Importance of women and the law in Athens

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Proof of marriage

"our mother, the legitimate daughter of Ciron"

"he held a wedding feast"

"took an oath according to the established customs"

The shows us that she was an individual who was born to parents who were both Athenian and she that her husband did not marry an alien, otherwise he would lose his status, citizenship and her children would be forced into slavery. The father was the true father as failure would lead to questions and prejudice his registration with the deme.

Problems: Only from one persons point of view. The son wants to claim inheritance from the mother's estate, so he might be exaggerating slightly. Therefore we do not know that all the things she did were true.

Theory vs Reality: This shows the reality because the Athenians had to prove that the were tre citizens, otherwise they would lose their citizenship, they would cause shame (aidos) in the polis and oikos and their children would be forced into slavery.

How to train a wife

"quite knowledgable about food"

"I shall share with me everything you brought with you"

She had an education about being a housewife, therefore having a sheltered life so she would not cause trouble and gain too much power. She is under control of her husband, therefore would not be able to own property but will be able to use the property.

Problems: It is fiction, so it is only used as an example to show men how women in Athens should behave, therefore they would not gain too much power. It is also used to make fun of Ischomachus because he thought his wife was following the laws.

Theory vs Reality: Theory because it is showing how women should behave in theory and not have too much power by not knowing too much information, be a good housewife and that women should…


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