Women and Religion in Ancient Athens

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What may women have prayed for?
A happy marriage or a male child, but she did not have a personal relationship with Roman deities.
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What opportunities in festivals did women take advantage of?
It gave them the opportunity to be seen, to live, and play an important role in the outside world.
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Tell us about the Kanephoros.
The maiden was selected to play a part in public sacrifices. Would have come from a wealthy family. In weddings, she would have been unmarried.
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Tell us about the Arrephoria
Two girls from the age of 7-10 would have been chosen. They carried a basket to the Acropolis during night time. This was dedicated to Artemis. The gods would kill the girls who looked inside the basket.
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What is the story behind the Arrephoria festival?
The goddess Artemis asked her father if she would be a virgin goddess and would inflict punishment on any man who would violate that rite. When girls were about to marry, they presented the goddess with their childhood toys.
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Tell us about the Arketeia festival.
The girls were said to be playing the role of bears and needed to get rid of their wild side before the possibility of marriage.
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Tell us about the Thesmophoria festival.
It was a three day festival dedicated to the goddess Demeter. They left their homes, fasted and celebrated with alcohol. Only married women were allowed to attend.
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Tell us about the Adonia.
This was a two day festival dedicated to the death and resurrection of Adonis, lover of Aphrodite. The women would beat themselves on the first day and would celebrate on the second.
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What about Chief priestesses?
They had an official standing in society, and were allowed to have their name read out in public. She could sign contracts and conduct business like men.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What opportunities in festivals did women take advantage of?

Back

It gave them the opportunity to be seen, to live, and play an important role in the outside world.

Card 3

Front

Tell us about the Kanephoros.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Tell us about the Arrephoria

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is the story behind the Arrephoria festival?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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