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Eastern Section of the Parthenon Frieze: Slab
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Eastern Section of the Parthenon Frieze: Slab
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Women In Ancient Greece: A Comparison Between Athenian and Spartan Women

eastern_frieze.jpg
A section of the Eastern Frieze of the Parthenon in Athens Greece (Blundell, 1995)

            The above artifact is a section of the Parthenon Frieze from the Parthenon in Athens.  This frieze was sculpted some time around 440 BCE.  In the frieze one can see that there are several female attendants to the priestesses.  The artifact demonstrates that in Athens like in Sparta women were afforded full participation in religious activities.  This included but was not limited to festivals and various other religious rites including offerings.  It is important to take note that women were serving as priestesses to the goddess Athena, as this was a largely male dominated society. 

 

            Athens and Sparta differed in many areas, particularly the treatment of women.  However, when it came to religion both worshiped a goddess as their primary deity.  In Sparta they worshipped Artemis, where as in Athens they worshiped the goddess Athena.  Considering the many marked differences that existed between women in Athens and Sparta in terms of their rights it is quite striking that they would have the same rights when it came to religion.  It would seem that in the Ancient Greek cities of Athens and Sparta women and men were equal when it came to religion.

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