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Women in Antiquity

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Questions for Feb 16th

  • What kinds of evidence do we have for the status of women in the Hellenistic period that we didn't have for women in Archaic and Classical Greece? What is the nature of these new sources? Who were the audiences of these texts and images? What facts can we get from these sources? How would you weigh each type of evidence? What are their limitations? When are they depicting women's acts and when are they advocating norms for women's conduct?

  • How would you describe the position of women in Hellenistic society? How is it different from the Classical period? What evidence is there that women had more mobility and higher status? What are the elements of Hellenistic society that allowed for this?

  • Can you give any reasons to account for philosophy's advocacy of women's emancipation? What aspects of the Epicureans' and Cynics' philosophies led to their theories about women? How does Hyparchia exemplify the philosophies of the Cynics?

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