feminism in Greek Literature

Frederick Adam Wright

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This 1923 study examines the views regarding women's place in Ancient Greek

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society based especially on the writings of Homer, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato,

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Socrates and Aristotle. As the author offers his opinion and judgement, that at times

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reflect views on women, homosexuality and other social groups and themes that

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might be considered controversial now, he leaves an interesting picture of the state of

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Classical scholarship in the early 20th century. "There is a question sometimes put to

scholars, a doubt often latent in scholars' minds How was it that Greek civilisation,

with all its high ideals and achievements, fell so easily before what seems at first

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sight an altogether inferior culture? The fact is and it is as well to state it plainly

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that the Greek world perished from one main cause, a low ideal of womanhood and a

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degradation of women which found expression both in literature and in social life. The

position of women and the position of slaves for the two classes went together

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were the canker-spots which, left unhealed, brought about the decay first of Athens

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and then of Greece."

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Total running time: 05:29:09

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Cover image: Bust of Athena, type of the “Velletri Pallas”, copy of the 2nd cent. CE after a votive statue of Kresilas in Athens (ca 430-420 BC). Thie public domain cover was designed by Availle.