Essay about The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

Essay about The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

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The Role of Women in Ancient Greece as Depicted in Homer’s The Odyssey

Women as Citizens

For this informative report I will attempt to point out the roles women and how they are viewed in ancient Greece. I will then show how these views are present in Homer’s "The Odyssey." How are women, goddess or mortal, conveyed in "The Odyssey?"

"The Odyssey" was written around 700 BC during the Archaic period (750 – 550 BC). This was a time of great economical and social change in Greek history due to massive migration that led to the development of new city-states (called the polis) as well as laws to govern them. Citizenship and political rights give a good indication of women’s roles in Greek society. In Homer’s time citizens were apparently male heads of households (Adkins, 26). Women married to a male citizen were given the term "female citizen" and had no political rights (Martin, WEB1). The reason for this false citizen ship was to protect them from being kidnapped and sold as slaves (Martin, WEB1). All laws governing the inhabitants of Greece were written and enforced by men. Women could not defend themselves with these laws either. Men regulated the lives of women and "every woman had an official male guardian to protect them physically and legally" (Martin, WEB1). A woman could not receive an inheritance because the law of inheritance were through the male line (Adkins, 28). Although men were only married to one woman, it was not against the law for him to have sexual relations with his female slaves or other free (unmarried) woman (Martin, 69). A woman does not possess these same rights "and adultery carried harsh penalties for wives" (Martin, 69). After reading these laws and rights of ancient Greek civilization, it is ...

... middle of paper ...

...erences of ancient Greece. I hope you will keep in mind the role and view of women in ancient Greece when you read mythology stories and the poems by Homer when you come across the goddesses and mortal women in these stories.
Works Cited
Lesley Adkins, and Roy A. Adkins. Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece. Facts on file, 1997
Thomas R. Martin. Ancient Greece from Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times. Yale University Press, 1996.
J.P. Mahaffy. Old Greek Life. D. Appleton and Company, 1880.
Sue Blundell. Women in Ancient Greece. Harvard University Press, 1995.
Thomas R. Martin. "Overview of Archaic and Classical Greek History." WEB1
Thomas R. Martin. "Overview of Archaic and Classical Greek History." WEB2

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