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Lecture 18

CLA230 Lecture 18 Notes

6 Pages
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Department
Biology
Course Code
BIO220H1
Professor
Michael J.Dewar

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CLA230 Lecture 18 Notes The Greek House - archaeology is especially useful for Bronze/Iron Age, but also continues to be an important source of Greek history even into the Classical Period - written sources place importance on aristocratic male activity and is often event oriented - historians also find economic history to be important, as well as slaves, non- Greeks, women’s history - written sources are not always completely believable - many examples – such as the history of the Greek countryside – geological, paleo-botanical, archaeological evidence - question whether ancient Greek environment is similar to that of today - example of the Greek house – literacy and archeological evidence and reconcile them through comparison - two kinds of evidence – literary and archaeological evidence - literary evidence • interest in gendered space in literature – control, access • what literature tells about culture and ways of thinking • eye-witness – produced my individuals who lived in ancient Greek houses • contemporary to described accounts • tends to come from very privileged class – therefore biased or one- sided – rich, aristocratic males • incomplete/vague • most texts not interested in explaining the ancient Greek house – ideological texts • often take the form of speeches from law courts or philosophy • no need to explain the house to other Greeks therefore it is often very vague • overwhelmingly Athenian – very Athenocetric version of events and biased - archaeological evidence • development of the house • general and specific examples • issue of gendered space – comparison • not prone to the sort of biases inherent in literary sources • shows houses from all levels of society • most houses not from Athens • more direct evidence • record must be interpreted however – sometimes difficult • incomplete evidence • when excavating – not always much artifact material to decipher what the rooms were used for • difficult to piece together patchy evidence Household Structure - texts about how houses ought to be – how to be built and organized - Oikonomikos, attributed to Aristotle but not likely written by him, mentions qualities to be desired in a house - quote: “For well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny in winter...A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer than it is deep; and its main front would face the south.” - oikonomia – “household management” - oikos – “house” - abstracted word of oikonomia becomes the modern word ‘economy’ - main front facing south – most amount of sunlight – especially important in winter - an ideal – likely not truly a reality - interesting mention by Lysias – speech counter, Against Eratosthenes - writer for the courts – Lysias - context – wife cheated on her husband – man came home to find them together and killed the adulterer - legal to kill – justified homicide – has to be spur-of-the-moment - speech is an attempt to prove that it is not planned but indeed a crime of passion - quote: “I happened to be familiar with the house, and knew that it had doors front and back...I took to flight, while they were keeping guard over the courtyard door: there were three doors for me to pass through, and they all chanced to be open.” - defendant spends much time in the countryside - wife has an upper floor with a ladder - wife and husband switch spaces which allows her to cheat on him - switching of locations – some take this to be a typical Athenian house – women above, men below Gendered Space - idea of gendered space is mentioned in this fashion – also by Lysias, On the Killing of Eratosthenes - quote: “...my dwelling is on two floors, the upper being equal in space to the lower, with the women's quarters above and the men's below. When the child was born to us, its mother suckled it; and in order that, each time that it had to be washed, she might avoid the risk of descending by the stairs, I used to live above, and the women below.” - another speech by Lysias – two men get in a fight about a boy – Against Simon - defendant – speaks about the boy at his house - description of women’s home-life – secluded in quarters – extreme - quote: “Hearing that the boy was at my house, he came there at night in a drunken state, broke down the doors, and entered the women's rooms: within were my sister and my nieces, whose lives have been so well-ordered that they are ashamed to be seen even by their kinsmen.” - violation of the women’s personal space - court case attributed to Demosthenes – Against Euergus and Mnesibulus - quote: “The rest of the female slaves (they were in a tower room where they live), when they heard the tumult, closed the door leading to the tower, so the men did not get in there.” - female slaves living in a tower – gendered space for non-free women – extreme segregation - Xenophon – philosophical text - 4 century B.C. Athenian text on household management – Oikonomikos - quote: “...the rooms are designed simply with the object of providing as convenient receptacles as possible for the things that are to fill them, and thus each room invited just what was suited to it. Thus the store-room by the security of its position called for the most valuable blankets and utensils, the dry covered rooms for the corn, the cool for the wine, the well-lit for those works of art and vessels that need light.” - specialized spaces for different uses - quote: “...the rooms are designed simply with the object of providing as convenient receptacles as possible for the things that are to fill them, and thus each room invited just what was suited to it. Thus the store-room by the security of its position called for the most valuable blankets and utensils, the dry covered rooms for the corn, the cool for the wine, the well-lit for those works of art and vessels that need light.” - man speaking about his wife – by Xenophon - Xenophon agrees with the man – training a woman how to do her job Design of Houses - come up with “imaginary house” based on literary texts – before archaeology - narrow entrance that opens up into the courtyard - rooms accessible from courtyard - andronitis – mall area - gunaikonitis – female quarters - bolt between male and female areas - account of Greek houses by a Roman – Vitruvius - quote: “The Greeks… make passage-ways for people entering from the front door, not very wide, with stables on one side and doorkeepers' rooms on the other, and shut off by doors at the inner end.” - part of a manual on architecture – talks about both Roman and Greek architecture – mentions houses - stables on one side, shops on the other – open up to the street – face south - men’s space in front, women’s in the back - peristyles – two of them - quote: “… From [the front entrance] one enters the peristyle. This peristyle has colonnades on three sides… Hereabouts, towards the inner side, are the
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