WOMEN IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD (How are women represented in Greco-Roman…
WOMEN IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD
How are women represented in Greco-Roman Literature?
Literary sources for this period are mainly written by men, and are largely urban and elite voices
Authors largely fixed gaze chiefly on the men of various urban elites, on involvements of such men in politics/military, and on efforts of such men to create and sustain a "high culture" for those able to enjoy considerable leisure/educational opportunities/political power/social advantages (Hallet)
certain women (those from privileged/powerful backgrounds?) shared qualities and traits with men
notion facilitated and justified elite women's participation in what was normally seen as masculine pursuits
Places divine beings of both genders, on an apparently equal basis, engaging in in various activities which were monopolised on earth by mortal males
Launching a literary tradition: Gods represented anthropomorphically
gods having human form, organising themselves into a human familial structure, but with superhuman powers/privileges
AND BOTH GREEK AND ROMAN AUTHORS PORTRAYING FEMALE DIVINITIES AS BEHAVING IN WAYS CONTRARY TO THE GENDER STEREOTYPES ROUTINELY APPLIED TO MORTALS
Female divinities engaged in warfare and taking part in acts of physical aggression
8.381-396: Goddesses Hera and Athene arming for battle
the passage could easily describe the effots of males
"Hera harnesses horses, and Athene dons her father Zeus' fighting gear before the two ride off in a chariot through the sky" (Hallet)
Athene: "with behaviour commonly regarded as the province of both divine and mortal males" (Hallet) BUT involves her mental, rather then physical abilities
uses disguises - usually male
treated no differently by Zeus to male immortals, and acts no differently
Homer's tradition of male-female sameness through immortals had a huge impact on the depiction of men and women in Greco-Roman Literature
female divinities and immortals shown with similar traits and characteristics to their male counterparts, and male mortals
What were the lives of women like at home and at work?
Family Values (Augustus)
What roles did women have in public life?
What forms of participations did women have in religious life?