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Attic Red Figure Chous
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Women In Ancient Greece: A Comparison Between Athenian and Spartan Women

girl_with_dog.jpg
A young Athenian girl plays with her dog. (Lewis, 2002 Pg. 20)

            The Attic Red Figure Chous depicts a young Athenian girl playing with her pet dog.  The work was crafted sometime around 420 BCE.  The artifact demonstrates that young girls did indeed enjoy the luxury of play on equal terms with their male peers.  “The only significant difference in the treatment of boys and girls lies in their costume: boys appear naked more often than not while girls appear clothed.”  (Lewis, 2002 Pg. 20)

 

When the girls and boys were playing together they both entertained the younger children.  However, while there are numerous depictions of boys and girls playing together, there are no known depictions of female children playing together in a homogenous group.  While art from the time period has depicted male children playing together in a homogeneous group.  Thus we see that Athenian artists had a preference toward the male gender in their work.

 

In contrast this would not have been so in Sparta.  The Spartan boy was sent away at a young age to the military barracks to learn the art of war. (Blundell, 1995 Pg. 150)  All the while the Spartan girls were being educated, and had the luxury of partaking in play.  This is in sharp contrast to Athens where almost none of the women were educated, and very little support for the education of women.

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