- Slides: 6
Women in the ancient Greek world Questioning Women’s Seclusion Jane Rempel, Lecturer in Classical Archaeology Natasha Andronikou, Ph. D candidate, Archaeology 17 June 2014
Questioning women’s seclusion Ancient texts tell us women were kept separate from men in the ancient Greek house I 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.
The ‘typical’ Greek house Key features of the ‘typical’ Greek house: oikos • Courtyard • Narrow entrance pastas corridor • Colonnaded space (pastas, prostas) • Andron shop courtyard andron
Villa of Good Fortune Olynthus, 4 th century BCE Space for men: the andron • Mentioned in ancient texts • Identifiable archaeologically: • off-set doorways • mosaics and wall decoration • raised or undecorated area for benches For a reconstruction of the andron in the Villa of Good Fortune, see: http: //www. artic. edu/aic/resources/resource/ 2660? search_id=1&index=0
Finding women in the Greek house Access analysis, ethnographic analogy: • Concern with privacy: – entrance alignment off-axis obscuring views from street – windows small and high up, often only in andron – ‘oikos’ unit in most difficult to access ‘oikos’ corridor ‘screen’ • Exclusion of external men, rather than seclusion of women – shop andron accessibility directly from street and courtyard – courtyard and pastas acting as mediating spaces L. Nevett, 1994, 1998, 2010 shop Mediating external visitors andron
Mapping ‘women’s work’: artifact distribution Olynthus, House A vii 4 Cahill (2002) has shown that artifacts associated with women are found in most rooms of the houses of Olynthus • Portable furniture • Activities according to light, weather, visitors • All spaces versatile • Women had access to the whole house loomweights table and cooking wares jewellery N. Cahill, Olynthus 2002