Early treatment of women in Athenian society can be best described as servitude.Women were treated differently from city to city but the basic premise of that treatment never changed.A woman's main purpose was to establish a bloodline that could carry on the husbands name and give the proper last rites to the husband after his death.However, it was still possible for women to form life long bonds with their husbands and find true love in their arranged marriages. Women in ancient Athenian society were defined as "near slaves, or as perpetual minors" (The Greek World, p. 200).
A woman's life did not extend far from the home; it was thought to be their sole realm of existence.Although respected by society as higher than slaves, they were treated in many of the same ways.Like slaves, mothers trained their adolescent daughters as to what their domestic duties were.Most girls were taught to read at home, while the wealthier girls were educated in schools.They were taught important household skills such as: spinning, weaving, sewing, cooking, and other common household jobs.They were educated on basic mythology, religion, and occasionally musical instruments.Most of their time was spent in the household with other women, only leaving their home to perform religious duties.They were secluded from all males, even those in their family.
Athenian women were kept at home, where they were taught the proper manners and duties of a "desirable" wife."Marriage was the inevitable goal to which her whole life tended.To remain a spinster was the worst disgrace which could befall a woman" (Everyday Life in Ancient Greece, p. 82).However, this disgrace was seen as more of a reflection on her father who "owned" her until she was married. Although Athenian women were completely in charge of their households and slaves, they did not have much personal freedom.They rarely left..