Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


First Advisor

Elizabeth Garland

Second Advisor

Hans-Friedrich Mueller




Greece, Athens, gender inequality, theory, female, women


To the modern reader, ancient Greece may seem like a highly male dominated culture. The writings that come from this period suggest that men had authority over the women in their lives and that women were subordinate to the men in their lives. However, there were many ways that women could gain a substantial amount of power in ancient Greece. In my thesis, I look particularly at the city of Athens during the classical period and discuss how strict gender inequality was implemented. The first section of my analysis deals with how young men and women were brought up in Athenian culture during this period. I draw on modern anthropological gender theory to discuss how young Athenian men and women learned their gender. My second section deals with adult women and their lives within the home. I make use of female characters from ancient Greek mythology to provide examples for honorable and shameful women. My third section deals with women of all classes of society outside of the home and the ways that these women had powers in public spaces. Through my analysis, I will show that the lives of women in classical Athens were not as restricted as many may think.