Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze


Women's Lives

Clicking on the thumbnail will open a new browser window.

One of women's main tasks was to draw water at the local fountain everyday. The fountain became a gathering spot for women from the area and provided a place where they could meet other women, socialize, and form strong relationships with other women. On the right side of the image, you can see water pouring out of a lion head spout.
Woman feeding hen
Women also were responsible for various tasks on the farm, such as feeding livestock. In this scene, the woman is feeding a hen who shelters five chicks under her wings.
Inside the house, women were responsible for, among other things, food and weaving. One of the first tasks in weaving is to spin the thread of wool. The woman seated on a chair on the left has one bare foot propped on a special foot-support. Her chiton and mantle are pulled up above her knees, so that she can twist the loose wool around her leg prepatory to spinning it.
On this white ground lekythos, we see a seated woman prepared to receive a baby from the hands of another woman. The inscription reads: DROMIPPOS KALOS DROMOKLEIDO, Dromippos is beautiful, Dromokleido.
Women also learned to play music to accompany dancers in religious festivals. In this red figure kylix, we see a woman playing an aulos, a double-reeded instrument similar to the oboe.
We also find images of women at play. On this hydria, we see a woman on the left pushing another woman on a swing. The swing has four legs, but we can only see three of them. Between them is a vessel sunk into the ground.
Women had an important public role in mourning the deceased, not only at the funeral itself, but also later by bringing gifts to the grave, as we see on this white ground lekythos.


Photo credit: Attic Red Figure Lekythos, white ground, Berlin F 2443;
Photograph by Maria Daniels, courtesy of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz: Antikensammlung

Terracotta figurine, Boiotia, 500 - 475 B.C. J. Paul Getty Museum 96.AD.101. Bruce White Photography.