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Text: Sophocles, Tereus
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Text: Sophocles, Tereus
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Women In Ancient Greece: A Comparison Between Athenian and Spartan Women

            Young girls in Ancient Athens lived a good life; however they were not educated by the state, as this was not viewed as being necessary.  This text, written by Sophocles, highlights rather well, how abruptly this innocent childhood ended upon their marriage off to someone whom they often had no connection.  While Sophocles was a writer, who has many well known works, this work is not as well known.  Thus it is impossible to pinpoint the exact date.  However, at the same time we do know it would have been written between 490-406BCE when Sophocles died. 

 

The document compares the marriage of the daughters away to men whom they have no connection, to their sale.  Just like at a sale it details how some end up in good homes while, others end up in not so good homes.  Places where they could even be mistreated.

 

“As young girls, I think, we lead the sweetest life of all mortals in our father’s house; for innocence always keeps children in happiness.  But when we reach the age of marriage we are thrust out and sold away from our parents some to strangers, some to barbarians, and some to a hostile one.”  (Sophocles, 490-406 BCE)

 

Once again it demonstrates that in Ancient Athens, contrary to in Sparta women were property.  They were first property of their father, and then after that they became the property of their husbands, and if their husband died before they did, they would then become property of their sons.  (Blundell, 1995)

Project History 1001 A Virtual Museum Exhibit.  Noreen Emmanuel, Adam Dewar, & Kerylin Foss.