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Lecture 13

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Victoria Wohl

Greek Culture and History October #13 More Midterm discussion  In essay, try to persuade and prove the point definitively  Think about an outline that is an argument, not just topic  If your thesis can’t be written as: “I will argue that…” and if you can’t draw a conclusion, then it’s probably not interesting enough  TA’s office hours will be on Portal later today Lecture Body  One quality of Pandora and her descendants is a dichotomy b/w exterior and interior  Can’t judge a woman’s character by looking at her, contrasts with male ideal of Kalokagathia  Division b/w inside and outside of house for women (men on outside; farming, practicing politics (open air area outside acropolis); also agora- where trade took place is also outside  Xenophon shows mistrust of the ‘outside’ occupations—craftsmen  B/c sedentary lifestyles makes men weak in their bodies (so even if good in soul, cannot be kalokagathos b/c weak) o Also can’t be outside doing manly things, and thus you become effeminate in both body and soul o Xenophon Recommends ‘manly’ things like farming and military service  Says only reason men can enter these occupations is b/c the wife manages household affairs  So ideally, women spend most of their lives inside o Not just in the house, but in the women’s quarters of house Model of a Greek home: Women’s quarters Courtyard Door  There was an accusation once of a man breaking into another man’s house, and into the women’s quarters, where he terrified the man’s sister and nieces, who have “never seen a man before”. Probably not so for sister (or no nieces) but you can see point  Also women’s quarters bolted to separate from men’s quarters  Women shown in Greek art as paper white- to indicate that they stayed inside and were good women  Women played an important role in religion o Stories of women going out for religious services and getting into ‘trouble’  Aristophanes has plays where women are at festivals by themselves o E.g festival for Demeter (all women) o Aristophanes imagines that they talk about nefarious things (drinking, cheating, swapping babies etc)  This is all ‘ideally’; but it’s hard to know how much this ideal reflected their reality  You probably wouldn’t find a city full of men o Poor man, need wife to help out in fields  If this was a reality, probably only for the very rich (this may have even been a sign of social status)  There’s a speech in 4 C: “Don’t hold it against me that my mother sold ribbons in the marketplace, we were poor.” o Women did go out and work, but it wasn’t an ideal situation  Institutionalizes some of the Pandoric themes o Women can’t be trusted (can’t see what’s inside by looking at her); thus want to keep her contained---- but also reinforce this male-female division; that women are a separate race from men (diff skin colour, thrive in diff environments etc.)  Gendered division of space is part of the reality of the household (Oikos)  Men married around 35 years old (finshed military service, established themselves in their profession, and probably had inherited some property)  Marrying girls just post-puberty o Many women would die in childbirth o Easier to mould a younger woman’s mind o More likely she is pure o Puberty was then from 15-16 to about 30, so men would want to maximize time frame to have children o The woman is a drain on her father’s home to begin with, she only becomes useful when she’s given to someone in marriage o Form good political connections and familial links  Even a middle class or poor family with a beautiful daughter, you can use this to your advantage and hook her up with an important family  Worst problem is to have a daughter who is raped or seduced, then she is unchaste and you are stuck with her forever. o Awful father= sell her into slavery o So good idea to get rid of her as quickly as possible  No real evidence of female infanticide  A girl can be more useful than a boy if you wanted to climb the social ladder  Artimis protects virgins (boys and girls)  When girls got married they’d cut their hair and dedicate it as well as their dolls to Artimis  In Works and Days o Man in 30s, women 5 years after puberty o Marry one who lives close to you, in case your marriage is a joke (i.e. the baby isn’t yours)  Younger wives= more docile, easier to train o They will be taught, but first she has to be “tamed and domesticated” so she can converse with him o This links her to a wild animal, and thus it is the husband’s fault if the woman turns out useless  Same anxiety here about getting a bad wife as there is in Hesiod o Hesiod: women are naturally bad o Xenophon: blames bad women on man’s training  If they divorced she would go to her father, uncle, brother etc. o Always have a protector or guardian; puts husband in role of father, especially if there is a 20+ year age difference  Divorce not uncommon in Athens o A woman can remarry as long as they had been legitimately married without scandal- it’s pretty straightforward that way o Sterility is a common cause of divorce  Often this was a more amicable split o You often marry the daughter of a good friend  This is a protection for the woman- husband will not want to antagonize friend by hurting his daughter o In divorce, children stayed in father’s family, unless compelling reason otherwise  This could be neg
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