Questions about the Role of Women in Ancient Greek Art
Questions and Answers
Question: What was Family life like for greek woman in 450 B.C.?
Answer: Ancient Greece was strongly divided along gender lines. Women were supposed to stay at home, take care of the home, raise children, prepare food and cook, and weave cloth. They journeyed outside of the home to fetch water and to attend festivals. In the home there was a heirarchy of women with the owners wife in charge of the owner’s sons wives, the owners daughters and women slaves. The most honorable task was weaving and the lowest was cleaning and removing waste. Water fetching was a fairly low task done by daughters and slaves. A very high honor involved serving as a priestess in a temple. Grinding grain, spinning, and cooking were tasks of medium importance.
It is important to note that life changed a lot for women
in this period. The period around 450 B. C. is classical Greece. 1450 B.C.
is Homeric or Bronze Age Greece. There are numerous books on family life in
classical Greece. One such book is Carpenter, Rhys, editor Everyday
Life in Ancient Times, National Geographic Society, Washington D. C., 1951.
And there are many original works to study including some
by women. Some Greek women who lived around 450 B.C. include: Ansandra,
Cleobuline, Cresilla, Helena, Praxilla, Aglaonice, Agnodice, Damo,
Diotima, Elpinice, Hippo, Perictyone. For life at 1450 B. C. you can read the
Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer.
Question: What was the role of women in the 2nd world war?
Answer: It is interesting to compare the role of women in WWII and in the
Trojan war. In both wars the women were there to come home to. But in the
case of the Trojans their warriors could come home to their women in the
evening. The American soldiers could write their women. But the Achaean
warriors were isolated from their women for 10 years. The Achaeans replenished
their supply lines by forays into the country side. If they were able to
capture women they brought them back to camp where they became slaves of the
Achaean warriors for sex or as servants. The Americans were able to get
supplies at home and were fortunate that the American women had been employed
to make those supplies. But American soldiers did relate to foreign women
as prostitues or girl friends that in some cases were brought home as wives
at the end of the war. Americans did include women in the army but they
had restricted roles of secretary or nurse. The Trojans had the Amazons as
an ally so there was a contingent of fighting women. Their leader,
Penthesillia, fought Achilles and was killed by him. This battle gave rise
to fascinating stories, which you can study. Both the Americans and
the Trojans shared the idea that if they lost the war their women might be
enslaved and humiliated. This came true for the Trojans. It is a tribute
to the Americans that they did not enslave the women of their enemies.
You should remember that the cause of the Trojan War is an argument between
three goddesses, Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera. Throughout the war these women
manipulated the participants. Keep in mind the realms of these goddesses.
Athena symbolizes wisdom or prowess. Aphrodite symbolizes love. Hera
Fortunately wisdom wins out in the end. WWII was about freedom. Would
there have been a goddess involved here also?
Question: What role did women play in the Hittite civilization?
Answer: In addition to their role of wife and mother, they had a role
in the religion of the Hittites. The major deity in the Hittite pantheon
was the life-giving earth, the mother of all things. Women seem to have
an independent status and could not be considered the slaves of men. Some
women became priestesses. Some women were elders obviously valued for their
wisdom and their ability to respond to community needs.
Question: Did woman philosophers in 800-500B.C influence greek art?
Answer: Their influence was greater than at later times. Some names are
as follows: Aglaonice, Agnodice, Damo, Diotima, Elpinice, Perictyone, Theano,
and Theoclea. A short summary of information on each of these is included
in Judy Chicago’s book on page 122 that is dedicated to Aspasia. According
to Plato Diotima was instrumental in the education of Socrates and therefore
Plato. Diotima’s influence through Plato could have been very broad. I
suppose Plato’s influence on Greek Art is debatable. However his influence
on the art of the Renaissance was profound.
This question may miss an important point. One can demonstrate that both
art and philosophy arose from the religion of the Greeks. Women had an
important influence on the religion of the Greeks because it began to be
formed at a time when women deities were dominant. But the early history
of the Greek religion was not written down so women involved in the early
formation have not been recognized. Judy Chicago tries to overcome this
limitation by recognising such names as: Eurynome, Gaea, Hera, Aphrodite,
The Furies, Hecate, Ariadne, Artemis, Athene, Britomartis, Demeter, Europa,
Kore, Pasiphae, Python, Rhea, Antigone, Atalanta, Cassandra, Circe,
Clytemnestra, Daphne, Hecuba, Helen of Troy, Lysistrata, Pandora, Paxagora,
Question: In Ancient Greece, what were a woman’s top priorities?
Answer: From the time of the Trojan war to the end of classical Greece the
highest level that a woman could achieve was to be a wife of a male Greek
citizen. The top priority of these women was to get pregnant and bear
healthy babies for their husbands. In the book by Robert Garland he states
that the average wife became pregnant 5 times. The Greek men did not
bother their wives for sex, cooking or cleaning. Servants, often women,
did the chores, and special women served as courtesans and prostitutes. Tasks
were often divided along sexual lines even for the servants, with women
baking bread, grinding grain, carrying water, weaving, making clothes, and
bathing. Men fought wars, herded, built things, and did politics. When wives
were not pregnant, they did things the other servants did, but mainly weaving.
At the time of the Trojan war some women determined the king by their marriage,
but this practice ended with the death of Clytemnestra. Before the Trojan
war some women were priestesses. Iphiginia became a priestess. After the
Trojan war this practice diminished, but even into the classical period the
oracle at Delphi was a priestess.
Question: How were women and art part of the Greek society?
Answer: Women in Greek society were greatly restricted, but not so much as women in other societies of the time. In art their role was more important. Greek art represented the ideals of Greek society and a certain religious fervor. This produced an art of a great perfection which was in demand as a trade item. The religion of the time depended on stories
developed in an an earlier society where women acted more powerfuly and independently. Art depicted gods and godesses interacting in ways which were not likely in Greek society.
The Greeks developed a sense of an ideal so the images of women depicted depended not on ordinary people, but the best available. Trade spread these images abroad where they were quite popular because of their fine quality and interest. The images thus spread, no doubt, influenced the aspirations of many people. Greek society benefited economically from the trade in art and the rest of the world benefited from a view of women which was less
restricted that the Greeks themselves held.
Question: What was the Greek god Ares’ super power.
Answer: The following quote from Homer’s Iliad points to the answer:
“Diomedes of the loud war-cry then brought his spear into play, and Pallas
Athene drove it home against the lower part of Ares’ belly, where he
wore an apron around his middle. There the blow landed, wounding the
god and tearing his fair flesh.. Diomedes drew out his spear, and Brazen
Ares let forth a yell as loud as the war-cry of nine thousand or ten thousand
battling men. The Achaeans and Trojans quaked with terror at that appalling
cry from the god who never had his fill of war. Then, like the column of
black air that issues from the clouds when a tornado springs up after heat,
Diomedes son of Tydeus saw the Brazen War-god whirl up to heaven in a welter
of haze.” The power is fear.
Question: Do you have some Greek symbols with meanings also?
Answer: Yes, there are numerous Greek symbols with special meaning.
Most Greek deities are identified by their associated symbol: Zeus has his
thunderbolt, Poseidon his trident, Athena her helmet and Aegis, Hermes
his winged sandals (talaria), caduceus, and winged hat (petasos).
Marija Gimbutas discusses many other symbols in her book The Language
of the Goddess
Question: Were women always respected?
Answer: No. And during war they are respected even less. In Book VI of
the Iliad Hector forsees the day when his wife will be a slave: Hector
sees his wife “…dragged off in tears by some Achaean men-at-arms to slavery.
I see you there in Argos, toiling for some other woman at the loom, or
carrying water from an alien well, a helpless drudge with no will of your own.”
During the Trojan war some women had value as a prize of war but this did
not give them much respect. Achilles and Agamemnon argued over Briseis as
such a prize in the Iliad. The pity of her situation is brought out in
book XIX of the Iliad:
“So Briseis came back, beautiful as golden Aphrodite. But when she saw
Patroclus lying there, mangled by the sharp bronze, she gave a piercing scream,
threw herself on his body and tore her breast and tender neck and her fair
cheeks with her hands. Lovely as a goddess in her grief, she cried: ‘Alas,
Patroclus, my heart’s delight! Alas for me! …Such is my life, an endless
chain of misery. I saw (my) husband…, and… my three brothers, …,
all meet their doom. But you, when the swift Achilles killed my man and sacked
King Mynes’ city – you would not even let me weep; you said you would make
me Prince Achilles’ lawful wife…’
Thus Briseis wept, and the other women took up the lament, ostensibly for
Patroclus, but each at heart for her own unhappy lot.”
In Book XIV we can read that: “…Achilles slept in a corner of his
well-made wooden hut with the beautiful Briseis at his side.
Question: How come I can’t find any information on greek women painters such as
Timarete, Eirene, Kalypso, Aristarete, Iaia, or Olympias? Did these women
Answer: Judy Chicago, in her book The Dinner Party states that:
“In my research I realized over and over again that women’s achievements
had been left out of history and the records of their lives had apparently
disappeared.” This statement is born out by my research of Sappho and Hypatia.
Judy Chicago did include information about some of the women she researched,
and she has this to say about Timarete:
“Timatete flourished at 800 BCE in Greece. She was an artist who produced
an image of Artemis, one of the most ancient examples of painting.
The work was on view at Ephesus.” (p 121)
In his Natural History,35.40, 147.L, Pliny the Elder speaks about women
painters: “Women, too, have been painters. Timarete, the daughter of Micon,
painted a Diana on a panel of the very archaic painting in Epheseus. Irene,
daughter and student of Cratinus, painted a girl at Eleusis, a Calypso,
the old juggler Theodorus, and the dancer Alcisthenes. Aristarete, daughter and
student of Nearchus, painted an Asclepius. Iaia of Cyzicus, who never
nmarried, worked in Rome during the youth of Marcus Varro. She used both
the painter’s brush and, on ivory, the graving tool. She painted women
most frequently, including a panel picture of an old woman in Naples, and
even a self-portrait for which she used a mirror. No one’s hand was quicker
to paint a picture than hers; so great was her talent that her prices far
exceeded those of the most celebrated painters of her day, Sopolis and
Dionysius, whose wook fill the galleries. A certain Olympius, too, was a
painter. About her we know only that Autobulus was her student.”
Question: What is the role of women in Greek literature?
Answer: Writing was not in general use until about 750 BCE so literature
reflects mainly society after this time. The stories from previous times
were handed down by word of mouth. When writing began stoies were written
down from earlier times so later literature sometime reflects a mixture of
influence. What is most obvious is that roles changed. In the earlier
periods women had a wider range of roles while in the later period women
were more secluded and involved with domestic tasks. But greek literature
is known for the variety of roles that are portrayed and a certain depth of
emotion. The ancient Greek women became the subjects of great Greek literature that is important even today. Woman storytellers at not mentioned but there is the example of Diotma mentioned by Plato. And though women writes are not as famous as men, Sappho is among the greatest poets of all time.
Question: How were women regarded in classical myth?
Answer: Women were regarded quite differently in classical Greek myth
than in classical Greek society. The deities act like they are members of
a willful family whose members act out their emotions. Each deity has
a realm in which they act and from which they draw their power. The Greek
deities are unusual in that they are subject to some restrictions such
as dike, sort of a natural law, and fate. The women deities, goddesses,
are quite powerful with important realms such as Hera, queen of heaven,
goddess of women and marriage. Athena is the goddess of wisdom, wise in
the industries of peace and the arts of war. Aphrodite is the goddess of
love and beauty. Though all deities must submit to the will of Zeus, they are
capable of violent interaction, war even, and can wound each other, but
they are immortal and cannot die. Thus Aphrodite fought opposite Hera and
Athena in the Trojan war. They are also capable of various sexual liasons.
Hera was the wife of Zeus, but Zeus fathered Artemis and Apollo by Leto. The goddesses are very powerful and seem to hold court for their realm. And among the goddesses their is a heirachary with some goddesses the servents of others. The Nymphs provide housekeeping services for the other goddesses.
Unfortunately mortal women do not fare so well at the hands of the gods.
Each goddess attends to her realm while mortal women must service the household. Some attended mainly to the task of bearing children. Others are servants in the household.
A number of mortal women are raped by gods for the purpose of bearing great
children. Zeus raped Europa to produce Minos and Rhadamanthus. This rape
seems to serve as a mechanism for producing offspring with the blood of Zeus.
This sort of rape is a violent sexual act that is forced upon a woman against
her will, but it is not an act of destruction, as rapes turn out to be in
reality. They involve the fantasy that the women will submit to the power
of the male, and will willingly raise up the child that is forced upon them by
potent sexual intercourse with the god. For this reason these rapes are seen as symbolic of the religion of a patriachal society dominating the matriarchal religion of an older society. There did seem to be more oacceptance to the children of a woman who was raped in those days and if the women could convince other people that she was raped by a deity she could be treated quite well because the society felt that the ofspring of such a union was invariably a hero.
Question: What did Greeks contribute to western civilizations?
Answer: Foremost was their spirit of freedom. Even though only a fraction
their citizens were free, The spirit of those few is easily extended to all
in our times. Next was their focus on wisdom. Both math and science owe a great debt to the Greeks. They developed Geometry and studied astronomy, geography, and mechanics to such an
extent that their work forms the groundwork of what we do today. Their
philosophers began to speculate along paths that we still follow today. In
art they set high standards of perfection that we measure up to even today.
Even their religion had its influence and had to be translated into Christian
terms for our use today.
Question: What did women symbolize in Greek art? How were they portrayed
Answer: Because the images of women could be used to represent goddesses
and their realms, these images could represent natural and spiritual processes
as well as ideal and real women. Just exactly what they represent depends on
their attributes and associations. Thus the central figure in this example:
here is Zeus because, as the king of gods he would wear a crown and sit on
a throne. The lady next to him is Hera because she is the wife of Zeus.
Normally women are portrayed in a flattering, stylish manner. The Greek
artists were able to portray a reality that was desirable and convincing
if not totally accurate. They did not bother to copy the features of a real
goddess but rather were satisfied with the features of a real woman idealized.
Thus the image used represented the hairsytles and clothing fashions of the
time of the artist. They also had a sense of form and style which allowed
them to present images of women that are beautiful in every sense. But
even though the Greek artists were able to produce some of the most beautiful
images of women ever made, it can only be said that they worshipped women
because some of their goddesses were women. It would be more true to say
that they worshipped beauty and tried to incorporate it in all things. Real
women were treated more as possessions, often on the level of a servant or a
Question: What does it mean to have women painted on red-figure pottery?
Answer: It means that the artist is attempting to depict a female human
body moving in space. No longer is the image diagramatic so you have to
look for symbols to determine it is a woman. Now you look for grace, female
forms and female movements in space. You get a feeling of the correspondance
of the image to reality.
Question: What are the names of women in ancient Greek art?
Answer: A number of lists of women’s names are present in previous answers,
which you should check. But I have not provided the names of the muses. The muses are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). Hesiod listed them
as: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Urania,
and Calliope. Hesiod did not mention their realms but later authors
have mentioned them as follows: Clio is the muse of history, Euterpe is the
muse of music, Thalia is the muse of comedy and bucolic poetry, Melpomene
is the muse of tragedy, Terpsichore is the muse of dancing and choral song,
Erato is the muse of lyric and amatory poetry, Polyhymnia is the muse of
the sacred lyric, Urania is the muse of Astronomy, Calliope is the muse who
presides over eloquence and heroic poetry. If there are names not listed
here or elsewhere in the article, please ask a more specific question.
Question: What about women in the Greek novel?
Answer: The novel is a recent art form that was not well developed until
the 18th century. If we take a novel to be a work of fiction of the prose
form then there are a number of comments that can be made. Very little
literature of the prose form was written before the Roman period because very
few persons could read or write. Most of the literature was poetry because
poetry is easier to remember. Special persons, called bards, would commit
entire works such as the Iliad or the Odyssesy to memory and would travel
around reciting these works. Poems grew into choruses, which grew into plays
which could be performed many times by a group of players from memory. At
first, all literature was factual. Any fabrications had to be attributed
to a bard’s poor memory or poetic fancy. Later works had historical subjects
that were filled in with plausible details. Only after Herodotus and other
historians attempted to logically establish what was fact and what was fiction,
was the distinction drawn. The famous women of Greek Literature, such as Helen, Clytemnestra, Electra, Iphigenia, and Penelope cannot really be considered fictional. What the ancient Greek author is more likely to do is to elaborate on an anciet story in an effort to bring it to life. The plays of Menander and Aristophanes seem more fictional that theplays of Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. Home cannot be said to have written a work of fiction. Famous fictional prose from Greece and Rome
includes Longus Daphnis and Chloe, Apuleius, The Golden Ass,
and Petronius, The Satyricon, which you can get from your local library.
All these works are from the Roman period, and the situation of woman in that
period is another story.
Question: Are there any women in ancient Greek history who made a (major
contribution to) change in Greek history?
Answer: The Greeks did some wonderful things, and the women should not
be denied their contribution. All the great men of Greece were born of women
and owe to them their early education. We know now that early education
is the most important. Though society was more rigidly divided as to roles
the women did their share. Since our notions of grace and beauty come
largely from ancient Greece, and the Greek women provided the model for this,
we must give the women their credit.
There are a number of historical women who stand out, the most notable
of which are Sappho and Aspasia. But there is also the anonymous woman of
the Oracle at Dephi who advised the Athenians to Defend walls of wood. One
has to wonder about the contribution of Phryne, who posed for the nude
Venus of Cnidos. In addition there are a number of mythological women who
were probably modeled on real women. These include: Eurynome, Gaea, Hera,
The Furies, Hecate, Ariadne, Artemis, Athena, Britomartis, Demeter, Europa,
Kore, Pasiphae, Python, Rhea, Io.
Question: What about women in Greek religion?
Answer: There is much about religion that has already been discussed,
because Greek women were important to Greek religion. One point that has
not been made is that religion was more integrated into the culture of Ancient
Greece than it is now. There was no issue of converting people to one
religion. All people of one culture had the same religion and the religion
was defined, they thought, by their experience with God, or deities. We
sometimes refer to the Greek religion as pagan, but this word was meaningless
to them. Other religions were to them babarian. The word ‘pagan’ suggests
ignorance, particularly of Christianity, but the Greeks would have to be
invincibly ignorant because Christianity was not well formed until well
into the Roman period. The value of their religion cannot be doubted
but became anything but ignorant. The wonderful art of the Greeks was a tribute to their religion, and from the Greek religion speculative philosophy grew. And lastly, much of
Christianity was simply the adoption of the Greek religion with the names
changed. Much of the work of the old gods of the Greek pantheon was taken
over by the saints and angels of the new Christianity. Particularly notable is the fact that the ancient Greek pantheon consisted mainly of goddesses. In the vast majority of cases women priestesses served goddesses while men served gods. The ancient Greek men were particularly frustrated tha Athena was a goddess and in their myths they deprived her of many feminine characteristics.
Question: What was the power of Greek women in society?
Answer: Classical Greece was perhaps the highest that civilization has
ever achieved. Though it is popular to comment upon the subserviant and
secluded role that women had in this society, yet no one has ever complained
about how the women performed that role. It must be assumed that they
performed their role very well. The art of the time projects an image of
beautiful, effective women who are capable of inspiring great art. Perhaps
this is the relation between Athena and Athens that allowed the Athenians
to defeat the Persians. At any rate the Athenians were very grateful for
Athena’s patronage in that war and the Parthenon resulted.
Question: What did Greek writers have to say about women?
Answer: Greek writers are some of the most important that ever lived.
You should read their works directly for their comments about women. Some
of the more important Greek writers are:
- Homer and Hesiod about 750 BCE
- Poets: Sappho and Anacreon 650 BCE
- Tragedy: Thespis 650 BCE
- Odes: Pindar
- Theater: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes
- Historians: Herodotus, Thucydides
- Philosohers: Heraclitus and Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus,
Protagoras, Socrates, Zeno, Plato, and Aristotle.
On of the strangest writings about women is in Aristophanes, “Thesmophoriazusae” where he claims Euripides is a Mysoginist. Euripides wrote tragedies about powereful women.
Question:What is Io’s role in Prometheus Bound?
Answer: She is a long suffering woman who sees results in her children.
As a result she symbolizes the future of mankind.
Question: Any goddessess of intelligence?
Answer: Athena was the goddess of wisdom. Mnemosyne was the goddess of
memory. Metis was the goddess of prudence.
The muses could also be considered in this category.
Question: What kind of work were women responsible for doing?
Answer: During the Homeric period women were involved with
baking bread, grinding grain, carrying water, weaving, making clothes, and
bathing. They were also involved with child bearing and associated duties
such as nursing and midwifery. These tasks seemed to continue into the
classical period. The women did have notable roles in religious festivals.
Cassandra was a prophetess.
Question: How were Greek women treated?
Answer: When they were secluded in the home they were probably kept pretty
well. In Sparta they were herded together while in Athens they were more
secluded. In their own domain they were probably in control. They were
not in total control during childbirth because the vast majority of the
gynocologists were men even though the women seemed to prefer women attendants.
Outside of the home they were not treated very well. They were treated
as possesions. Beautiful young women were highly valued, but traded like
cattle. Talented women were also valued as servants. Women slaves were used
any way the owner wanted. The women of Sparta were the freest because they controlled the society while their men were at war. In other communities some of the hetaera obtained a high edegree of freedom but they gained that freedom by performing sexual favors.
Question: How were women of the higher class differentiated from the women in low class?
Answer: The class of a woman was determined by the class of her husband
or male relative. Only priestesses and queens were exempt from this rule.
There were no queens into the classical period. In practice a woman’s status was demonstrated by the jewelry and clothing she wore.
Question: Using a work of art discuss the Archaic period in Greek art.
Answer: The Archaic period of Greek art was more schematic as is
illustrated in the piece:
Archaic Clothed Goddess.
We know it is a woman by her dress. The figure is static without much
feeling of space. The figure is all profile because this is easier to draw
but the resulting form has excellent proportions. Except for the eye,
which is easier to draw from the front. This figure is advanced because
the hands are drawn in space unlike the feet which are more schematic
with only one image standing for both feet. The long flowing hair and
delicate features do suggest a feeling for feminine lovelyness, which is,
I suppose, why this image is considered to be Aphrodite.
Question: Using a work of art discuss the Hellenistic in Greek art.
Answer: The Hellenistic period was more concerned with presenting a
dynamic image in a real space as is illustrated in:
Notice how the body twists and turns. The idealism is there. It is not
an image of reality, but of ideality. There is a sensuous beauty, but
the beauty goes well beyond this. It is a beauty of curves balancing
curves and a feeling of dynamic and static balance of weight and form. This
is almost a mechanical arrangement. There are numerous statues with the
arms placed in the same position as though the sculptor was following a recipe
for beauty. The fact that the statue is a nude woman reinforces the
hellenistic concern for a real persona projected into an ideal thought.
Question: What is the angle of contractions? What corrections were
made in the door in order to correct this?
Answer: My guess is that this relates to the doorway rather than the door.
This quote from the 11th ed. of the Encyclopedia Brittanica might be
helpful: “In Greece the linings of the earliest doorways at Tiryns were in
wood, and in order to lessen the bearing of the lintel the dressings or jams
(antepagmenta) sloped inwards, so that the width of the doorway opening
was less at the top than at the bottom.”
This form of doorway is illustrated by the Lion gate of Mycenae as follows:
Question: How were goddesses(women) seen as central deities?
Answer: During the classical period they were not central. In fact, for
Aristotle, Zeus was the only god considered. But Athena was the patroness
of Athens, and it was she they thanked for their victory over the Persians.
In Homer the goddesses are central because they are quarreling over the
judgement of Paris. Aphrodite is on the side of the Trojans and Hera and
Athena are on the side of the Achaeans. Because the young female form is
an ideal of beauty and sexiness, artists have continued to focus on the
goddesses to this day, using every opportunity to portray them in various
states of undress so their beautiful bodies can be seen.
Question: What was life like for women then?
Answer: Probably pretty miserable for most. Some did well though.
Women were secluded in the home and did not visit the marketplace.
You should read answers to the other questions for details.
Question: What is the difference between Greek and Babylonian Women?
Answer: Let us assume that the Babylonian assumes the Assyrian
culture. Then the Babylonian period covers the time between 2250 BCE
and 530 BCE. The situation was the same for women in both societies in
many areas. But Babylonia had more emphasis on a rule of law and women
were less secluded in that society. Women were more able to engage in business
and other legal matters such as politics. Yet hte women in Greece had better educational opportunities.
Judy Chicago lists a number of names associated with women in Babylonia:
- Aruru/Creation Goddess
- Tiamat/Mother of All
- fl. 1750 BCE/Amat-Manu/Temple scribe
- fl. 1685 BCE/Iltani/Royal Priestess
- fl. 2100 BCE/Shibtu/Queen
- Irkalla/Ruler of the Underworld
- fl. 540 BCE/Bel-Shalti-Narrar/Priestess and wise woman
- 704-626 BCE/Naqi’a/Stateswoman and regent
- 6th cent BCE/Nitrocris/Ruling Queen of Babylon
- fl. 650 BCE/Semiramis/Warrior Queen
Question: Can you explain feminism in Lysistrata?
Answer: Lysistrata is based on a few assumptions. One is that women are
more sensible than men and that war is stupid. Another is that women have more
control over their sexual urges than men. Lysistrata then deprives the men
of sex until they can come to their senses and stop the silly war. This
strategy does not usually work because women often pick on one another, and
if deprived of sex, men can become very controlling. A
better tactic would be to educate the women and give them the power to vote.
Question: Who is Thesus?
Answer: Probabably Theseus misspelled. He was a hero of ancient Greece.
Question: Helen – Iliad, Medea – Argonauts, Dido – Aeneid?
Answer: The first is a woman heroine and the second is the title of the
work she appears in.
Question: Why was the ‘sacred king’ neccesary and how did the role of sacred
In some cases the role of the ‘sacred king’ was entirely ceremonial. The
king was used as a scapegoat. All the bad things that had happened to the
community were blamed on the king and he was killed in a sacrifice to purge
the community of this evil.
In other cases the ‘sacred king’ was the consort of the queen. The queen’s
role was to provide royal offspring. Early on the process of sexual
reproduction was not undestood and certain family ties could only be
determined through the mother. Whether the queen ever ruled is debatable.
The royal consort became the actual ruler. If the queen died, then her
daughter’s spouse would rule. If the king died, then the queen’s new husband
would rule. Later, the male heir would be king.
Ruling was a matter of organizing rituals to appease the deities. It was
a matter of influence and barter that carried this out. What was appropriate
was determined by history and augury or divination. As time passed the
opinions of the king were recorded as law. Later, the rule of law
superceeded the opinions of the king. Early on the king ruled in both
the political and religious sphere as priest and king. Later these two
functions were separated.
Question: What was the role?
Answer: They inspired great art.
Question: What similarities and differences do you notice between the Greek a
nd Roman works in regards to the roles of women? Do the roles of women change f
rom the Iliad to the Voyage of the Argo to the Aeneid?
Answer: This is not a simple question and needs some consideration. First
look at the range of time. The Iliad was written in 750 BCE but discusses
events of 500 years before. Appolonius of Rhodes wrote the Argonautica
around 190 BCE but discusses events of about 1500 BCE. Vergil wrote the Aeneid
about 50 BCE and discusses events of about 1250 BCE. We know nothing about
Homer, a little about Appolonius, and a lot more about Vergil. Is Homer more
credible because he is closer to the events? Were any of the authors trying
to be accurate in their description of women, or were they more likely to be
portraying women in a way that would be appealing in their time? And how much
did the earlier authors affect later authors?
Now deal with the differences between the goddesses and the real women
portrayed. In Homer the goddesses are free within their own realm and can be
quite powerful. The real women are more subdued but still more powerful than
the wives of Athenian citizens. Medea may have been a goddess but in the
Argonautica she is portrayed as a real witch. Is this comparable? Dido
was a queen who ruled. Is not this quite different?
Question: What was life for a free Greek woman like?
Answer: There were no free Greek women. The most free women were hetari.
The hetari were courtesans and prostitutes who were trained to entertain
Any reference to cycedean(sic) art figures?
Answer: This could be cycladic, cytherian, Cyprian, Cyrenian.
Question: Information on Cycladean female art figures availability
Answer: Ovid tells the story of Arachne in Book VI of the Metamorphoses.
Question: Xanthippe. What was her part?
Answer: Xanthippe was a wealthy widow who married Socrates and enabled
him to teach rather than work as a stone cutter.
Question: Compare the Aeneid with the Argonautica and the Iliad.
the material above. All three were epic poems by authors who lived much
later that the events described. The Iliad is more of a history of a war,
while the other two are more fictional adventures.
Question: What was life like for an average woman in ancient times?
Answer: Read answers for previous questions. You need to focus on one kind
of woman. Conditions varied by country and culture. Conditions also varied
for the various time periods.
Question: What are the famous Classical statues of Women?
Answer: The most famous statues feature women, the Venus de Milo, and the
Nike of Samothrace. These are hellenistic though. Some statues from the
golden age of Greece include:
- Niobe and her youngest daughter
- Battle of the Greeks and Amazons at the Mausoleum of Helicarnassus
- Venus of Cnidos
- Aphrodite Anadyomene
- Aphrodite of Cyrene
- Aphrodite of Syracuse
- Artemis of Gabii
- Venus Genetrix
- Capitoline Athena
- Vatican Demeter
- Athena Lemnia
- The velletri Athena
- Athena Parthenos
- The Varvakeion Athena
Question: I am doing a project on Greek pottery and I was just wondering
if this site had any pictures of or information on Greek pottery?
Answer: There are different types of Greek pottery:
- Red-figure Style
- Chalcidian Black-figure Style
- Eastern Greek Polychrome Style
- Polychrome Laconian Style
- Attic Black-figure Style
- Fikellura Style
- Late Wild Goat Style
- Heraldic Group Style
- Late Corinthian Style
- Corinthian Style
- Proto-Corinthian Style
- Proto-Attic Style
- Geometric Style
- Proto-Geometric Style
- Mycenean Style
- Minoan Style
The Red-figure, Attic Black Figure, and the Corinthian are the most common.
Which did you plan to study?
Question: Who is Kronus?
Answer: Cronus was the son of Uranus and Ge and the father of Zeus. He
ruled the heavens until he was dethroned by Zeus.
Question: Pictures of women in the Persian war?
Answer: No women fought on the side of the Greeks. Queen Artemisia fought
on the side of the Persians. Herodotus writes about her as follows:
Amazons were often portrayed in Persian outfits as:
Question: what is the role of women in greek art?
Answer: To provide in reality an inspiration for art that expresses ideality.
Question: What is the Golden City of Troy?
Answer: You are reffering to a poetic epithet used in both the Iliad and
the Aenied. The reference is to Troy to emphasize its wealth. There actually
was Gold at Troy as described in the following:
Question: I was curious if you had any ideas who the goddess of vinyards
and orchards is? Any ideas where I might find a picture and some information
Answer: Dionysis is god of the vine. Athena is goddess of the olive.
Quinces and love apples are sacred to Aphrodite. Demeter is the goddess
of corn and harvest. Pictures are available on all of these. Which one
would you like?
Question: Though in ancient Greece women were considered inferior to men
and non-citzens, why were they so predominant in dramatic literature?
Answer: You are reading what the men say. But the women were very
important, and the men had to deal with them. In their seclusion it is
possible that they could ignore what the men were saying. The Greeks were
very dependent on the women for babies and they had to humor the women if they
were going to produce good ones. The women in Drama were modeled after women
in former times that were not so secluded.
Question: Do you have any information or pictures on the Greek godess Rhea?
Answer: Rhea was queen of the universe. You might just picture her naked
with stars dotting her body. This was the way the Egyptians pictured their
sky goddess Nut.
Pictures of Rhea:
Question: What are some examples of greek art?
Answers: Two of the greatest treasures of the Louvre, in Paris, France,
the Nike of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo are fine example of Greek Art.
These statues are common in advertisements for the Louvre as:
Question: What did women super heros look like?
Answer: What follows is a list of women that are my suggestion and
- The Furies Erinyes
Question: What was the role of women in Roman society?
Answer: The role of women in Roman society is much broader than in Greek
Society. One of the reasons Cleopatra was defeated was that the ladies
in Rome did not like her type of politics and the Roman ladies had the
power to see that Octavian had the resources to defeat her. They were also
able to pressure him enough that he would not succumb to her charms. Livia
Drusilla (later Julia Augusta) was co-regent with her husband Octavian (Caesar
Augustus). There are many great works of Roman literature that could be
consulted, including Ovid’s The Art of Love which will prove, for
example, that ladies in Rome were able to frequent the theater, the circus,
and even the Colesseum.
Question: Why don’t Greek statues have eyes?
Answer: The ancient Greeks painted their statues in natural colors. The
eyes were fitted with valuable stones such as lapis lazuli. In most cases
the stones have simply fallen out over time. Some were stolen though.
Question: You seem to default to Athenian women as generic for Greek Women,
were there not strong regional differences (for example, Spartan Women?)
Answer: you are probably right about this but I would not talk about the
regional differences as strong. Because of the amount and quality of Athenian
literature, the influence of Athens has been disproportionately large. In
many cases, when we think of Greek, we think of Athens. Athens was the world
center for higher learning for well over 1000 years, well after it was no
longer significant politically. The other parts of Greece are important for
their influence on Athens, but not usually for their influence on the rest of
the world. The situation for women in Sparta was, indeed, different. Any
potential mothers of citizens were freed of any activity that would interfere
with their having babies and raising them. They had to exercise and eat
well to accomplish this. They also could hold property.
Question: How were women represented in ancient Greek history verses the
Answer: This question is very difficult because the Etruscan’s left so
little to know them by. We have no names of Etruscan women attached to any
deeds whatever. There were no Etruscan historians to relate their events.
Yet, as ancestors of the Romans their influence was very deep in Roman
culture. The fact that important Etruscan deities were women and that
women in Etruscan art are common and significant suggests that the influence
of the Etruscans on the Romans may have been to improve the status of women
toward that status that was enjoyed in the Roman Empire.
Question: What is a man to do?
Answer: Robert Graves answers this question In his White Goddess
on page 539:
How should she then be worshipped? Donne anticipated the problem in
his early poem The Primrose. He knew that the primrose is sacred
to the Muse and that the ‘mysterious number’ of its petals stands for women.
Should he adore a six-petalled or a four-petalled freak, a Goddess that is
either more, or less, than a true woman? He chose five petals and proved
by the science of numbers that woman, if she pleases, has complete domination
of man. But it was said of the lotus-crowned Goddess in the Corinthian
Mysteries, long before the phrase was applied to the ideally benign Father-god,
‘Her service is perfect freedom’; and indeed, her habit has never been to
coerce, but always to grant or withold her favours according as her sons and
lovers came to her with exactly the right gifts in their hands–gifts
of their own choosing, not her dictation. She must be worshipped in her
ancient quintiple person, whether by counting the petals of lotus or
primrose: as Birth, Initiation, Consummation, Repose, and Death.”
Request: I need information about Theano.
Answer: There are several women named Theano. The most famous is
probably the one mentioned by Homer in the Iliad in book VI:
“When they reached the temple of Athene in the Acropolis, the doors were
opened for them by Theano of the lovely cheeks, daughter of Cisseus
and wife of Antenor the charioteer, who had been made priestess of Athene
by the Trojans. With a loud cry, in which all joined, the women lifted their
hands to Athene, while Theano of the lovely cheeks took the robe, laid
it on the knees of the Lady goddess, and prayed to the Daughter of almighty
Zeus: ‘Lady Athene, mighty goddess, Protectress of Cities; break
Diomedes’ spear. Bring him crashing down in front of the Scaen Gate. And
we will sacrifice to you here and now in your shrine twelve yearling heifers
that never felt the goad, if you take compassion on the city and the
Trojans’ wives and little children.’ Thus Theano prayed; but for answer
Pallas Athene shook her head (no).”
Question: why did the women in the greek society occupy an inferior position?
Answer: It was not so much inferior as separate. The men liked to think of
the situation as one of ruler and ruled, but as Aristophanes says in
Lysistrata: “A man gets no joy if he does not get along with his wife.”
The women had a separate domain because it was very important for the community
for women to bear lots of babies. Many of their tasks were merely customary.
What we have are writings by the men so what we get is their view. Even
though women could not vote, every famous Greek man had a Greek mother to whom
he owed his birth and early education. The women who had babies were probably
treated pretty well. The women who did not marry, could not have babies,
or who were slaves were the women who were truely inferior.
Question: female snake names?
Answer: Goddesses associated with snakes are Athena and Medusa. Scylla
was a serpent monster that destroyed ships. Hydra was a many headed
snake-like creature that Hercules fought.
Question: Who is the Greek god of Nature?
Answer: There are a number of deities associated with nature:
- Demeter is the goddess of corn and the harvest.
- Dionysus is god of wine and the harvest of grapes.
- Rhea is queen of the universe.
- Gaea is goddess of the Earth.
- Artemis was the Lady of wild Things.
- Pan was a god of shepherds.
Question: Who was a female goddess of the High Classical Period?
Answer: The most important goddesses of the High Classical Period were:
- Pallas Athena
Question: how were women portrayed in ancient greece subsevient to men or ind
Answer: The Greek men liked to think of them as subserviant but they were
not portrayed that way. Amazons were totally wild and had to be conquered.
The goddesses were powerful and got their way. Some women were raped and
Question: what type of art of women in greece?
Answer: The arts that the women of Greece participated in were mainly weaving
and embroidery, though there were also poets, sculptors, painters and
musicians. They also sang and danced as a part of religious festivals.
Question: what did women slaves have to do in ancient greece?
Answer: In book VI of the Iliad Hector forsees a time when his wife will
be a slave of the enemy. He says: “I see you there in Argos, toiling for some
other woman at the loom, or carrying water from an alien well, a helpless
drudge with no will of your own.” Women slaves were controlled by the women of the house and performed the more menial tasks assigned to women.
When Achilles heard that Patroclus was dead: “He cast himself down on the
earth….The maidservants whom he ahd Patroclus had captured caught the
alarm and all ran screaming out of doors. They beat their breasts with their
hands and sunk to the ground beside their royal master.” (Iliad Bk. XVIII)
Later when Briseis saw Patroclus dead “…she gave a piercing scream, threw
herself on his body and tore her breast and tender neck wand her fair cheeks
with her hands…Thus Briseis wept, and the other women took up the lament,
ostensibly for Patroclus, but each at heart for her own unhappy lot.”
Later in Book XXIV, when Priam visits Achilles, “Therupon Achilles
instructed his men and maidservants to put bedsteads in the portico and to
furnish them with fine purple rugs, spread sheets over these and add some
thick blankets on top for covering. Torch in hand, the women went out
of the living-room and busied themselves at this task.” Later, the additional
service that Briseis provides is obvious because: “…Achilles slept in a
corner of his well-made wooden hut with the beautiful Briseis at his side.”
In these passages all the women with Achilles were slaves who did women’s work. It is not clear what, if any, is the heirachy among these women. It is suggested that Patroclus commanded them until his death.
There are other passages that could be cited, but these give a good
picture of what a female slave was used for.
Question: Compare the role of women duing ancient Greece with that of women t
Answer: The role of women in ancient Greece changed dramatically as that society
evolved, just as the role of women
has evolved dramatically in recent years in the society of the U.S. The ability
of women to produce babies has always
been important, but during prehistoric time the contribution of the male was not
clear. The role of women was
related to the fertility of nature and women were held in awe as possessing a de
vine nature. As the contribution of
males were better known, steps were taken to assure determination of a baby’s fa
ther and women were kept in a basic
isolation and servitude. The process of childbirth was considerably riskier than
it is now and this only added to the
challenge of being a women in those times. Women now can vote, own property, can
sue, be educated, and can live
independently of their families even to the point of raising their own children.
Childbirth is less painful and less
dangerous. Though the medical situation is much improved, women today do have ch
allenges not faced by the ancient
Greeks. Diseases such as breast cancer seem to result from our increased technol
ogy, and venereal diseases are spread
much more easily due to our advanced transportation. Though transportation bring
s distant nations closer its
pathways tend to fragment local neighborhoods and may inhibit the development of
children. Advanced technologies
of communication may expose children to influences that their parents can no lon
Question: what do women do?
Answer: Perhaps this poem by Anacreon of the 6th century BCE translated
from the Greek will help you.
Beauty Horns to bulls wise Nature lends; Horses she with hoofs defends; Hares with nimble feet relieves; Dreadful teeth to lions gives; Fishes learn through streams to slide; Birds through yielding air to glide; Men with courage she supplies; But to women these denies. What then gives she? Beauty, this Both their arms and armor is: She, that can this weapon use, Fire and sword with ease subdues. Translated by Thomas Stanley
Question: Is there a change in the role of the woman in the hellenistic age w
ith the rise of the individual?
Answer: Yes, there is a change. The best indication I have is the roles
of the famous women during this period. Judy Chicago lists the following:
- d. 70 BCE Judea/Alexandra of Jerussalem/Ruler
- fl.120 BCE North Africa/Aretaphila of Cyrene/Liberator of her country
- 3rd c. BCE Egypt/Arsinoe II/ruler
- 69-30 BCE Egypt/Cleopatra/Ruler-Deity,
- 4th c. BCE Macedonia/Cynane/Military leader
- fl. 350-320 BCE Macedonia/Olympias/Political figure
- ca. 240-300 Palmyra/Zenobia/Queen, warrior, military strategist and scholar.
During this period a number of women achieve real political power.
Question: where can i find a picture of one soilder on a horse
Answer: It may interest you to know that soldiers did not ride horseback
until the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE). At the time of the
Trojan war they rode in Chariots. An image from 725-700 BCE is:
Philadelphia 30-13-133. What you see here is just the driver, but not
the warrior. In this picture you see the squire riding one of the horses
that will be attached to the chariot for battle:
here. Here is Athena, the goddess of war, getting ready to drive a
chariot: Toledo 1956.69. An image of a charioteer and a warrior in a chariot is:
The warriors at the time of the Trojan war who rode one soldier to a horse
were the Amazons. They were female soldiers who always rode bareback. Several
pictures follow which you can click on.
One of the most famous images of a warrior on a horse is included in the
Alexander mosaic at:
Click here. Alexander is the warrior riding the horse at left.
Question: can i get pics?
Answer: Yes you can. To get pictures from this web page you click on the
picture reference and the picture will appear. Or you can search for them
by name on the web. Click on the following to see a a pic of Athena:
Question: How did Greek sculpture influence all sculptors of the ancient
Answer: The quality of Greek sculpture was recognized early and so it was
widely copied. The conquests of Alexander helped to disseminate the Greek
style throughout the Mediteranean and to the east as far as India. A study
of art in India even reveals Greek styles forms and themes in ancient times.
The influence of Greek art was so powerful it even stretched to China.
Sometimes the copying was wholesale and literal. In other cases the pieces
would be copied with a different emphasis, or with a part exchanged, such
as a Venus with the head of a Roman matron. In some cases the precision
of the Attic style is copied into mere prettiness. In some cases the copywork
is all that remains of a Greek piece, but enough of the Greek art has remained
that it has continued to influence arts up until the present.
Question: Why were women equal as gods, but not in life?
Answer: This is best explained by the change in societal values that
occurred between the time the notion of the goddess was formed and the
classical period when history became accurate. Religious ideas have
always been conservative and reflective of some time in the past. In the past
women were seen as more important because of their child bearing and because
of the perceived connection between childbearing and the growth of crops.
These notions were incorporated within the concepts of the goddess that were
passed to the classical period.
Question: How was Athena involved in the Persian War?
Answer: Athena was the goddess of wisdom, and the Greeks made some very
wise moves in defeating the Persians. The Persians consisted of a
larger, richer, more numerous adversary. The odds were much against the
Greeks in both invasions by the Persians.
Question: What are the values and beliefs of Greek culture that are reflected
in the girl stele holding/kissing a pigeon?
Answer: There is a marble piece at New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
called “Stele of Young Girl from Paros” which is the image of a Young
girl from Paros who seems to be kissing one of the pigeons she is holding.
An evaluation of this
image is found at:
Pigeons were an important source of meat for the ancient Greeks, and they raised a lot of Pigeons. Doves are sacred to Aphrodite and there is not a lot of difference between a pigeon
and a dove. For these two reasons letting a young girl have pigeons as
pets would be consistent with societal mores. There are a number of possibilities for pets in ancient Greece. A cock, crane, and cat are illustrated here
Question: May I use some of the answers you gave as part of some information
in my research paper on the submissive role of a typical greek woman? If I
were to use some answers you gave in the site as past of a research paper,
how would i cite you. Where can i say you got your informantion from ?
Answer: You certainly may use any of the information in my web site in a research
paper but you must reference it properly. To do this you cite the URL of the
web page You should also indicate the date you found the information. Were possible I have given source references which you should use. You should always use original sources such as Homer or Herodotus in preference to anything I have written. I have also provided a
bibliography with a list of most of the works I have used at:
If you have some question about a source you should ask me about it. You must not copy any of the material into another web site. If you post your report on the web you may include only short quotes. Otherwise use links.
Examples of proper citation are located at:
Question: what is the most famous Greek sculpture ever?
Question: Were women treated equaly in ancient greek(as artists)
Answer: No they were not. Wives of citizens generally were able to
participate fully in the weaving, sewing, and cooking arts. They were also able to
participate in festivals were singing and dancing were involved. The hetaerae
were able to participate more fully in singing, dancing and musical
instruments. Women who participated in the other arts such as poetry were
often ridiculed. This did not stop them though, and there are a number of
very accomplished women on record. Sappho, a Greek poetess from about 600 BCE
is perhaps the best poet ever. You can read more about the hetaerae at
Question: What was the connection, if any, between the olympian goddesses and
women of greek society (this is for class)
Answer: The connections are complex. The behaviors of the goddesses are
believed to represent the behaviors of women of ancient Greece well before the
classical period. The ancient women were more respected and more powerful
in society, but the society was not governed by laws. By the time laws
were developed women were stripped of power and demeaned. But the ancient
goddesses showed the classical women what a woman could do. Artists always
depicted women in contemporary dress so the dress of the goddesses reflected
the dress of the classical women contemporary to the artists.
Question: Did the goddesses of ancient greece reflect the women of the time?
Answer: The artists who depicted the goddesses used the women of the time
to model the goddesses.
Question: Could you explain what evidence there is to show that women in anci
ent greece had a higher status in archaic times, and why their status decreased
as they moved towards classical times?
Answer: During the archaic period, women appeared in art in central
positions with the women larger than the men. During the classical period
women lose this central focus.
Question: Women as models
Answer: Yes. The women of the day served as models for artists. But the artists did not feel responsible for a likeness and idealised the images in the art.
Request: I need an essay about the greek gods. If anybody can help me with th
at, please e-mail it to me as soon as possible: GREEK GODS
Answer: Perhaps you should write an essay on Greek goddesses. They are
quite interesting. It is possible that a Greek goddess invented handwriting.
Why would a goddess have wanted to help humans in this way? Some say
writing came from signs associated with fortune telling. Why would a
Greek goddess have wanted to help humans to tell fortunes?
Question: Did a lot of women play a role in Greek art?
Answer: This seems so. Even though Greek women in the classical period of
Greece seem to have had a fairly restricted role, yet there are a number of
famous Greek women who were artists, and the areas in which they did have
a role: weaving, dance, and music, they are favorably portrayed.
Question: who is considered THE most powerful GOD-DESS today
Answer: If the response to this web site is any indication, Aphrodite is
the most powerful, then comes Athena, then Hera. But you should understand
the story of Sandro Botticelli before you attempt to use this power.
Botticelli painted his beautiful picture of The Birth of Venus and
it was wondered if he was a heretic for painting a nude picute of a pagan
Goddess. This picture can be viewed at
Click here. His response was that he had not painted a picture of
a pagan goddess, but rather a symbol of the love of the virgin mother for
Question: Could you direct me to some sources (preferably books) that give evidence of the archaic greeks being more of a matriarchal society and that describe the change to patriarchy?
Answer: One by a woman and one by a man:
- Eisler, Riane, The Chalice and the Blade, HarperCollins, New York,
1987, ISBN 0-06-250289-1
- Graves, Robert, The White Goddess, Vintage Books, 1948
No one claims that archaic Greek society was matriarchal. The Amazons
may have been matriarchal. The archaic Greeks were matrilineal and and more
equalitarian. The stories about both Penelope and Jocasta support this
idea. The status of Athena suggests that women were important but secondary. The myths of Hera may represent a more realistic depiction of their power.
p>Question: role of the woman in ancient greece in means of politcal , economic
ally, social status.
Answer: Women had only limited influence politically. In classical Greece women made few
products for export and did not participe in foreign trade. Women spent most of
their time with the local needs. Weaving was for clothes, cooking for local meals.
The social level of the wives was determined by the social level of her
husband. During the Mycenaean period women may have been more important. Woven cloth was a much more important item for export.
Question: how did woman live
Answer: 2500 years ago one of the best places in the world to live was in
Athens Greece. In other great cities of the time, Babylon, or Tyre, or even
Thebes in Egypt, there were despots to deal with. Athenians were very civic
and proud of their city. There were festivals, theaters, and goods from
all over the known world. Women were separated from the men, but this was
more for their protection than for humiliation. The house were self contained with roooms around a courtyard. Often the houses were surrounded by gardens. Though the women were restricted in their movement, the men had to give in to their demands because of the
importance of their role in bearing babies for the culture. There was no
indoor plumbing and the houses were made of cold stone. Food had to be
made from scratch and wealthy people would have women slaves just to grind
grain. Food was prepared in an open fire or baked in a brick oven. There
was no soap so washing was more difficult. Water had to be brought into the
house every day from fountains and wastes had to be carried out. There were many tedious
tasks to perform and everyone had something to do. But when the work was
all done there were stories to tell, and the Greeks of that time were some of
the best storytellers the world has ever known. They also knew how to
make beautiful things so even in their home they were surrounded with beauty.
But the temples and public places were a wonder to behold and have been the
envy of almost every civilization since.
Question: Where can I find examples of archaic art with women in central posi
tions and classical art with a less prominent position for the women?
Answer: Classical images are not too hard to find so you should see what
you can find. I am referring you to two images from Crete illustrating your
archaic request and one from Athens illustrating your classical request.
Gold ring from the royal tomb of Isopata, Knossos. Invocation of the goddess.
c. 1500 BCE Museum of Heracleion
Side panel of a stone sarcophagus painted in fresco, from a tomb near the
palace of Hagia Triada, Crete, c. 1400 BCE.
Pyxis lid in the Attic Red Figure style from 350 BCE illustrating the marriage
of Herakles and Hebe.
Question: Were older women respected as keepers of wisdom?
Answer: The seclusion of women has the effect of making young women listen
to older women, but men have no need to listen to women at all.
I was wondering if you knew any places where I could find small enough
pictures to print out for a school project of Artemis, Athena,
Aphrodite, and Pandora.
Question: how big were there breasts
Answer some pictures from the Minoan culture follow:
Questions: I like some pictures of St. Helen
Answers: St. Helena was the wife of the Roman emperor Constantius I Chlorus
and mother of Constantine the Great. Click on one of the following images:
- Cima da
Conegliano, Saint Helena, c. 1495
- Coin with the image
Paolo Caliari Veronese, The Vision of Saint Helena (1548) Vatican Museum
Question: pictures of ancient greece
Answer: The ancient Greeks mainly painted pictures that illustrated stories
of their deities and they were concerned with the people and not their
surroundings. in spite of the large quantity of art there are few pictures
of the Greeks themselves and even fewer of the surroundings. The best pictures
of the sort you mentioned are recent pictures that are based on archeolocgical
evidence. A number of these were done for the book “Every Day Life in Ancient
Times” by the National Geographic Society. Some others follow:
Detail of figural scene: an attenuated Doric column precedes the door to the
house; the opened right half of the door reveals a bed piled high with
Nike watering a bull
the backs of the ships, one oarsman on each ship
boy in tree, youth and man dancing
tree behind fountain
- tree beside spring
Question: I am writing a paper on the gods & goddesses of Ancient Greece. Ca
n you help me find or provide links to such information?
Answer: You should study this site and a list of other web sites follows:
- Perseus project at Tufts
- Search Argos
- Ancient Greek art
- U. of Penna.
on the ancient Greek world
- Art Images for College
Question: who was mania
Answer: Maia was the daughter of Atlas and the mother of Hermes.
Her picture is at:
Question: Who is the goddess with the gift of life?
Answer: The question suggests Freya, the Norse goddess of love and beauty,
who provided the the apples of immortality to the other deities. But
Aphrodite had no such role in the Greek myths. This was the domain
of the Fates for the Greeks.
Question: What were the roles of Ancient Greek and Roman women?
Answer:Judy Chicago has the following to say (p128):
“Roman women were in a similar position legally to that of their Greek
predecessors, but actually they were much freer. Although they were considered
perpetual minors and were subject to the jurisdiction of their fathers and
their husbands, public sentiment was at odds with the laws. These laws
gradually improved, partly a a result of a protest organized by Roman womem.
Although their gains were later eroded, for a while women’s opportunities were
expanded; divorce was easily accomplished, and women could inherit property and
exercise great control over their private lives. Generally, Roman women were
able to participate in the cultural life of the times, and intellectual
achievements enhanced a woman’s reputation. Roman matrons could not, however,
exercise political influence directly, which led to the political manipulations
commonly practiced by upper-class Roman women. Because the political
powerlessness of these women has not been clearly understood by historians,
many of their actions have been misperceived and their motives consequently
Question: what did women do when men were away on voyages etc?
Answer: Fortunately, in those days most voyages were fairly short, a matter
of a few days. Some were longer. During the Trojan war the leader of side
opposing the Trojans was afraid that if anybody went home, they would never
come back. So most on that side were away at least 10 years. This was long
enough for Clytemnestra to find a new husband. Even though Odysseus was gone
about 20 years, his wife Penelope remained faithful. The wives were somewhat
motivated to remain faithful because trade or war were the main ways to gain
wealth so if the husband came back at all, he usually would have been much more
In the Ancient Minoan Culture the men my have been gone for longer periods. It seem like the women did everything in their absence. Later on there developed a minitary culture similar to Sparta. This may have allowed the Cretan women to do more while their men were away. In the Spartan culture when the men were away their wives controlled their affairs. But they did not work. Instead they directed others in the lower classes to work.
Answer: Music was very important to the ancient Greeks. They realised the geometrical nature of musical notes and did much fo the development of music. Music was an important subject in education and even more important for the education of young women. Music was one of the arts that women participated in actively. Of importance was their participation in chorus festivals. They would have to learn many songs by heart. This is the way they were exposed to the literature of their culture. This would expose them to vocabulary, grammer, and concepts. The lyre and the flute were the most important instruments. A number of pictures follow with women involved with music:
maenad, in a peplos, plays the barbiton, with the plektron in her right hand.
Her hair is in a krobylos secured by a stephane with leaves.
a woman walks to the right while playing a cradle kithara
decorated with a pair of eyes.
woman playing flute
woman playing double flute
a girl, wearing a medium-sleeved chiton and a narrow stephane,
stands profile to the right, holding a lyre in her left hand and a plectrum
in her right hand
symposium, on the right stands a girl,
profile to the left, wearing a peplos and playing the double flute
Question: The Three Graces
Answer: The Three Graces made a robe for Aphrodite to wear. They were
a triple incarnation of grace and beauty. The gods delighted in them as they
danced enchantingly to Apollo’s lyre.
Question: some famus(sic) women in ancient greek
Answer: Here are some famous women from the archaic period before
the Trojan war. Their stories have fictious elements but they were probably
- Ariadne-Moon Goddess, Queen, daughter of Minos, king of Crete
- Antigone-the daughter of Oedipus
- Atalanta-the hunter
- Cassandra-Daughter of Priam, king of Troy, and mistress of Agamemnon
- Clytemnestra-Wife of Agamemnon and Queen of Mycenae
- Electra-daughter of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae
- Hecuba-Queen of Troy
- Helen-The face that launched a thousand ships
- Hippolyte-Queen of the Amazons
- Lampedo-Queen of the Amazons
- Martesia-Queen of the Amazons
- Medusa-Amazon leader
Question: what kind of art did they make?
Answer: Some of the greatest art ever. Great literature, drama, poetry,
sculpture, architecture, ceramics. They also did music and painting but
this is now all lost.
Question: How did Livia influence the artwork of her time and what pieces of
art is she featured in?
Answer: Information about Livia can be found at:
Question: Is there such thing as a greek basket
Answer: The following:
- A basket made in Greece
- A basket full of Greek food.
- Greek basketball is called Greek basket.
- A type of bee hive.
Question: what did the terms fishmonger, miller, perfumer,cloakmaker,embroide
rer,wrecker,muleteer,carter,ballast-loader,and stevedore mean?
- fishmonger-a person who buys and sells fish. Even in ancient Greece there
- miller-one who grinds grain. At the time of the Trojan war women were
grinding grain. They used two stones. Early history – quern stones. Later, during the middle ages, the grinding was mechanized at water mills and wind mills where a man was the miller.
- perfumer-one who makes and sells perfume(a fragrant liquid applied to the
skin). Today perfumes are based on alcohol, while during the ancient Greek
period they were based on olive oil.
- cloakmaker-one who makes cloaks (overcoats). The ancient Greeks wore
cloaks called himations. They were woven from one piece of rectangular cloth.
- embroiderer-one who decorates cloth with stitchery. This was an important craft done by women in the ancient Greek period.
- wrecker-one who breaks things down for scrap. In ancient Greece builing stones were used over and over again.
- muleteer-one who drives mules(guides mules pulling a wagon). A mule is an
offspring of a male ass and a mare. Mules are intelligent, strong and docile
and much preferred as a beast of burden. They were used even by the ancient
- carter-one who carries things in a cart. Two wheeled carts have been used
since ancient times for carrying cargo. Usually two animals such as mules,
pulled the cart by being attached to a long pole extending from the cart.
- Sailing ships needed weight to keep the masts straight up when the wind
blew. This weight could be provided by cargo, but if the sailing ship had no cargo then
the weight had to be provided by ballast. Ballast were large stones
that were not so large that a single man could carry each one. These stones
were placed as needed in the bottom of the hold of a ship. The person that
placed the stones was a ballast-loader. The cargo ships of ancient Greece
were sailing ships which required ballast.
- stevedore-one who unloaded or loaded cargo. Today stevedores often handle
barrels. Two hundred years ago almost everything was shipped in barrels.
A barrel is a round container often made of wood. The wooden barrel had to
me made very carefully so it was water-tight. It was also made so it bulged
in the middle. This allowed it to be rolled easily by one person so it
could be unloaded and loaded easily. The ancient Greeks did not use barrels.
They used amphora. These were large clay jars that were pointed on the bottom
and had large handles near the top. The ancient vessels had sand or brush
in the bottom of the hold so the amphora would stand straight up. The masts of the sailing ships were used to swing the amphora from the hold to the dock after they were suspended from ropes tied to the handles.
Question: Greek statues
Answer: Ancient Greek Statues were made of many substances including
wood, ivory, bronze, and marble. The wood has decayed. The marble has been
broken, and the bronze has been melted down. But those that remain are
delightful. The statues were not made for comercial purposes even though they
are much in demand today. They were made for religious use and they were an
important part of the religious activity of the ancient Greeks. The first statues may have been chunks of wood blown off trees by lightening strikes. When this startling event happened the pieces might be examined and found to include images in their rough shapes. This seems to have been the origin of the xoanon of ancient Greece. Early on the statues were quite rough and seemingly of wood. Later statue seem to be stylized as though they were copies of the earlier statues. They were stiff with their legs together. Dedalus is said to have split the legs of statues and allowed them to have a more dynamic feel. During the clcssical period they remained idealied but became quite lifelike.
Question: what is the of slaves women and children in greek soceity.
Answer: Women and children were essentially property of the husband and
father. The father was essentially in life-and-death control. When a
baby was born the father would inspect it. If it was deformed he would
expose it to the elements and leave it to die. The wife had no political
rights, could not own property, and could not divorce. The wives in Sparta
were freer, could own property, and were never really married. Slaves were
completely at the will of their master. Mainly they did the drudgery, but
they were also called upon to do dangerous tasks like mining and prostitution.
They were not always treated poorly because good treatment resulted in a loyal
and dedicated servant. Sometimes a slave became almost part of the family. The dvision of labor in the Greek society caused male slaves to be under the contron of the man of the house while women slaves were under the control of the lady of the house.
Question: Are there any paintings of the Greek goddesses?
Answer: Yes. Though the Greeks did paint pictures, none of them have
survived. But the artisans of pottery and ceramic decoration often copied
the content and styles of these paintings and there are numerous of these
that have survived. One such is:
The goddess Athena.
Question: Did women work outside of the home,
Answer: In classical Greece wives were secluded in the home for the most
part. They did not even shop outside the home. Hetarae were more free to
leave the home. Even women slaves were mainly in the home were they were
supervised by the wives. When the women slaves did the menial tasks of
washing laundry, fetching water, and disposing of wastes, they might have
left the home.
Answer: Thales was a man of Miletus who tradition has as the
first Greek to enquire into the nature of things as a whole about
600 BCE. He is considered to be the first Greek physicist and philosopher. From
Kirk and Raven the following interesting story is given from
“…just as, Theodorus, a witty and attractive Thracian
servant-girl is said to have mocked Thales for falling into a
well while he was observing the stars and gazing upwards;
declaring that he was eager to know the things in the sky, but
that what was behind him and just by his feet escaped his notice.”
Question: what made your paintings so special
Answer: Ancient Greek Paintings were special because they were
widely respected and widely copied. Ancient authors wrote about
them, and other artists copied them.
Question: tell me facts about Ancient Greece archeology
Answer: Before Heinrich Schlieman began digging at Troy in the
1870’s, scholars thought Homers’s work was pure fantasy. But
Schliemann found not one Troy but to his surprise the remains of
nine separate cities. He was able to confirm quite a few of Homer’s
facts. Later Crete was investigated by Sir Arthur Evans. His work
was even more surprising than Schliemans because he uncovered a
civilization even older than was barely hinted in the classic
literature. This was the great Cretan palace and city of Cnossus,
capital of King Minos. These discoveries stimulated a rush of
interest in the archeology of Greece that has continued to this
day. Recent work has developed cultural threads that go back 25,000
years. Marija Gimbutas, in her book The Language of the
Goddess demonstrates the development of symbols associated
with the worship of The Goddess, which demonstrate that goddess
worship was dominant in this early period.
Question: DID ANY OF THE WOMEN HAVE AFECTS ACROSS THE WORLD
Answer: The literature and art of ancient Greece have had a
tremendous effect. They have affected styles and attitudes. The
women of ancient Greece set the styles and attitudes that
literature described. Some women, such as Sappho had a more
direct effect. Their work has inspired many that have followed.
Question: info about Boubalina(sic) the 1st greek female naval
officer of greec from spetis(sic)?
Answer: It is not Boubalina(sic) but Bouboulina. It is not spetis(sic)
but Spetses. The museum at Spetses has “The weapons of
Bouboulina, major heroine of the Greek War of Independence of
1821.” These are visible at: Click
During the Persian war one of Xerxes’s naval officers was
queen Artemesia I. She was from Helicarnassus, and according to
Herodotus she was one of the most distinguished women of
Question: what role did women have in othello?
Answer: Othello is a play by Shakespeare written in 1604 and
set in Venice. He is a Moor who is a successful commander for
Venice. He marries the wonderful Desdemona but succumbs to
jealousy through the traitorous lying of Iago. Tragically he
kills his wife in a fit of rage. This is a wonderful play to read
and see on the stage. Desdemona is a symbol of the good that gets
crushed through deceit and treachery.
Christianity does not accept the existence of goddesses, only
a male God. But the ancient Greeks believed in goddesses, some
such as Athena and Artemis were important and powerful. In
classical Greece the main deity was a male god, Zeus. But several
thousand years ago in the Minoan culture on Crete, and elsewhere
on the mainland of Greece and in Asia Minor the main deity was a
Question: In Ancient Greece, how were women treated among men,
other women and society?
Answer: Many women were treated quite well. A family does not
work well unless the husband and wife get along, and an unhappy
wife is not going to produce healthy babies. Unfortunately the
wife had no legal protection if the husband did not understand
this. As for the women slave the owners knew that if they treated
them well they would get loyalty and good service. A husband
could force a woman slave into prostitution or other dangerous
jobs and the slave had little recourse. A slave might even be
punished with death without a fair trial. The hetaerae were women
who worked outside the home and had much more freedom that the
other women. They were professional entertainers of men and often
worked at parties exclusively for men. Some of them were forced
to prostitute themselves however and working with a bunch of
drunk men at a party is not very safe.
Question: What is the Palladium and what does it signify?
Answer: The Palladium is strictly a statue of the goddess
Pallas Athena. It is not a likeness though. Pallas and Athena
were once two separate deities and the cult of Athena, a goddess,
took over the cult of Pallas, a god. The statue of Pallas was
probably phallic with a strong reference to fertility rites.
Because of the unsuitability of this image for Athena, the statue
was always kept mysteriously under wraps. This just seemed to
make it more powerful. The Palladium was maintained by the vestal
virgins in Rome where it had been carried by Aeneas from Troy.
Question: What was the activities in the home, cooking, crafts,
Answer: A lot of the necessities of life were made right in
the home. Grain was ground, bread was made, wool was spun, cloth
was woven, clothes were made. In the Odyssey, Odysseus even makes
his own bed.
Question: could i possibly get a picture and short summary of
the statue athena- its for a school project- im in the 6th grade
– thank you
Answer: The most famous statue of Athena was the Athena
Parthenos. This 30 foot statue of gold and ivory was placed in
the Parthenon afer it was built between 447 and 442 BCE. Phidias
did most of the statuary on the Parthenon and may have done this
too. The original statue has been destroyed, but many
contemporary copies exist. Based on these reconstructions of the
original have been done one of which follows: Click
Question: How did women contribute in ancient Greece
Answer: See the answers above.
Question: how do you make a model of a greek temple?
Answer: You could use clay. Find a picture of a temple you
like. Find the measurements of the temple and then make a drawing
to scale for the size of the model. Use sticks for the armature
or basic structure. The finished model will have clay applied to
the sticks. You might need to make your own wooden tools to get
the groves uniform in the columns.
Question: what is the story of Morphine?
Answer: Morphine the drug is named after Morpheus the son of
the god of Sleep. You should read The Metamorphoses by
Ovid where he tells the story of the metamorphosis of Alcyone.
Question: goddess of theater
Answer: The nine muses were goddesses of the theater.
Question: How does ancient greek religion affect our world
Answer: Out of Greek religion arose some very important
features of our contemporary life. Many features of Greek
religion were used to fashion Christianity as we know it. Out of
the religion of the Greeks grew philosophy as we know it and from
philosophy grew science. The many aspects of our world are very
dependent on the technology that science allowed us to develop.
You could truthfully say that the religion of the ancient Greeks
made our world what it is today.
Question: What was the influence of the Gods on everyday lives
of the Greeks?
Answer: To the ordinary Greek the gods specified almost
everything that they needed to do. Their lives were much more
regulated by religion than ours are.
Question: how did the greek gods influence the lives of the
Greek? any more info. besides drama, architecture and art? links?
any connections between antigone/oedipus and these effects?
Answer: See the previous answers. Government, business,
transportation, war, festivals, athletics, education are others
influenced. More links are above. Antigone justified her actions
by religion. Religion provided a final reward for the suffering
Question: what did Sophocles write and perform
Answer: Seven of Sophocles’ plays survive: Ajax, Antigone,
Trachinian Women, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes, and Oedipus
at Colonus. Aristotle regarded his works as models of the
Question: what rights did women hve under the government
Answer: They had no rights.
Question: How did gods and goddesses affect the lives of Greek
Answer: It was not what the gods and goddesses did, it was
what the ancient Greek people thought they did that was important.
We call it superstition but for these early people it was very
real. The fact is that religion organized almost every aspect of
their lives. It is true that some of the Ancient Greeks released
themselves from this regimen, but that they could was one of the
glories of the Greek religion. Still most of the people were so
organized. Their day consisted in a series of rituals that they
used to appease the gods. And when holidays came, they really
were holy days and there were more rituals. But the ancient
Greeks were a wonderful people, and as a culture they
accomplished some wonderful things, so the trick is to see how
their religion played a part in in the big accomplishments. For
example Empedocles was able to visualize Aphrodite as a universal
cosmic force. This, no doubt, was helpful in helping others to
lift their eyes to the sky in a way that ultimately lead to
prediction of eclipses and other stellar phenomenon.
Question: who was the subject of amazonion worship
Answer: The best guess is Athena. The goddess in the sky in
this ring from Crete is probably Athena and the symbology of that
goddess fits the Amazons: Click
here. There is also speculation that the Amazons worshipped Artemis.
This may have been a matter of region. Amazons that came from Africa would
have worshipped Athena, while Amazons that came from Scythia would have tended
Question: What was special about Athena?
Question: what is the typical day in the life of a woman
living is ancient greece? how did life in troy differ for women
after the trojan war?
Answer: Read above for the typical day. When Troy was defeated
the town was sacked, the men killed, and the women put into
slavery. Slavery cost Cassandra her life, and Adromache lost her
son and later had to deal with a jealous wife. According to
Vergil some of the women escaped with Aeneas and later helped to
Question: Who is the godess of the sun
Answer: In Greek mythology Hera is goddess of the universe but
the sun god is Helios. Sometimes Apollo is represented as the sun
god with his sister Artemis the goddess of the moon.
Question: Where did Hera live?
Answer: On Mt. Olympus with the rest of the deities.
Question: is ther pics of odysseus
Answer: Click One:
Question: Is there pictures of Greek Columns that I can print
Answer: Click on one of the following:
model of the Acropolis as seen from the SW
through columns of Propylon
half of S colonnade
Question: who were the five big gods and heroes?
Answer: Following were the top five:
- Zeus, the chief is god of the elements and of moral law
- Poseidon, god of the sea and the watery elements.
- Hades, god of the lower world, the place of the dead.
- Ares, god of war.
- Apollo, the god of manly youth and beauty, poetry, music,
oracles, and healing.
Question: Greek Goddesses
The main goddesses: Hestia, goddess of the hearth and the home.
Hera, goddess of women an marriage, and queen of the heaven.
Athena, goddess of civic duties, wise in industries of peace and
arts of war. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, both earthly and
heavenly. Artemis, the huntress of the gods and goddess of wild
Question: beetween what years was athina considered a goddess?
Answer: Goddesses are considered eternal and there may always
be someone who considers Athena a goddess. Athena was the patron
goddess of Athens from about 1500 BCE to about 476 AD. I believe
Athena was turned into a Christian saint and she may have
continued this role longer. Someone in Athens may know better.
Question: were can I find photos of Aphrodite
Answer: There is a web page on Aphrodite at: Click here and when you get there click on
the underlined links.
Question: can you give me information on the greek god Pan?
please if you have info. e-mail me
Answer: Pan was the son of Hermes. He was a noisy, merry god,
and the gay companion of the woodland nymphs when they danced. He
had goat’s horns and goats hoofs instead of feet. He was born in
Arcady which he loved best of all the wild places that he
frequented. He played sweet melodies on his reed pipes. He loved
the nymphs, but they always giggled at him and rejected him
because he was ugly.
For a picture of pan click on one of the following:
If you wish to have me email you information then you must
give me a complete email address, and you must be sure your
system can receive my email. Even when I use a valid address
about one third of the email bounces back and is never delivered.
Question: Were greek women able to work?
Answer: Most Greek women worked, but they did not work for
themselves. They worked for some man who was responsible for them.
This would include a husband, father, or other relative. Only the
hetaerae could work for themselves. Wives and slave women worked
in the homes. Only the hetaerae worked outside the home.
Question: what myths were athena in?
Answer: See the web page on Athena at: Click
here where I have a list and pictures linked.
Question: what kind of utensils did greeks use
Answer: The foods described in the works of Homer are all
finger foods so it would seem that only knives were used to cut
the meat and after that everything was served by hand. The meat
may have been served on bread as the only plate.
Question: What Greek godesses are there?
Answer: Goddesses of the Iliad of Homer:
Additional goddesses in the Odyssey:
- Nymphs of Phorcys (Naids)
Question: Did women play a big role in Ancient Greek art?
Answer: Yes they did. Greek art is marked by women in a vide
variety of roles and contexts. The 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 great artists.
Question: were can i find goddesses of greece
Answer: Even though the Greeks felt the goddesses lived on
Olympus, a goddess can be anywhere, even where you are. To find
out if a goddess is there you need to know the goddesses name and
attributes. You look for the attributes, and there is the goddess.
For example, the goddess of wisdom is Athena. Do you have wisdom
where you are? If so, then the goddess Athena is there. You will
find the names of many of the goddesses on this page.
Question: what is the art of greece?
Answer: the Art of Ancient Greece are objects and images
produced by ancient Greeks that represent their highest ideals of
beauty, ethics, religion and culture. This art, which was
produced over 2000 years ago has remained a source of inspiration
ever since. Its influence remains strong and it is still widely
copied. Some of the most popular art objects include Greek art
such as the Venus de de Milo at the Louvre, The Parthenon in
Athens, the Nike of Samothrace in the Louvre, and the Discobulous
by Myron in the Vatican.
Question: Were women equal to men in Grece?
Answer: No, they were not. To the Greeks, men and women had
separate roles in life which, they believed, should be carried
out separately. The main role of the women was to have babies and
raise children. Their secondary role had to do with women’s work
including weaving and sewing, cooking and cleaning. The women
worked inside the home, while the men worked outside the home.
The government of the states had little to do with women and they
were often excluded, especially in classical Greece. Though the
fact that women were secluded usually meant that women were
protected from abuse, unfortunately women had no legal protection
form an abusive husband. And history has shown women were put
down and humiliated in the public statements that were sometimes
made by men. Men said women were inferior, but they were only
talking amongst themselves. The secluded women could not defend
Answer: The ancient Greeks did not achieve a high level of
technology but, more importantly, they gave to us a scientific
attitude which we have used to develop our technology. We are
much indebted to the ancient philosophers and physicists who
speculated about the nature of the Universe. And they made many
obsevations and discoveries which were used later. The
techonology of the Romans built greatly on the Greeks. Thales
discovered the electric properties of amber and this observation
was not used until the last 300 years. Greek geometry laid the
foundation for the mapping of the earth and Hippopcrates made
observations which founded medical science. The astrolabe was
developed by Hipparcus and probably represents the high point of
Greek technology. This intrument of navigation was the basic
instrument for sea navigation well into the 18th century.
There are a number of Greek women who made contributions to
this process including: Aglaonice, Agnodice, Arete of Cyrene,
Aristoclea, The surgeon Aspasia of Athens, Axiothea, Diomata,
Elpinice, Perictyone, Salpe, Teano, and Theoclea.
Question: the work scene
Answer: Homer presents several scenes of women working. I have
presented Nausicaa washing in a question on daily life above.
What follows is a scene about grinding grain:
“So he spake in prayer, and Zeus, the counsellor, heard
him. Straightway he thundered from shining Olympus, from on high
from the place of clouds; and goodly Odysseus was glad. Moreover
a woman, a grinder at the mill, uttered a voice of omen from
within the house hard by, where stood the mills of the shepherd
of the people. At these handmills twelve women in all plied their
task, making meal of barley and of wheat, the marrow of men. Now
all the others were asleep, for they had ground out their task of
grain, but one alone rested not yet, being the weakest of all.
She now stayed her quern and spake a word, a sign to her lord:
‘Father Zeus, who rulest over gods and men, loudly hast thou
thundered from the starry sky, yet nowhere is there a cloud to be
seen: this surely is a portent thou art showing to some mortal.
Fulfil now, I pray thee, even to miserable me, the word that I
shall speak. May the wooers, on this day, for the last and latest
time make their sweet feasting in the halls of Odysseus! They
that have loosened my knees with cruel toil to grind their barley
meal, may they now sup their last!'” (Book XX)
From the same book is a scene of preparation:
“But the good lady Eurycleia, daughter of Ops son of
Peisenor, called aloud to her maidens:
‘Come hither, let some of you go busily and sweep the hall,
and sprinkle it, and on the fair-fashioned seats throw purple
coverlets, and others with sponges wipe all the tables clean, and
cleanse the mixing bowls and well-wrought double beakers, and
others again go for water to the well, and return with it right
speedily. For the wooers will not long be out of the hall but
will return very early, for it is a feast day, yea for all the
So she spake, and they all gave ready ear and hearkened.
Twenty of them went to the well of dark water, and the others
there in the halls were busy with skilful hands.
Then in came the serving-men of the Achaeans. Thereon they
cleft the faggots well and cunningly, while, behold, the women
came back from the well. Then the swineherd joined them leading
three fatted boars, the best in all the flock. These he left to
feed at large in the fair courts,…”
Answer: Zeus is the head of the Greek pantheon. Home, in
book XX of the Odyssey, says “Father Zeus, none other
god is more baneful tha thou; thou hast no compassion on men,
that are of thine own begetting, but makest them to have
fellowship with evil and bitter pains.” The sign of Zeus is
Answer: The Greeks included a lot of nudes in their art,
but this is because they had a different value system. A person
who took off their clothes in public was not arrested as they
would be today. Children ran around nude until the were 5 or 6
years old and perhaps longer. Slaves were displayed nude at the
market so their new owner would know what they were getting. In
the Minoan culture men and women went nude from the waist up.
women bathed nude men. Atheletics were performed in the nude
because they thought this was safer. Because of the nudity in
athletics art included male nudes quite commonly. Females were
nude more rarely. The most famous nudes in art are either
athletes like the Discobolos by Myron or scuptures of Aphrodite.
For Aphrodite see the special page on Aphrodite: Click Here
Answer: The History of women in the art of ancient Greece is
an interesting subject to study.
Answer: I will share what I can find. You are referring to the
primary sources of information that verifies conjectures made
from the myths and literature. What is found is sometimes quite
surprising. For example burials have been found in Scythia of
women with their weapons. Does this confirm the Amazon myths? You
should be willing to delve a little deeper into the archeological
theories though. There is often a lot of preliminary reading that
must be done before such information makes sense.
Question: WHAT ROLE DID ATHENA PLAY IN HER SOCIETY
Athena: Athena awas a goddess and the people worshipped her.
They were particularly happy with her because she was the goddess
of wisdom. With wisdom the society of the Ancient Greeks went
Question: what did they wear?
Answer: See the page on clothes at Click
Question: Would you please tell us about Nike of Samothrace (The
Answer: Here are some pages about this Nike:
Images of the Nike of Samothrace are not hard to find as this
is one of the most popular sculptures in the world. Of course the
Greeks consider it a cultural treasure and wish it returned to
them. Like the Venus de Milo it was Hellenistic and few details
are known of the sculptor. The statue is famous because the
sculptor has given life to the cold stone. The flowing drapery
and the way the body of the goddess braces in the wind are the
works of a master.
Question: where are the gods and goddesses?
Answer: The Ancient Greek gods and goddesses live on Olympus,
but they are actually everywhere. You can read about them on this
page, or you can see them by clicking on the underlined links.
You can also go to special pages that are indexed at the
beginning of this page.
Question: what does aphrodites throne look like?
Answer: Click on the following: Ares and Aphrodite
Question: WHen the women wove on the looms what did they use
their weavings for?
Answer: Clothing, bed coverings, tablecloths, door coverings,
wall coverings, sacks, sails, awnings.
Question: can you give me info and pictures of a loom?
Answer: Info and links to pictures are available at: Click here
Question: What did the woman of Rome wear? And could you
Answer: Sorry, but this is a page about ancient Greece. The
National Geographic book called “Everyday Life in Ancient
Times” does have what you require.
Question: Political news
Answer: The wives of ancient Greeks were not involved in
politics, except for the hetaerae, who sometimes influenced their
customers. Aspasia, the consort of Pericles, was a faithful
Question: Names of Greek Women?
Answer: The most famous Greek women were the hetaerae Aspasia
and Phryne, and Sappho the poet.
Question: Did women have main roles in theater?
Answer: All the roles in the Greek theater were performed by
Question: amaz_q=what did penelope, odysseus and athene wear?
Answer: The pictures we have from classical Greece really
reflect the dress of the people at the time of the artist. We
have no pictures of Odysseus and Penelope that are contemporary.
The best guess for their clothes are the clothes of the minoans.
The following are examples:
Question: Can you help me find articles on the god appolo?
Answer: Apollo was the god of light, of reason, and of music.
He was the leader of the Muses. Links to click on follow:
Question: what was their status?
Answer: Men were the highest, then their wives, then their
children, then probably hetaerae, then non-citizen residents,
Question: daily life
Answer: See above.
Question: what were the role of women in Ancient Greece?
Answer: See above.
Question: Can you give me all the information on the Amazon
Answer:this information is on a special page at: Click Here
Question: alexandra who is she
Answer: Judy Chicago writes that Alexandra of Jerusalem, who
died in 70 BCE, was the widow and successor of Alexander Janneaus.
Alexandra established peace in Judea after the bloody and
turbulent reign of her husband. The later years of her rule were
disturbed by conflict surrounding her younger son’s opposition to
her religious tolerance.
Question: how does one find lovie nude ladies
Answer: Lovely ladies are all around, and under their clothes
they are all nude. The trick is to catch them without their
clothes on. Or, do something that they think is very good and
they might reveal some of their beauty to you. The best way is to
study hard and get a good job.
Question: What were the overall views of women in Ancient
Answer: This is a difficult question because the women were
carefully secluded; but there are good hints: In Antigone
by Sophocles Ismene says: “No, no, we must remember we were
born women, not meant to strive with men. We are in the grip of
those stronger than ourselves, and must obey them in this and in
things still more cruel”
In Medea by Euripides Medea says: The most unhappy creature is a woman; Who first must buy a husband with her wealth And so acquire a master for her body, For not to accept a man is even worse. And here the greatest indecision lies, Whether the one she takes is good or bad. An admirable woman cannot flee, Nor can she afterwards reject her husband. To usages and customs that are new She comes, amd since she never learned at home, She has to be a phrot to divine How best to deal with him who shares her bed. Then, if we work things out successfully And have our husbands living with us, not Rebelling at the yoke thy wear, our lives Are enviable--if not, e have to die. A man, when burdened by his household, goes Outside to end his boredom, and can turn To comrades he grew up with and to friends, But we must keep our eyes on one alone. They say we lead a life devoid of danger At home white they do battle with the spear, But they are wrong. I'd three time rather stand And face a line of shields than once give birth.
Answer: One of the Homeric Hymns from the 7th century BCE.
HYMN TO EARTH THE MOTHER OF ALL
O Universal Mother, who dost keep From everlasting thy foundations deep, Eldest of things, Great Earth, I sing of thee! All shapes that have their dwelling in the sea, All things that fly, or on the ground devine Live, move, and there are nourished--these are thine; These from thy wealth thou dost sustain; from thee Fair babes are born, and fruits on every tree Hang ripe and large, revered Divinity! The life of mortal men beneath thy sway Is held; thy power both gives and takes away! Happy are they whom thy mild favors nourish; All things unstinted round them grow and flourish; For them, endures the life-sustaining field Its load of harvest, and their cattle yield Large increase, and their house with wealth is filled. Such honored dwell in cities fair and free, The home of lovely women, prosperously; Their sons exult in youth's new budding gladness, and their fresh daughters free from care and sadness, With bloom-inwoven dance and happy song, On the soft flowers the meadow-grass among, Leap round them sporting--such delights by thee are given, rich Power, revered Divinity. Mother of gods, thou wife of starry Heaven, Farewell! be thou propitious, and be given A happy life for this brief melody, Nor thou nor other songs shall unremembered be. (translated by Percy Bysshe Shelly)
Question: what did they wear
Answer: There is a special page on clothes at: Click here
Question: hitory of women washing clothes
Answer: This picture from Homer’s Odyssey book VI is of a
“In due course they reached the noble river with its
never failing pools, in which there was enough clear water always
bubling up and swirling by to clean the dirtiest clothes. Here
they turned the mules loose from under the yoke and drove them
along the eddying stream to graze on the sweet grass. Then they
lifted the clothes by armfuls from the cart, dropped them into
the dark water and trod them down briskly in the troughs,
competing with each other in the work. When they had rinsed them
all till no dirt was left, they spread them out in a row along
the sea-shore, just where the waves washed the shingle clean when
they came tumbling up the beach. Next, after bathing and rubbing
themselves with olive-oil, they took their meal at the riverside,
waiting for the sunshine to dry the clothes. And presently, when
mistress and maids had all enjoyed their food, they threw off
their headgear and began playing with a ball, while Nausicaa of
the white arms led them in their song.”
Answer: What I provide are the links to the visuals. You must
click on the underlined link names to get the picture.
Answer: there is a special page on Aprodite at: Click here
Question: Why do you suppose that Aphrodite was charged as a
flightly woman (similiar to some of today’s women celebrities) in
her “Pandemos” side. Is it expected that mankind is
attracted to that seducing & exciting Pandemos character?
Answer: You are in the right direction, but the situation is
more subtle than that. Some of the behavior of both sexes is
built in, and some of it is learned, and it is usually hard to
tell which is which. Men should reasonably want a healthy woman
for a wife, so women put on makeup to make them look healthy. Men
say they like big breasts so women pad their bras. Men seem to
have an ideal that women want to live up to. But many men find
lacy women’s underwear to be sexy. Underwear has not been around
that long to have been built it. Can you say a flighty women is
sexy because she fits man’s ideal, or because some flighty woman
was sexy and men now like flighty by association? Studying
another culture, such as Ancient Greece, helps to identify more
Another confounding aspect is that men find behaviors sexy in
other women but do not want their wives or sisters to behave that
way. Even the heavenly Aphrodite Urania may have exciting
characteristics. Pandemos characteristics would be good in a
prostitute or entertainer, but not in a wife. Urania
characteristics would be good in a wife.
Question: how were they treated? how many husbands did they
Answer: Some women were probably treated well. Helen, and
Penelope was, but Medea was not, Electra was not, Antigone was
not, Jocasta was not. They could only have one husband and they
could not divorce him. If her husband died and left her an estate,
a new one was assigned by the court.
Question: the goddess
Answer: There was more than one goddess. In earlier times each
clan may have had one goddess. When the clans merged into
communities then polytheism represented a recognition of all the
clans by each. When there is talk about THE GODDESS then what is
meant is the one goddess that each clan worshipped. All of the
Greek goddesses were at one time THE GODDESS for someone.
Question: where can I find writings of godess athena?
Answer: Athena wrote nothing herself. Homer wrote quite a bit
about Athena in the Odyssey and the Iliad. There is a special
page about Athena at: Click here.
Question: info on venus the goddesses
Answer: Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The
Greek goddess of love and beauty is Aphrodite. There is a special
page on Aphrodite at: Click here.
Question: where can i find pictures
Answer: This site has links to pictures. The link name is
underlined. You click on the underlined link name with the left
button of your mouse and the picture appears. If you wish to
continue with this site you go back with the back button.
Question: What roles did the women play in the Aeneid?
Answer: The Aeneid is a work by a Roman, Vergil who lived from
70 to 19 BCE.
Question: WHAT DID THEY DO
Answer: Read the following from Homer as spoken by Penelope:
"Their father and their mother dear died by the gods' high doom, The maidens were left orphans alone within their home; Fair Aphrodite gave them curds and honey of the bee And lovely wine, and Hera made them very fair to see, And wise beyond all women-folk. And holy Artemis Made them to wax in stature, and Athene for their bliss Taught them all glorious handiworks of woman's artifice."
Question: WHAT DOES ARGOA MEAN??????
Answer: The Argo is the ship that Jason sailed after the
Golden Fleece. An agora is a marketplace in a Greek city.
Question: What role did women play in ancient Greece?
Answer: Their role was fairly restricted. They bore babies and
did women’s work. Women’s work included festival preparation and
participation weaving, spinning, preparing food, cooking,
cleaning, bathing, carrying water and wastes. They also saw to
the security of the house. Homer writes (Book VII): “The
house keeps fifty maids employed. Some grind the apple-golden
corn in the handmill, some weave at the loom, or sit and twist
the yarn, their hands fluttering like the tall poplar’s leaves,
while the soft olive-oil drips from the close-woven fabrics they
have finished.” More about this is on the above page and on
the page containing past questions at: Click
Question: what clothes did they wear?
Answer: See the special page on clothes at: Click here.
Question: what is the festival of dionysis
Answer: Drama grew out of the worship of Dionysius, and as a
result all drama were performed at a festival of Dionysius. The
plays were performed during 7 to 8 hours on the days 11-13 in the
Greek month Elaphebolion. This corresponds to the festival of
Question: need information on athena, zeus, ares and hermes
for school project.
Question: what did ancient Greek women do when they had their
Answer: Perhaps the whole problem was solved by the isolation
of women. There is not much in the literature about it. But there
are clues. The period that you refer to also refers to the period
of the phases of the moon. For this reason the moon is often
associated with women. One would think that the moon goddess
would also relate to the menses of women. Artemis was the moon
goddess so I assume that whatever was done for menses was done
for Artemis. In the myth of Acteon, Acteon stumbles on the
favorite bathing place of Artemis and accidently views her nude.
She punishes him for this. It is possible that bathing was a
ritual associated with menstruation and that men need to be
excluded from this ritual.
Menstuation is associated with a great deal of superstition
and it is doubtful that the ancient Greeks were excluded from
this. Frazer in The Golden Bough discusses this (p 702):
“Amongst the civilized nations of Europe the
superstitions which cluster round this mysterious aspect of woman’s
nature are not less extravagant than those which prevail among
savages. In the oldest existing cyclopaedia –the Natural
History of Pliny– the list of dangers apprehended from
menstruation is longer than an furnished by mere barbarians.
According to Pliny, the touch of a menstruous woman turned wine
to vinegar, blighted crops, killed seedlings, blasted gardens,
brought down the fruit from trees, dimmed mirrors, blunted razors,
rusted iron and brass (especially at the waning of the moon),
killed bees, or at least drove them from theri hives, caused
mares to miscarry, and so forth.” The normal response to all
these threats is to isolate these women during these times.
Question: how did Hera dress and what color?
Answer: Homer describes her dressing for her husband in book
XIV of the Iliad: “Here went in and closed the polished
doors behind her. She began by removing every stain from her
comely body with ambrosia, and anointing herself with the
delicious and imperishable olive-oil she uses. It was perfumed
and had only to be stirred in the Palace of the Bronze Floor for
its scent to spread through heaven and earth. With this she
rubbed her lovely skin; then she combed her hair, and with her
own hands plaited her shining locks and let them fall in their
divine beauty from her immortal head. Next she put on a fragrant
robe of delicate material that Athene with her skillful hands had
made for her and lavishly embroidered. She fastened it over her
breast with golden clasps and, at her waist, with a girdle from
which a hundred tassels hung. In the pierced lobes of her ears
she fixed two earrings, each a thing of lambent beauty with its
cluster of three drops. She covered her head with a beautiful new
headdress, which was as bright as the sun; and last of all. the
Lady goddess bound a fine pair of sandals on her shimmering feet.”
Answer: Since she is queen of heaven and her bird is the
peacock you should be able to understand why she dresses in every
color of the rainbow.
Question: who was adah and what was her role in egyptian life
when was sehe born when did she die
Answer: Adah is mentioned in the Bible, Genesis, Chapter 36.
” Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the
daughter of Elon the Hittite…” She could have gone to
Egypt with Joseph, but this is not certain. She would have lived
around 1400 BCE.
Question: what cloth’s men use?
Answer: same as women’s clothes.
Question: famous women?
Answer: See above.
Question: What was the Venus de Milo?
Answer: A statue. See above.
Question: how do i get a picture of athena
Answer: Click on one of the links on the Athena page at: Click here
Answer: Andromeda was a lovely virgin sacrifice to a sea
monster. Her mother, Queen Cassiopeia of Ethiopia had claimed she
was more beautiful than a nereid and for punishment she had to
chain her daughter to a rock to await death by sea monster. She
was fortunate that Perseus came along to kill the monster and
save her. Perseus and Andromeda were later marrried.
A recent picture of Perseus and Andromeda is at:
Question: can I get pictures and information on Athena for my
Answer: Click on one of the links on the Athena page at: Click here
Question: What did they wear?
Answer: See the special page on clothing at: Click Here
Question: What did a woman’s shoe look like?
Answer: Ancient Greek ladies wore sandals. To see a nude woman
fastening a sandle on her foot: Click
Question: Whats her real name of that women and i don’t really
think she’s pretty! you suck!!
Answer: Boy are you in trouble. The Venus de Milo is the
statue of the goddess Aphrodite. She is a real goddess and I
think you have offended her. Not only that but you have offended
all women. If your life is a mess you can blame yourself for this.
I try to get along with women by complimenting their good points.
If you go to the following site: Click Here and
click on GREEK ART in the left scroll bar you can pick Venus de
Milo. Then you can adjust your screen and get a really big image
of her. Maybe this will improve your opinion.
Question: I’m looking for the name of any goddess or female
character known for either her physical strength, her skills with
tools (home building, etc) or who was associated with the home/hearth
without being confined to the home.
Answer: Atalanta (there are two of them) was known for her
strength. Athena was known for her skill with feminine tools.
Hephaestus was known for his skill with masculine tools. Hestia
was the goddess of the hearth. No goddess was confined to the
home though a scred place for Hestia was usually included in the home.
Question: What were Ancient Greek marriages like, and what
were the rituals?
Answer: This is discussed in the page on Love and Sex at: Click here
Question: Who was the most famous woman actress in roman
theater in ancient rome
Answer: I do not find any women in the Roman theater. In fact
the earliest woman I find as an actress is Marie Venier (1590-1619)
of France. In ancient Greece drama was part of a religious festival for men. The women had their own festivals which probably included dramatizations but no drama. A women involved with dramatization was Phye
Question: What are the differences in roles of men and women
in Ancient Greek society?
Answer: The father’s role was to work outside the home, carry
out civic duties such as voting, defend the country in the army,
and supervise the family activity and the male slaves outside the
home. When the sons were old enough they helped with this work.
The mother worked inside the home cooking and weaving when she
was not having babies. She provided the security for the home and
directed the women slaves inside the house. The slaves did the
menial tasks such as carrying water and wastes, grinding grain
Question: anthing about murals or paintings done by the
Answer: Painting was done in Classical Greece and some of the
painters are famous, but none of their paintings have survived.
They were very influential and they were copied by the vase
painters and others. Murals have been found done by the archaic
Greeks. Murals were found at Knossos, Pylos, and Thera. These
murals have helped us to understand the Minoan culture. A number
of these murals can be viewed from the special page on Minoan
Culture at: Click here.
A reconstruction of an ancient painting is available at:
Question: who is the godess that rode on a lion?
Answer: The lion was sacred to Artemis but in the following
picture an Amazon is riding a lion: Click
here. In Hindu myth Devi is a a twelve-armed warrior goddess,
created by Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva to slay Mahishasura, the
shape-shifting monster who menaced the universe. She rode a lion
into the fray and was victorious. Durga, the mother-goddess was
elegant and self-contained, she rode a fierce lion. Kali the
goddess in Hindu mythology rode into the battleground on her lion,
There is a famous sculpture by Johann Heinrich von Dannecker (1778-1841): Ariadne on the Panther, Stuttgart 1803-1814. This piece does not refer to antiquity very well as the concept depends upon a mistranslation of the name ‘Ariadne’.
Question: What all did Cleopatra do?In other words give me a
biography & some pics.
Answer: A biography of Cleopatra is located at: Click here
Picture links follow:
Statue of Cleopatra (Graeco-Roman museum)
of Cleopatra (Graeco-Roman museum)
Cleopatra Costume on Stage and in Film
in movie titles
Question: Why were women excluded from the same rights that
Answer: The ancient Greeks were more interested in tasks than
rights. The task of women was to bear children and this was
Question: i know this doesnt have anything to do with the role
of women in ancient greece, but i was wondering, about how tall
was the ancient greek woman?
Answer: One life size statue
measures 5 foot eight inches (174 cm.). Another measures 6 foot 6
inches (197 cm.) The actual height was somewhat shorter, perhaps 5’5″. Please reference the article: The Biological Standard of Living in Europe During the Last Two Millennia
Question: i have read that the Ancient Greeks were alot more
open and tolerable of homosexuality. Were any of the Gods/Goddesses
homosexual? What about heros in myths?
Answer: Neither Eros nor Aphrodite are opposed to homosexuality and it would not be
unlikely that they are involved in such things. Of course Zeus
gave birth to Athena from his head and Dionysius from his thigh,
but heterosexual love produced the babies in the first place.
Dionysius often causes men and women to do frightful things. One
wonders if these do not include homosexual acts. This was the
opinion of Tennesee Williams in his play Suddenly Last Summer. Lesbian stories were associated with Sappho of Lesbos. Both the Spartans and the Cretans include homosexual relations between older men and boys as a part of the educational process. But Lycurgus specifically forbid physical relationships.
Plato makes the following statement in Laws[636b]: “So these common meals, for example, and these gymnasia, while they are at present beneficial to the States in many other respects, yet in the event of civil strife they prove dangerous (as is shown by the case of the youth of Miletus, Bocotia and Thurii);1 and, moreover, this institution, when of old standing, is thought to have corrupted the pleasures of love which are natural not to men only but also natural to beasts. For this your States are held primarily responsible, and along with them all others [636c] that especially encourage the use of gymnasia. And whether one makes the observation in earnest or in jest, one certainly should not fail to observe that when male unites with female for procreation the pleasure experienced is held to be due to nature, but contrary to nature when male mates with male or female with female, and that those first guilty of such enormities were impelled by their slavery to pleasure. And we all accuse the Cretans of concocting the story about Ganymede. [636d] Because it was the belief that they derived their laws from Zeus, they added on this story about Zeus in order that they might be following his example in enjoying this pleasure as well.”
Question: How did Greeks keep clean? How was slavery
functioned? What happened to the homeless? How were children
raised? Did they have toilets? What was their attitude about
retarded or deformed children? Did they have animal sacrifices?
Answer: They bathed each other. Olive oil was used instesd of soap. In the Odyssey of Homer (6.207) Nausicaa states of Odysseus, “this is some hapless wanderer that has come hither. Him must we now tend; for from Zeus are all strangers and beggars, and a gift, though small, is welcome. Come, then, my maidens, give to the stranger food and drink,  and bathe him in the river in a spot where there is shelter from the wind.”
Slavery – When you were a slave you did what you were told.
Usually slaves got the drudgery like grinding grain, and carrying
water and wastes. If you had any skill at all you could buy your
Homeless – People were tied to their families and the land
more than they are today. You could be sold as a slave out of
your family, but then you belonged to another family. People
outside of this system died pretty quickly.
Children – Children were educated by their mothers until boys
could go to school outside the home. Girls were educated in the
home except for music lessons.
Toilets – Sanitation was a problem in ancient Greece. They
used chamber pots and dumped the manure in the fields. There were toilets associated with the fountain houses. After the water came out of the fountain it flowed through a channel. This channel could be covered with a stone with a hole in it. Wastes dropped through the hole and were flushed away by the water in the channel.
Deformed – Deformed children were exposed and left to die.
Sacrifice – They had animal sacrifice, but in general, it was
their idea of humane slaughter. When the animal was sacrificed
the fat and bones were burnt for the gods and the rest of the
animal was roasted and eaten at a festival. The libations of wine and olive oil
just made the meat taste better. They had no refrigeration so
they had to sacrifice an animal whenever they needed to eat meat. Most people probably did not eat meat except at a festival. Festival were fairly frequent and happend as frequently as our weekends.
Question: What modern-day symbols would you attribute to the
character Lysistrata in Aristophanes version of Lysistrata?
Answer: A peace symbol and the biological symbol for female.
Question: What is the theme of Aeschylus’ Eumenides? Does the
Oresteia as a whole have a theme?
Question: What contributions did the greeks have to today’s
Answer: The Greeks made profound contributions in religion,
philosophy, politics, and science.
Answer: Sophocles seemed to feel that man’s laws were
sometimes ill-considered and arbitrary.
Answer: At the time of the publishing of her book The Language of the
Goddess Marija Gimbutas was professor of European archaeology at UCLA
and the curator of Old world Archeology at UCLA’s Cultural History Musuem. She is one of the
main investigators of the role of the Goddess in ancient European cultures.
Question: When was earrings made and for what use or purpose. What is the of earrings
Answer: Earrings are quite old and usually associated with women. The
book above mentioned has an image from 4500 bc with earrings. This suggests
they are associated with very primitive needs of women. And we know that
attracting a mate and becoming pregnant has always been important. The
circular structure of a ring suggests the female function in the sex act
so the wearing of an earring might have announced that the woman had
achieved puberty and wanted to marry, have sex, and bear children.
Question: I am tryingto(sic) do a compairison(sic) essay on two pieces of archaic greek art (statues of women) The text that I have to draw these images from is: Women in the Classical World. I want to compair a Korai statue from the acropolis in athens on page 20 with a statue of a young female spartan athlete on page 60. i need to know the relivance(sic) of these two pieces or types of statues to the time period and any relivant(sic) information on the women of the time that they were constructed.
Answer: Two korai are at the Acropolis Museum in Athens and are visible at:
Your description fits a bronze idol at the museum of Sparta
which is visible at:
Greek sculpture models the culture at the time an place it was constructed.
You could compare
the culture of Sparta with that of Athens at the time.
This is certainly possible with the sculptures
that I have identified. The subject is somewhat confounded when you realize
that most statutes of
young women of Sparta are statues of Helen as Helen was a popular subject.
It will be important then to determine where the statue was made because the source of the statue would determine what society was reflected.
Question: Is Nike represented in a statue with no arms and if so, why?
Answer: The arms are broken off when the statue falls during an earthquake.
The Ancients might choose to cast the statue aside and make a new one.
What we have now is simply the remains of a broken statue that was retrieved
out of a dump somewhere. Some statues were broken because they were installed in temples and the temples were converted to another religion. Sometimes the statues were converted to use as angels in Christian churches.
Question: HOW DID HELEN OF TROY DIE?
Answer: A story relating to her death is given by Pausanias Description of
Question: greece pictures
Answer: None of the paintings by ancient Greek painters survive. The
pictures that we see today are vase paintings. But the vase painters
never painted landscapes and almost never included background features.
Question: Why did the greeks admire women gods if they didn’t respect women (people)?
Answer: The Greek men had to deal with the women goddesses because they were seen as powerful. Women were very important to the Greek men. What happened is that the men and women operated in separate worlds and you only see the men’s side as the women did not write much down.
Question: Why were the korai statues (dedication’s to the gods Ex.Athena) statues of women, again when women were not seen as equals or anything close to that?
Answer: The statues of women are a tribute to the importance of women. The appearance of the statue represents what they thought it was about women that was important.
Question: What was going on at 650BCE in relation to what was happening with the art?
Answer: 650 BCE was a revolutionary time in Greek Society. The economic conditions were improving. The alphabet had just started to be used. Concepts were condensed to a simple perfect form for the so-called Geometric Period in art. The greeks were expanding trade and settling colonies.
Question: Where there influences from trade or travel?
nswer: Greece has always been a country involved in the sea trading. The main export during the Classical period was wine and olives. Pottery may have been important too. Greece had to import a lot of important materials, like lumber for ship building, copper and tin to make brass, and iron.
Question: What was going on a the same time (650) in Sparta?
Answer: Sparta was isolating itself from the rest of the world. Sparta had limited access to the sea. and focused on agriculture and perhaps ironwork.
Question: Did they have trade/travel? What were their influences for art?
Answer: A lot of trade was done with the mideast and especially Phoenecia. Oriental themes kept sneaking in throgh the influence of traded artifacts.
Question: What materials were available during this time?
Answer: Wood, Bronze, Iron, Pottery, Wool, Linen, Wax, Marble, Gold, Silver, Ivory, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones, Earths and natural dyes.
Question: The bronze statuette (spartan) of a young girl….what is its significance to this time in sparta?
Answer: They were doing lost-wax casting, a tribute to their technology. The fact that it is a girl and not a
goddess means they have turned their attention somewhat away from the deities. The idealism of the statue
may reflect the idealism of the culture. It is believed that the statue represents one of the activities for the education of girls in Sparta.
Question:Where men also dipicted in statues during this time?
Answer: Yes, men were common.
Question: why were the statues in athese(sic) stone and the statues in sparta bronze? (during the same period of time)
Answer: This is more of a coincidence. Most statues were made of wood, which has rotted away. Fewer were made of bronze which got melted down for other purposes. We have been lucky lately that we were able to recover some bronze statues that were lost at sea. Stone has lasted the best. Paros, where Parian marble is from, was part of the Delian League so Athens may have had better access to the finest marble than Sparta.
Question: trade infomation
Answer: In general Athens sent out olives and oil, wine and pottery and
returned with wood, copper, tin, and iron. Trade in gold and silver was
extensive, but this was mainly in coin as a medium of exchange. A short
article is available at:
Question: daily prouducts they use
Answer: During the Trojan war the Greeks ate beef and goat meat, bread
made of wheat or barley, vegetables and fruits when they could get them. They
drank a lot of wine and used olive oil as food and body ointment. They
used herbal remedies. Thyme was available to them.
I am trying to write a paper on two pieces of art done in 480bce, one in athens and the other in sparta. I can compair(sic) the images but i am finding it difficult to find info. on what was going on diring 480bce in both places. There was a considerable change in the art in 480bce (the korai statues changed to a more naturalistic treatment of the face and body) by I can’t fine why or what was going on at this time.I know they had trade…but with who and what. Was it because of the “meeting” with these people and seeing different ways of dress that they changed their style of art? what were the revolutionary changes going on at this time?In sparta was it relitivly(sic) the same (not many changes in art) because they were so secluded by the mountains?Why in sparta did they reflect women in their sculpture and in Athens it was women/gods (like Helene). The spartan figures look like everyday women, is this true or are they aswell images og gods like helene?If so, are they all helene because she was so beautiful (as discussed in the illiad)?
Answer: 480 BC was a difficult time for the Greeks. The Persians had invaded in 490 BCE and they were going to try again. Xerxes led an enormous army over the Hellespont in 480 BCE and marched into Greece. For the first and last time the leading city-states of Greece were able to unite. The Rersians overwhelmed and defeated a Spartan army at Thermopylae and then advanced on Athens and burned the Acropolis. But the Athenians were able to defeat the Persian naval fleet at the great battle of Salamis. Then a united Greek force defeated the Persian army at the battle of Palatea in 479 BCE. The Persians were completely defeated when the Greeks defeated them at the battle of Mycale.
When they were first attacked by the Persians, they did not know what to do because they thought the Persians were unbeatably the best army in the world. Worse yet, when the Athenians sent a request for help to the Delphic oracle, the oracle returned with the difficult idea that they were to defend themselves with walls of wood. They were inspired by this to build some of the finest ships the world had ever seen, and these helped to win the battle of Salamis.
Most of the great Greek authors had yet to do their work, but of those who came before this included: Homer, Hesiod, Heracleitus, Sappho, and Pythagoras.
A historical outline is at:
The Greek victory over the Persians was thrilling and generated a lot of celebratory art including the Parthenon. This was a great stimulus to change in art in Greece.
Question: Who was Eunomia?
Answer: Eunomia was one of the Horae, a goddess of the seasons, hense a
goddess of orderliness. She was Good Order, while the others were Dike,
Justice, and Eirene, Peace. They correspond to the seasons Spring, Summer,
and Winter, and are three in number for the same reason as there are three
Charities, Gorgons, Etc. They are related to Hera who can be considered the
three in one person.
Question:Can you give some info on art such as pottery and statues?
Answer: These are the questions that I love the most.>
Question: What did they wear?
Answer: See the page on clothes at:
Question: What are some goddeses names?
Answer: The most important goddesses are Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. See List of Gods and Goddesses
Question: What were the views of the greeks when dealing with truth, beauty, and reality?
Answer: Though he was not the first to speculate on the nature of reality,
Parmenides was the first to identify truth with reality. He says: “Come, now
and I will tell thee–and do thou harken and carry my word away–the only
ways of enquiry that can be thought of: the one way, that it is and cannot
not-be, is the path of Persuasion, for it attends upon Truth; the other, that
it is-not and needs must not be, that I tell thee is a path altogether
unthinkable. For thou couldst not know that which is-not (that is
impossible) nor utter it; for the same thing can be thought as can be.
With regard to beauty, the ancient Greeks felt that there was an ideal
beauty that could be gotten by looking at beautiful things.
In ancient Greece the people who searched for truth and reality are called philosophers.
Question: what was the status of women in ancient greece, was it high or low?
Answer: Legally and politically, the status of women was low, but women
were very important, and they had their ways of getting things they wanted.
This was particularly true of the beautiful and talented women. They were
able to set styles and fashions copied by artists right down to the present
day. In fact it is a tribute to those women that they could accomplish what
they did with the societal pressures on them to be plain and not stand out.
Question: What freedom did Greek women have?
Answer: They did not have much freedom. Their husband was chosen by
their parents; they had to live at home; they were bound by custom. But they were freer than most women in the ancient world. They were freed from a lot of taboos of primitive women and their seclusion prevented unwanted advances by men. Usually several women lived in one house, often a man, his wife, his unmaried daughters and the wifes of this sons. There was a heirachy of command with the wife of the head of the family as the head. Any slave women were at the bottom of this heiarchy.
Question: What works of art show women’s roles in Bronze Age greek funerals,
weddings, and religious rites? Any good websites disscussing this?
- funeral bier and second mourner from left
- the funeral of Patroklos
- Totenmahl, or funeral feast, relief (?) known formerly as the “Death of Socrates”
Answer: That is pretty close to the topic of this site. The special
page on Minoan culture at:
Click here is especially rich in material.
Question: i am looking for a greek symbol or picture of a “godess” in general
. could you please email me on or someplace that i could get one from?? thank
s and take care
Awswer: A lune would work.
Question: Do you have any information about a goddess names ALCYON?
Answer: Alcyone was the wife of Ceyx; the daughter of Aeolus, her story
is discussed by Ovid in his Metamorphoses.
Question: What do you know about Demarete, wife of the tyrant Gelon?
Answer: With the crushing defeat of the Carthaginians at the Battle of
Himera in 480 BC, Syracuse was at its height. Gelon, the general who
masterminded the defeat, was a forceful but humane general. When
Carthaginians surrendered according to tradition he was persuaded by his
wife Demarete to treat them humanely. Carthage expressed its gratitude by
presenting her with a gold crown. According to tradition it was sold and the
proceeds were used to produce commemorative coins as large as ten
drachms. As she was called Demarete, so the coin is a demaretion. There is
said to be one in the British Museum and is referred to as the loveliest of all
Greek coins but I cannot find it.
Question: what was the clothing and hair like for women of thebes in ancient greece?
Answer: Styles changed dramatically with time in all areas of Greece, while
they did not vary that much from place to place. It is important to know
for when you want the styles.
Question: You mentioned ‘ideal beauty’, could women achieve this perfection or was it only men? if so who did achieve it and could you provide some pictures of the perfected female body?
Answer: Both men and women could achieve ideal beauty. Aphrodite is
depicted as the ideal female body. Pictures of her are linked at:
Question: Why was there the difference in treatment of women from archaic to classic greeks?
Answer: Archaic Greeks worshipped higher level goddesses. Women were more
secluded in classic times because women did not want to be raped and a man
wanted to know who was the father of his wife’s children. Men wanted more
control over the power of women.
Question: are there any links between the pottery/art/sculpture of troy VI and the fact that its sacking by the greeks? and if so, are there any examples that show that the invasion was just for economic purposes rather than saving helen of troy?
Answer: The results of archeology are inconclusive so far.
Question: Can you please give me the status of all the factions of greek society including prostitutes and their advantages over common Greek women (all relating to early Hellenistic times)
Answer: The priestesses had the advantages. They enjoyed privileges and
respect due to the influence of the deities. Wives of citizens had a number
of advantages in spite of their restrictions. They had slaves to command
and they had the luxury and protection of a nice home. The hetaerae, the
women prostitutes and entertainers, had more freedom but they lacked the
protection of the wives. It is not clear that the legal system would protect
them if they were roughly handled. Slaves had no protection and no rights.
Some of them would have been abused as standard practice.
Question: There is a lot of evidence that troy was much more advanced than the greek invaders… why did they lose?
Answer: If you read the Iliad you will read that Troy had the favor of more
powerful goddesses. And ultimately the Trojans were tricked by the Trojan
horse. But I am not sure about your assumption. We have the details of the
Trojan war because they make such a good story. But one always has the nagging
feeling that a good story has bent the truth to make it a better story. The
truth of the situation may never be known.
Question: what aboutwomens rights
Answer: Women did not have any rights in ancient Greece.
Question: Where did you get your resources?
Answer: My main sources are listed in the bibliography at:
Click here but I have spent a lot of time
with Homer and original art from the period.
Question: Can you tell me some information on Atalanta or tell me where I can find some?
Answer: There may be two Atalantas and they may have inspired the nature of
Artemis so they are discussed on her page at:
Question: Have anything on woman herons?
Answer: There are a number of women heros that you can look up. Atalanta,
Clytemnestra, Penelope, Electra, Antigone, Aspasia, Artemisia. The Amazons
were all heroes.
Question: What was the focus of ancient Greece art?
Answer: Humanity and their relation to the devine.
Question: i was wondering if you could direct me to some information reguarding the role of women in the play “Antigone” by Sophocles. Some sample essays or compositions would be helpful
Answer: There is a special page on Antigone at:
Question: What was the significance of motherhood in Greek art and do you think it has changed? If so how and why?
Answer: Motherhood is not commonly portrayed. The seclusion of women
allowed the women to hide many aspects of motherhood. Many cultures had many
taboos concerning motherhood in an effort to control the power of the woman,
but the Greek women seemed to avoid this with the seclusion. Babies
were seen as little people and did not get the special attention they get
today. The concept of motherhood has changed dramatically in the last
hundred years due to advances in science and technology.
Greek mothers may have been more important than realized. Children were in the constant care of theri mothers until age seven when they began formal school mainly for the boys. During this time they were encouraged to play. We now know that the nature of this play may have been extremely important for their preparation for school.
Images of mothers and babies in ancient Greece:
other mother offering phiale
Woman Woman and baby,
infant Infant Herakles and snakes.
child Woman holding child
Ericthonios Ge, Erichthonios and Athena
Question: do u have any pictures of the greek goddesses the fates?
The most famous sculpture of the fates is the East Pediment of the Parthenon at the
Another page is at:
Question: What were the roles of women in the vicorian(sic) age?
Answer: Queen Victoria ruled during the heyday of the British Empire from
1837 to 1901. Fortunately for women, Victoria was a women. As a result
great strides were made in the education of women, and in health care for
women. But women still could not vote.
Question: do you have a picture of aphrodity(sic) available ?
Answer: There is a special page on Aphrodite at:
Question: What is the origin of the word “Greece?” Does it have anything to do with “Helles”
Answer: The word “Greece” comes to us from Anglo-Saxon “Grecus” which is
derived from the Latin “Graecus” meaning sing. Ancient Greeks called themselves
Hellenes and they called their country Hellas. These words seemed to relate to the concept of beautiful land. The name ‘Helen’ and ‘Hellen” are related but different. ‘Helen’ has to do with bright like fire, but ‘Helen’.
Question: Do you have any information on Cyrene a city state in Libya,Africa
Answer: There are several web sites related to ancient Cyrene:
There are two women associated with ancient Cyrene: Arete the Philosopher,
and Aretaphila, the politician.
Question: In a New Testament in 1 Timothy 2.9 and 2.15 is a word in greek sofrosyune more details about this word in istorical and cultural context in New Testament
Answer: The New Testament was written in Greek because it was the scholarly
language of the time, but in doing so certain Greek concepts were assumed. An
analysis of sophrosyne was done by Plato in the dialog Charmides.
The comments on this dialogue in the The Collected Dialogues of Plato
are: “…the subject of the Charmides is, What is sophrosyne?–and that word
cannot be translated by any one English word. The truth is that this quality,
this sophrosyne, which to the Greeks was an ideal second to none in importance,
is not among our ideals. We have lost the conception of it. Enough is said
about it in Greek literature for us to be able to describe it in some fashion,
but we cannot give it a name. It was the spirit behind the two great Delphic
sayings, ‘Know thyself’ and ‘Nothing in excess.’ Arrogance, insolent
self-assertion, was the quality most detested by the Greeks. Sophrosyne was
the exact opposite. It meant accepting the bounds which excellence lays down
for human nature, restraining impulses to unrestricted freedom, to all
excess, obeying the inner laws of harmony and proportion.”
Question: What part did Chrysies play in the poem the Iliad by Homer?
Answer: Chryseis was a young girl who was given to King Agamemnon as a
prize of war. But her father was a priest of Apollo and Apollo wanted
Chryseis given back to her father. Calchas revealed Apollo’s wish to
Agamemnon which angered him. This resulted in a heated exchange between
Agamemnon and Achilles. Agamemnon said he would give up Chryseis but take
the girl Briseis that Achilles was given. Achilles responded by refusing
to fight. Thetis, Achilles’ mother, arranges with Zeus that Agamemnon will
lose battles until he begs Achilles to fight. This is the outline of the
Quarrel that begins the Iliad. This forms the main theme of the Iliad. But during the Iliad the focus changes to Breisis instead fo Chryseis because Agamemnon exchanges Breisis for Chreisis To put Achilles in his place. There are both mortal and divine considerations to this achtion. This sets the action for the rest of the piece. The Iliad is not an adventure story as it seems initially. More truely it attempts to explain the relation of man to god.
Question: I want to know anything you have on womens rights in ancint(sic) greece(sic)
Answer: Women did not have any rights. See the section on women in
Question: what was the greek view on ancestry?
Answer: Ancestry was important. Some Greeks even claimed ancestry from
the gods. A father would only care for children he knew were his. This
is why women were secluded. The parents of a child determined its
citizenship. Only males that had Athenian parents became Athenians.
Question: What did they have for science and technology.
Answer: The ancient Greeks were the first people to speculate about the
nature of the universe as we know it. This speculation laid the groundwork
for later science. They did make many scientific observations and discoveries
in Astronomy, Physics, and Biology that served as the scientific knowledge of
the western world until well after the Renaissance. In fact the development
of modern science was greatly accelerated during the Renaissance by the
discovery of the writings of the ancient Greeks such as Euclid, Plato and
Aristotle. Ancient Greece was stimulated mentally by the speculations of
their scientists but it remained for later cultures to benefit physically
According to Judy Chicago, there are a number of women who particpated in
the science of ancient Greece:
- 5th c. BCE./Aglaonice/Astronomer and astrologist
- fl. 506 BCE./Agnodice/Gynecologist
- fl. 370-340 BCE./Arete of Cyrene/Philosopher
- 6th c. BCE./Aristoclea/Philosopher and educator
- 4th c. BCE./Aspasia of Athens/Surgeon
- 4th c. BCE./Axiothea/Philosopher
- fl. 500 BCE./Damo/Philosopher and educator
- 5th c. BCE./Diotima/ Philosopher, prophet and priestess
- 5th c. BCE./Elpinice/Intellectual
- fl. 300 BCE./Hipparchia/Philosopher and playwright
- 3rd c. BCE./Leontium/Philosopher and writer
- 5th c. BCE./Perictyone/writer and philosopher
- 1st c. BCE./Salpe/Physician and poet
- fl. 540-510 BCE./Theano/Philosopher and mathematician:
- 6th c. BCE./Theoclea/Philosopher and priestess
Question: did they dance?
Answer: They loved to dance. Men and women danced separately and together.
There is an interesting quote about dancining in the Iliad:
“Furthermore he wrought a green, like that which Daedalus once made in
Cnossus for lovely Ariadne. Hereon there danced youths and maidens whom all
would woo, with their hands on one another’s wrists. The maidens wore robes
of light linen, and the youths well woven shirts that were slightly oiled.
The girls were crowned with garlands, while the young men had daggers of gold
that hung by silver baldrics; sometimes they would dance deftly in a ring with
merry twinkling feet, as it were a potter sitting at his work and making trial
of his wheel to see whether it will run, and sometimes they would go all in line
with one another, and much people was gathered joyously about the green. There
was a bard also to sing to them and play his lyre, while two tumblers went
about performing in the midst of them when the man struck up with his tune.”
Question: How is Aphrodite represented in Modern Western art
- Birth of AphroditeAlaxandre Cabanel(1863)
- Aphrodite rising from the wavesGeorge Woodall(1890)
Birth of AphroditeOdilon Redon(1912)
Acrylic Greenwood, Joseph 1999 Title: Venus Moon Spirit
- Oil Ricker, Donald 1995 Title: Inspiration of Cleomenes
Oil Ricker, Donald R 1994 Title: JUDGEMENT of PARIS
Question: were the heterae only women, or were there male heterae too?
Answer: Just women. This was a special status for these women so they
were not confined to their homes as other women were. No male was confined
in this way so a male who wanted to be a prostitute or an entertainer would be
free to move about. Most prostitutes would have been slaves that may have
been confined to quarters. Any slave could be made into a prostitute. But
heterae were typically much more than a prostitute. They were trained in
special skills that made them a very desirable companion. They might be
a musician, a dancer, or even a writer. But they might not have come from
a good family so no one would want to marry them. After they were practicing
they sometimes did find someone to marry them.
Question: what is the family role of slaves??
Answer: A good relationship with a slave was were the slave was treated like
a member of the family. This meant that the family would share its wealth
with the slave and would take care of it if it got sick. A sense of loyalty
would develop between the slave and the owner. This must have happened quite
often in ancient Greece because the society was so successful. But many
slaves were not well treated. Mining and smelting was particularly hard on
slaves and they lived short lives. It is possible that the bad slaves went
to this work and were punished this way. Women slaves, especially pretty ones,
were sometimes made into prostitutes. Slaves generally were given drudgery
and menial tasks, but there were a lot of these to do in those days and
almost everyone did them.
Question: Are there any paintings of women
Answer: No paintings have survived from ancient Greece. Descriptions of
paintings have survived and some of the images were transferred to ceramics
by the potters. Women were a common art subject.
Question: Why are men in greek art generally depicted nude and the women clothed?
Answer: The greeks enjoyed athletics contests but long ago someone tripped
on their outfit and strangled themselves. After that the Greeks required
athletes to perform in the nude. The fact that the victor was nude gave rise
to the heroic nude where all male heroes were portrayed as though they were
athletic victors and nude.
Question: Feminism in Oedipus the King
Answer: Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The Romans had
a very eclectic notion of religion. Whenever they conquered an territory
they studied the local religion and assimilated local features into similar
parts of their own. Thus, when they conquered Greece they found Aphrodite
to be a goddess of love, and assimilated her stories to their goddess of
love, Venus. Because the Greek stories are so interesting, they tended to
dominate the others, and for the most part, Venus and Aphrodite became the
same goddess. But it must be remembered that Venus has more features which
can be brought out by a careful study of the ancient Roman sources.
Question: What kind of shoes do Greek women were(sic)?
Answer: Sandals and slippers on shown on the Greek vases. More details are
available at:Click here
Question: do you know of any sites that discuss the ancient greek view of ancestry indepth?
Answer: Ancestry was important to the ancient Greeks. Most notable was the desire to trace ancestry to a god or goddess.
- Achaeans — from Achaea, part of the Mycenaean culture.
- Cretans — from Crete, part of the Minoan culture.
- Cydonians (Cydonia was founded by King Cydon, a son of Hermes and of Akakallis, the daughter of King Minos.
- Danaides — daughters of Danaus, descended from Io and Zeus
- Dorians —
- Heraclidae — the children of Heracles who was descended from Zeus
- Perseids — the children of Perseus who was descended from Zeus
- Pelopids — the children of Pelops who was descended from Atlas
Question: Who was Chariklo?
Answer:Chariklo is a nymph/naiad and most probably not a female Centaur in
mythology. Chariklo is the wife of Chiron and the mother of
Okyrhoe/Endeis/Hippe, maybe she is also the mother of the famous blind seer
Teiresias. A picture of her:
Question: god plato
Answer: Plato is not a god but was a real human being. He lived from
approximately 427 BCE to 347 BCE. He was one of the greatest Philosophers
who ever lived.
Question: was a woman viewed as a seductress who could lead men into evil?
Answer: Circe certainly had this role. Helen caused a lot of people to
suffer and could be viewed in this way. In the Iliad Hera tells Aphrodite
that “I want you to endow me with some of those fascinating charms, the spells
of which bring all things mortal and immortal to your feet.” The suggestion
here is that Aphrodite has the ability to provide the seductress tools. The
Sirens also have this role. But as to leading men to evil, who can be more
capable than Charybdis and Scylla. And think alos of the Sirens.
Question: How mean women
Answer: Ancient Greek women were not mean.
Question: How any main women were there in Greek history?
Answer: Scylla, Charybdis, the Harpies, and the Sirens were pretty mean.
Question: what is the role of the serpent in the minoan culture…ie Goddess with Snakes
Answer: Marija Gibutas lists 126 references in her book The Language of
the Goddess so the question is not that simple. In general snakes represent
the death aspect of the life and death cycle because they live in a hole in the
earth. But a wriggling snake represents a life force and a snake shedding
its skin represents a rebirth. Snakes also have a phallic or fertilising
nature. Most simply the snake goddess is a goddess of life and death. Snakes
are also associated in the same way with the goddess Athena. Athena seems
to have assimilated most of the character of the Minoan snake goddess
especially the snakes but
Artemis became the goddess of life and death without the snakes.
Question: Who was Agnodice?
Answer: Agnodice flourished aroud 506 BCE. Judy Chicago says: “Agnodice
studied medicine disguised as a man with the idea of becoming expert in
gynecology and offering her services to women. After completing her studies,
she revealed her true identity to women and they flocked to her, happy to have
a gynecologist of their own sex. Male doctors were outraged that their female
patients preferred Agnodice, though they did not realize she was a woman.
They brought her to trial for malpractice and, when she publicly revealed her
sex, tried to enforce the law prohibiting women from practicing medicine.
Prominent women of the city protested and thus suceeded in having the law
changed, at least until the twelth century.”
Question: What does the Erechtheion signify in the role of greek women?
Answer: The description of this temple by Pausanius is as follows:
[1.26.6] Both the city and the whole of the land are alike sacred to Athena;
for even those who in their parishes have an established worship of other gods
nevertheless hold Athena in honor. But the most holy symbol, that was so
considered by all many years before the unification of the parishes, is the
image of Athena which is on what is now called the Acropolis, but in early
days the Polis (City). A legend concerning it says that it fell from heaven;
whether this is true or not I shall not discuss. A golden lamp for the goddess
was made by Callimachus1 [1.26.7] Having filled the lamp with oil, they wait
until the same day next year, and the oil is sufficient for the lamp during
the interval, although it is alight both day and night. The wick in it is of
Carpasian flax,1 the only kind of flax which is fire-proof, and a bronze palm
above the lamp reaches to the roof and draws off the smoke. The Callimachus
who made the lamp, although not of the first rank of artists, was yet of
unparalleled cleverness, so that he was the first to drill holes through
stones, and gave himself the title of Refiner of Art, or perhaps others gave
the title and he adopted it as his.
[1.27.1] In the temple of Athena Polias (Of the City) is a wooden Hermes,
said to have been dedicated by Cecrops, but not visible because of myrtle
boughs. The votive offerings worth noting are, of the old ones, a folding
chair made by Daedalus, Persian spoils, namely the breastplate of Masistius,
who commanded the cavalry at Plataea1, and a scimitar said to have belonged
to Mardonius. Now Masistius I know was killed by the Athenian cavalry. But
ardonius was opposed by the Lacedaemonians and was killed by a Spartan; so
the Athenians could not have taken the scimitar to begin with, and furthermore
the Lacedaemonians would scarcely have suffered them to carry it off.
[1.27.2] About the olive they have nothing to say except that it was
testimony the goddess produced when she contended for their land. Legend also
says that when the Persians fired Athens the olive was burnt down, but on the
very day it was burnt it grew again to the height of two cubits. Adjoining
the temple of Athena is the temple of Pandrosus, the only one of the sisters
to be faithful to the trust. [1.27.3] I was much amazed at something which is
not generally known, and so I will describe the circumstances. Two maidens
dwell not far from the temple of Athena Polias, called by the Athenians
Bearers of the Sacred Offerings. For a time they live with the goddess, but
when the festival comes round they perform at night the following rites.
Having placed on their heads what the priestess of Athena gives them to
carry–neither she who gives nor they who carry have any knowledge what it
is–the maidens descend by the natural underground passage that goes across
the adjacent precincts, within the city, of Aphrodite in the Gardens. They
leave down below what they carry and receive something else which they bring
back covered up. These maidens they henceforth let go free, and take up to
the Acropolis others in their place. [1.27.4]
Notice in this quote that this is a temple of Athena and that maidens
are an important part of the associated ritual. Notice also that there is
some mystery associated with the proceedings. There is much more that can
be made of this, but suffice it to say at this point that the ritual is
and old one that references The Goddess and is thus important for women. The
odd shape of the temple suggests that it is old and merely follows the lines
of what was there before. Its present state is illustrated by the next link:
It should be noted that it is unlikely that the Caryatids represent the women of Caria enslaved as the story goes, but rather are images of goddesses as suggested by their expressions and dress.
Question: what was it like in ancient greece.
Answer: It was one of the most exciting places to live ever. There was
singing, dancing stories, festivals, sporting events, beautiful art and women,
challenging business, and plenty of military activity.
Question: How was life like for women in ancient Greece?
Answer: Life was not as exciting for women except they had to bear lots of
babies. But even though they were secluded, they had more educational
opportunities than any other women until the 18th century so they accomplished
quite a bit. The ancient Greek culture produced more talented women than any
other before the 18th century. Their style has influenced art down through the
Question: Art (painting, pottery, sculpture) as evidence for women’s lives. What aspects of women’s lives are ilustrated?
Hwat(sic) problems are there with accepting the evidence of art? – greek art
Answer: Women were important to the ancient Greeks and for this reason their images do appear in many works of art.
the art does portray them in a wide range of activities. But it is plain that the life portrayed is idealized. Ugly
women, and old women tend not to be portrayed. Phryne, the model Praxiteles used, had the complexion of a
toad, yet in the sculptures
that were carved the complexion is flawless. There are problems accepting the evidence of art, but it must be
remembered that the Greeks began Science and Scientific History. Before them there was no notion of these
problems, and in most other cultures there is no information. The fact is that the Greeks had a very high level of
culture, and the art formed and important part of that culture. If the art lies, it is a lie that everyone believes.
Question: What relationships mught(sic) a greek women encounter in the course of her life, and where might we find more
about these relationships? (in texts like homers/sappho)
Answer: Classical Greek women led secluded lives and so their relationships were restricted. While the
visual arts portrayed women as they were seen in these restricted roles, the dramatic arts portrayed
women from an earlier, less restricted, time. Generally the subject of art was a time in the distant
past while the model for the details was the classical period. This situation is more complicated by
the tremendous cultural changes that took place between the Mycenean time and the Classical period
of Greece. There is a lot of material, art, archeological remains, and literature, but it must be
carefully sorted out to allow the identification of various themes and trends. Each detail must be
placed in its proper time and context.
Question: Who is the god
Answer: For the Greeks, Zeus was the god. He was more powerful than all the
other gods and goddesses combined.
Question: What does the pottery look like
Answer: It looks very … Uh well err … Greek.
The following links are examples of Greek pottery:
Question: How does Ancient Greek art affect us today?
Answer: Greek art has penetrated our culture so much that it resides in
our subconscious. The stories illustrate our neuroses. The ideals of their
culture still infect us. But now the statues are in a broken state. We
now think this only adds to their perfection.
Question: I found a little peice about food but i’m looking to find more about the ancient greeks Food and drink, their table manners, how they transported their food and drink and last how did they grow their food?
Answer: They transported their wine in amphora with the wine covered by
a little olive oil. They pressed the grapes with their feet in large vats,
while they used presses for the olive oil. Most food was grown locally and most of thehomes had gardens. Their farming methods were primitive, but they did have wooden plows. Most
of the grain was ground by the women using a quern and handstone. This bread was
pretty flat and served as a plate. There were only two meals a day. Most meat was eaten as a part of festivals. Symposiums were drinking parties involving food. There is much more about food above and in the other articles. See food.
Question: odyssey and women
Answer: Women were important to Homer and the time of his story so there
are lots of women. There are goddesses, monsters, queens, seductresses,
handmaids, working women, slaves and many others. Some of them are dealt with
Question: who is Antigone?
Answer: Antigone was the daughter of Oedipus, King of Thebes about 1500 BCE.
She and her sister Ismene took good care of Oedipus after he blinded himself.
After he died her brother was killed in battle and she buried him in violation
of a law that was passed. She felt more respect for the dead because, she
reasoned, she would be with them longer. She was punished be being condemned
to death. She is considered a heroine for acting according to her convictions.
ore about her is availabe on a special page at:
Question: League of Greek city-state formed for protection and trade
Answer: The Delian league was formed by Athens in the 5th century to fight
Against the Persians. But such alliances were common and there were several
Question: Having this is being true to your city-state
Answer: Greeks recognized loyalty to their family, family group, city state, and Greek Culture. They were very competitive ans individuals and in groups.
Question: New settlement started by people who keep their ties with their native country.
Answer: Colony. Just before the Classical period the population of Greece exceeded its resources and many were encouraged to settle in colonies especially in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Southern France.
Question: Persian ruler who surroundedto(sic) your city-state.
Answer: Darius and Xerxes both did this.
Question: City-state that wanted to leave the Delian League.
Answer: Thasos, then Potidaea.
Answer: Yes. See RWAAG
Question: Urgent, Urgent! short description of arts, crafts,archetecture,artists, sculptures, statues?Please answer fast!
Answer: Ancient Greek art went beyond a statement of cultural value; it
was a passionate expression of the spiritual values of life. It was an
expression of an ideal so perfect that it has infected our thought right down
to the subconscious. The art of the Greeks was spiritual and was motivated
by a desire to be at one with the divine. This permeated all crafts and
the prusuit of life itself.
Question: what is subserviant position?
Answer: In a relation between a male and a female, a female takes a
subserviant position when she does what the male wants and does not worry
about what she wants. When the man tells his wife what to do she is subserviant. In ancient Greece the situation was somewhat different. Men and women had different roles by custom. As the culture developed women were excluded from more creative activities because of these roles. This has given rise to a feeling that women were subservient to men.
Question: What other classes of women were there in classical Greece?
Answer: The highest class for women included priestesses. Wives and daughters of citizen aristocrats were in the highest class with other citizens wives and daughters below them, then hetarae who were entertainers and prostitutes, then free foreigners, then slaves who
included temple prostitutes at the highest level and other prostitues at the
lowest level. It seems that slaves in a household might have a higher status than slave used for a commercial purpose.
Question: What were the twelve tables
Answer: The Twelve Tables were written by the Decemviri Consulari Imperio Legibus Scribundis,(the 10 Consuls) who
were given unprecedented powers to draft the laws of the young Republic of Rome.
Question: Trade system? Money?
Answer: Athens was a manufacturing community heavily dependent on sea trade.
The Athenians shipped out olive oil, wine, and pottery, and imported copper,
iron, an much else. Silk came from as far away as China. To make trade easy
they minted money out of silver and gold and other metals.
Question: Do Greek women do sex in any of the pictures?
Answer: See the section on love and sex at:
Question: whats a agora
Answer: an agora was a sacred public gathering placeusually used as a market.
Question: Which would you rather attend,the Modern Olympics or the Ancient
Answer: The ancient, at the beginning of the Golden Age of Greece.
Question: could you tell me some things about Athena ?
Answer: See the page on Athena at Click here
Question: FERTILITY RITES
Answer: an example of a fertility rite was having the women plant seeds
because women knew how to bring forth new life. Fertility rites were taken seriously because of the importance of agriculture to ancient cultures.
Question: Where there slaves? If so how were they treated?
Answer: Yes. Some were like members of the family. Some were freed. Some
were like serfs. Some were forced to labor. Some were forced into
prostitutuion, and some were killed because they would not work.
Question: what did the women cook
Answer: Bread, roast meat, soups, cakes, sausages.
Question: what did they eat
Answer: Wine from grapes, Bread from barley, olives, onions
and garlic, meats including game and fish, green vegetables,
fruits, and cheeses. There is a passage in the Iliad that is
“Outside the courtyard but streching close up to the
gates, and with a hedge running wdown on either side, lies a
large orchard of four acres, where trees hang their greenery on
high, the pear and the pomegranate, the apple with its glossy
burden, the sweet fig and the luxuriant olive….In the same
enclosure there is a fruitfull vineyard, in one part of which is
a warm patch of level ground, where some of the grapes are drying
in the sun, while others are gathered or being trodden….Vegetable
beds of various kinds are neatly laid out…” (Book VII)
Question: i am doing a report on food in ancient greece can you tell me where to find some info?
Answer: The book by Robert Garland contains a discussion of ancient Greek
foods starting on page 91.
Answer: Asclepius was a mortal physician who lived before the Trojan
war according to Homer. He was taught his craft by the Centaur Chiron who
gave him herbs to help with healing. Later Greeks regarded him as a god of
Question: who is the god o(sic) medicine?
Question: i want picthers
Answer: You have to lick on the links to get most of the pictures. The
links are usually words in blue underlined. Here is a picture of the logo
for this web site.
It is a computer modification of an image of a wood cut about Artemis.
Question: Define “Greek mythology”
Answer: Greek Mythology is the body of myths of the ancient Greeks. Myths
are stories which are believed to be historical by the people of the culture,
though the origin of the story is forgotten. Often these stories are used
to explain some practice, belief, institution, or natural phenomena. Myths
form a body of literature which describe the beliefs, religious rites, and
religious institutions of the culture. Specifically Greek mythology spells
out the religion of the ancient Greeks.
The word ‘myth’ literally means ‘A traditional story developed in a pre literate society dealing with deities, heroes, and ancestors, and their relation to the world.’ It comes from the Indo-European ‘mēudh-, məudh-, mūdh-‘, ‘to complain, care about, be intent’ and obviouasly references the work of a poet or bard. Myths came as folk tales presented as choral performances by bards. The represent an early form of cultural transmission.
About myth as written by Homer, Plato (Laws 3.682a) states: “Indeed, these verses of his, as well as those he utters concerning the Cyclopes, are in a kind of unison with the voices of both God and Nature. For being divinely inspired in its chanting, the poetic tribe, with the aid of Graces and Muses, often grasps the truth of history.”
Question: What is “Greek humanism”?
Answer: In contrast to religion, which deals with one’s relation to the
deities, humanism deals with worldly interests and ideals. The ancient
Greek philosophers developed a system of thought which developed human thought
and action with a minimum of reference to the deities. Aristotle divided
speculation into two basic categories, physics and metaphysics. In physics
natural events were explained by natural laws while in the metaphysics the
nature of the divine was spelled out.
Question: Religion of Sparta and Ayhens(sic)?
Answer: There is no substantial diffence between the religion of Sparta
and Athens. There was a practical difference in that they may have celebrated
festivals in differents ways. Each city celebrated unique festivals but the deities worshipped were distinctly Olympian.
Question: was there homosexuality in Spartan and Athens?,
Answer: Homosexuality was tolerated much more in in Ancient Greece than it
is today. Plato thought that the Spartan system of housing the young men in common dormatories and dining halls encouraged an unnatural amount of homosexuality. Lycurgus encouraged homosexual relations between older men and yourng boys, yet he forbid physical consumation of the relationship. Lesbian relations seem present in the poetry of Sappho and this may have been encouraged by the segregation of the sexes. But there is no indication that anyone in ancient Greece was drawn into homosexual relations against their will.
Question: CAN YOU GIVE ME MORE INFORMATION ON ANCIENT GREECEAND(sic) PICS OF PLACES AND THIER HOLY PLACE WITH LOTS OF PICTURES?
Answer: Yes, but you need to be more specific. Check out the Menu Directory
for subjects of interest. Click on the links for the pictures. We are
developing more pictures all the time. If you do not see what you want then
ask for it.
Question: Is it possible that one reason for female nudity in CLassical sculpture was used to portray a womans role in a marriage?
Answer: A nude women is often interpreted as a sex object, but to depict a
wife as nude is to strip her of her status. A hetaera was a sex object that
was used for sexual pleasure. A wife was used to bear children, but she could
have high status in the community because of her husband or her children. A
nude maiden who wants to use her sexual charms to attract a husband, could be
considered a sex object, but she probably would not want to be confused with
a heraera. The nude women in Greek art represent hetaerae rather than wives. Some ancient Greek images show marrying couples with one nude, but it is always the male.
Question: how were women treated(exact)
Answer: A lot depends on the time that you are referring to. During the
Mycenaen period (1800 to 1100 BCE) women could be queens with considerable
power and wealth. When there was a vote, women voted alongside the men.
They also had freedom of movement, but rape was a common
event. Husbands would enter competitions for a desirable bride and might
make a large payment for a bride. During wars women that were captured
might be made into sex slaves.
During the classical period (750 to 338 BCE) women were confined to the
home and could not vote or own property. Rape and adultery were far less
common. During both times there were standard activities for women
including weaving, sewing, baking bread, cleaning, and carrying water. During
both periods goddesses were important, but they were more important during the
earlier period. Women who were priestesses were highly respected in both
periods, and women participated in religious festivals.
Question: how did greeks celebrate birth and death
Answer: The birth was attended by all the women of the household. The
newborn baby was inspected by the father and if found defective was exposed
to the elements to let it die. If it was satisfactory and kept then on the
fifth or seventh day after birth there was a purification ceremony.
During the Mycenaean period dead bodies were burned on a large fire and the
bones were collected. Sometimes a monument was erected. Often there was
an athletic event or other celebration of the person’s life. During the
classical period bodies were buried in the earth an a monument was erected.
Question: How was marriage transacted in Ancient Greece?
Answer: This is discussed in the page on Love and Sex at: Click here
Question: artemisia gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi (1590-1642) was voted one of the hundred most
significant women of the Millineum:
Click here and Judy
Chicago gave her a plate. There is lots of information on the web about her:
Question: why is Mars named after ares
Answer: When Rome took over Greece the Romans adapted the Greek religion to
their own. The roman religion and the Greek religion came from a common source, but the Romans diid not develop a very rich Mythology. When the Romans conquered the Greeks they identified commonalitis and copied all the Greek stories with the names of the Roman
gods substituted. Mars was the Roman god of war so he picked up the stories
of Ares the Greek god of war.
Question: The role of the women in The Oddissey(sic)
Answer: There is a special page for this at:
Question: What are the chracteristics and experiences that every heroine has and goes through?
Answer: A heroine is a woman who experiences a remarkable event and endures
it in such a way as to be a benefit to mankind.
Answer: The Parthenon was a celebrated Doric temple built to honor
Athena in the 5th century BCE and in celebration of the victory of the Greeks
over the Persians. Its remains stand on the Acropolis in Athens.
Question: Do you have any pictures of women in ceramics
Answer: I find no information about women potters. There are many
women illustrated on vases and pots. You can explore most of the links
in this article to see these. An interesting series of figures is at:
Question: What did ancient Greeks do in thier(sic) daily life?
Answer: This question is answered at:
Question: How were women depicted in greek art and architecture?
Answer: As an important part of Greek life.
Question: Could you give me some infomation about the relationships between female figures (mortals and immortals) and males and how they are presented in Greek myths. Thanks.
Answer: This is a list of male-female pairs and their relationship:
- Odysseus and Penelope – Wanderer and faithful wife.
- Odysseus and Calypso – Man and seductress.
- Agamemnon and Clytemnestra – Husband and wife who murdered him.
- Achilles and Breisis – Hero and sex slave.
- Achilles and Polyxenia – Death substituted for marriage.
- Telemachus and Penelope – Son and Mother.
- Dionysius and Ariadne – God and lover.
- Zeus and Semele – God and lover.
- Zeus and Hera – God and jelous wife.
- Achilles and Penthesilia – Necrophelia.
- Cupid and Psyche – Young lovers.
- Atalanta and Melanion – Heroine and victor.
- Minos and Pasiphae – king and queen.
- Poseidon and Medusa – rapist and victim.
- Jason and Medea – Faithless lovers.
- Hercules and Omphale – Humiliated slave of a female queen.
Question: Do you have information on ancient greek sculpting?
Answer: The greeks were lucky to have a good source for marble. They used
steel and bronze tools to shape the marble. They also did lost wax casting in
Question: women in ancient greek architecture
Answer: See the special page at:
Question: Where can I find information about Ancient Greek’s language and literature
Answer: This site has information on language and literature.
Question: what about pedistry in ancient greece? need information fast!!!!!!!
Answer: The word ‘pedistry’ is ambiguous. Pedo- refers to boys, pedi-
refers to the foot. Is a pedist one who does feet or one who does boys.
A pediphile is one who loves feet. A pedophile is one who loves little boys. Perderasty involves sexual realtions between a man and a boy. Both the Cretan and Spartan cultures encouraged this. In those cultures it is possible that boys that participated in these relations benefited in their education. It was the custom for the men to lavish expensive gifts on the boys. Because of this it is not clear that the custom involved abuse of the boys as the family often encouraged such a relation. It is also not known if the boy was required to perform sex acts against his will.
Answer: The worlds first ‘scientific’ historians were ancient Greeks:
Herodotus and Thucydides. Xenophon and Homer were also historians, and
Aristotle was a great natural historian. They were somewhat biased historians
of women, but Nicobule was a women’s historian, and other women writers have left
histories for us to read.
Question: a summary of medusa (snake hair)
Answer: Read about Medusa at:
Question: who is anthedon
Answer: Anthedon is an ancient place name in Boetia.
Question: how did ancient women help in medicen
Answer: Women have often kept track of herbs and other natural remedies.
The activity of Medea suggests that the women of ancient Greece did this too.
Women were midwives, and even became doctors, as the story of Agnodice
Question: What are the similarities and differences of Greek women and the women of Rome?
Answer: They were similar, except the Roman ladies were freer
to move about, and they were able to get laws passed which
protected women. They also had more choice is what to wear because Rome
traded all over the known world.
Though the Greek ladies were more restricted, they got a better education
and generally accomplished more.
Question: a picture of famous greek women
Answer: Greeks did not normally do portraits but we know that Phryne was
the model for this sculpture by Praxiteles:
Question: Where can I find information on the climate of ancient Greece?
Answer: The climate of Greece has not changed much. It is somewhat warmer
and drier than it was at the time of Pericles. The climate of Ancient Greece
can be studied by analyzing tree rings of timbers found in gravesites.
Question: Where could I find some really good websites with Pictures and Descriptions of Greek Goddesses?
Answer: This website has lots of both, but you can also go to the resource
Question: give me 20 facts about ancient greeks
Answer: 20 answers to questions above will do that.
Question: Where can I find a biography on Hoppacrates(sic)
Answer: There is lots of information on Hippocrates, the father of medicine
and Greek physician, who lived from about 460 BCE to about 377 BCE.
He is referred to as Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates son of Anaxileos
This quote is available “Among the votive offerings to Apollo was a
representation in bronze of a man’s body in an advanced stage of decay, with
the flesh already fallen off, and nothing left but the bones. The Delphians
said that it was an offering of Hippocrates the physician.” Pausanias
Description of Greece 10.2.6. The following links are available:
An article is:
H. ALAN SHAPIRO, “Hippokrates Son of Anaxileos,” Hesperia 49 (1980) 289-93.
Question: Do you have anything about food that the Ancient greeks used to eat??
Answer: This is answered in the special page on daily life at:
Question: NEER INFO ON HEPHAESTUS(sic),HESTER(sic) AND ARES THANKS
Answer: Hephaestus: He was the God of Fire and one of the main gods of
the Greek Pantheon. He only, of the beautiful immortals, is ugly, and he is
lame as well. But he was highly honored as a craftsman for the gods. Robert
Graves discusses lame gods in his White Goddess and what he says seems
applicable to Hephaetus. The lameness is an erotic nature, which is related
to the fact that Hephaetus is sometimes made the husband of Aphrodite. The
fact that he was the parthenogenic son of Hera suggests strongly that he was
a very old god who predates Zeus.
Ares: Ares is the Greek God of War and Destruction. He was the son of Zeus
and Hera. The Greek Gods detested him
because of his fury and ruthlessness. He is not a distinct personality except
in the story where he is the lover of Aphrodite as the wife of Hephaestus.
He had no cults or cities that worshipped him.
Question: I am looking for a picture of Art in Ancient Greek Mythology. Do you know where i could find some pistures on some creatures eg. bunyip centaur dragon pegasus etc.?
Answer: The bunyip is not an ancient Greek monster. Information about it can be found at: Click here
Images of Greek Monsters:
- Amazon and Monster
- Herakles grasping Nereus
- The triple-bodied monster, Geryon
- Perseus and Scylla
- Boread pursuing Harpies
- Herakles, Amazons; sphinx, sirens; animal frieze
Question: What woman did, I think, Hercules encounter on the island, I think, possibly known as Crete or Atlantis or something and his women bore him a child which is somehow related to Minotaur in the Labyrinth?
Answer: Theseus went to Themiscyra with Hercules and brought away Antiope
(also called Hippolyta), who bore him a child Hippolytus. Theseus went to Crete and met Ariadne who he took away but later abondoned. Theseus killed the
Minotaur on Crete. Later he married Phaedra, the daughter of Minos. Phaedra became involved with Hippolytus and both lost their lives.
Herakles married Deianira who bore him Hyllus, but
Deianira later killed herself. He also had children by Megara, but he killed
both the children and their mother in a fit of madness. After he obtained
immortality he married Hebe who bore him sons Alexiares and Anicetus.
Question: Who was it that encountered a beautiful woman or witch on some deserted island and she gave birth to some ugly monster (Minotaur?)?
Answer: Odysseus encountered Circe, who had witch-like powers on a deserted
island, and he also encountered Calypso on a deserted island. The Minotaur
was the child of Pasiphae and a Bull. Pasiphae was the wife of Minos, king
Question: what was the importance of hair to them
Answer: It was very important. They were careful to take care of their
hair and used it for decoration. They had many different hair styles. In
ancient Crete, the length of a lock would indicate the marital status of the
Question: Were women ever in the army? If not, were they ever exposed to war and fighting?
Answer: In Classical Greece women were not in the army. Artemisia I, a Greek queen, was
a commander in the Navy of the Persians. During the Hellenistic Period
there were several Greek women who were warriors or commanders. These
included: Telesila, Aretaphila of Cyrene, Arisnoe II, Artemisia II,
Cleopatra, Cynane, Zenobia. In the Period before the Trojan war there
were whole armies of Amazon women warriors first in North Africa, then in
Asia minor, and finally in Scythia. Herodotus describes women warriors in
Scythia and now women warrior graves have been dug up in Scythia, north of
the Black Sea.
Unfortunately women were constantly exposed to war and fighting. Towns
could be sacked and the men killed and women and children sold into slavery.
Women were often a prize of war with the best made into sex slaves or even
wives. Women were sometimes killed along with the men.
Antiope is said to have helped Theseus defend Theseus from an attack by the Themiscyran Amazons.
Question: names of women
Answer: See the menu directory at:
Click Here for Menu Directory to see the names of
women about whom pages have been prepared.
Question: what was the role of women in death and burial customs in fifth century Greece.
Answer: Women washed and prepared the body and performed an important
function as mourners. The mourners held a vigil and sung laments.
Question: What contributions to literature, science,math, did the greek and
roman gods make?
Answer: Greek religion defined the structure of society and it was in the
context of this structure that literature, science and math flourished. When
the Greek religion was destroyed Greece no longer produced great art,
literature, sciene and math. Roman religion did not provide as much stimulus
as the Greek religion. In fact Rome had a variety of religions.
Question: How did the 13 year old Athenians live-what did they do?
Answer: 13 year old children were treated as adults in the Ancient Greek
Society. At that age the boys were in school and the girls were being
trained by their mother or new husband to work at home. 13 year old girls often became brides in ancient Greece. The only activities for girls outside the home were religious festivals. Many girls participated in choirs and some became priestesses.
Question: What was daily life like for the woman of Classical Greece?
Answer: See the special page on daily life at:
Question: How would creon’s treatment of Antigone have been different if Antigone were a male?
Answer: He would have been stoned.
Answer: see the special page on love and sex among the Ancient Greeks at:
Question: how the greeks used their cincept(sic) of beauty and interpretted it
into their artwork.
Answer: Women dressed to be attractive. They wore purfumes, jewelry, makeup, and fixed their hair. Beauty was an ideal that came from the study of many individual instances. Sculpture and painting then gave that ideal reality.
Question: stylistic characteristics of aphrodite
Answer: See the special page on Aphrodite at:
Question: what were the stylistic characteristics of the greek women in the archaic, classic and hellenistic period?
Answer: Respectible women appeared veiled in public, but in private they
made theselves up quite well. The peplos was the preferred dress in the Archaic period. Later, during the Classic period the chiton becaome more common. Either dress could be arranged in different ways, but it draped in a comely manner on the body. The hair was carefully styled in a complementary way. Both jewelry and makeup were worn. More about the clothes of the period can be found at: Click here
Question: how does the women from the archaic, the classic and the hellenistic period each illustrate the stylistic characteristics of her period?
Answer: Archaic women were more plain. Hellenistic women were more worldly
with more variety in jewelry and styles of clothes.
Question: I am interested in Gods/Goddesses that explain Modern day phenomenons. For example, the story of Echo, and Persephone and Narcissus, and Tantalus. do you have any other examples of Modern day WORDS or STORIES that may have gotten their start in mythology?
- Our word odyssey comes from Odysseus in the Odyssey.
- Our word charisma comes from Charis, one of the Graces.
- The hyacinth came from Hyacinthus.
- The anenome came from Adonis.
- The narcissus came from Narcissus
Question: where are the three sisters:Aglaia, Euphrosyne, Thalia?
Answer: There were three Graces: Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth),
and Thalia (Good Cheer). Eurynome, a child of the Titan, Ocean was their
mother, and Zeus was the father. They are not usually treated as separate
personalities, but together they are a symbol of grace and beauty. They
gave life its bloom. They are a necessary feature of any good banquet at which
they dance around with their companions, the muses.
Question: Who is Antigone?
Answer: See the special page on Antigone at:
Question: role of women in Elizabethan England
Answer: May I remind you that Elizabeth was Queen of England and she ruled
England at a time when Royalty had real power. She decided not to marry
because she did not want her power diluted. So in her time one women ruled
England. And it was a time of glory for England so she ruled very well.
Elizabeth was a powerful example to women everywhere.
Question: pictures of athena
Answer: Click on the picture links in the special page on Athena at:
Question: how did aphrodite change the classical style?
Answer: When Praxiteles carved his naked Aphrodite he changed the direction
of Greek art forever. In fact this statue has a powerful impact even on
the artists of today. His work was much admired and much copied in ancient
times. Though the original of the statue is lost, the many copies that exist
continue to have their influence. His statue is not the most popular in the
world, but how can one fail to see his influence in the most popular statue,
namely, the Venus de Milo, which now rests in the Louvre in Paris, France.
Questions: where can i get pictures on The Role Of Women
Answer: Click on the links in this website. Go to the references in the
bibliography. What pictures are you looking for. I may provide them if the
subject is suitable.
Question: Why weren’t greek women aloud to fight if they were strong enough
Answer: Everyone thought their role was hard enough.
Question: Where the women also used for sex ?
Answer: Probably but see the special page on love and sex at:
Question: What knowledge were women expected to know in a normal household?
Answer: There were many crafts that a woman might know. In Homer, Iliad (1.110) Agamemnon states: “I would not accept the glorious ransom for the girl, the daughter of Chryses, since I much prefer to keep her in my home. For certainly I prefer her to Clytemnestra, my wedded wife, since she is not inferior to her, either in form or in stature, or in mind, or in any handiwork.” So bmen valued women for a number of reasons. Furthermore it was the husband’s responsibility to teach their wives anything they needed to know.
Question: Where can I find information about the so-called Ludovisi throne ?
Answer: ROME NATIONAL MUSEUM – Terme di Diocleziano is the location of the
Ludovici Throne. The Throne is part of the collection of the Palazzo Altemps
but during construction it can be seen at the Palazzo Massimo in Rome.
Views: Click here
Article reference: Click here
Question: can you tell me how goddess compare to mortal women
Answer: Goddesses are immortal. They are always pictured as larger than
ordinary women. They dress in finer immortal clothes and eat ambrosia. If
they are wounded they bleed ichor instead of blood and their wounds, though
painful, always heal. Each goddess has a separate realm in which she has power
unlike women who have generally the same roles. All goddesses have the power
to know all, but they can only act within their realm. An important goddess
such as Athena or Aphrodite has a large and important realm such as Wisdom
or Love. Thes goddesses often have parts of their realm that are realms of lesser goddesses who assist the more important goddess. A Nymph may be attached to the realm of a single spring. Like a feudal aristocrat the goddess has to hold court for her realm during which she listens to appeals (prayers) and promulgates laws of her realm.
Question: what are the social orders
Answer: In classical Greece the highest order was the citizen who was born
of citizen parents. Then came the freemen who were foreigners who resided in
Greece. Then there were the hetaerae, the women entertainers. Below these
were the slaves. Within the slaves there were temple slaves, private slaves,
and public slaves like prostitutes or miners who always performed one task
often to the profit of the master.
Question: what social orginations are in ancient greece
Answer: Many of the deities had dedicated cults that corresponded to
different social organizations. There were also organizations formed around
famous real or mythical persons, such as the Pythagoreans.
Answer: Most of the photos are in links to other sites which you must click
on to see. I cannot mount photos unless I have the rights. Here is one
of a contemporary woodcarving influenced by Praxiteles:
You should indicate the subjects needed and why.
Question: Where could I find pictures of different Greek goddesses?
Answer: This site links to lots of them. Search for the name and
click on the links. There is also an index at:
Question: can you find all the women of the renaissance?
Answer: No! But Queen Elizabeth I was a woman of the Renaissance.
Question: What is the role of Plato’s mother Perictyone
Answer: Perictyone may have been the mother or sister of Plato, but it
was more important that she was a Pythagorean writer and philosopher.
Aristotle praised one of her works, On Wisdom. Another book,
Concerning the Harmony of Women, dealt with the relationship between
body and spirit, thought and action.
Question: I was wondering what impact the role of these godesses and ancient
possibly matriarchal societies have on contemporary women?
Answer: I find a lot of interest. Realise that for the last 2000 years
the Greeks have provided the standard for education, and that for most of that
time the stories of the Greeks provided the only role models for women. Of
course it was not until the 19th century that substantial numbers of women
were educated, but even then the Greek Literature was their primary focus.
Modern feminists seem to have magnified the process, because of the finding
that pre-Greek societies might have been matriarchal. The truth is that
many early societies were matrilinial, not matriarchal, but they do seem to
have been more equalitarian. Only the Amazons were actually matriarchal.
Most people pass the Amazons off as a fiction, but I wonder….
Question: greek god
Answer: There were many Greek gods.
Question: How did the Greeks do there art and make it and why?
Answer: They used locally available materials and local artisans. They
are believed to have been religiously motivated, though, if we knew exactly
why, many people would try to reproduce the experience. This is what the
people of Florence (Firenza), Italy did during the Renaissance.
Question: Why does Herodotus incorporate Artemisia into his work?
Answer: She was one of the most distinguished women of antiquity.
Question: could you direct me to some information on the status of women in ancient times as in ‘Medea’ by Euripidies?
Answer: Medea does not reveal much about the status of ordinary women. She would be
an unusual, important woman anytime.
Question: Why are boys considered more valuable than girls?
Answer: They are stronger and they do not get pregnant. They are also
more likely to bring fame to the family, while famous women often bring shame.
In ancient Greece inheritance went only to the men, while women sometimes
had to come up with a dowry. This was certainly a prejudice toward the men.
Another factor is that the investment in a man can be quicly recovered through
his strength, while it takes a while for an investment in a women to pay off,
usually, after her children are educated. Both sexes are needed, but at different times.
Question: what did it mean for women in ancient Greece to be moral? what was women’s morality considered of?
Answer: This is a very complex question and you should realize this when
I give a simple answer. They were supposed to love honor and obey their
husbands, father, or some other male relative to whom they were responsible.
They would also need to respect the Gods. There were numerous riturals
that would need to be performed along these lines.
Question: What is Sophocles view of women? (For instance Electra)
Answer: He seems to mouth the standard Greek view when he has Electra say:
"I am one wasted in childlessness, with no loving husband for champion. Like some dishonored foreigner, I tenant my father's house in these ugly rags and stand at a scanty table"
Question: describe the Venus of Willendorf and the Minoan Snake goddess and how they are portrayed
Answer: The Venus of Willenforf is a fat pregnant female without a
personality. She is the symbol of the faceless earth-mother from whom we were
all born. The Minoan snake goddess has a strong personality. There is
determination in her face and power in her hands. She is the divine ruler
who directs our lives from afar.
Question: Ancient Greece time period
Answer: Greek art goes back a long time.
General periods are:
- Upper Paleolithic 7000 – 30,000 BCE (Cave Art)
- Neolithic 3500 – 7000 BCE (Rock Art, Fat Lady Fertility Figures)
- Bronze Age 3500 – 1000 BCE (Minoan Art)
- Archaic Greek 1000 – 470 BCE (Geometric Art)
- Classic Greek 470 – 338 BCE (Parthenon)
- Hellenistic 338 – 146 BCE (Venus de Milo)
- Roman 146 BCE – 500 AD (Pantheon)
- Byzantine 330 AD – 1453 AD
Question: woman spinning
Answer: Click here
Question: How would you compare the role of Medea to the role and character
Answer: Medea is an intelligent women who has power over nature. Antigone
is a moral woman with power over herself.
Question: what is Lebes
Answer: A pottery pot like the one being held here:
Question: what were some of the roles of the greek godess Athena??
Answer: Athena was mistress of technology, protector of cities, virgin war
goddess, patron of arts and crafts, and the personfication of wisdom. The key for wisdom in war is strategy. Athena embraces strategy and favors those who use it.
Question: what types of food would have been served in 5th century bc?
Answer: Food is discussed in the section on daily life at:
Question: Is there a defining moment when women went from the role of
goddess in Greek religion/art to subservient position in Greek society?
Answer: The moment that best defines this change is the death of
Clytaemnestra by her son Orestes. The winds of change had blown in such a
way that her son felt vengeance was necessary, and society at large absolved
him of sin. In an older time her welfare would have been more important.
Agamemnon obtained her as wife by killing the husband she had been married to
as a virgin. He then arranged to have her daughter, Iphigenia, killed as
a sacrifice. Finally, he brought back Cassandra, one of the most beautiful
women in the world to be his consort. You would think that Clytaemnestra
might have just reason to kill Agamemnon. In previous times her act would
have been accepted as just because a man had abused a women. But in her case
no one saw that. They only saw that a woman had killed a man. Before
her death who was king was determined by who married the queen. Agamemnon
was king because he killed the former king and took his place and wife. After
Clytaemnestra the son of the king, Orestes, became king.
Question: Who was Athena’s mother?
Answer: Metis (Prudence). See the special page on Athena at:
Click here. But there were myths that claimed Athena was born from the head of Zeus and had no mother.
Question: what is the reason that women were not allowed to act in ancient gree drama?
Answer: Greek drama was part of a religious festival that was for men only.
More information about this is on the special page for Grrek drama at:
Question: The obsession with beauty of the ancient greeks in art
Answer: This comes largely from the Greek’s regious zeal for the purity
and idealization of their deities. As to values the ancient Greeks placed health, beauty, and wealth in that order.
Question: Do you have information on the place Athena
Answer: There is a Cafe Athena in San Francisco. There is also an
Athena Restaurant (914) 664-4723 520 Gramatan Avenue, Mt. Vernon, New York.
There is also an Athena, Oregon, and of course Athens, Greece.
Question: What where their reasponsablitlies? Did they have to go to work or stay at home? If they
stayed at home what did they think of it? Did men get more privileges then the women?
Answer: Women’s responsibilities included having babies, cleaning, cooking,
spinning and weaving. Religion organised their time so they had little time
for reflection. Men may have gotten more priviledges but they also had more responsibilities. But you have to realize that the roles of women and men were quite hard at that time and, in particular, bearing children was quite dangerous.
Here is a picture of women drawing water at a fountain-house.
Question: What foods did the women make?
Answer: See the special page on daily life at:
Click here. Mainly they made bread.
Question: were the women able to vote?
Answer: Not in Classical Greece. See more details at:
Question: How does Ismene act as a foil to Antigone in the play Antigone and how does Ismene represent what a woman of this time period should be like?
Answer: This is answered on the special page on Antigone at:
Question: Can you please tell me more information on women and greek dance?
Answer: Dance was very important for Greek women. Their only formal
education was music and dance. As a part of their training the chorus members had to memorize many of the poems of the Ancient Greek author. Dance was a part of their religious festivals.
Dance was important at social occaisons and celebrations as well. There was
a crane dance that is pictured on Greek vases.
Question: How far back does Greek mythology go?
Answer: Most of the mythology was written down during the classical period,
470-378, with some being written during the archaic period, and some during
the Roman period. Before it was written there was an oral period which could
be quite old. The mortals mentioned usually lived just before and during
the Trojan war, while the deities are patterned after an even older people.
The traditions of the female deities such as Aphrodite and Athena may go back
25,000 years or more. Ther are come commonalities between the Greek myths and others in the Mid-east. This suggests that some of themyths may have developed from far older myths thatare common to a number of cultures.
Question: aphrodite of cnidos
Answer: This is the famous statue which Praxiteles carved; the first nude
goddess. The influence of this statue is pervaisive, and still much with us.
ore information is available in the special page of Aphrodite at:
Quetion: Each goddess was restricted to her own realm, so what they did
somehow involved that realm. They did not have to do anything for humans,
but if a human did nice things for a goddess, the goddess might grant a favor.
Goddesses were particulary fond of receiving libations, sacrifices of burnt
fat, or gifts and dedications. These favors always involved the realm of
the goddess although sometimes the goddess would make a trade
with some other deity. The Greeks felt that the goddesses had this nature
because it explaines the universe as they understood it.
Question: greek architechture
Answer: There is a special page on Greek architecture at:
Question: Iam looking for a site that lists the Greek Gods and Goddesses(particuarly the
goddesses)that gives illustrationsand information,any help?
Answer: This site does that, but there are many gods and goddesses. A list
is located at:
Question: How did the role of women in traditional festivals egThesmophoria
fit into this patriarchal society?
Answer: The women were fortunate in that they were able to maintain their
role in religious festivals. In fact their role in these festivals was
quite important and this helped to maintain the identity of the women.
Question: How does Leda with the Swan portray Greek women
Answer: The swan is a symbol of the goddess because the formation of
its flight is likened to the pubic triangle of the woman. Furthermore, the
swan is often a noble bird, associated with royalty. The swan was often
associated with the goddess who was often depicted as a bird. It is possible
that Zeus became a swan to mate with a goddess who was a swan. The rape
certainly satisfies the patriarchial desire to put women in a submissive mode,
but the symbols are one of dynamic power and beauty.
In the Homeric poems:
“XVII. TO THE DIOSCURI (5 lines)
(ll. 1-4) Sing, clear-voiced Muse, of Castor and Polydeuces, the
Tyndaridae, who sprang from Olympian Zeus. Beneath the heights
fo Taygetus stately Leda bare them, when the dark-clouded Son of
Cronos had privily bent her to his will.”
On the positive side, the rape serves to provide the heirs of Leda with the blood of Zeus without the consent of the mother. She retains her moral purity and they gain the blood of Zeus. In ancient Greek culture a young woman would pray to Zeus that her husband would infuse her husband with fertility so she would become pregnant. There is a sense in which all wives were raped by Zeus to become pregnant.
Some things you can conclude about Greek women from the story of Leda and
- Some Greek women are so desirable that even the gods take notice of them.
- Some women are raped, But this is an act of passion rather than violence.
- Some Greek women are capable of giving birth to children sired by the gods.
- Some Greek women have to be bent to a man’s will.
A picture of Leda with the swan is available at:
Leda and the swan was a popular subject among later artists, but their
interpretaion is quite different than that given by the Ancient Greeks. The
later artists focus on the passionate aspect of sex, while the ancient
interpretaion may have been concerned with inheritance and the nature of
The is a special page for Leda
Question: were greek art only of weman(sic)?
Answer: No, ancient Greek art imaged all phases of human activity.
Answer: There is a special page about Sappho at:
Answer: An ancient name for Aphrodite is Kupris. Cyprian means either a
devotee of Aphrodite or a resident of Cyprus. Aphrodite was named after
Cyprus because some people believe she was born there. The origin of the word ‘Cyprus’ is related to the word ‘copper’. Copper may take its name from the name of the island because copper was mined on the island from early times. The name is not likely Indo-European and so maybe a loan word perhaps from the Minoan Culture.
Question: Hello, I’m writing because I came upon your website via yahoo and was wondering if you had any information if henna was used to create designs on the body in ancient Greek
Goddess culture cults or so forth? Some sources have mentioned Hacate. I’m trying to confirm or dismiss this. This information is needed for a book I am finishing and I have found adding quotes from experts quite helpful. Thank you very much for your time.
Answer: I do not find any evidence of body painting among the ancient
Greeks back to about 2000 BCE. Greeks used masks which were painted, and they
had statuary which were marked as other cultures painted, but there are no
stories or depictions that involve this that I know of.
Question: what designs did they put on thier pottery
Answer: Wonderful scenes of human activity. This is some of the most
important pottery ever made. Though it is not as refined as the Greek
painting and sculpture, this is more a problem of the media than the skill
of the artist. Images on Greek pottery preserve the art and culture of the
time better than any other media. The subjects on the pottery tended to be
historical figures of over 800 years earlier, but the details tended to be
images of the contemporary society. Human activity was well covered but
contemporary portraits, landscapes, and architecture were totally lacking.
Question: I can’t find any information on amazons any where. Did they realy did exist, or did the men just try to cover up the fact that women were more then(sic) beauty? Where can I find more information about them (amazons)?
Answer: I have a special page on Amazons at: Click here. My special page has more information. They might have existed, but the Greek men treated them as monsters. Some men have tried to cover them up, but other like them.
Question: am i stupid
Answer: Probably not. You seem to be able to operate a computer to get you
to a productive web site. This is intelligence.
Question: did euripides and sophocles try to stand for women’s rights or no?
Answer: They really did not know anything about rights. They just reported
the realities they saw around them. We are lucky that part of their reality
included these stories from ancient times which included women who were active
in their societies.
Question: who is the goddess of woods?
Question: Was Antigone one of the first women in Greek myth. to have her own personality? One of the original idea of ancient drama was that the actor becomes the character. so Antigone does have a personality in this way. In the oldest play ‘The Suppliants’ (Aeschylus) there are female roles but no personalities. But in the Agamemnon (Aeschylus) several femal personalities are evident.
Answer: According to Greek Myth, Pandora was the first mortal woman.
Antigone was the descendant of Europa.
Question: what was the Greek goddess Venus
Answer: Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The equivalent
Greek goddess was Aphrodite.
Question: woman dress
Answer: see the special webpage on clothes at:
Question: Who is the one-eyed son of Poseidon?
Answer: The Cyclopes Polyphemus.
Question: what were some important laws relating to ancient greek women?
Answer: Women were treated as the property of men.
Answer: Hecate was a goddess of the underworld, of the dark
places, of the black night when the moon is hidden. She was one
of the aspects of Artemis. She was the part of Artemis assocaited
with death. Hecate could appear triple as the Gorgons, of which Medusa was one.
Question: Can you give me an example of an ancient greek play?
Answer: There is a special page on Greek drama at:
Click here. As an example of a play read Aristophenes
Question: Can you please give me some info on a famous ancient greek play (any play is fine)
Answer: See the previous answer. The play the frogs is a satire about
Question: Where can I find examples of ancient Greek nude women?
Question: Do you know where I can get pictures of the goddess Styx?
Answer: The following picture should work:
It is actually a picture of a Nereid and Styx was actually an Oceanid.
The following picture shows Styx’s father Okeanos with the tail of a
Answer: Quotes from Hesiod about Styx:
“(ll. 346-370) Also she brought forth a holy company of daughters
(15) who with the lord Apollo and the Rivers have youths in their
keeping — to this charge Zeus appointed them — Peitho, and
Admete, and Ianthe, and Electra, and Doris, and Prymno, and
Urania divine in form, Hippo, Clymene, Rhodea, and Callirrhoe,
Zeuxo and Clytie, and Idyia, and Pasithoe, Plexaura, and
Galaxaura, and lovely Dione, Melobosis and Thoe and handsome
Polydora, Cerceis lovely of form, and soft eyed Pluto, Perseis,
Ianeira, Acaste, Xanthe, Petraea the fair, Menestho, and Europa,
etis, and Eurynome, and Telesto saffron-clad, Chryseis and Asia
and charming Calypso, Eudora, and Tyche, Amphirho, and Ocyrrhoe,
and Styx who is the chiefest of them all. These are the eldest
daughters that sprang from Ocean and Tethys; but there are many
besides. For there are three thousand neat-ankled daughters of
Ocean who are dispersed far and wide, and in every place alike
serve the earth and the deep waters, children who are glorious
“(ll. 383-403) And Styx the daughter of Ocean was joined to Pallas
and bare Zelus (Emulation) and trim-ankled Nike (Victory) in the
house. Also she brought forth Cratos (Strength) and Bia (Force),
wonderful children. These have no house apart from Zeus, nor any
dwelling nor path except that wherein God leads them, but they
dwell always with Zeus the loud-thunderer. For so did Styx the
deathless daughter of Ocean plan on that day when the Olympian
Lightener called all the deathless gods to great Olympus, and
said that whosoever of the gods would fight with him against the
Titans, he would not cast him out from his rights, but each
should have the office which he had before amongst the deathless
gods. And he declared that he who was without office and rights
as is just. So deathless Styx came first to Olympus with her
children through the wit of her dear father. And Zeus honoured
her, and gave her very great gifts, for her he appointed to be
the great oath of the gods, and her children to live with him
always. And as he promised, so he performed fully unto them all.”
“(ll. 775-806) And there dwells the goddess loathed by the
deathless gods, terrible Styx, eldest daughter of back-flowing
(23) Ocean. She lives apart from the gods in her glorious house
vaulted over with great rocks and propped up to heaven all round
with silver pillars. Rarely does the daughter of Thaumas, swift-
footed Iris, come to her with a message over the sea’s wide back.
But when strife and quarrel arise among the deathless gods, and
when any of them who live in the house of Olympus lies, then Zeus
sends Iris to bring in a golden jug the great oath of the gods
from far away, the famous cold water which trickles down from a
high and beetling rock. Far under the wide-pathed earth a branch
of Oceanus flows through the dark night out of the holy stream,
and a tenth part of his water is allotted to her. With nine
silver-swirling streams he winds about the earth and the sea’s
wide back, and then falls into the main (24); but the tenth flows
out from a rock, a sore trouble to the gods. For whoever of the
deathless gods that hold the peaks of snowy Olympus pours a
libation of her water is forsworn, lies breathless until a full
year is completed, and never comes near to taste ambrosia and
nectar, but lies spiritless and voiceless on a strewn bed: and a
heavy trance overshadows him. But when he has spent a long year
in his sickness, another penance and an harder follows after the
first. For nine years he is cut off from the eternal gods and
never joins their councils of their feasts, nine full years. But
in the tenth year he comes again to join the assemblies of the
deathless gods who live in the house of Olympus. Such an oath,
then, did the gods appoint the eternal and primaeval water of
Styx to be: and it spouts through a rugged place.”
RWAAG Home, Hecate–>