Social structure and political organisation Role and status of women :…
Social structure and political organisation Role and status of women : royal and non- royal
Enjoyed economic and legal power
The greeks portray Persian kings as 'slaves to their women"
Persians followed polygamy, as seen by Darius and Xerxes. They often married family members in order to keep wealth and power within the family. The also had concubines who had a high status but children weren't heirs to the throne
Women who gave birth had more rations and if it was a boy they received double. Seems of mothers and children appear a lot in Persian art.
Played large role in the empire as most kings had deep affection for their wives and concubines
They were often married for political reasons . As seen by Darius who had multiple strategic marriages to solidify their rule and keep the Achaemenid dynasty alive
The kings mothers and daughters were honoured
They took part in palace ceremonies and banquets and weren't hidden in court.
Persian noble women used weapons like a bow and javelin and learnt how to ride and hunt
they indirectly influenced political outcomes
Persian royal women weren't secluded - they could travel and were rich .
They could own property, had high status and controlled almost 500 workers if rich
worked in food production and other industries - could be higher ranked and paid more then men
At persepolis the tablets show the highest paid workers were women. They could have salaries 3x that of men in similar jobs.
Women were supervisors of work groups =
and they received high wine and grain rations
indirect role = royal mother of king had a minimal influence
Persian women had more power then greek women
. Artystone and darius
Women could own property, engage in trade, were given passports and travel with the army in war
Women weren't included in armies but some women from the satrapies did command forces eg. Artemisia
women could participate in the worship of Ahuramazda, women were priestesses in egyptian religion
- queen and naval commander - prominent at salamis "my men have become women and my women have become men" - Xerxes
Mania of Dardanus
- wife of Persian sub-satrap Zenis, became sub-satrap when husband died. Very successful and well liked as a satrap
Women of the court
Achaemenid society was patriarchal and women are not often mention or shown in inscriptions
The persepolis fortification tablets are administrative records which name and show the economic transactions of women
Persian women didnt have inheritance, and the estate of her family was passed to her husband if she had no family. However women could be given wealth
Darius gave his daughter Arystone 100 sheep
'No-one shared the table of a Persian king except his mother or his wedded wife'
Modern historian Brosius showed the power of achaemenid royal women through the tablets showing Drystone owned 3 estates and rations of grain and wine