Ancient Greek women

By: M. Zarling

Who are some Greek Women?

Some Greek women were the Spartan and Athen women. Their lifestyles were both similar but different. They were rivals but came together when needed help.

The Spartan women were expected to be physically tough, emotionally and physically. They worked on being strong, learned athletic training, and learned how to defend themselves. The emphasis on army made the family life less important. Women spent much time apart from their husbands. The Spartan women had more freedom then their husbands. They were allowed to own property and were expected to watch over husband's property if he was at war. They were expected to be good wives and mothers.

The Athen women roles were respected because they helped keep the family and society strong and together. They learned household duties from their mothers. Some women fulfilled important religious roles such as priestesses in temples. The Athen women were not legal citizens. Even though they were respected they had less freedom than Spartan women. They could only inherit property if their fathers had no sons. The women didn't attend school but few learned how to read and write.

What the Greek women did

The Greek women jobs were to run the house and raise the kids. The wives did most of the work in the house. They spun thread and wove clothes in every family. In prosperous families, the wives watched the slaves. Women were permitted little entertainment outside the home, except for religious festivals. Women were in legal control of her father before she gets married. After she gets married, she is under legal control of her husband. Girls were married by mid teens but men married around 30. Marriage is usually set up by parents. When they married, they received a dowry. Their husband controlled the dowry but if divorced the wife gets it back. The dowry most likely gets passed down to their children.


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Here is a map of where the ancient greek women lived. In bold black ink it shows where the Athen's and Spartan's lived.

Why the women did their jobs

The men of ancient Greece were expected to serve and take active part in the public life of the city. Since the men were gone the women were expected to lead their private life as a women and wife at home.

What the Greek women wear

Women wear belted garmet of linen or wool that fell to the ankles. In cold weather, women wear a draped cloak over their shoulders and arms. They wear sandals on their feet. Women were permitted little entertainment outside the home, except for religious festivals.