The Role of Women in Ancient Greek Art
The investigation of the role of women in the Art of ancient Greece is complex because artists were affected both by the art and stories of the past and the women that they saw around them every day. There is one certainty and that is that the influence of the various roles evident produced some of the greatest art ever. The purpose of this page is to investigate the various influences that women had and provide information to help the understanding
of this important area of art and culture.
The time periods covered by this site include the following:
- Bronze Age (3300-1050 BCE)
- Dark Age (1050-750 BCE)
- Archaic Age (750-479 BCE)
- Classical Age (479-336 BCE)
- Hellenistic Period (336-168 BCE)
The geography of concern is greater than the boundaries of Greece today. Especially important is the west cost of Asia Minor which contributed greatly to Classical Greek Culture but was taken over by the Persians during that time. The ancient Greeks were early mariners and colonizers. They sailed all over the Mediterranean and Black Seas. They may have gone as far as England. They colonized Southern Europe, Southern Italy and Sicily, Norther Africa, and around the Black Sea. Alaxander spread Greek influence into India.
Women had a different role in ancient Greek society than they do today. It also seems likely that the role of women changed radically from ancient, pre-classical times to the more familiar classical period. For the classical period there are many sources for study. The classical Greeks were able writers, poets, artists, and even historians. The pre-classical Greeks are more difficult to study as we have to depend upon archeology and the oral tradition of myth. Also important is the development of the Greek alphabet around 800 BCE. This development allowed the mythical oral tradition to be written down.
Plato describes the state of women in various countries during his time (350 BCE): Plato, Laws, 7.805d: “Shall it be that of the Thracians, and many other tribes, who employ their women in tilling the ground and minding oxen and sheep and toiling just like slaves? Or that which obtains with us and all the people of our district? The way women are treated with us at present is this—we huddle all our goods together, as the saying goes, within four walls, and then hand over the dispensing of them to the women, together with the control of the shuttles and all kinds of wool-work. Or again, shall we prescribe for them, Megillus, that midway system, the Laconian? Must the girls share in gymnastics and music, and the women abstain from wool-work, but weave themselves instead a life that is not trivial at all nor useless, but arduous, advancing as it were halfway in the path of domestic tendance and management and child-nurture, but taking no share in military service; so that, even if it should chance to be necessary for them to fight in defence of their city and their children, they will be unable to handle with skill either a bow (like the Amazons) or any other missile, nor could they take spear and shield, after the fashion of the Goddess (Athena), so as to be able nobly to resist the wasting of their native land, and to strike terror—if nothing more—into the enemy at the sight of them marshalled in battle-array? If they lived in this manner, they certainly would not dare to adopt the fashion of the Sauromatides, whose women would seem like men beside them.”
Classical Greeks were definitely patriarchal with women
subserviant to men. Only native male Greeks could be citizens.
Women obtained power only when they became the wife of an
influential citizen or could obtain some influence by their
relation to a man. They were restricted in their activities to
mainly within the realm of a family or in the context of the
activity of a courtesan. Within the family they might weave,
grind grain, direct servants, and mind children. Even so, women
were not without their influence, as is stated in a play by
Euripides: "Women run households and protect within their
homes what has been carried across the sea, and without a woman
no home is clean or prosperous. Consider their role in religion,
for that, in my opinion, comes first. We women play the most
important part, because women prophesy the will of Loxias in the
oracles of Phoibos. And at the holy site of Dodona near the
Sacred Oak, females convey the will of Zeus to inquirers from
Greece. As for the sacred rituals for the fates and the Nameless
goddesses [i.e. the Furies], all these would not be holy if
performed by men, but prosper in women’s hands. In this way women
have a rightful share (dike) in the service of the Gods"
(Neils, Worshipping Athena, p 78)
Archaic Greeks were not necessarily patriarchal. This is best evidenced by the myths of the goddesses such as Athena who are seen to wield real power over men. These myths reflect a former
time when women were more powerful. Archeology suggests there was a time when the most powerful deities were thought to be women. Most likely this time can be associated with the Minoan Culture on the island of Crete. But there is some evidence that this might have been true of the Hittite culture and others of Asia Minor. This was possibly the situation well before the time of the Trojan War. It seems like the Indo-European culture moved into the area of Greek and formed the Mycanaean culture which was more patriarchal.
The role of women in Greece can be studied by reviewing how
women are portrayed in art. Ordinary women are portrayed as well
as goddesses and more mythological creatures. It is also interesting
that so many of the monsters of Greek myth are women: Sirens,
Sphinx, Gorgons, Scylla, Charybdis, Chimera. It is possible that these monsters are demonized deities from the matriarchal cultures of the past
Both men and women are displayed as sex objects. Statues of
Aphrodite are often in this vein. But the people portrayed are
often individualized with a name and this reduces their object
status. Goddesses can be identified with their symbols and
attributes, and this reduces their object status. Before
Praxiteles sculpted his nude Aphrodite of Cnidos, there were many
more images of nude men than nude women. After Praxiteles there
were more images of women as sex objects. Our display of ancient
Greek statues of nude women without heads increases our view of
them as sex objects while the fact that the Greeks put heads on
them reduces their view in that way. The situation with Amazons
is very interesting in this regard. If an Amazon is a symbol of
an enemy of the state then she could not be a sex object. If an
Amazon is a symbol for the forceful domination of women, then, of
course she is. But just what an Amazon represents is a subject of
great debate. The notion that the Amazon culture represents an inversion of Greek culture seems productive. The origin and reality of that clulture is not clear but the way it was described and used is more definite. Men can fantasize about Amazons because fighting them is active and akin to the conquest of women. Women can fantasize about them because the Amazons had freedom and power that they could not enjoy.
The main role of women in Greek society was as a wife bearing and raising
children. The wives also performed women’s work which included
spinning, weaving, baking bread, cooking, serving, cleaning,
fetching water, and removing wastes.
The hetaera were women who formed an important part of male society. They
were in demand as conversationalists, courtesans, entertainers, and prostitutes.
There were also women slaves who performed thte more menial tasks.
Women were not inferior to men in many ways. Men and women had different roles in ancient Greek society. Their role did not encourage women to excel in the areas that men took on. The men felt the women should be subservient to the men and men were head of the family. For this reason women in ancient Greece seemed inferior socially. But the women were isolated in their homes and did not mix in the society of men. What the men thought may not have been that important to the women in their separat role.
One role of women in ancient Greek art was to inspire some of the
greatest art ever crafted. The women doing the inspiring were not just
the contemporary women but women who lived many years before. And these
women related to goddesses who were inpired by other women from an even further
distant past. Many women in many cultures lived many different lives that
are all connected by the thread of great art. Some of the women were even
The ancient Greek men felt that they had wives for the purpose of producing babies. The wives were secluded so the husbands were assured that they knew who the father was. Hetaerae were a group of women entertainers who satisfied the sexual demands of the men apart from the wives. Many women had slaves who did the menial tasks of the household. Women were excluded from politics and many other activities outside of the home, but they were actively involved in religion and festivals. In 370 BCE Xenephon wrote about the role of women:
- Classics Gender Studies
- Woman in Prehistory
- Review of
Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘Reading’ Greek Culture: Texts and Images,
- Sacks, David; Murray, Oswyn; Bunson, Margaret, “A Dictionary of the
Ancient Greek World”, ISBN: 0195112067 / Paperback / 12/1/1996, This text
assembles the people, places, events, and ideas of the ancient Greek
civilization in one easy-to-use resource. More than 500 entries and more than
70 line drawings cover every aspect of Greek civilization, from the beginning
of the Minoan culture to the Roman annexation of mainland Greece in 146 B.C.
73 linecuts. 3 maps.
- Lightman, Marjorie/ Lightman, Benjamin, “Biographical Dictionary of Ancient
Greek and Roman Women : Notable Women from Sappho to Helena” (Facts on File
Library of World History), Facts on File, November 1999, Hardcover,
- Middleton, Haydn, “Ancient Greek Women”, Heinemann Library, January 2002,
Hardcover,48pp ISBN: 1588106373
- Bolger, Diane/ Serwint, Nancy, “Engendering Aphrodite : Women and Society
in Ancient Cyprus (Archaeological Reports, American Schools of Oriental
Research, March 2002, Hardcover, ISBN: 0897570596.
- A Catalogue of Heroines
- From Courtesans to Cleopatra: The Portrayal of Women in Hellenistic Art and Literature
To ask a question about this topic note the topic (Main) and
Previous Questions and Answers:
Questions and Answers
Question: Were some of the women gay
Answer: Yes. This is true of every culture for thousands of years back.
As far as is known gayness is genetically determined and its density
is approximately constant.
Question: Was there ever a woman that ruled Greece? If so would there be
a painting of her somewhere?
Answer: Aspasia and Artemesia I & II can be studied in this regard. An
Amazon queen may have ruled Greece, but her name is not known. In Crete
a priestesss may have been the actual ruler with the king as the queen’s
consort. But Greek myth indicates the ruler was Minos. There are images of
Pasiphae, his queen.
Question: Was Leto the goddess of darkness? What was Britomartis, Taygete,
Iphigeni, Erigone, Hilaeira and Phaedra gods/goddesses of? What did the
priestesses do?? What exactly are nymphs??
Answer: Leto was not the goddess of darkness. You are probably referring
to Hecate who is an aspect of Leto’s daughter Artemis. Leto and Artemis are
Britomartis and Artemis are also confused. The myths have Britomartis
and Artemis as lovers and much is made of what appears to be a Lesbian
relationship. But Artemis loved Britomartis because of her devotion to
maidenhood. She chose to jump off a mountain into the sea rather than have
sex with Minos. Originally she seems to have been a Minoan goddess of
hunters and fisherman.
Taygete was one of the Pleides and a goddess. She became the object of
Zeus’s affection and by him bore Lacaedemon. Artemis tried to save her from
Zeus by changing her into a cow, but Zeus had sex with her anyway.
For Iphigenia see Click Here
There are at least three Erigone’s but only the first became a goddess.
She was the daughter of Icarius and Phanothea. When Dionysus visited her
house he seduced Erigone and presented her father with bags of wine. The
sharing of the wine caused Icarius to be killed and his body hidden.
Icarius’ faithful dog Maera found the body and Erigone hanged herself.
Dionysus placed Erigone, Icarius, and Maera among the stars. A festival
called Aiora or Aletides honored Erigone.
Helaeira means ‘the shining’ and was a surname of Selene, goddess of the moon.
Phaedra was not a goddess in Greek myth though she may have been to the
Minoans. She was the daughter of Minos and sister of Ariadne. Theseus
later married her and she fell in love with his son Hippolytus. She lied
about him and then killed herself. This caused Theseus to curse Hippolytus
For roles of the priestesses see: Click here
Nymphs were lesser goddesses who represented the powers and aspects of
Nature. Most had a small realm consisting of a stream, well, cave, glade,
or tree. A nymph could be an Oceanid, Nereid, Naid, Oread, Dryad, or
Hammadryad. They were an early sex symbol and were pictured nude. They had
a reputation of promiscuity. Many were companions of gods and goddesses
and sometimes even servants.
Question: did women participate in school and/or any sporting events
Answer: Women destined to be wives sometime attended school for music and
dance. Women destined to be hetaerae could attend a special school that
included music, dance, and rhetoric. Women could participate in sports of
their own but not those organized for men. Women had their own Olympics,
Question: Socrates was known to have doubted the Pythia’s prophesy (about
him being the most wise man around) and proving the prophesy correct through
his methods of arguing this. Are there any works (e.g. by Plato?) that
provide more info about Socrates’ visit to Delphi?
Answer: This is a story from the Apology of Plato, on page 21.
Question: If a woman was prosecuted for a serious crime during the time
of Pericles, could she face the death penalty? If so, what forms of capital
Answer: According to Greek law the wife was the property of the husband
and it was his responsibility to administer punishment to her. Most
wives were confined to the home and had little opportunity to commit
capital crimes. The women outside the home would have been slaves whose
responsibility was their masters. Capital crimes commited by slaves were
resolved by fines against their masters. Hetaerae were the only group that
could commit capital crimes. There are a number of reference to the
successful defense of hetaerae who were accused of crimes but I know of
none that were convicted of capital crimes. Capital punishment was rarely
used in ancient Greece, but Socrates was condemned to death by poison
Question: how were woman portrayed in the ancient art, and how it reflects the society?
Answer: Women were respectfully portrayed in the art of ancient Greece
but they were not necessarily treated that way in society.
Question: role of mothers
Question: Mothers were very important, especially mothers who were wives
of citizens. The economy of Greece was very dependent upon a rapidly expanding
population and this demand was met by mothers who bore an average of 5
children in their lifetime. These mothers were pampered so they would bear
healthy and strong babies. They were also allowed to raise these children
without very many distractions. After the male babies were 5 they were sent
to school. Female babies stayed with their mothers until they were 13.
Question: What are some of the leisurely activities people enjoyed in greece around 1200 BC?
Answer: Ancient Greeks worked very hard and very few had any leisure time. Their work was interruped by religious festivals. Even in that case their activity probably was constrained by the nature of the festivals. There was no work-week and week-end. There was not Sunday as a day of rest. But though festivals came at irregular intervals, there were a lot of them.
- athletic competitions were done in the context of religious festivals
- horse racing was done in the context of religious festivals
- board cames similar to Parcheesi
- listening to a Bard was done almost every evening. Work was limited to when there was light. A bard (Greeks actually called them Poets) entertained and informed in the evening in the dark after the evening meal.
- dancing was done in the context of religious festivals
- feasting was done in the context of religious festivals
- Most religious festivals ans weddings involved a procession which could include dancing.
Question: How were women treated in the government of athens?
Answer: For the purposes of law women were the property of their husbands.
But the goal given the women of bearing and raising many children
required that the women who were wives be treated very well if healthy,
intelligent children were to result. But other women who could not be wives
might not have been treated so well. Most people knew that to have loyal and
dependable servants they must take good care of the servants, but some
people took advantage of the fact that servants could be made to do almost
anything, even what is immoral and illegal. Thus some women servants were
required to be prostitutes. Others were required to do dangerous work in
Question: Was there a goddess called Bridget?
Answer: Brigid was an ancient goddess of plenty in Celtic Ireland.
Question: what is the purpose for art in anceint greece
Answer: Art was made almost entirely for religious purposes. The articles
and objects were thought to be pleasing to the deities. Most pieces were
dedications. Few were used in the home.
Question: Where can I find a realistic picture of the wooden Trojan Horse?
Answer: Realism is hard to apply to the Trojan Horse because the details
of the story just are not consistent.
Question: How was body image important/unimportant in the media during the time of the Greeks?
Answer: The media during the time of the Greeks were mainly the bards. They
around and entertain by telling their stories after the evening meal.
There were also messengers who literally ran between cities. The plays and
festivals must have been very secondary. There were books to read but they
were difficult to write and difficult to read. There were also poetry recitals
but most of the poetry was given by the bards. They might even recite whole
Body image must have been very important. The ancient Greeks thought their
women were the most beautiful in the world. The men were used to performing
in the nude. Their artisans perfected ideal body types which are commonly
imaged. Persons with bodily imperfections seem to have been shunned. Most of
their art reveled in the ideality of the divine so the imagery is of bodily
Question: How does greek mythology relate to the modern world?
Answer: Greek mythology is deeply lodged in the subscious of the modern
mind. Greek mythology relates to the hopes and fears that we all have to live
with. Greek mythology has been widely influential on artists and it is a
source of imagery which even contemporary artists find useful. Many of the
ideas formed the inspiration for remarkable aspects of our society. Finally,
Greek mythology contains stories which continue to be interesting.
Question: did the woman in greece help make any of the famous buildings that still stand in greece today
Answer: I have no information on this.
Question: What are the changing roles of women in the poem theogony
Answer: Read the poem “Theogony” by Hesiod.
Question: What is the boys shedual like in Athena and Sparta.
Answer: After the woke up and got dressed they went to school. For details
about school click on the menu directory below and then click on school.
After school they came home and had dinner with their families. After
dinner they listened to a bard.
Question: what have the greeks done for us?
Answer: First of all they provided us with the materials and methods for
a great education. They were prolific writers and artists who provided some
of the best material ever. This material continues to inspire others. Their
system of goverment provided a foundation for democracy. Their science and
math provided a foundation for modern science and math.
Question: I am in a class studying Greek art and architecture. the question asked is
WHY were women treated the way there were in ancient Greece. You have lots
of info but none of the reasons why women were treated this way. Was it
fear of women or Masogony?
Question: Answer: First you must answer how they were actually treated. In many cases
all we know is how the men thought they ought to be treated. Men liked
ideal women and treated them well. They did not like independent, bossy women
and they treated them less well. Women slaves were treated well if they
had important jobs but were treated poorly if they were expendable or
uncooperative. Babies were very important to the ancient Greeks and women
who produced healthy, intelligent ones were treated very well. But men thought
women needed control so they knew who fathered the woman’s children. They
also wanted to control their opportunity for sex to make sure they kept
bearing children to good husbands and did not bear them for the wrong husbands.
Question: where can I find greek arifacts
Answer: In the many art museums around the world.
Question: where there any ancent greek hero women
Answer: Yes, there were many heroines in Ancient Greece. Atalanta,
Medea, the many Amazons, Penelope, Ariadne, names a few.
Question: why did they sculpt people nude?
Answer: They felt that they did not need clothes to glorify the person.
They wanted to present the person in an ideal state. They felt that it was
more heroic to present the person as though they were victorious in an
athletic contest with all their muscles taught and shiney. They were
also nude to represent their sexual power.
Question: how did mythology affect the violence of the society?
Answer: Within the mythology of a society are the moral rules for evaluating
behavior. These rules will determine if violence is condemned or praised.
Question: Did Philotetes get stuck on Lemnos with a mermaid? What was her name(if he was?)
Answer: It would have been nice for Philoctetes to have received solace
from a nymph or mermaid, but just the opposite seems the case:
There is a recent book that follows this idea anyway: Napoli, Donna Jo. Sirena.
Oct. 1998. 224p. Scholastic, $15.95 (0-590-38388-4). The ancient Greeks knew
nothing of mermaids. There is a modern statue of a mermaid in Greece:
And their mythology included many beasts that looked like mermaids:
Eurynome, Glaucus, Achelous, Nereus, Potamoi, Triton.
But the source of the modern mermaid can actually be traced to Aphrodite
Question: Can you please give me a list of references, for exampole Nike the Goddes of Victory-Nike(shoes), Ajax-Ajax(cleaner).
Answer: This is easy by searching the Internet.
Question: did the ancientGreeks invent Maths?
Answer: Not really. The Ancient Mesopotamians developed numbers and
the Egyptians developed Geometry. The Ancient Greeks developed Logic
and put both these other areas in logical form. But Algebra was not
developed until later by the Arabs.
Question: was susan Langdon’s theories about the male and female pair in ancient geometric art correct?
Answer: I have not read her work. Some of her references include:
- Susan Langdon: Significant Others: The Male-Female Pair in Greek Geometric Art, American Journal of Archeology,
VOLUME 102.2 · APRIL 1998
- Langdon, Susan H., Art, Religion, and Society in the Greek Geometric Period: Bronze Anthropomorphic Votive Figurines,1984
- Susan Langdon, ed., New Light on a Dark Age: Exploring the Culture of Geometric Greece, pp. 194-207 (University of Missouri Press, Columbia 1997). This essay gives an idea of how the four “cyber-dialogues” of our on-line discussion can flow out of a single image as pictured on the Shield of Achilles in Scroll 18 of the Iliad: it is a scene of litigation, where the poetic “freeze frame” locks the defendant and the plaintiff into an eternal juridical debate over the rights and wrongs of a single overriding moral question: what is the true “price” of a human life?
Question: why did women play such a big role in ancient greek art?
Answer: Women were important to the ancient Greeks. It may have been
because they were able to develop their beauty. The Greeks thought their
women were the most beautiful in the world. Their outfits may have been
important. They dreesed provocatively in see-through materials that developed
their feminine shape and revealed their sexual charms. The ancient Greeks
also were impressed with the power of women to produce babies who were very
important to their economy.
Question: Did goddesses like Athena were artists?
Answer: Athena did weaving and sewing for the gods and goddesses.
Hephaestus was believed to create decorative objects that were viewable on
Question: were there more women or men artists?
Answer: If you consider weavers artists there were many more women artists
because many women were weavers. There were only a few women sculptors or
painters and no women architects. We do not know about potters. Most of
the named potters seem to be men, but there are many unnamed potters
Question: was womans art important to the citizens of ancient greece?
Answer: Yes it was. Their weaving was extremely important. Their
involvement in other arts was less important.
Question: I need to know where to find some poetry preferably about the gods
Answer: All the Greek myths exist as poetry about the gods. Homer, Hesiod,
Pindar, and Sappho all wrote such poetry. Of course it was written in
ancient Greek so when it is translated it sometimes does not look like poetry.
But there do exist verse translations if you look for them.
Question: Was there a certain event or social movement that occured around 350 BCE (when Praxiteles created the statue of Aphrodite) that allowed there to be more nude female images in art…I know Aphrodite was becoming a more popular Godess at the time but what in society changed so that she could become more popular, if there is anything at all. Thanks very much.
Answer: The hetaerae probably inspired the nude Aphrodite. After all
Praxiteles used the hetaera Phryne as his model. Hetaerae were a part
of archaic and classical Greece and not of earlier or later eras. The hetaerae
are a social movement of great interest and importance. Though
male nudity was a part of the Greek culture, female nudity was rare and seemed
to be influenced by oriental religions.
Question: What are the flaws in Penelope’s character in Homer’s Odessey?
Answer: You must read the Odyssey to determine this.
Question: pouring libations
Answer: This was a religious ritual commonly practiced by the ancient Greeks.
A liquid was placed in a small pitcher and this liquid was poured out during the
ceremony. The liquid might be wine, water, or olive oil. It might be poured
on the ground, on an alter, into a crevice, or on to sacrificial meat. It was
seen as an offering to a god. When it was poured on to sacrificial meat that
was then roasted it produced a delicious smell that was believed to be pleasing
to the gods. Libations were important becasue they were liquid just like blood.
Question: First women
Answer: The Greek myths say that Pandora was the first woman. But Hesiod refers to her actually as the first woman of the fifth age of man, the iron age. He says that there were women before but that they had been changed into spirits or goddesses. This age started after the Trojan war according to Hesiod.
Question: greek heroes
Answer: A Greek hero is a protector. A hero would fight the dragon and
protect the village. When the hero had killed the dragon with his sword a
beautiful woman would come out and thank the hero. A hero was viewed as a good
mate to produce strong children. When the commemorative plaque was made
The woman seemed to be coming out of the dragon. Later the dragon was thought
to have changed into a woman. Still later the dragon was thought to be a woman.Scylla is such a female dragon. Later still it was thought that the hero was
killing a woman to save the village. Then it was thought that a woman
should be killed by a hero to save the village from the dragon. This woman
had to be a virgin so the woman was pure in the eyes of the gods. Then it
was felt that the virgin ought to be sacrificed directly to the dragon to save
the village. This was the story of Andromeda. Then it was felt that the hero
should rescue the virgin as Perseus did. Then it was felt that the hero
should fight the dragon and be rewarded with the virgin when the dragon was
killed by his sword.
Answer: The most obvious definition is that a lesbian is a resident of
Lesbos. But it also refers to a female homosexual. This connection is
made because the poetry of Sappho often glorifies a female. This is in
spite of the fact that there is no evidence that Sappho preferred sex with
a female. But the ancient Greek males were quite sensitive to female
homosexuality and ridiculed it extensively. It is likely that the ancient
Greek females did have sex with one another simply because their culture
was full of sexual energy and they did not seem to care who this energy was
directed at. Most ancient Greeks would have to be classified as bi-sexual
however, and not homosexual because they did not prefer same sex sex. In
fact there is no evidence that the rate of homosexuality in ancient Greece
is any different than it is today. Current scientific evidence suggests that
homosexuality depends upon genetic make-up which is pretty constant over the
Question: I know that Aphrodite is regarded as the goddess of love but did she have any “powers” or abilities? Specifically what was her effect on men? Also was there a special god for same sex relationships?
Answer: Within her realm of Love she set down the natural laws and enforced
them. She could also make adjustments when her laws did not work right. These
adjustments were mainly tranformations which she performed with a wand.
Answering prayers involving performing such adjustments. She could turn a
man into a blithering idiot. She had the same effect on gods. All the man
could think about was having sex. Ancient Greeks made little distinction
between same sex and opposite sex relationships. They knew which sexes
had to relate to produce babies and they did whatever the women wanted so she
would get pregnant. This included arranging for other lovers if the husband
could not get her pregnant. But when it same to satisfaction they would
perform with either sex. But this makes them bisexuals rather than
homosexuals. This is why Aphrodite sufficed for all sexual relations.
Question: Is there a specific piece of art that could show women’s role in society
Answer: No. Women’s roles were too varied.
Question: do you have the greek sculpture Vieled and masked dancer
Answer: Veiled or Masked Dancer Greece, Statuette of a veiled and masked dancer, 3rd-2nd century B.C., Hellenistic, bronze, height 8 1/16 inches (20.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Question: IF A WOMENS HUSBAND HAD DIED WOULD SHE BE ALOWED TO GO TO THE MARKETPLACE OR WHAT WOULD SHE HAVE TO DO? WERE WEMON ALOWED TO HAVE JOBS LIKE TO MAKE POTS YOU KNOW LIKE BE ARTISTS?
Answer: In ancient Greece women not going out of the home was like women
wearing long hair and lipstick in our culture. It was not a matter of
law, it was a matter of custom. A proper woman would not do these things,
but women slaves did them, and hetaerae did them. When a proper woman’s
husband died a relative would take his place so she could continue to be proper.
Proper women did not make pots, nor were they artists, But there were lots
of women that did these things anyway. Mainly they were the wives of poor
husbands who made pots or were artists.
Question: DO SOLDIERS LIKE GET PAID FOR WHAT THEY DO.
Answer: Typically in ancient Greece the service that a soldier performed
was a tax that he paid to his community. But soldiers could be hired for
various purposes. They were called mercenaries. Xenephon fought with a
group of mercenaries that went to Persia for hire. It was also common for soldiers to come home with booty that they collected.
Question: how did greek mythology affect the daily lives of the people in greece
Answer: These stoies were not myths to the ancient Greeks. They believed
them to be true. Because of their beliefs they acted toward some things in
the same way. This formed a basis for their social action and other social
expectations. The myths formed a moral basis for Greek society.
Question: the hero that made wings out of feathers but flew to close to the sun and it melted??
Answer: Daedalus made the wings and his son Icarus flew too close to the sun.
Question: Goddess of Harmony
Question: How did Praxiteles’ Aphrodite of Knidos impact the portrayal of women in classical greek art?
Answer: Praxiteles’ sculpture “Aphrodite of Knidos” was one of the first of its kind. This piece showed the female body in a very realistic, very naked way. Prior to this work, most sculptures of nude females looked somewhat masculine – almost as though a male model had posed for the artist and a female head was simply “placed” on top of the body. When the time came that female figure sculptures did begin to appear more feminine, they were “covered” up by transparent clothing. Aphrodite of Knidos – on the other hand – was wearing nothing but a pout.
The Knidia, as the statue is sometimes called, was the first known monumental statue of a female nude in Greek classical art. Praxiteles’ statue had an immense influence, for centuries defining the “ideal” female nude. In the Graeco-Roman world the Aphrodite of Knidos became the most famous statue.
The most enduring aspect of the Aphrodite of Knidos was her influence on the perception of the female body. The Knidia’s pose has elicited much discussion and argument among classical art scholars. The statue was beautifully realistic, standing in a classic contrapposto stance, her weight carried on the right leg. The whole impression is of a relaxed and uninhibited woman with no fear of being observed. The position of the right hand somewhat obscuring her pubic area, was seen by some 18th and 19th century art historians as a tentative show of modesty. Nudity in Greek statues denoted divinity or athletic prowess and it is important to consider the statue’s original cultural context. The original Knidia was proud, immodest and “heroically nude” as Christine M. Havelock writes in her book “The Aphrodite of Knidos and Her Successors, A Historical Review of the Female Nude in Greek Art.”
After 150 BC, the Knidia gradually became less of a religious symbol and more a representation of the ideal female body and the associated erotic implications. The popularity of Aphrodite during the Roman Empire resulted in epigrams and poetry dedicated to the goddess. Numerous copies, or rather near copies (no two are exactly alike), large and small, of the Aphrodite of Knidos appeared throughout the Greco-Roman world in gardens, homes, public buildings and tombs. The Vatican has at least two of which the Colonna tvpe is considered to be one of the more accurate and better copies.
Question: what do Mycenaeans trade with?
Answer: Wine, Olive oil, and maybe silver. Each ship contained a balance or
scale and weights so cargo could be weighed. Trade involved exchanging
agreed upon weights of goods. the Mycenaeans produced pottery, wine, olive oil,
and silver for trade.
Question: where is greece
Answer: Greece is in the southeast corner of Europe. Greece borders the
Mediterranean but it also consists of many islands in that sea. In ancient
time Greece involved the lands surrounding the Aegean sea, but in modern
times Turkey possesses the eastern shore of the Aegean sea. The Greeks call
their country Hellas and themselves Hellenes. Greece is a name given by the
Romans and used still by English speaking peoples.
Question: Can you tell me about a ruler from Greece named Zues?
Answer: Zeus was king of the gods and husband of Hera.
Question: What are the names of ALL the Greek Goddesses?
Answer: There never was nor will be any such list. There are reported to
be over 3000 goddesses but no list has ever included that many names.
Question: Did the greeks have sex slaves
Answer: Yes they did. But wives did not like sex slaves so they were hard
to keep. And desirable sex slaves were very expensive so the men would
go together to share them. Often a sex slave could work one owner against
the other so she could buy her freedom quickly. She would then become a
Question: who are the greek gods
Answer: The ancient Greeks believed that the processes of nature were
personified as immortal beings in human form. This formation was easily
accomplished because these divinities were shape changers and could assume
many shapes including animal forms or the forms of human friends and
strangers. The ancient Greeks did not have a separate religion as such
but rather considered the divinities to be causes of events that were occurring
around them. As a result of their emphasis on the causes of things the
Greek religion cultivated philosophy, and then science as we know it. The
religiosity of the Greeks also cultivated humanism because it was the
causes of events that effected humans that were inportant. In fact the
Greeks believed that the religious person only needed to focus on those
divinities that were of direct concern to him and not bother with the others.
In the early days of the Greek religion magic was used as it was in most of
the worlds primitive religions. But as magic was perceived as irrelevant
to the causes of things it was dropped more and more from the culture.
What resulted was a religious attitude that was very intellectual, focused
of scientific laws as explanations of causes, and referenced the divinities
as personifications that satisfied the aesthetic needs of art.
Question: I just want to know about Argos and it’s flag
Answer: The `Iliad’ tells how Greeks from many city-states– among them, Sparta, Athens, Thebes, and Argos– joined forces to fight their common foe Troy in Asia Minor (see Trojan War ).
An acropolis are made of flattopped, inaccessible rocks or mounds and are characteristic of Greece and were first used as places of refuge. From the Corinthian isthmus
rose the lofty acrocorinthus, from Attica the Acropolis of Athens, from the plain of Argolis the mound of Tiryns, and, loftier still, the
Larissa of Argos
Argos conquered the plain of Argolis.
Corinth and later Argos became great centers of literature.
Argos–Founded in prehistoric times. In Homer’s poem the Iliad, it was the kingdom of the sailor-warrior Diodemese. Ascendancy challenged by
Sparta in the 8th and 7th centuries BC. It later periodically sided with Athens against Sparta.
Women were not allowed to watch the Olympic games, but that had nothing to do with the nudity of the male athletes. Rather, it was because
Olympia was dedicated to Zeus and was therefore a sacred area for men. The chariot races, which were held outside the sacred precinct, were
open to women spectators. (Women had their own sacred festivals from which men were banned, most notably the Heraean festival at Argos, which
included a javelin throwing competition.)
Question: what is more prevalent in Greek vase painting, depictions of prostitutes or respectable women?
Answer: This would be difficult to tell. In ancient Greece prostitutes were
invariably slaves. Slaves cannot easily be identified. Often they wore
the garments of their homeland, but if a prostitute were pictured naked there
would be no indication. Hetaerae are often identifiable in Greek vase painting
but, though some acted like prostitutes, others did not. The most respectable
Greek women confined themselves to their home, but the artists often failed to
indicate any of the surroundings of a figure. Typically it is impossible
to identify where the ladies are located. Most of the vase paintings represent
the deities anyway. All goddesses would be considered respectible and
illustrated this way so they would not be offended. Most women are
respectibly illustrated which suggests that they were generally considered
Question: What can you tell me about Ate?
Answer: Ate is the goddess of error. She interfered with Herakles and
was throw out of heaven as a result. She landed on the hill of Troy, thus
assuring its destruction. Since she is confined to earth mortals have to
live with error while the deities do not.
Question: why most of the monsters of greek myth are women? How does a sphinx represent a women? What is the significance of a sphinx in greek history? What role does a sphinx play?
Answer: In the early hunter-gatherer societies men hunted and women stayed
close to home gathering vegetables and fruits for her children. When a beast
came out of the forest to attack the woman the man had to defend her. When
the man defeated the beast the woman thanked him by having sex with him. This
may have been illustrated by the early artists by having the woman appear to
come out of the dead beast. The man was illustrated with his weapons aimed at
the dead beast. These images resulted in two kinds of missinterpretations.
The first was that the man was killing the woman. This lead to the sacrifice
of women. The second was that the woman was the beast. This lead to the
identification of monsters as women.
It is fairly common for one culture to make demons out of the dieties of
another culture. The Sphinx and the Minotaur both seem to have been demons
made out of the gods of Egypt. As with most of the Greek monsters the
Egyptian Sphinx became a woman to the Greeks. The Greek Sphinx is only
involved in the story of Oedipus. But the Sphinx is a fairly common immage in
Question: was the venus de milo considered scandalous in its time?
Answer: No information comes down to us about this statue in ancient times.
Question: who was Alcinous
Answer: He is found in the Odyssey as king of the Phaecians.
Question: a greek craft for childre
Answer: Greek children had no crafts. When they could do a craft they
were no longer considered children.
Question: What were greeces’ imports, and exports?
Answer: Here is a list of major imports and exports for ancient Greece:
- Olive oil
- Pottery and Art
- Metals especially bronze, iron, and gold.
- Sheep and goats for meat, milk, and, wool
- Marble and stone for buildings
Question: Can the women of Sparta be compared to the men in any in building the Greek civilization? If so how? thank you for your time
Answer: Not really. Roles in ancient Greece were sharply divided. But the
women had an important role. Raising children was extremely important. The
work they did with baking and weaving was also. All the people in ancient
Greece worked hard and it is not fair to give all the credit to one sex or
Question: god of sun, light and truth
Answer: In the archaic period and before the sun god was Helios, the goddess
of light was Iris, and the goddess of truth as knowledge was Athena. But
as time went on all these characteristics were attached to Apollo.
Question: Why were they virgins
Answer: To the ancient Greeks any unmarried woman was a virgin. There was
test for virginity other than marriage.
Question: I asked about Diotima and Theamistoclea! can you also tell me about > the oracles who presented prophetic books to a certain king. I believe they > contained ways to marry their own pagonism(godess awareness)with the new > christianity. the king refused to buy them or take them seriously and she > apparently ritualisticly burned them. what was their bg.? Obviously women > from this older culture were used to leading and prophesising.I sugest that > the rise of democracy was the end of equal rights for women! look sooo > forward to communication around these issues.thanks Maureen a great > service
Answer: We know about Diotima through Plato’s ‘Symposium’.
Themistoclea was an early Pythagorean. The following reference may be helpful: Mary Ellen Waithe, “Early Pythagoreans: Themistoclea, Theano, Arignote, Myia, and Damo,” A History of Women Philosophers: Volume 1/600 BC – 500 AD (Netherlands: Dordrecht/ Boston/ London, 1987),11.
I am not aware of any prophetic books created in ancient Greece. My main interest is in the time before 1000 BCE and far
removed from Christianity. Oracles were often women but their ravings could not be taken seriously unless intreped by men. However, goddesses were taken very seriously and they were usually attended by priestesses. During the heroic period and before women were taken more seriously from an intellectual point of view. They were also taken seriously during the classical period but it was their relation to producing babies that was important.
The rise of democracy was not the end of equal rights. Before the Democracies of Greece no one had any rights. The Greeks gave rights to a few men. Only now can we talk of equal rights.
Question: What did a girl wear?
Answer: A few possibilities:
- Seated girl, Attic Greek terracotta statue, 350/25 BCE
- Grave Stele
- Naked flute-girl playing, seated on a cushion.
- Munich GL 490
- Nike and dove
Question: What did the greeks put in there pottery?And what did the greeks use the pottery for?
Answer: Ancient Greeks had a few wooden boxes and chests. Baskets and
leather sacks were more common. But pottery was widely used for storage.
Shipping crates wwere even made of pottery. Boxes were made of pottery.
Liquids were stored in pottery. Most solids were stored in pottery.
Pots and pans were made of pottery. And wine jars were made of pottery.
There were no glass or plastic jars, no glasses, spectacles, windowpanes,
display cases, mirrors of glass, or glass bulbs of any kind.
Question: What does Plato say abou the role of women?
Answer: Click here
Question: Who wrote about women in ancient Greece?
Question: could women attend greek theatre
Answer: They were not supposed to, becasue theater was part of a Greek
festival for men, but many seem to have anyway.
Question: i am suposed to give a decription of the greek gods and goddesses,do you have any sites with descriptions of what they might have looked like or been like?thanks for your help.
Answer: Gods and goddesses are perfect creatures after which mortals were copied. So they look like perfect mortals. The winner of a beauty contest might be considered an example of what a goddess might look like.
Question: Can you give me any info on how the “Three Goddesses” sculpture form the Parthenon portrays women of the time?
Answer: The women of the time were the models for the sculpture.
Question: why did men worship goddesses and yet treated women inferior to men?
Answer: Goddesses are more powerful than mortals and so must be respected.
Women are less powereful that men, so under some circumstances they get less
respect. But the art of ancient Greece shows many women in respectful poses.
Many of the women were respected. Part of the feeling of disrespect arises
the isolation of women. Civil law applied to men only, while women typically
were subject to the will of the family. But the production of children was
very important, and the women who were involved in this were very well
treated. Of course unmarried women and female slaves did not have to be so
Question: could women go to the baths
Answer: In ancient Greece there were no public baths. Women did bathe
but they usually bathed in private. Sometimes there was a fountain house where
women went for water. Sometimes the washed there and bathed there. They also
went in groups to the seashore or a stream for the same purpose.
Question: could women show there bodies
Answer: Proper women kept their bodies well covered but they somtimes wore
gowns that were nearly transparent. Women entertainers could perform
with or without covering. Slaves were sometimes made to work totally nude.
There were no laws or prohibitions against nudity. If the weather was hot
a woman could remove all her clothes and work in the nude.
Question: Why was greek art important to the Greeks?
Anwer: The Greeks felt very strongly that the gods needed to be pleased and
that they found art very pleasant. The Greeks made art for the pleasure of
the gods and goddesses.
Question: how was greece created
Answer: Archeologists believe that the Greeks were a result of
successive migrations of peoples but the ancient Greeks thought that the
earth and sky created the gods and the gods created the greek people. For a
story of this creation Click here.
Question: can you show me pictures of boobs?
Answer: Ancient Greek naked females with breasts exposed:
- Nude girl holding a mirror
- girl holding a box
- girl holding a skyphos
- Nude girl(white) among nude men.
Question: How did mythology affect Greek society?
Answer: The ancient Greeks did not know of any myths. What they had were
stories of the gods and goddesses that they thought were true. In fact they
thought these stories were statements of the way things were. The thought
that they were so valuable that they needed to be retold in new ways that made
them more interesting and easier to understand. As a result many great works
of art were produced.
Question: Are there sculptures or painting with any greek gods or goddesses in them?
Answer: Yes, there are many. The paintings and sculptures of the ancient
Greeks are extremely important, and they are still copied. Most of this art
had gods and goddesses as subject matter. But very few of the pieces remain.
In fact there are no extant paintings. But the pieces were widely copied and
described even in ancient times. The result is that there are many copies
of these pieces. In the case of sculpture it is often easy to see which piece
was copied from which even though the original is often lost. The situation
with paintings is more difficult. It is believed that many of the ancient
works were influenced by the Greek paintings, but the identification of copies
has been difficult.
Question: In your opinion, what are the elements that make a up a true
epic. Can you name an example of them from the Iliad and Aeneid.
I need the elements b/c i have to identify them in a modern movie.
Answer: Truth has to do with consistency, and in the case of very old stories we
look of consistency between them. The most common test of consistency is
with our own experience and until the 19th century most educated people
thought the Greek myths were fabricated since so little of the material was
consistent with everyday experience. This all changed when in the 1870’s,
Heinrich Schliemann, a German archaeologist, uncovered the buried city of
Troy. We now know that archeology can be useful in providing some
consistency. But many aspects of an ancient epic cannot be resolved by
archeology. Of particular concern are the statements about deities and
religion. It is unwise to pass judgement on the beliefs of the ancients
based upon truths established by contemporary religions. Nor is everyday
experience very good. Religion has been a factor in almost every society in
spite of reliable witness against it. One must look beyond the statements
to their meaning in context. Religion provided for the ancient Greeks a way
of learning about and accomodating oneself to the natural world. This is
the foundation of our science. The stories of the ancient Greeks were very
much about truth and education. This is not the case with current stories
which are more about entertainment.
Question: were ancient greek women influenced by the greek mythology
Answer: Very much so. Greek Mythology contained all the knowledge that
the Greeks had about the world around them. That this information was
helpful is attested by the succes of the Greek Civilization. Some of the
philosophy and science that arose from this mythology was the best information
that was available until well into the Renaissance and later.
Question: How did music first develop?
Answer: Music was developed even by the time of the heroic age in ancient
Greece. Flutes have been found made from animal shin bones that are thousands
of years old. But the ancient Greeks performaed valuable experiments with
music. They discovered a relation between number and music. This lead to the
development of the chromatic scale that we use today. They even laid down the
basis for music notation, although it was not until Bach that this notation was
fully developed. The ancient Greek music was very simple compared to what we
Question: Where their any certain laws men and women had to follow in Ancient Greece?
Answer: Yes there were. The Athenian Constitution
Greeks also knew there were natural laws which were often compelled. They
also thought there were divine laws which the divinities enforced.
Question: how do I site this reference
Answer: Use the information at the bottom of:
Question: Did Selene really have 50 babies with a sleeping man?
Answer: 50 daughters and one son. There is no confirmation of this story and
the fact that he had a wife and children suggests some problems.
Question: did the women of greece think of the goddesses as women or too priveldged to be thought of as women?
Answer: The goddesses must have been thought of as very privileged women
because they had to be serviced by priestesses who had privileges. The
priestesses had the hightest status of any women.
Question: why were women in ancient greek important
Answer: The women of ancient Greece were important because they were
beautiful. They were some of the most beautiful women the world has ever seen.
And they led beautiful lives.
Question: were the greeks the first to use the naked female form in art?
Answer: No. But the naked Aphrodite of Praxiteles, though produced for
religious reasons, strongly influenced the use of the naked female form for
non-religious reasons. The use of the naked female for goddesses was common
throughout the middle east, but not very common in Greece.
Question: Can you show me a pictureof the Greek goddess, Helen (Helene)
Answer: Helen is not normally considered a goddess, but rather a mortal.
She may have become a goddess after she died.
there are many images that represent Helen but no one painted her while she was alive.
Question: images of slaves in greece
Question: WHY DID THEY SACRAFICE BLOOD?
Answer: They performed a ceremony called a libation. In this ceremony
a liquid is poured from a container onto the ground or into another container.
The liquids used included blood, oil, water, wine, and perfume. “The
traditions of blood sacrifice have their origin in the sacrifice of blood
which poured forth from the woman when there was no new life for it to
nourish. However, the menstrual blood was given freely and then used to
nourish the tribe or the earth in other ways and no-one suffered, unlike
later more corrupted versions.” reference. The ancient Greek blood sacrifice may have
arisen during the early time when the goddesses were more dominant, but it was
later modified to include sacrifice of animals, and later even humans.
Question: what happened after the women produced the babies
Answer: The women returned to their work and the babies were taken care of
by their mothers or a wet nurse. Wet nurses cared for the babies for a year
or more after which their mother cared for them. They remained in their
mother’s care until they were considered adults and could begin working.
Answer: Though modern Greeks have this name, ancient ones do not. The word
means ‘not a word’.
Question: What did women look like? What was ideal?
Answer: Women were beautiful, perhaps more so than any others. To see
the ideal maiden see images of Artemis. To study the ideal bride study
Aphrodite. To study the ideal married woman study Hera. To study the
ideal itellectual woman study Athena. To study the ideal older woman study
Question: what did the girls use for pads and tampons?
Answer: Rags or sponges.
Question: what events are there to participate in or watch in Ancient Greece?
Answer: In the evening, after the sun went down, the Ancient Greeks sat
around the fire and listened to stories. Sometimes an itinerant bard would
be the storyteller. Festivals would occur several times a month. At the
festival there would be a procession and a feast. Sometimes there was music,
dancing, or athletic events. More rarely there were dramas or dramatizations.
Often there would be Symposia with entertainment and conversation. Some time
was spent volunteering one’s time for the service of a deity.
Question: what association did the everyday container or box have to a
woman in ancient greece
Answer: The myth of Pandora associates the first
woman with a box out of which came all the troubles that mortals have to deal
Question: What are some of the influences on the Minoan religion (and later
the Classical Greeks)? and What were the goddesses of the Classical Greeks that
were directly influenced by the Minoan Civilization? (URL’s are really
Answer: The Minoan civilization was probably influenced by its trading
partners around the Mediterranean. The half-human half-animal monsters
that appear in Greek myths seem to have come from the divinities of the
Egyptians. This is especially true of the Sphynx and Mnotaur. Aphrodite
and Hera seem to have come from Phoenecia, and Athena came from Tunisia.
Artemis seems to have come from the north somewhere. The situation becomes
more complicated in classical times because Classical Greece seems more
influenced by Mycenaean than Minoan, but the Minoan-Mycenaean interaction
is difficult to detail. Fo some reason when the Myceanaens conquered the
Minoans they went to some trouble to obliderate the Minoan culture. The
Indo-european Dorians originated in India but came into Greece from the North.
They did not so much conquer the Mycenaeans, but rather merged with them.
The result was a new culture with elements of both of the old cultures.
Question: How old did they start in art?
Anmswer: Greek art was intensely developmental so they had to start early
and continue passionately for 40 years or more.
Question: What was the significance of boxes/containers in relation to Women in Ancient Greece?
Answer: The myth of Pandora associates boxes with women.
Question: did the women progress over time?
Answer: Not necessarily. They seem to have achieved their highest level
during the Minoan period, but values seem to have changed drastically.
The women during the Classical period were very accomplished in many areas.
Question: did zeus have sex with hera
Answer: The ancient Greeks believed that Zeus and Hera had sex and a number
of immortal children were born from Hera as a result.
Question: My daughter has to design a symbol for billistiche, where do I find something like this?
Answer: I do not understand ‘billistiche’. In ancient Greece symbols related
to deities only and not mortals. Deities always are represented by a symbol
relating to the nature of their realm. Symbols that the relate to the nature
of a thing are most meaningful.
Question: what are some things that women in ancient greece were not allowed to do?
- Except in Sparta they were not allowed to own property.
- They were not allowed to vote.
- They were not allowed to participate in festivals for men only.
- They were not allowed to divorce.
Question: How many goddesses were there in ancient Greece.
Answer: There were 3000 oceanids, 50 Nereides, numerous other numphs, and
Question: Did ancient greeks pray to an alter every day? if so, when?
Answer: No they did not. Ancient Greeks prayed when there was a need. But
needs were frequent. For example someone got up every day to restart the fire
in the fireplace. This person would say a prayer to Hestia so the fire would
relight. The fireplace was considered an altar. Another person might go to
fetch water. This person might say a prayer to the goddess of the spring
so the water would be good and plentiful. Bread would need to be baked.
another person would say a prayer to Demeter so the bread would rise. A prayer
to Dionysos might keep the wine from spoiling. A prayer to Zeus might provide
needed rain. Though nobody needed to pray every day, most did, though usually
for different reasons.
Question: good picture of man wearing knee-length chiton please!
Answer: Warrior with chiton
Question: What where the disadvantages of Ancient Athenian wives lifestyles? How do these compare with today(the lifes of British wives)?
Answer: Their standard of living was quite high. The main problem was
that pregnancy was very dangerous any many died in childbirth. The infant mortality is high as well. I know nothing of British wives.
Question: Did many women have body art in ancient times?
Answer: Ancient Greek women did not use body art. The used very little
cosmetics, but they did shave their body hair. The gowns that they wore
were often almost transparent so they often showed off their naked body.
What looks like body art of some statues are actually designs on clothing
or strings worn for totemic reasons
Question: how did women treat their children?
Answer: They loved them and doted on them. Women spent a lot of time and
attention on their children until they were about 5 or six and the boys had
to go to school.
Question: live statue
Answer: Talon was a live statue who guarded Crete until Medea did him in.
Galetea was a statue until Aphrodite brought her to life.
Answer: Fertility was a big issue to all of the ancient peoples. The
Greeks addressed this issued through a number of goddesses including
Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter, Dionysos, and Artemis.
Question: who made the clothing in Ancient Greece?
Answer: Women spun the wool into thread, wove the cloth, and made the cloth
into clothing. In Mycenaean times many of the women were slaves, but by the
classical period many of the free wives did this work.
Question: Was there a Greek goddess of Colonisation?
Answer: No. But you could use Europa for this. There was also a goddess
Question: Could you put a picture of some art on this web page please?
Answer: The logo is art and appears at the beginning and end of the page.
Ancient Greek art is difficult because the image really belongs to the museum
that owns the piece. In this case I post a link which you must click on.
These links normally appear underlined in blue. I can freely post art which
I create so here is an example of a woodcut impression of Circe:
Question: What was Hera’s greatest achievement?
Answer: Goddesses do not have achievements. They have realms which they
order. Their realm is their achievement. A person’s life can be considered
a series of achievements. And often one is greater than another. But a
goddess lives out of time and one part of her life cannot be distinguished
from another. Goddesses do not develop. They are always the same. And they
are one with the future and the past. This is why they prophesy. When a
goddess is born she has all the powers she needs and these were determined at
her conception by her parents. She goes through no educational process and
does not develop like women do.
Question: How was it decided that a woman would be a wife/mother or a hetaera?
Answer: If a family is poor their childen get sold to slavery. Pretty girls
would become sex slaves or prostitutes. Girls that are beautiful and
intelligent become hetaerae. If a sex slave is popular she can buy her freedom
and become a hetaera.
Question: what is dryad
Answer: A dryad is a goddess who is associated with a tree. It is
interesting that the ancient Greeks associated goddesses with certain types
of resources, trees, meadows, springs, streams, and mountains. It is as
though there was a time when a girl was born she was assigned a resource
possibly as an inheritance. Later the resource was personified as a
goddess. These goddesses were lesser goddesses who often became servants of
the greater goddesses such as Artemis and Aphrodite. There is some question
whether these goddesses are immortal or not. Some say that the life of a
dryad is tied to the life of the tree. But as every tree does not seem to have
a dryad, this seems unlikely. Only important trees are so designated.
Question: If women were not allowed to participate in
anything why have them in plays, often as the main characters (Media,
Answer: Women were not allowed to participate in men’s things. Men were not
allowed to participate in women’s things. Both men and women had their
own events. There were events they both participated in also. Men and
women lived separately, but women were very important. This importance
is indicated by the roles you cite.
Question: When did women give up their rights. At what time in the past did
Answer: In the ancient world women never had any rights. In fact nobody had
any rights until the Greeks came along. They invented rights, but they only
gave them to a few men. A very few women had rights, generally only the
women of Sparta. Some women, no doubt feel, that they lose their rights when
they are born. But this is like saying that one’s whole life is determined
by fate. The play “Oedipus” demonstrates the importance of Fate. And it
is true that fate is very important. But the daughter of Oedipus, Antigone,
demonstrates what a weak person can accomplish by making a few small decisions.
The trick is to make good decisions when you can, and not worry too much about
the big things that happen over which you have no control.
Question: was there a goddess called Katey?
Answer: Not that I can find, but Katey is reated to Katherine and notice:
“KATHERINE f English
From the Greek name Aikaterine. The etymology is debated: it could derive from the earlier Greek name Hekaterine, which came from
hekateros “each of the two”; it could derive from the name of the goddess HECATE; it could be related to Greek aikia “torture”; or it could
be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name”. The Romans falsely derived it from Greek katharos “pure” and changed
their spelling from Katerina to Katharina to reflect this. The name belonged to a 4th-century saint and martyr from Alexandria who was
tortured on the famous Catherine wheel. This name was also borne by two empresses of Russia, including Catherine the Great, and by
three of Henry VIII’s wives. ”
Question: did goddesses have the same roles as women in greece why were
some of these mythical beings made to represent women instead of just all
men, and also were the goddesses considered to have less important roles
than gods or less power. what differences do you see in greek art depicting
goddesses and renaissance art depicting godesses do you think the greek art
of goddesses was more reflective of women of the time than the renaissance
art of godesses
Answer: Godesses did not have the same role as women. Godesses are
invariably rulers while women wer divorced from politics altogether.
Goddesses were found to exist and the people of Greece came to accept that
fact. Zeus had the most important role, but some goddesses were only second
to Zeus. These included Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, and Hestia. Greek art
is very respectful of the goddesses, while renaissance art is more concerned
with more worldly aspects. The renaissance artists were more interested
in Christian symbolism than they were in the meaning the Greeks may have
attached to the goddesses. Renaissance artists were limited in their
depiction of the human form but these restrictions did not apply to the
goddesses. Greek art was definitely more reflective of the ancient Greek
women than renaissance art was of renaissance women, but Greek art cannot
be assumed to be an accurate representation of Greek women.
Question: who is clio?
Answer: One of the nine muses. According to the Romans she was the muse
of history. Her symbol is a scroll of paper or an open chest of books.
Question: did the role of women in society change and develop or was it
Answer: It may have changed dramatically.
Question: were women allowed to view sporting games like the olympian games?
Answer: It was not proper for a wife to do this. But hetarae had no
problem with this. Women slaves usually stayed with the wife, but any slaves
assocaited with a hetarae would be there. Women were supposed to be excluded
but no woman was ever punished for attending.
Question: how does the ‘venus d’milos’ reflect gender issues of classical greek society?
Answer: There are a number of reasons why the Venus de Milo is a poor
choice for revealing gender issues in classical Greece:
- This statue was Hellenistic rather than Classic.
- Almost nothing is known of the sculptor and his motivation.
- The subject is a goddess who could not face the same challenges as a mortal.
It seems as though the sculptor was a man, though this is not certain, and
so the sculpture represents something of a man’s idealized view of woman. That
the sculpture is beautiful and nude to the waist suggests that beauty is
an important female quality and breasts are an important part of that beauty.
This makes life a lot easier for women who are beautiful, but may frustrate
women who are not so beautiful. The pose of the statue also suggests that
women are important in passive roles rather than active ones.
Question: What did Ancient Greek prostitutes have carved on their shoes?
Answer: In ancient Greece prostitutes were slaves who were not usually
allowed to wear shoes. Hetaera were not prostitutes but were allowed to
wear shoes. I have no information on how the shoes were decorated.
Sandals on Hetaerae:
Question: Discuss the attitude of people in Greek society toward the
Answer: Girls who were not slaves were prepared to be wives. Usually they
were educated in domestic chores by their mother or other women of the
household. Some slave girls were trained to become hetaerae. Women who
could not become wives or hetaerae were in difficult straights. Such women
were attached to their mother or some other female relative. Their status was
higher than a slave yet lower than a wife. It seems as though the people
lived in family groups. The wife of the patriarch had the highest status.
Then came the wives of the sons, and then came mariageable daughters of the
sons. Then came the unmarried women, and then the slaves.
Question: What did the females dress as in Alexandria in the 5th BC?
Answer: Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in Egypt and so was not
in existence in 5th century Greece.
Question: what was the role of women in ancient sparta
Answer: To bear and raise children.
Question: What could women do/allowed to do?
Answer: One of the interesting aspects of ancient Greek culture is that
women were free of the taboos and prohibitions that restricted women in other
cultures. It is possible that the separation of the sexes assisted in this
process. But it is clear that the assignment of women to the home with
special roles such as weaving, cleaning, and breadmaking, did not hinder
women from doing what they wanted. Women often went to school and labored
alongside their fathers and husbands in a variety of activities. But they were
not required to do this. They were prohibited from men’s athletic activities,
but they organized their own. Women could be priestesses and have a high
status in the community. One of the most glaring exceptions to this was the
exclusion of women from politics. Proper women were supposed to stay at home
but if they donned their veil they were considered at home where ever they went.
Question: what was the name of helen’s son-in-law?
Answer: Hermione married Neoptolemus, the son of the Greek hero Achilles. He may have been murdered. Later she married Orestes who may have murdered Neoptomemus. The drama Andromache by Euripides deal with this.
Question: What materials did the Greeks use in their Art?
Answer: For sculpture they used wood, clay, bronze, and marble.
For paintings they used mainly plaster in the manner of a fresco. All
that has survived is some images on clay pots.
Question: Did women have a better life than men in ancient Greece
Answer: Each sex faced risks and received rewards. All women had to do
was produce babies, but some died doing it. Men had to face battle and
they received acclaim but some died. But both sexes benefited from the enhanced
Question: what was the role of women in the public life in ancient greece?
Answer: Officially they had no public role. They were supposed to
remain in their homes with only domestic chores to perform. Though this
was the ideal, practice was different. Women performed as priestesses
and during religious feativals. Women often assisted their husbands and
fathers with their trade or profession. Women were able to leave their homes
veiled because they considered their veil a little roof.
Question: what about sex worship
Answer: To worship sex the ancient Greeks worshipped Aphrodite, the goddess
of love and sex. The main worship of Aphrodite is what the husband and wife
did about sex in the privacy of their own home. A man visiting a hetaera
would also be considered worship of Aphrodite. Sometimes entertainers would
put on sexual exhibitions as strippers do today, and this would be considered
worship of Aphrodite. Some cities maintained a temple of Aphrodite which
included temple prostitutes who could be visited. But you could also worship
sex by praying or pouring libations at the temple. There were also instances
of orgiastic worship but mainly they were associated with the cultivation of
fertility associated with harved festivals. There were certainly instances
of a priest and a priestess having public sex in a field to assist with the
fertility of crops.
Question: sex worship in Greece ancient society and yhe way it reflected in art.
Answer: Because each of the instances in answer to the previous was worship
and because art in general was considered pleasing to the divine, instances
of each of the previous can be found in art. This should be contrasted with
our society which considers anything pornographic to be evil.
Question: Greek Maiden changed by Zeus in a cow
Question: What is difference between virginity by nature and by fact?Another
information…I’ve read “obscure” male companion of goddess exist.Who
are?Has some virgin goddess got any of them?
Answer: A virgin by nature can be determined to be a virgin by logical
reasoning from the nature of the goddess. Athena is a virgin because wisdom
must be pure and untainted. Athena is a virgin by nature. Hestia vowed to
be a virgin. Her virginity must be tested to be verified. In the case of
goddesses this is not really necessary because vows are so strong. A mortal
cannot be a virgin by nature.
I have no information on male companions. The virgin goddesses do not
have them. Deities can exist in both male and female form. Poseidon
had a female form for the Mycenaeans. Athena can pose as a male or female.
Question: How do I find the play ” Philotetes ” ?
Question: Was Women Allowed in War?
Answer: Women had a hard time staying out of wars. When an army was
was defeated, the women associated with the defeated army became prizes of
war. When a city was plundered the women became prizes of war. Women were
not often in the fighting but but there were women who did fight. In the
country of Scythia, north of the Black Sea, women were more often fighters.
Women have always been camp followers. Almost any army that stays
mobilized for any length of time has camp followers. These are women
who follow an army and take advantage of the loneliness of the soldiers
by trading sex for money.
Question: Are there any lesbian or bisexual goddesses
Answer: Many of the goddesses are bisexual, especially Artemis and
Aphrodite. Ancient Greeks did not distinquish either homosexuals or
lesbians and so there was no lesbian goddess identified. Contemporay
lesbians sometimes worship Artemis because she was involved in an
identifiable lesbian relationship. It is quite OK for lesbians to worship
in this way, but Artemis is not a true lesbian, she is more correctly a
Question: I need information on ancient greek rituals of purification – in
relation to sophocles Oedipus the king.
Answer: Bathing is a common ritual of purification. Aphrodite does this at
Paphos. Media is purified by Circe, and Artemis is purified for the death of
Python. Washing began a symposia as a ritual of purification. Brides were
ritually bathed. Persons associated with a dead person had to wash frequently.
It the context of Hestia fire is used to purify. A bad thought, written on
a piece of paper, and then burned, is purified.
Oedipus did not purify himself by stabbing out his eyes. Only later, when
he was in Athens was he purified. The stabbing has the effect of allowing him
to avoid the sight of the furies. But it is the cleaning and care of Oedipus
by his daughters that establish good-will and allow Oedipus to be purified.
Answer: Nudity was much more common in Ancient Greece simply because
clothes were more expensive. Slaves were often made to go nude for this reason,
and because they would be more vulnerable and easier to catch and discipline.
olothe were more expensive. Slave were often made to go nude for this reason,
Proper women rarely went nude because their status was determined by the
clothes and jewelry that they wore. Men went nude sometimes to demostrate
that they were heroes in the custom of athletes. Sometimes they fought
in the nude. The practice of washing and exercising in the nude helped them
maintain cleanliness. This practice was missinterpreted by the Persian
spies who thought they were sissies. The Persians learned otherwise.
Question: who was Alcinous
Answer: Read the Odyssey to find out what we know. But realize that
Odysseus wakes up on a beach in his kingdom, and leaves on a ship that lets
him fall asleep so that he awakes on Ithaca. His kingdom has never been
identified with any historical record.
Question: what did greek godesses wear? please include pictures
Answer: A goddess did not have to wear anything, or they could wear anything.Unlike mortal women a goddess does not lose power or status by being naked,
but in the course of their activity they would often appear as a mortal friend.
They could also appear as a bird or other animal. If you wish to see
pictures then you should look a a specific goddess such as Aphrodite or Athena.
Question: What did Hestia have to do with ancient greek women? did they
Answer: It was the women who had to tend the fire in the court of the
house. When the women got up in the morning the fire had to be started from
the coals of the fire of the previous night. First they had to pray that there
was a hot coal left. Then they had to prey that the wood they had was dry
enough and fine enough so the fire would light. Then they had to pray that
the material they had to burn was good enough to cook on. All these prayers
were addressed to Hestia. If these prayers they had to visit the temple of
Hestia to get a light, or they had to visit the market to get better wood. Of
course if the fire was not ready people would be hungry and bathing would take
place with cold water. A bad fire meant everyone in the house was miserable.
Since this ritual was faced every day Hestia was very important.
Question: where can i get a picture of the White Godess or Ino?
Question: Are there pix, statues of hesia naked?
Answer: Pictures of Hestia:
Notice that ancient Greek images of Hestia tend to be clothed, As women
normally appeared clothed. With the advent of Christianity women were
prohibited from displaying naked women. Artists portrayed goddesses instead
and they portrayed them nude. The naked hestia that is displayed is acceptable
but missing the normal symbols of Hestia. A goddess can be represented as any
beautiful woman, as long as the woman is supplied with the necessary symbols.
The symbol of Hestia is a fire in a hearth.
Question: WHAT IS GREEK HUMANISM?
Answer: The Greeks focused on the consequences of things and only believed
in the deities as a way of explaining how things happened. They were also
aware that the choices available to man palled in the face of natural events.
Yet these choices could be momentous. So they focused on persons who chose
well and excelled. It was in that excellence that they reveled. From this
grew the notion of tragedy as one who chose well but failed.
Question: how does the role of women in ancient greece relate to the
sculpture of the time?
Answer: We cannot really know since all we have is the sculpture. But the
sculpture seems to indicate a higher role than the contemporary writers
indicate. But ancient Greeks preferred to sculpt goddesses rather than mortal
Question: what happened in 508 BCE that enabled democrcy to be established in
Answer: “Exactly when democracy began for Athens is open to question. In 510 the Athenians had forced the dictator, Hippias, to leave Athens. In 508 Cleisthenes would try to overhaul the governmental structure. His reforms were not received well by his chief opponent, Isagoras who appealed to the Spartans. They sent a small military force and expelled 700 families identified by Isagoras. After the Spartans (and Isagoras) were expelled, Athens implemented Cleisthenes’ reforms. While the reforms expanded democratic representation, the lower classes would be excluded from the archonship, the principle leadership position, until 458. Pinpointing the exact time when democracy began is confused by the association of Athenian democracy with Athenian prosperity.” Reference
- How were women mainly treated in Greece?
- Were they always “used” for disgusting purposes?
- Were they treated like things and objects instead of living beings?
- Were women sometimes whipped or phisically abused?
Answer: Women were treated pretty well even though many men thought they
deserved a lower place. The women of Greece were the best educated and most
accomplished women of any culture up to recent times. The men thought they
were beautiful. They were assigned to a segregated life with other women so
most of their treatement was provided by other women.
The ancient Greeks had a different notion of disgusting than we do. The men
thought that to be pentrated, as in sex, was disgusting. Since most women had
sex you can say they were involved in disgusting activities. But the majority
did what they wanted to do. A few were involved in what the men wanted and
this may have been more disgusting yet. The most disgusting things were
reserved for the slaves who had to do what they were told. Fortunately most
female slaves were under the control of women and had little to do that was
Women had very important allies. The goddesses were women and they were
much more powerful than the men. The men also thought that the women
understood the goddesses better and could serve as intermediaries. Of course
you would not want to mistreat an intermediary. Women became priestesses who
were highly respected in the community. Though these women were respected,
others had more difficulty. Women tended to be regarded as baby machines with
a lot of emphasis on her isolation so the father of the child was known. Some
women were able to capitalize on this but others suffered. Female slaves
were invariably treated as objects.
Women were sometimes whipped or physically abused. But this was done
to control them normally. The husband was the leader in the family without
regard to whether he could lead.
Question: On your website I found this: Question: Were some of the women gay? And you answered that as far as we know, homosexuality is found in genetics. That is a flat out lie. We have not proven nor have we ever found evidence to support the theory that homosexuality is a genetic trait. Please take that off your website until you can get your facts straight.
Answer: Sorry. You have deceived yourself. Though homosexuality is not entirely genetic it plainly has a genetic component. The fact is that the ratio of lesbians amongst the ancient Greeks was approximately equal to what it is today in our country. Whether lesbianism is approved or disapproved makes little difference except to the quality of life of those involved. If you do not approve of lesbianism you should not have to participate in it. But your feelings should not bear on those who do choose to participate. Their feelings are beyond your control and are private to the persons involved.