KR018 Women and Private Life in Ancient Greece

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught online.
Mgr. Jana Steklá, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Jana Steklá, Ph.D.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Mon 8:00–9:40 B2.13
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! KRBcB19 Women in Ancient Greece
Základní orientace v řecké mytologii, dějinách a literatuře je výhodou, nikoli však nezbytným předpokladem.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
The capacity limit for the course is 170 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 121/170, only registered: 1/170, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/170
Course objectives
The aim of the subject is to describe the ancient Greek society based on gender relations, both diachronically (from Mycenaean times to Hellenism) and geographically (differences between greek poleis). It seeks to answer the questions of origin of studied social phenomena, historical, biological and environmental causes and consequences of their changes, and points to intercultural similarities with other societies on a global scale. Students are presented with a diachronic development of the position of a woman in the societies of selected Greek city states, with an emphasis on the institution of marriage in all contexts and aspects (polygamy, prohibited and preferred types of partners, incest taboo, postmarital residence rules, property transfers related to the closure and termination of marriage). We show the nature of circumstances affecting women's position, the perception of female sexuality, related issues of work-life, social expectations and claims of both sexes, effects on the form of marriage and childcare, as well as demographic problems.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will:
- be familiar with the general rules of operation of the society;
- understand the causes and consequences of social phenomena;
- describe the position and roles of women in societies of selected Greek city states;
- know the different aspects of marriage in ancient Greece;
- know the views of Greek philosophers on the status and function of women in society.
  • Main topics:
  • 1) women in Greek mythology: goddesses and heroines; a cult of rape, a fight with women;
  • 2) women's religious festivals: Adonie, Thesmophoria and others;
  • 3) women in Mycenaean and Homeric Periods;
  • 4) the misogyny of the archaic period;
  • 5) women in Sparta and Doric areas (southern Italy, Crete);
  • 6) democratic Athens: woman = wife: wedding, marriage and divorce;
  • 7) hellenistic Egypt;
  • 8) childbirth, nursing and care for children and their own body.
    required literature
  • POMEROY, Sarah B. Goddesses, whores, wives, and slaves : women in classical antiquity. New York: Schocken Books, 1975. xiii, 265. ISBN 0805205306. info
    recommended literature
  • Pythagorean womentheir history and writings. Edited by Sarah B. Pomeroy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. xxii, 172. ISBN 9781421409573. info
  • POMEROY, Sarah B. Ancient Greece : a political, social, and cultural history. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. xxv, 561. ISBN 9780199846047. info
  • Ancient Greek houses and householdschronological, regional, and social diversity. Edited by Bradley A. Ault - Lisa C. Nevett. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. x, 189 p. ISBN 9780812204438. info
  • FOUCAULT, Michel. Dějiny sexuality. II, Užívání slastí : L'usage des plaisirs : historie de la sexualité. II (Orig.) : Užívání slastí : dějiny sexuality. II (Variant.). [v Praze]: Herrmann & synové, 2003. 338 s. info
  • FOUCAULT, Michel. Dějiny sexuality. III, Péče o sebe : Péče o sebe : dějiny sexuality. III (Variant.) : Le souci de soi : historie de la sexualité. III (Orig.). [v Praze]: Herrmann & synové, 2003. 326 s. info
  • Spartan women. Edited by Sarah B. Pomeroy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. xvii, 198. ISBN 9780195130669. info
  • Women in the classical worldimage and text. Edited by Elaine Fantham. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. xii, 430 p. ISBN 9780199762163. info
  • KEULS, Eva C. The reign of the phallus : sexual politics in ancient Athens. 1st University of California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. viii, 477. ISBN 0520079299. info
Teaching methods
lectures, discussions
Assessment methods
Submitting a brief essay.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.

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