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CLA230 The Greek House.doc

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Dimitri Nakassis

Cla230h1 March.25,2013 The Greek House *relates to source criticism *Archaeology is a source which is important source for Greek history for pre-history * Sources generally reference male, aristocrats, politics or events. Archaeology gives perspective of women, slaves etc... * The Greek house gives both literary and archaeological evidence *Literary Evidence - What it tells us - Issue:gendered space *Archaeological Evidence -Development of house, general and specific examples Literary evidence *Pros = -Eye witness and contemporary accounts *Cons= -generally come from one privileged class (biased one sided) -incomplete/vague - written for ancient greeks for other ancient greeks- no need to elab- orate - text is overwhelmingly Athenian - very anthenocentric version of events Oikonomikos “household management” (Aristole) -attributed, but not actually him “ 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” -get the most of the sunlight (especially in winter) -obviously not all houses can face the south **Legal Cases** On the killing of Eratosthenes (Lysias) “... 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, it’s moth- er 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.” - Wife usually stays on the upper floor re:ladder - separate floors allow her to cheat on her husband - taken as description of a normal athenian house Against Simon (Lysias) “ 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 nieces, whos lives have been so well-ordered that they are ashamed to be seen even by their kinsmen” -women are secluded. -so secluded they are ashamed to be seen by their male relatives - this man violated their space Against Euergus and Mnesibulus (Demosthenes) - attributed-not him “ 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.” - everyone is segregated men, women, slaves. Oikonomikos (Xenophon) “... the room are designed simply with the object 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 valu- able 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 specialized activities Xenophon cont... “ I showed her decorated living-rooms for the family that are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I showed her that the whole house fronts south, so that it was obvi- ous that it is sunny in winter and shady in summer. I showed her the women’s quarters too, seprarted by a bolted door from men’s, so that nothing which ought not to be moved may be taken out, and that the servants may not breed
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