Women Changing From Hellenistic To Late Antiquity

781 words - 3 pages

The world is constantly changing and evolving. In every society across the world, men and women have specific roles that they each carry out. During ancient times, in most western cultures, women were inferior to men. Women’s status seemed to change in a pattern that repeated it self from one time period to another. Gradually, the status of women did change from political standpoints of the societies. From political power to having the right last name, women have transformed and became a huge part of Western Civilization.
During times of Hellenic Greece, women were considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual development. In most Hellenic societies, for example, domestic chores were delegated to women, leaving heavier labors, such as war and hunting, to men. Women also have generally had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. From the text from Kilshansky, The Spartan Constitution, Lycurgus believed that motherhood is the most important function of freeborn woman. Lycurgus then insisted on physical training of the females along with the males. Lycurgus also believed that to have future success is to have a strong youth. The Hellenic times were like this for the sole reason that few elite men ruled. With these men in control, it was made possible that no woman could ever have a say in the government of Sparta or the democracy of Athens.
When the Hellenistic Kingdoms started to spur, new opportunities for women appeared. Levack stated that, “Greek women in Egypt, as well as many other Hellenized land, enjoyed full citizenship and held religious offices.” This simply shows that the women of the middle class had new privileges, but what about the women of higher class and ranking? For the first time in of western civilization, young women could actually get an education in dancing, music, and writing. Reasoning for this is that, unlike the Hellenic times, the Hellenistic government was a monarchy. This monarchy lowered the power of men, thus giving women and men the equal amount of power.
Upon reading Levack’s text about the Republic of Rome and the changing of women’s society, I realized that women’s status would flip over from how its standing in the Hellenistic times. You might recall that during the Hellenistic times, the government was a...

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