Women in Ancient Greek Society

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Last updated: June 5, 2019

Aristotle and Galen had different approaches on women in.

Both of them wrote about women and how it shoes a lot about how they were treated during those times. Aristotle talks about the things a good wife should do, while Galen talks about the usefulness of the body parts of a male versus’ that of a female. Aristotle’s way of describing it is very easy to understand, and I believe to be somewhat still true today. But Galen on the other hand starts out by saying that the women is “less perfect” because of her body parts, which then he describes as a “great advantage. Although their very different they show us how in those times women were looked upon and how they differed from the men in the ancient Greek society. For the most part, I think Aristotle wrote about a lot of things that wives still do today, nothing too out of the ordinary. He starts off by saying how the wives of the household, control the money. A lot of women today do the same thing; it shows that they have a lot of control, which to me is actually surprising for ancient Greece.

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Aristotle also mentions that a wife must be there for her husband when he needs some encouragement and cheer.Women are naturally nurturing and caring human beings so to ask a wife to do so for her husband is understandable. To be a good wife, you also have to have patients and be gentle and “she will rule her home with ease. ” Usually men want to be the head of the household, but here Aristotle talks about a lot of wives would actually rule the household. Later Aristotle talks about how a man should treat his wife, which I think says a lot about how women were treated in those times, more so than what he said before.

What he says in this second part is that women basically feed off of how men act. When a woman feels as though her husband is faithful and righteous, she will act that way in return. He mentions that a husband “should approach his wife in honor. ” This shows that women had a lot of respect and weren’t just slaved around all day and took care of the kids, they meant something to their husbands and they kept mutual feelings for each other, even when he was off traveling.


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