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Resources for the study of the Life of Women in Art in Ancient Greece

 


Resources for the study of the Life of Women in the Art of Ancient Greece

Questions and Answers:

Question: Thank you for making available to me a lengthy account of the
Iliad and the Odyssey. I teach third grade and we read these works in a
children’s version. Question: Do you know of a children’s version of
Virgil’s Aenead? As we approach the beginnings of Roman History, I’d like to
launch it with Aenid’s adventure after he fled the burning Troy. Could you
refer me to a book suitable to third graders?

In case you don’t already know, I have a superb account of Iliad and
Odyssey in a book printed in Italy originally with arrangement by Dami
Editore, published by Barnes & Noble, Inc. 1991 (ISBN 0-88029-621-6. It is
excellent and my class loved reading it aloud together. You may want to know
this if you don’t already.

Thank you for such a thorough and comprehendable account of great literature.

I eagerly await your reply. I’m new at the computer and marvel at what we
have access to.

Answer: You need to get involved with:
www.vroma.orgVROMA, A Virtual
Community for Teaching and Learning Classics.

Females judged by a different set of standards from the males. in Oresteia; Eumenides; Sophocles – Oedipus The King; Euripides – Medea; Seneca – Phaedra. Any guidance?

There is a tremendous amount of info on this. You may want to focus on one situation. The most obvious is the story of Atalanta. The part of her story most relevant is her participation in the Calydonian Boar Hunt for which see Click Here. You could also compare the treatment of Penelope with her son Telemachus and her husband Odysseus. Achilles is a foil for a number of women. Iphigenia was promised as a bride but was sacrificed. Briseis was literally his sex slave after he killed her family. Polyxena was sacrified on his grave so he was wedded to her in death. And finally it is said he married Helen in the Elysian fields because only he was worthy of her. There was also the Amazon Penthesilia who he killed and then was so taken with her beauty that he was involved with necrophilia. In Homer women are important but their role is distinct from the men. The most touching account is that of Hector and Andromache. Possibly as a result of these differences the classical Greeks set up different worlds for their women with women in the home and men on the outside. So they were certainly judged by different standards. In Euripides’ “Medea”, Medea discusses the rationale for this division. This material suggests that even the classical Greeks were aware of the difficulties of this division.

One difficulty that must be noted is that the women of ancient Greece did not record their side of the situation very well. They were not denied education, but they were not encouraged to be educated. The children were left in the care of their mothers until they were 6 or seven. The ancient Greeks did not realize the contribution of the mothers to the development of their children during this period. Had they they might have educated them. After this period the boys were expected to attend school. The girls were not so required and many did not. Even so some girls pursued their own education either at school, from their siblings, or from their fathers. The result is that the Classical Greek women, as a class, were some of the best educated ever. And they did write. But not as much as their male peers. And the cultures that came after them seemed to interpret the writings of the male Greeks as indicating that women were inferior. So they tended not to preserve the works of the women. There is even a suggestion that the later cultures removed the names of women from the works. So there is a problem getting an objective view of the actual situation.