The Evolving Roles of Women in the Economies of Greece and Italy

1997 Words8 Pages
The Evolving Roles of Women in the Economies of Greece and Italy The role of women in Greek and Italian culture has come a long way since the ancient days. In patriarchal societies, women were restricted to household chores, and were allowed little to no involvement in politics or economic matters. Since these times, major cultural shifts in each of the countries have helped lead the nations to a more western perception of sex roles in their cultures. In the following paragraphs, we will see how historical events have shaped the roles of women in Greek and Italian culture into their present form. Women in Greece Creation Myth To set the tone for how women were perceived in ancient Greece, we first turn to the Greek myth of women's creation. In 700 BC, the historian Hesiod wrote his account of their creation is his Theogony. He writes that women were created as a punishment for men when they first acquired fire. The craftsman god Hephaestus molded the image of a Virgin, Athena dressed her up and they presented the "lovely curse" to the men, for whom she became a hopeless, deadly trap (Blundell). Hesiod goes on to describe women as deceptive creatures, never easing the pains of man's poverty, but always eager to share in his wealth. Hesiod further illustrates these traits in the description of the first woman, Pandora. Opening her jar of curses, she changed the lives of all men, who once lived in an Eden-like world. Women are seen from then on as sort of gift-curse, whose acceptance into society is essential to its continuation, but inevitably brings trouble (Blundell). Transition Periods: Archaic Age: 750-500 BC. Tracing back to the archaic age, we find the sources of women's oppression in Ancient... ... middle of paper ... ...tute of Japanese Studies.? Economic & Social Data Rankings/Greece? <http://web.hhs.se/personal/suzuki/o-English/Greece.html> EIJS.? European Institute of Japanese Studies.? Economic & Social Data Rankings/Greece? <http://web.hhs.se/personal/suzuki/o-English/Italy.html> Fantham. Women in the Classical World.? Oxford University Press, New York 1994.IPC.? Interactive Population Center.? Recognizing and Promoting Women?s Key Economic Roles.? <http://www.unfpa.org/intercenter/role4men/recognize.htm> Vivante.? Women?s Roles in Ancient Civilizations.? Greenwood Press, Westport 1999. MacAlister, Elliott. Women?s Roles in the Fisheries. <(http://europa.eu.int/comm/fisheries/doc_et_publ/liste_publi/studies/women/mainreport.pdf>?? 1997 Zhao, Megan.? Women in the Renaissance ??<http://info-center.ccit.arizona.edu/~ws/ws200/fall97/grp13/part3.htm> 1997

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