Archaic Greek Women

It has been noticed that the women of Archaic Greek period are not comparatively strong as compared to the men. The basic responsibility of the women of Archaic Greek period, is to remain at home and take care of their children. Three were two major and renowned civilisation of archaic Greek period, namely, “Sparta and Athens”.  It has been observed that the women of both civilisation are not treated well as compared to men (Dillon & Garland, 2010).

The women of Archaic Greek, are not allowed to take part in the social activities. The main responsibility of women is to grown up their children and to look after the slaves. Mostly they spend their time in domestic activities. They were not allowed to have any kind of relation and communication with the strangers or the men of other family. Although women took active part in the religious activities and were able to enjoy their festivals.

The women were prohibited to take part in the political activities. In Athens society, women are not eligible to vote and own a piece of land. Also they were not able to inherit a piece of land from their ancestors. While in Sparta, women could inherit from the property of their ancestors. The women in ancient Greek period were also gone through military training, in order to make their defence strong. It has been observed that the women got married, before the age of 18 years. The women were only allowed to receive basic education from their parents and ancestors. They learnt domestic skills like weaving of clothes and cooking, in order to pursue their career (Laios et al., 2017).

Classical Greek Women

The women of Classical Greek, were able to take part in the cultural activities, such as festivals and religious events with men. The women were usually remains at home, and responsible to do domestic activities, which mainly includes the weaving of woollen clothes Women were responsible to look after their children and also educate them. The young women were responsible to bring water to home from nearby wells and ponds. It has been observed that the women from poor families of Classical Greek, also worked to earn money (Winkler, 2013). 

The women of Classical Greek period were not given the right of leadership and were not be able to own the basic right of citizenship. The women got married usually at the age of 14 or 15. Mostly the young girls of this society were grown up under the supervision of nurses. These nurses taught them basic skills and health tips, to live a healthy life. The women were not allowed to leave their homes, in order to receive better and more education.  The women were strongly discouraged to have any kind of relation with the men of other family before marriage. It has been observed that in several cases, the women were fined death penalty, if they found having illegal sexual relationship with strangers. Although, women were allowed to communicate and have friendship with other women (Toscano, 2013).    

It has been observed that the average age of women in Classical Greek period was observed to be forty years. The women responsible to look after the graves or tombs of their family members. Women visited their tomb, in order to repair them and to do prayers for their deceased ancestors. The women of Classical Greek society were allowed to attend public events and speeches. But they were prohibited to take part in politics of the society.

Republican Roman Women

Women in the Republican Rome had got the right of citizenship. But still they were not to take part in politics of the society. Also women were not eligible to give their advice in the political affairs of the society. The women of Republican Rome were very brave as compared to the women of other societies. There were some examples, where women were found leading the army troops. In several cases, it has been observed that these women did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their country or land (“Women in ancient Rome: a sourcebook,” 2014). 

In Republican Roman society, girls, usually at the age of 13, were supposed to be married. The marriage was mutually arranged by the parents or guardians of both the couple. In their marriage ceremonies, a pig is supposed to sacrifice and prayers were held. Even after the marriage the women has legal connection with her father. The husband had no legal control over his wife. It has been observed that the women remain loyal to her father, even after the marriage. Also the women are not eligible to inherit the whole property of her deceased husband.

During the rule of Augustus, a campaign was started, according to which, every men and women over the age of 20, were given strict punishment, if they were found to have secret sexual relationship. This movement results in improving the family relationships. It has been observed that the women were died after giving birth to some children, due to their weak structure and poor health facilities. The women were responsible for making clothes of their family members and were also responsible for shopping of daily groceries (Bielman, 2012).

Imperial Roman Women

In the imperial Roman society, the women had given the right of citizenship. They are allowed to legally inherit the property from their father. It has been observed that the imperial Roman society had given some legal rights to the women. The women were eligible to acquire a piece of land and could run or regulate it according to her will. They can challenge the decision of the judiciary system, Women are prohibited to participate in the decision making process of the society. The society did not allow women to hold a political status and were also not eligible to participate in the legislation making process (James & Dillon, 2012).

The daily routine of the women belongs to the poor class includes washing, cooking, making handicrafts and looking after the children, while the women belongs to rich families involve in reading books and literature. The women were eligible to run their financial matters. They were free to do business, or could own a property or even can rule a territory, if their husband or men died in the war field. The women can also take divorce from their men by mutual understanding (Boatwright, 2011).

In Imperial Roman period, the girls were married, when they were seemed to be mature i.e. around the age of twenty years. The main duty of the women is to remain at home and look after the domestic activities. According to the society regulations the women remain obedient to their men. After marriage the women were also called by their husband’s name. The women are mostly involved in the occupation of nurses, mid wives, agriculture and handicrafts.


Bielman, A. (2012). Female Patronage in the Greek Hellenistic and Roman Republican Periods. In A Companion to Women in the Ancient World.

Boatwright, M. T. (2011). Women and gender in the Forum Romanum. In Transactions of the American Philological Association.

Dillon, M., & Garland, L. (2010). Ancient greece social and historical documents from archaic times to the death of Alexander the Great. In Ancient Greece Social and Historical Documents from Archaic Times to the Death of Alexander the Great.

James, S. L., & Dillon, S. (2012). A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. In A Companion to Women in the Ancient World.

Laios, K., Moschos, M. M., Koukaki, E., Kontaxaki, M. I., & Androutsos, G. (2017). Homosexuality according to ancient Greek physicians. Psychiatrike = Psychiatriki.

Toscano, M. M. (2013). The eyes have it: Female desire on Attic Greek vases. Arethusa.

Winkler, J. J. (2013). The constraints of desire: The anthropology of sex and gender in ancient greece. In The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece.

Women in ancient Rome: a sourcebook. (2014). Choice Reviews Online.


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