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University of Toronto St. George

CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce LECTURE 5 on SAPPHO Oct 9lecture notes • what is sappho? o lesbian o which literally means woman from lesbos o 19th century came up with lesbians o tribade - noun means “to rub” • martial - epigrams o lucretia leads to downfall of Roman empire o theban riddle - edipus sphinx - wto ppl who should have sex w/ each other • aposiopesis - to break off - literary device - erotic literature o used in Lucian, Dialogues of the Courtesans • Sappho - 2nd half of the 7th cent. BC • dominate male - femaile engaging in sex w/o men is a big deal • it is said that sappho married kerkylos andros - dick allcock from the isle of man • it was imagine that Sappho was the head of a school • Thiasos - a group of females that initiated girls into sexual activities • this doesn’t come from Sappho’s work • Sappho and Phaon o phaon was a ferryman and not very handsome o aphrodite took a trip with him and he recognized her divinity and didn’t change her o aprodite gave him a potion o he gave it to sappho o eventually Phaon stopped wanting her o and she jumped off Leucadian cliff • among greek times we find the theme of ppl falling in love, once more, again • when calling a god, o remind the god that you have called them in the past and they have helped you 1. To Aphrodite Fr.1.G2. When I look at you (Fr.311.G)3. Anactoria (Fr. 16. G)4. Parting (FR. 94. G)5. Remembering the girl Atthis (Fr. 96.G)6. The wedding of Hector and Andromache (Fr. 44. G) Lecture 6 CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce Statistics in Antiquity • In Greece: • Average age of death for men was 45 • Men 35 • A third of all babies would be dead in a single year • In Rome: • Half of all babies would die before their first year • Not illegal to kill your baby - you could expose it • Leave in wilderness • Or somewhere someone would find it • Often girls exposed over boys, because boys are prized over girls as they are heirs. Females just cost money • To feed, bring up, provide dowry • Aristotle says there should be a law forbidding the bringing up of disabled children • High mortality between child-bearing age Growing up as a Girl in Ancient Greece • Quite often girls were less well-nourished than boys • Perhaps the reason they died more often as children because they didn’t get the same food as boys • Not the same for Egypt or Sparta • If you are healthy and make it through childhood you are educated in domestic skills • Wool-working, cooking, how to run a household, all depends on a social class • Upper classes would have huge household whereas poorer families the woman may have to work outside the house Normally illiteracy much wider spread among females • • In Roman aristocracy their girls might also be educated in writing, reading and philosophy, but perhaps not on the same level as boys Women in Greece • Menstruation begins between 13-15 • Later, probably because malnourished • Once you have your first period you are a woman - whereas it takes longer and more complicated to become a man • Augustus writes a law that the minimum age for a bride should be 12 In Sparta it was recommended that the girls be at least 18 • • Never a legal adult • Always under the guardianship of a male • Some exceptions: Augustus granted freedom of guardianship who had born three children If you were a freed woman you would have had to give birth to four to reach that status • • In Greece we have strict separation between the oikios and the polis • Xenophon’s oikenomicus • Socrates is most famous greek philosopher but he never wrote anything himself CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce • In this text socrates tells of his encounter with Ischomacus who tells socrates how he trained his young wife to manage his estate • It’s good that she’s so young because she’s still naive and he can shape her and introduce her to her duties as a wife • When talking about distribution of chores between male and female and how the gods have created them in such a way that they are complimentary to one another • Yolk often used to describe marriage - has both negative and positive connotation • What is at stake is the legitimacy of children - you must be married • In athens you must be married to an athenian • Need help in old age so must procreate • Man is made better able to endure outside duties; women indoors • Justifies division of labour by physical appropriateness via the gods creation • The guy is courageous, the woman is more worried which is good because she is concerned with household things • Oikois is a miniature state (polis) - therefore the woman has a very important function • Woman should think of herself as a leaderbee (queen bee?) Ancient athens has a very strict sexual segregation • • Can assume that there was a separate woman’s quarters (perhaps upstairs) • If there was a symposium the wife was not to participate it • Often there was only one entrance and it was near the male quarters and the female area far away from that • In such events they would have lower-life females present (i.e., prone) • Roman females had somewhat more liberties than Athenian ones • The higher up in society the more confined you were, so for upper class occasions they’d only go out for religious duties She should not interact with male strangers • • In lower class families women have to contribute • Wool workers, washer women, etc • Having a profession was frowned upon • Widows could remarry, especially when of child-bearing age • Such an age difference between male and females, so this could happen • Marriage was an economic contract • Univira - a woman who was only married once; not a cultural expectation or in the interest of the state • Rome has a different social situation • Paterfamilias - head of household, father of the family. Father had full power over his children until his death. Even if the children were adults and married and had own children they’d still be under the authority of the paterfamilias, who could punish them in any way possible Kyros - greek concept of guardian over female • • Father in early life, then husband • Given from father to the husband, and her responsibility switches to husbands household • In Rome the female can still be under authority of her father • Concept of paterfamilias and his authority is something you do not find in Greece CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce • If a married man has sex with freed women or slaves is not adultery • Doesn’t threaten legitimacy of his heirs If you are a female slave your body belongs to your master • • A dowry ensure’s a females financial security • In case of divorce the dowry would be returned to the father • In all cases here covering Greece she means Classical Athens Female’s in Sparta • Warrior nation • A boy would be raised by it’s mom until age 7 - pretty common anywhere in ancient world • Left home then trained in barrack’s - this went on until you were 30, but you’d marry in mid- 20’s • So for the first 5 years or so of marriage you didn’t live with wife • Girls can be seen doing physical exercise - running and wrestling; things we think of as male activities. Possibly done in the nude, just like guys did, and with male viewers • Less of an incentive to keep the women veiled and indoors Women would also perform in choirs • • The idea of wife-sharing: • If your wife bore you several children you could lend her to other males (if she consented?) • They could all have sex with her and have children with her • Sole purpose was to procreate • New warriors for Sparta • Much more preferable to have to heirs, then distribute the other children among other men (as in she starts getting pregnant by others) • Age difference smaller between married couples here than Athens Marriage in Athens • Transfer of ownership over the female from father to husband • In case of widowhood or death of father, ownership would pass to the next (male) of kin • 2 steps to marriage: • Engye - oral contract (betrothal): “I pledge so and so of rpurpose of producing legitimate children”, the man would say “I accept the pledge”. Woman is passive object of transaction • Ekdisos - the giving out of the woman. The transfer of the woman to the dwelling of the bridegroom • Dowry given in first step - function was to ensure livelihood of woman. However, the woman could not dispose of the dowry. Father gives sum to daughter; a pre-death inheritance - women couldn’t inherit on death • In case of divorce the husband had to give back dowry, and if not he had to pay an annual interest of 18% • If you are aware that you won’t have a son anymore you can adopt one But if you adopt a son that son would have to marry your daughter • • In order to be able to inherit CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce • Epikleros - translated as heiress but not really what it means. Means “with the property”. A guy who has no sons his daughter would have all his property but she would need to be married, so the property was attached to the girl but she didn’t possess it really Her male descendants would still be from line of father so the husband of the epikleros would • make sure that the male descendants got the property - important to continue the line • Why Solon passed the law that the husband of an epikleros must sleep with her at least 3 times a month • If father dies and only leaves daughter she must marry her next of kin The next male kin would be paternal uncle • • If he wanted the property he would divorce his wife for her • If the daughter was already married and the father had not adopted husband than she could be forced into divorce to marry her uncle • Concubine - palaakae • Unions where there was no money for dowry • If she was an Athenian citizen the children would still be legitimate • Any child that was born in athens - legitimate or a bastard? • Only an athenian citizen if both parents athenians • Pericles in 5th century BC passed new citizenship laws which said that only children whose both parents were Athenians would hold citizenship • Polites - athenian citizen, member of polis • Woman would be aste because her citizenship didn’t involve any political rights Immigrants in athens are Metics - could not own land or houses (immovable property) • • Was this to limit power of upper class? • Unions going beyond the polis • Endogamic society - marriage within the city limits Causes various problems. • Divorce • Just throws woman out BUT he has to return the dowry • A woman in Athens can also divorce but it is a bit more complicated - she has to register divorce with city magistrate and would need support from family • Alcibiades’s wife grew tired of him bringing courtesans home. She tried to register divorce and Alcibiades got wind of the whole thing, carried his wife home to prevent the divorce • Situations where man forced to divorce wife: • 1. Guilty of adultery Lysias is an important speech writer • • A man named Euphiletus was married and he had a kid and once the child was born he began to trust his wife • They switched the lodgings - the women’s quarters on the lower level so she could sleep with baby One day he comes home and the baby is crying so the woman goes downstairs after • locking his door so he doesn’t bang the maid • But actually she is meeting with her lover downstairs and the baby was made to cry by the maid who is an accomplice of adultery CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce • One day an old woman who was former mistress of the adulterer exposes the adultery to the husband • Adultery started at a funeral - one of the few times women can be out of the house • Maid promises to catch adulterer • He killed him in the act - he is on trial for his murder but he has witnesses so he’s in the right • 2. If she had to marry uncle 3. If he discovered she was a non-athenian • • Girl from trained in sex trade and became famous as a prostitute in Corinth • In order to be free she gets her lovers to pay the fee • She travels with a lover to athens but apparently he mistreated her so much that she went to Megara - then another athenian falls in love with her • He pretends her children are his from another marriage • Apparently she kept being a prostitute and he would come back home as her “husband” and blackmail these people into paying a fine! • A former lover finds out she is in athens, files a lawsuit against him She has to return the property of her former lover and spend equal time with • both of them • Her daughter is married to an athenian guy but the girl is used to a more liberated lifestyle of her mother which gets her in trouble with her husband - he divorces her and refuses to return dowry • But he keeps his son as heir when he falls ill - and then he refuses to swear him as a legitimate athenian offspring • The daughter is married off again to king Archon meaning that the daughter had to perform very secret religious ceremonies - you meant to be an athenian virgin coming into the marriage • She divorces again • If woman caught cheating you can humiliate her CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce Lecture 7: Ancient medicine is an established science, and there are a lot of theoretical writers that are • preserved • Many of the theories and observation may seem absurd from a modern perspective • However it is intriguing to study medicine in its own right • Hippocratic oath: sworn by modern doctors to adhere to certain principles • This is based off the man Hippocrates from Kos • We have a lot of his writings ascribed to him, but probably not all authentic • Corpus (body) Hippocraticum: term for these transmitted writings • Born around 460 BC • His text on the sacred disease (epilepsy) is the most widely read • Epilepsy was sent by the gods where some god or demon takes hold of you causing your fit • The oath is millenia old • Aklepios is son of apollo and is got of medicine In this corpus we have a lot of gynecological treatises • • Mostly focus on pathologies (when someone is sick or something goes wrong; disease and complications) • This obviously influences the treatises in that they focus on what goes wrong rather than exploring the female body • Practicing doctors all male • Access to female patients not easy as they may refuse to be treated by a male • The first female doctor -hadnodika(?) • She wanted to study medicine Learn how to cure women • • She wasn’t allowed to because only males could become doctors • Disguised herself as a man • Went to alexandrian in 4-3rd c BC to study If a woman didn’t want to be treated by her she’d show that she was a woman • • The jealous doctors accused her of sleeping with her female patients • She then reveals herself as a woman (ahem shows boobs) • They then say that her impersonating is a crime The women rebel • • And apparently freeborn females could become doctors afterwards • 2 concepts of female body: CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce • School of hippocrates: woman is completely different from man • Aristotle (4th century BC): an infertile man Menstruation plays a very important part in all these assumptions about females • • Various theories as to why they bleed • Menstruation is responsible for all sorts of illnesses • Excess of moisture that has to come out every month and this is what makes them unstable • Body temperature is essential to ancient medicine • Humor: body, fluid relates to mood • 4 combinations • Dry and hot = yellow bile • Dry and cold = black bile • Wet and hot = blood • Wet and cold = phlegm • These elements in every person • Depending on what prevails that is what constitutes our mood of behavior • 4 character types • Wetness and hotness = sanguine (optimistic) • Dry and hot = choleric (hot-tempered) • Dry and cold = melancholy • Wet and cold = phlegmatic (lethargic) • Persisted until 19th century • Women’s flesh is loose and spongy, meaning that the body soaks up excess blood from the stomach and that is why she has an irrational behavior • In some texts compared to wool that soaks up moisture • Breasts of women show how much looser female body is and what make as person crazy is when blood is near the chest (which is why we have boobs! duuuuuh) • Aristotle draws a parallel between menstrual blood and semen (the male menstruation) • Males are active and use their blood, excess blood is concocted into semen by the heat of the man due to his active lifestyle • Females are cold as they live a sedentary life and can’t make semen • Boys can’t concoct semen which is why they aren’t a man - makes them closer to woman • Greeks and Romans did not consider menstruation pollution (apparently) • She was not banned from temples, and could participate in rituals • Physicians even recommend sex during menstruation • Aristotle: menstruating women looking into mirror • The surface becomes bloody dark like a cloud • Eyes affected by period • Difference in eyes because of the inflammation of the blood • The air is disturbed and it has the an effect on the surface of the mirror • Did recognized that menstruation was good for help • And if a girl who reached puberty didn’t have her first period she would get suicidal • Hyseros is the Greek word for uterus • Womb of woman causes her to be hysterical CLA219: Women in Antiquity Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 Lecture 6 - Women in Marriage and Divorce • Hysteria is smoothing that goes right into the 19th century • Malfunctions of uterus lead to hysteria in women Best way to prevent this was to marry them off and give them to a man who will have sex with • them • Virgins are exceptional hysterical • She gets visions or feelings that compel her to seek death • Virgins should cohabit as soon as
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