The following text is useful for those who are taking Greek language lessons or learn Greek by themselves and want to the GCSE Classical Greek exams

Athenian women and girls were kept at home with no participation in sports or politics. Wives were considered property of their husbands. They were responsible for spinning, weaving and other domestic arts.

Some women held high posts in the ritual events and religious life of Athens (where the goddess Athena was the patron). Prostitutes and courtesans were not confined to the house. Some became influential such as Aspasia (Pericles’wife).

There were other classes of women though, which were less respectable than a citizen wife. These included hetaera, pornoi, poor women, and slaves. If there was a woman in the middle of an intellectual debate in public park, she was a hetaera (courtesan). Courtesans had the ability to go where they wanted, when they wanted. They were normally educated in dancing, singing, music, conversation, and other ways of pleasing men. Most were intelligent women, well-educated and able to intellectually entertain their guests. These women were not as respected as wives, but the benefit was a much greater freedom.

Pornoi (prostitutes) were much less respected and either plied their wears on the street or in a brothel. Many brothels were owned by the state. Poor women might be forced to take a job in the marketplace, the fields, or in an inn. They were valued even lower than prostitutes but now as low as slaves. Slaves were common in ancient Athens and performed much of the domestic work needed in the household. With no rights whatsoever, slaves were at the mercies of their masters and mistresses with no legal recourse available.

The one exception to the classes of women were the priestesses. Priestesses were necessary to conduct and organize the over 100 annual religious events that occurred yearly in Athens. These women had high status, relative freedom, and remained unmarried. And as true today, most events would have fallen apart without their organization by women.

you can also read:Aspasia

Are you looking for Greek Lessons/ courses in Manchester or online with a professional teacher? Click here: Greek lessons to learn more about our Greek lessons. You can choose either face to face lessons – if you live in Manchester- or online courses

If you are looking for Classical Greek courses in Manchester or online, have a look at our Study Programs