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Women in Antiquity

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Questions for Feb 9th

  • On p. 89 Lerner says "the subordination of women provided the conceptual model for the creation of slavery as an institution and the patriarchal family provided the structural model." What does she mean by this statement? Do you find her argument convincing?

  • How were the institutions of marriage, slavery and concubinage central to the development of ancient societies?

  • On p. 96 Learner stated that "the distinction between a free married woman and a slave was expressed in degrees of unfreedom." What are her arguments in support of this statement? How were the lives of wives, slaves and concubines similar and/or different? Were these rigid categories, or could a woman's status change?

  • Do you find Lerner's analysis useful for understanding the representation of Briseis, Helen and Andromache in the Iliad? What category (or categories) would you put them in? What can we learn about the status of women in archaic Greece from reading Homer?

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