Ancient Greek Essay

1335 WordsMar 16, 20136 Pages
Paper # 1 A woman in ancient Greece could not thrive unless she was willing to break through stereotypes and establish her own identity. She had to determine who she was, what her needs and desires were and what she was willing to sacrifice to obtain them. A woman’s role was defined by culture and religion. In Greek culture, parents arranged marriages between their young daughters and older men. The females were raised to prepare meals, make clothing, and produce children. Care for the sick and take care of the home. They were of little value outside of the home. This is evidenced in Xenophon, Household Management where Ischomachus never refers to the woman he married by name. He only refers to her as either “woman” or my “wife.” Since her sole purpose was to tend to the household, it was not necessary for her to be educated in matters outside of the home. The male’s view of woman was often based on their religious beliefs. Males believed that the laws of the gods defined their roles. Since males were stronger, the laws of the gods commanded that they work outside of the home and bring home income and things for the house. Males made decisions and woman abided by them. Ischomachus’ wife’s mother told her that she had to be discreet because she has no authority outside of the home. Ischomachus agreed and said, “…the gods acted with the greatest care in joining together that pair called male and female, so that they may be out of the greatest benefit to each other in the context of a partnership.”(Smith 1) The partnership was for the purpose of producing children and raising the children. The males conceded that the gods made females and males equal only in self-discipline, memory and attentiveness. Ischomachus told his wife that she would be respected if she did her best in keeping the household and ruling the roost. She should be happy to do so. If a

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