children.

Staying at Home

Women were expected to stay at home and manage the household. In the city-state of Athens, men sometimes wouldn't allow their wives to leave the home. They were basically prisoners in their own homes. Women managed the household slaves and even lived in a separate part of the house.

Wealthy Women

Women married to wealthy men were often confined to their homes. Their jobs were to manage the household and to bear sons for the husband. They lived in a separate area of the home from the men and even ate their meals separate from the men. They had servants who helped with raising the children, doing household chores, and running errands. Most women, even wealthy women, helped to weave cloth for the family's clothing.

Poor Women

Poor women often had more freedom than wealthy women because they couldn't afford as many slaves. Because they didn't have a lot of slaves, poor women needed to leave the house to run errands, fetch water, and shop. They sometime took jobs as servants for the wealthy or worked in the local shops.

Did women have legal rights?

In some Greek city-states, such as Athens, women had few legal rights. In Athens, women generally couldn't own property, couldn't vote, and weren't allowed to participate in the government. In other city-states, women had a few more rights, but still had less rights than men.

Marriage

Women usually had no say in who they married. They were "given" in marriage by their father to another man. Sometimes very young girls were wed to older men.

Slave Women

Slave women were the lowest class in Ancient Greece. They not only were slaves, but they were also women.

Women in Sparta

Life was different for the women of the city-state of Sparta. In Sparta, women were respected as the "mother's of warriors." Although they were not considered equal with men, they had more rights and freedom than the women of Athens. They were educated, played sports, allowed to walk around the city freely, and were also able to own property.

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For more about Ancient Greece:

Overview
Timeline of Ancient Greece
Geography
The City of Athens
Sparta
Minoans and Mycenaeans
Greek City-states
Peloponnesian War
Persian Wars
Decline and Fall
Legacy of Ancient Greece
Glossary and Terms

Arts and Culture
Ancient Greek Art
Drama and Theater
Architecture
Olympic Games
Government of Ancient Greece
Greek Alphabet

Daily Life
Daily Lives of the Ancient Greeks
Typical Greek Town
Food
Clothing
Women in Greece
Science and Technology
Soldiers and War
Slaves

People
Alexander the Great
Archimedes
Aristotle
Pericles
Plato
Socrates
25 Famous Greek People
Greek Philosophers

Greek Mythology
Greek Gods and Mythology
Hercules
Achilles
Monsters of Greek Mythology
The Titans
The Iliad
The Odyssey

The Olympian Gods
Zeus
Hera
Poseidon
Apollo
Artemis
Hermes
Athena
Ares
Aphrodite
Hephaestus
Demeter
Hestia
Dionysus
Hades

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Greece






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