<ul><li>In the 5th century BC, Athens: </li></ul><ul><li>Defeated the Persian Empire and it became the leader of the Greeks. </li></ul><ul><li>It prospered and became far richer </li></ul><ul><li>It gave great philosophers and artists , such a Socrates, Platon, Aristoteles </li></ul><ul><li>It beautyfied itself with buildings and statues. </li></ul><ul><li>It invented the theatre as a genre </li></ul><ul><li>It protected its citizens with laws and let them vote in the organization of the first democracy in the History ... And it was proud of it. </li></ul>
The Athenian men lived in this context. But, How did the Athenian women spend their lives?
Athenian democracy gave no legal or politic rights to women . What society expected from women was that, after marriege , they applied for the care and the management of the home and they were ...
Marriage Fathers or legal tutors arranged the marriages to her and to him. The marriage was an economic matter. Love was unimportant to get married.
Wife , Concubine and Hetaera Once a man appeared in court, saying: “ We have hetaerai for our pleasure, concubines for our daily cares and wives to have legal children with and they were faithful guardians of our home” In PSEUDO-DEMOSTHENES’ oration: AGAINST NEAIRA
WIVES: Wives lived with their husbands, carefully secluded in their home and bore them legitimate children. But , to become a wife, she had to have a dowry. The husband had to give the dowry back if they got divorced .
Concubines: A concubine didn’t get married, but maintained personal and sexual relations with a married man who she used to attract herself through her beauty, cares and flattery, since he was her protection and her sustenance. Her children didn’t have the same rights as the legitimate children. The State or the law took no part in this kind of relationship
<ul><ul><li>Prostitutes and Hetaerai: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prostitutes were usually slaves who mostly earned one obulus for their professional services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A hetaera was a woman in a special class who served as a companion to men of the wealthy class. They had special training and were freer than the men’s wives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They were very influential and served as a social arrangers, advisers, entertainers and even as courtesans . </li></ul></ul>
P. Mazon, editor of Aristophanes’ works, wrote: “ Nobody would have minded If Pericles had liked boys , if he hadn’t done well by his first wife , but to most people it was scandalous that he would consider his second woman as a human being , that he would live with her without secluding to the women’s room , that he would invited his friends with their wives. That was all too surprising to be natural, and Aspasia was too brilliant to be an honest woman.”