This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Prostitutes In Ancient Athens Essay

1591 words - 6 pages

Prostitutes in Ancient Athens
Works Cited Missing

Ancient Athens was a highly polarized society in which citizenship meant everything. Citizenship permitted individuals to not only participate in the democratic
government but also gave them access to all the rights and splendors of the city. A
citizen controlled influence over slaves, foreigners and most importantly women.
Athenian women were relegated to the status of child bearers and keepers of the household. There was no room for personal expression or freedom and the strict
moral code in many cases restricted these women from even leaving their homes. There was a select group of women however who overcame these obstacles to achieve greater sexual, economical, and social freedom. They were the prostitutes.

The freedom which prostitutes enjoyed would be better understood only after first assessing the status of "respectable" women in Athens. Girls were raised from an early age to learn domestic affairs and were to be wed even as early as the age of fourteen (Just 1989: 40). Marriage was almost mandatory as single women were looked upon as shameful and might even be labeled as "whores". The wedding was almost always arranged by the father or kyrios and from this point on the woman's role was clear. Pericles gives a good explanation of the ideal wife in his famous Funeral Oration when reminding the women of Athens that: "Your great glory is not to be inferior in the way nature made you; and the greatest glory is hers who is least talked about by men, whether in praise or in blame (Thucydides: 2.45)." This implies that an Athenian's woman virtue lay in her absence from the public eye. Athenians made sure to protect their wives' virtue by excluding women from all aspects of politics. They could not speak or vote in the ekklesia or hold any sort of secular office and thus were not considered to be citizens (Just 1989: 13). This is evident in the way that women were referred to in conversation as they were called aste (city woman) rather than the feminine form of citizen which was politis (Just 1989: 21). Furthermore, women's subservient status is also demonstrated in the common practice during formal speech of specifying women by their relationships with men. Wives remained in the house for the majority of the time and did not perform strenuous activity as the procreation of a son was all-important (http// Another example of the inferior status of women is the fact that adultery was a more serious crime than rape as it
was an offense to the husband and put into question the legitimacy of his sons ( Perhaps the best description of the way
in which wives were viewed by Athenian men is given by Ischomachos in the Oikonomikos: Why, what knowledge could she have had, Sokrates, when I took her? She was not yet fifteen years old when she came to me, and up until that time she had lived...

Find Another Essay On Prostitutes in Ancient Athens

Compare and contrast the economic, political, and social structures of Ancient Athens to modern-day Iraq to see if democracy can work in Iraq

1152 words - 5 pages Democracy does not work. This is the case in some countries. However in others democracy can thrive and work like no other government. By comparing the political, economic, and social structures of ancient Athens and Iraq it can determine what the conditions are for democracy to work in Iraq. Before democracy is able to work in Iraq, the Iraqi people must learn to coexist with one another, pay off their debt, and Athens went through

The Public Sphere of Athenian Women

1970 words - 8 pages culture. In comparison, the city-state of Athens yields far more abundant materials than all the other city-states of ancient Greece combined. The absence of other city-states from this review does not lend to the notion that other regions were identical to Athens. On the contrary, it is proven that Athens was quite unique, even radical when compared to other city-states i.e. Sparta, Thebes, or Corinth. Therefore the economic and religious roles of

Effects Of The Persian Wars On Sparta And Athens

337 words - 2 pages Athens was one of the only Greek cities among that had importance. It could not compare with Sparta in power, prestige, or even in art. The only success that belonged to Athens was its Navel. This would all change after the Persian Wars.Persia was the greatest empire that the ancient world had yet seen. It had grown into a stronger empire through the reigns of Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius. Just before Darius's death the Ionian cities revolted

The History and Development of Athens

1007 words - 5 pages establishment of Athens as a city dates back to mythological times ( city’s history is still evident throughout Athens in the form of many Ancient, Roman, Byzantine and modern monuments ( Monuments can be found all around the city center, side by side with contemporary constructions such as buildings, roads and train stations (uenps Athens has many natural resources these are marble, clay, nickel


1323 words - 5 pages Amanda GarciaAncient Greece was a Greek civilization that spanned from Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity in 600 AD. During the Archaic period, there was a rise of the polis or city-states and the establishment of colonies. Following the Archaic period was the Classical Period, a popular time that most of think of when we think of Ancient Greece. Athens was the first city-state to be governed by a democracy and

Athenian Women

1975 words - 8 pages themselves, and therefore were independent. In a more recent and modern way of viewing the role of a woman, independence and freedom to do as one likes is one of the most important aspects of living. In Athens the wives had none of this freedom and the prostitutes did. Who then really had a “better” life, those who had all protection and no freedom, or those who had all freedom and independence? “Every Athenian girl expected to be married, and

Greek Cities: Athens vs Sparta Essay

715 words - 3 pages conclusion, Sparta and Athens greatly differed in numerous ways, although they were both a part of Ancient Greece in their own city-states, Spartans taught children to steal and kill starting a very young age, whereas Athenians were taught philosophy and only a minor amount of military skills at the age of eighteen just to be prepared if war was needed. It is amazing to see two very powerful city-states of the same country differ so substantially from one another.

role of women in ancient greece and egypt

2379 words - 10 pages women and men have the same range of emotional, intellectual, and creative characteristics. Many sociologists and anthropologists maintain that various cultures taught girls to behave according to negative stereotypes (images) of femininity, thus keeping alive the idea that women are naturally inferior. In ancient Rome, as in Athens, women’s primary role was to manage household affairs. Women could not hold public office. Men dominated as head of the


839 words - 4 pages B.C., Athens finally surrendered when Sparta destroyed their fleet. When the war ended, so did the Golden Age of Athens, and Sparta gained control of Ancient Greece. After the war, most city-states declined in population and many of Ancient Greece was destroyed. Also, many young men left Greece for Persia because of the unemployment. The worst problem was that, they had trouble governing themselves and the Spartans used poor judgment to make all

Differences and Similarities of The Women of Athens and Sparta

2439 words - 10 pages Women in the ancient world had few rights, they differed from country to country or, in the case of the women of Athens and Sparta, from city-state to the city-state. The women of the city-states of Athens and Sparta had profound differences in their roles in the political and the daily lives of their families and their cities. When it came to the difference in levels of power and the rights of women, Sparta was a leader in its time. At the

Origins of the Pelopponesian War

1690 words - 7 pages The Peloponnesian war involved Greece’s two most prominent city-states, Athens and Sparta, between 431-404 BC. Both Athens and Sparta held numerous alliances, causing essentially the entire ancient Greek world to be engulfed in war. There were many events that sparked the feud between the Athenians and the Peloponnesian league and made war inevitable. The Peloponnesian war was perhaps one of the most momentous wars of its time and was primarily

Similar Essays

Life In Ancient Athens Essay

1254 words - 5 pages Reaction Paper--Daily Life In AthensIn reading of the life of ordinary Athenians, I can't help but realize how, generally, simple, their lives were. This is not to say that their lives were boring, far from it, in fact, I am very surprised to find out just how eventful life in the ancient world could be. By simple I am referring to the lifestyle that the average Athenian expected, to the "standard of living". I think it is very important to

Pericles' Background In Ancient History And His Influence In Athens

2087 words - 8 pages PericlesLars HoogvlietMr. Zeller11 Ancient HistoryPericles, or Perikles, (495-429BC), was a prominent and influential leader during his rule over Athens, which was also known as the city's Golden Age (Between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars).Pericles was a successful speaker, general and statesman, and a descendant of the renowned Alcmaeonidae family.Pericles was such an influence on Athens that Thucydides (ancient Greek historian and author

Ancient Democracy Athens: Citizenship And Governance "Selection And Representation In Athenian Democracy"

1448 words - 6 pages Without a question, Athenian Democracy is known to be one of the most innovative and sophisticate city-state in history of the west. This was largely due to the democratic way of life in Athens. Athens emphasized on ideology that “People are the State” and “The State is People”. Citizens in Athens were able to participate in decision making process on issues like, war and peace, finance, legislation, public work and various

Discusses Athens And Sparta In Ancient Times. Fights And Government Plus More. How Both City States Resemble The Us

578 words - 2 pages live in barracks and receive military training from older boys. Boys went barefoot, wore minimal clothing (even in winter), practiced all forms of athletics, and received military instruction. They married at age 20 but continued to live in the barracks. The Helots provided the necessary food and labor for Spartan males and females.The form of culture of democracy had its roots in the ancient Greek city-state of Athens. In the ancient Greek city