Athens Essay

647 words - 3 pages

In ancient Greece, there was one dominant city-state, or Polis as the ancient Greeks called it, and this was Athens. It was a beautiful society that enjoyed art and literature very much and valued things like wholeness and excellence. However, one thing the Athenians did not value was women. They were deemed inferior by men, and treated more as a decoration rather than a human being.

Athenian women spent most of their lives in their home unless they were poor and had to help the husband with work preforming skills such as farming, crafting or a similar trade. In Athens, it was a status symbol for women to have very white, pale skin to show that they were so upscale that they never had to leave their house to make any income. Some women even painted their skin white to emphasize this. However, many prosperous women still did very small make-work type jobs.

If they were prosperous enough, an Athenians woman job was to stay at home and supervise the slaves, or helots as they were called in ancient Greece. A woman could not own her own land, so these were the husband’s slaves. A women’s main duty in Athenian culture was to make and raise great, well-rounded children who were good at everything from sports to academics and were a positive addition to Athenian society. Boys were much rather preferred than girls, although both were accepted. However, the wife had absolutely no say in who the father of the children would be.

Marriage was not for love in Athens. The fathers of the bride and groom almost always arranged it. It was organized to bring wealth, fame and fortune to both sides of the family. The women had no say in the arrangement, and were usually married in their mid teens, ages 14-17. Their husband was usually much older. The women were obliged to listen to everything her...

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