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Lecture 5

CLA219H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Menstruation, Epikleros, Pederasty


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA219H1
Professor
Regina Hoeschele
Lecture
5

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Figures:
Average age of Life Expectancy in Classical Greece:
Man: about 45 years
Woman: younger, most women died in child birth, about 35 years
People died a lot younger at this age, so had a huge effect on marriage
Infant Mortality:
30-40% die in first year
Half of all children would die before 10
In Rome, 25% died before age one, 50% before 10
Infants could be exposed at birth
Not illegal to kill your baby
If you gave birth to a child, and you felt like it looked sick or you had
too many children, you could leave it in the wilderness and let it die, or
leave it somewhere it could be found and taken care of
Not a crime in antiquity
Accepted but not common
Text 249, a letter from ancient Egypt: husband writes
- If exposure was practiced, more common with female babies: apparently females just cost
you money: feed, grow them up, marry them off, give them a dowry
- Want male offspring
- Aristotle: there should be a law forbidding to bring up disabled children
- High mortality rate in women in child baring age: 15-59 years
Girl in ancient Greece, and survived, but quite often they were less well nourished than boys. So
possible reason as death was that they didn’t get the same food.
Educated and trained in skills that prepare you to be a good wife: cooking, textile work, working
with wool, how to run a household (depends on class)
Greece: Illiteracy more wide spread in females
Rome: upper class might be educated
Menstruation (13-15):
Once you start menstruating, you can bare children and therefore be married off. Girls mature
face, and men take longer because they have to attend school and get a lot of education
Greece + Rome: women = never a legal adult, always under the guardianship of the male
Sparta: recommended that girls be at least 18 before you get married
AUGUSTUS: granted freedom to citizenship if you had 3 children, if you were a free women you
had to have 4 children
If your husband/father dies you need another male to be your gaurdian
OIKOS (HOUSE, which is like a miniature estate) + POLIS:
*Oiskos: house can only run if run well, WOMEN JOB IMP
*PolusL
Zenofonz (4th C writer)
Figure of Socrates (Greek philosopher)
Met him in the Symposium of Plato + idea of Pederasty

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Never wrote anything down, usually get is teachers from other writers
Text 267: abstract of household management: tells us about encounter with a man of Excomacos,
who tells Socrates who he trained his 14 year old wife to manage his estate. He was about to
introduce her to duties of a wife, and he is able to mold her
718: Exco talks about distribution of chores between male and females, and
Gods created them in a way that would be complementary to each other
- Yolk = +
*Yolk: chariot drawn by oxen, the wood that bines oxen together
- Used to describe marriage
- (+) Mate joining, male and female or (-) connotation (baring marriage)
- Idea: why is there marriage? CAUSE THERE HAVTA BE CHILDREN
- Important for when provisions are made and brought into the home,
someone takes care of them
- Home needed for making of wool, for taking care of children
- Indoor supervision = women tasks
- Outdoor = men tasks
DIVIDES CHORES INTO OUTDOOR WORK + INDOOR, AND WOMEN MOSTLY INSIDE AND TAKING CARE OF
HOUSEHOLD, MALES GO OUT FOR BUSINESS/WAR, INDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE AS ESSENTIAL, BUT HE
JUSTIFIES THE DIVISION OF LABOR BY PHYSICAL APPROPRIATENESS: MADE MAN TOUGH, WOMEN
SOFTER, AND SHE LOVES BABIES MORE
(women = better fitted for physical activities that are indoor)
GUY IS COURAGEOUS SO DEFENDS THE HOME, WOMEN IS MORE WORRIED. YOLK IS
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL BECAUSE WHAT ONE LACKS THE OTHER HAS = (+) MARRIAGE
273: how she should think of herself as a leader bee. A woman is in charge of managing all components
of the household: guarding children, etc
“Weaving the wax” = textile activity
- NICE WAY OF LOOKING AT FEMALE JOB… positive portrayal
Ancient Athens: Strict Sexual Segregation:
Separate women’s quarters, in a diff part of the house where males would mingle, if there was a male
party (symposium) wife couldn’t be in it , if there were females that participated they were
musicians, low life women
Richer your family, the more confined you were as a women. If you had slaves, they would go get
what you needed, so upper class girls only went out for religious duties.
Live a secluded life
Upper class don’t have many physical activities
Lower class, women had to contribute to a households income by doing work outside:
market, washer, midwives, artist, wool works, wet nurses… having an actual profession was
frowned upon
Women could remarry if still in a child baring age
High chance of guy dying before wife, because he marries younger 14 year olds,
and he only lives until 45 so he dies before her
No romantic ideal attached to marriage: ECONOMICAL CONTRACT
ROME: *UNIVRA: women who only married once
*PATERFAMILIARS: head of the household, aka male, the father of the family. A father
had full power over his children, until his death, EVEN if they were adults, and were married with
their own children. They’d still be under authority of paterfamilias. AWKZZZZ
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