Presentation on theme: "Women in the ancient Greek world"— Presentation transcript:
1 Women in the ancient Greek world Questioning Women’s SeclusionJane Rempel, Lecturer in Classical ArchaeologyNatasha Andronikou, PhD candidate, Archaeology17 June 2014
2 Questioning women’s seclusion Ancient texts tell us women were kept separate from men in the ancient Greek houseI showed her the women's quarters too, separated by a bolted door from the men's, so that nothing which ought not to be moved may be taken out, and that the servants may not breed without our leave. (Xenophon, Oikonomikos 9.5) …my dwelling is on two floors, the upper being equal in space to the lower, with the women's quarters above and the men's below. (Lysias I, 9-10)A drawing of Vitruvius’ (6.7) description of ‘The Greek House’. Note the ‘gynaikonitis’ or women’s quarters.
3 The ‘typical’ Greek house Key features of the ‘typical’ Greek house:CourtyardNarrow entranceColonnaded space (pastas, prostas)Andronoikospastas corridorcorridorcourtyardshopandron
4 Space for men: the andron Mentioned in ancient texts Villa of Good FortuneOlynthus, 4th century BCESpace for men:the andronMentioned in ancient textsIdentifiable archaeologically:off-set doorwaysmosaics and wall decorationraised or undecorated area for benchesFor a reconstruction of the andron in the Villa of Good Fortune, see:
5 Finding women in the Greek house Access analysis, ethnographic analogy:Concern with privacy:entrance alignment off-axis obscuring views from streetwindows small and high up, often only in andron‘oikos’ unit in most difficult to accessExclusion of external men, rather than seclusion of womenshop and andron accessibility directly from street and courtyardcourtyard and pastas acting as mediating spaces‘oikos’‘screen’corridorMediatingexternal visitorsshopandronL. Nevett, 1994, 1998, 2010
6 Mapping ‘women’s work’: artifact distribution Olynthus, House A vii 4Cahill (2002) has shown that artifacts associated with women are found in most rooms of the houses of OlynthusPortable furnitureActivities according to light, weather, visitorsAll spaces versatileWomen had access to the whole houseloomweightsN. Cahill, Olynthus 2002table and cooking waresjewellery