In history, we have been looking at the lives of Ancient Greek women and trying to draw conclusions based on the clay pots from the time. The children examined a range of evidence and wrote about their findings:
How were women treated in Ancient Greece?
Long ago in ancient Greece women were treated very badly and had emotional and controlled lives. Back then, men were at the top of the hierarchy system and were superior to all women rich or poor. This information is definite because the pots which bear the evidence where made by Greeks are in museums in pieces.
Although pots are the only link historians have to the life of Athenians, they are not very reliable as they are now cracked and the images are decaying. Also female Athenians had very little time to socialise with other Greek women because of their tottering pile of housework: weaving, cooking and cleaning. One of the few times Greek women got to socialise with friends is when they were doing chores outside like water collecting. On the other hand, there were rich woman who were not as limited as the poor and were allowed to hold parties with friends. It is still very hard to judge a Greek woman’s life because most potters were men and were not interested in painting women.
Overall Greek women used to be treated badly and sometimes Greece was not a very nice place to live if you were a woman.
Life in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece was home to many types of people. Poor, wealthy, young and old. Unlike the environment it is now, there was a lot of differences between men and women. This account will focus on this point and will back it up with evidence from pots.
What women did
It was a women’s job to collect water from the fountain. This was the only time which women were able to socialise. The rest of the time they were housebound. There was a pot made in Ancient Greece that showed this happened. The pot did also show hierarchy in the fact that women were less important than men and women were slightly more important than dogs and other animals. It also showed the women putting the pot under a lion-headed spout. In another picture, a woman was seen making bread. This was probably because, on other pots, it is shown that it is a woman’s job to do the cooking and cleaning. This means that a woman’s life consisted of exhausting chores. However, a woman’s life varied depending on their wealth. If you were poorer, you would probably be out of the house more than a wealthier woman. Again, this doesn’t apply to all women but a majority were included in this.
How some women were treated
As women were considered a lower class compared to men, there were several things they were not allowed to do. They were not allowed to take part in parliamentary votes. But there was another thing, which was becoming increasingly more popular, that women were not allowed to do. The Olympics! Ancient Greek women were forbidden to take part in the games. This probably made the women feel even more miserable. The men were off to take part in a very fun series of games.
A day in the life of a Greek Woman
The beginning of a Greek woman’s day would probably consist of waking up and getting the breakfast ready or getting the slaves to do it. If the woman was rich, she would probably have a slave do it but if she was poor, she would have to do the work. Then the woman would probably have to go and collect water from the fountain. The rest of the day would probably be spent cleaning their houses and (if you are rich) organising the slaves or (if you were poor) cooking dinner. It would be a very tiresome day. If your husband organised a dinner party, you would not be allowed to join in. It was a very unfair life.
It was very difficult to get hold of evidence as there were not many pots on Greek women. This could be for several reasons: women did not do important enough activities or all the artists were men who did not want to paint women. Both reasons were extremely biased and caused historians to not be able to give accurate facts.
What it was like in the Ancient Athens as a woman?
The focus of this account will be on Ancient Athens and how the women were being treated there, we got this evidence from the pots left from their time.
Some women in Ancient Athens were housebound; that means they can’t get out of the house. Rich women were allowed out of the house, but poor women can’t get out of the house because of all the jobs they have to do in the house, such as weaving, making clothes and cooking. The men were more superior than the women, that’s what we can tell from the pots.
Furthermore, some of the pots are not clear what is happening.
The only place poor women could meet was when collecting water for their families. That’s where they could socialise and say what they are up to. Some women had to walk for miles and miles.
Other women don’t have to do anything because they were rich so they had slaves do it for them.
Also rich women had nice jewellery. We can tell from the pots we have found.
Some of the pots are hard to tell because they are cracked or broken and we can’t see the full life of an Athenian woman.
In conclusion this account highlights that Ancient Athens was not a nice place to live if you were a poor woman.