The Role of Women in the Ancient Greek and Chinese Societies

            I never imagined that the museum trip was going to effect me the way it did. Not being in a museum for almost 6 years made me forget how remarkable they can be. It was totally unreal to see thousand-year-old artwork, art within my reach. I am not saying this because I am supposed to like all school trips. Instead I was truly amazed and will have to visit the museum again.

             The trip to the Metropolitan museum of art gave me a glimpse at the role of women in the ancient Greek and Chinese societies. In Greek art Women's powers are shown to be limited to household matters. In many images they are depicted as a sort of labor force, mending clothes, weaving and spinning wool. We see this in numerous art works, including the Terracotta lekythos (331.11.10). If the female functions were to sew all day long then its logical to conclude that they probably did no go out much. They can be compared a strict case of a housewife. In terracotta hydra (510-500bc) the women are shown to gather in a fountain house to chat and fill water. I assume that this was one of the few opportunities the women had to leave their quarters. .

             In few examples of art, beauty and cleanliness are emphasized for Greek women. The wife was probably responsible for maintaining her attractiveness for her husband. In Terracotta pyxis, box from 420-410bc a typical Athenian lady, surrounded by her attendants, is revealed to be holding a vase for oil in her hands. In the ancient times oil was used to remove the dirt from body. A proper wife perhaps had to decorate herself with jewelry perfume and makeup upon her husband's arrival home. She was probably dedicated to the happiness of her husband. This is shown in the Terracotta Jar (06.1021.185) from 420-410bc. The setting of the illustration is in a women's home. The Women are wearing very beautiful and elaborate dresses. They are also wearing jewelry and there is a mirror near by. The woolen basket near the women is a reminder of their true role in the society.

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