Women's Life in Ancient Greece

Greek women had virtually no political rights of any kind and were controlled by men at nearly every stage of their lives. The most important duties for a city-dwelling woman were to bear children--preferably male--and to run the household. Duties of a rural woman included some of the agricultural work: the harvesting of olives and fruit was their responsibility, as may have been the gathering of vegetables. Since men spent most of their time away from their houses, Greek home life was dominated by women. The wife was in charge of raising the children, spinning, weaving and sewing the family´s clothes. She supervised the daily running of the household. In a totally slave-based economy, plentiful numbers of female slaves were available to cook, clean, and carry water from the fountain. Only in the poorest homes was the wife expected to carry out all these duties by herself. A male slave´s responsibilities were for the most part limited to being door-keeper and tutor to the male children. Click here for women's dress. Daily Life (Univ. Penn.)

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