Ancient Greece was made up of various city-states, but two of the most prominent of regions involved the traditions and ways of the Spartans and Athenians. The two cultures differed in many ways, including the way women were viewed and treated. In this article, you will learn more about females, husbands, and marriage during ancient Greek times.
The majority of Greek families during ancient times were comprised of a mother, father, and their offspring. However, it was also typical to see married couples in Greece living amongst other family members. For instance, the parents of the husband may share the same home with their son if they were still alive and not living with another brother. Slaves also lived at home with their masters. Depending on the circumstances, unmarried sisters or widowed sisters may choose to live with one of their brothers.
Wealthy Greek women barely left their home. When they did, it was to attend a wedding, funeral, or other religious ceremony. Sometimes, they were allowed to visit other women. Women who were poor and didn’t have the luxury of a slave would sometimes leave their home to fetch water from a fountain, sell items at the market, or work in the fields.
The women of Sparta were known for being outspoken and adventurous females. Even their clothing was freer, as they wore short, loose tunics. Younger females participated in exercises just like boys. Both genders exercised in the nude. The females were also encouraged to further their intellectual skills.
The husband of an Athenian woman spent little time at his own home. The majority of his day was spent listening to philosophers and participating in discussions about politics. The husband of a Spartan woman spent longer stretches of time away from the home. The women usually kept the household together. It was the men of Sparta who made the decisions about the state and the actions of the army. Because they were married to dominant men, the women of Sparta also reaped the benefits.
The Athenian calendar had a month called Gamelion, which was the Greek word for wedding. It took place during the wintertime and was the time of the year where the majority of Athenian weddings were held. The ceremony involved an elaborate ceremony with sacrifices and other rituals.
Many marriages in ancient Greece ended in divorce. If this took place, the man had to return the woman’s dowry so that she would have money. The children stayed with the father, where they learned how to tend to a farm (if their father owned one) or take on the skills or business of their father. Divorces were granted for many different reasons. If a wife was unable to bear any children, a divorce could be granted. When a wife committed adultery, it was a legal requirement to get a divorce.