La donna ideale. Senofonte e l’educazione delle giovani spose

Eleonora Pischedda


Xenophon, in his Oeconomicus, draws the image of a young woman segregated, artificially stupid, the perfect embodiment of literary tradition. The present study attempts to retrace and emphasize the women’s status in the Athenian society, especially that of citizens, wives and mothers, regarding education, marriage, family life, religion and culture, and investigates whether Ischomachus’ words and his abstract portrait of the young wife are entirely trustworthy or not. Men, our main sources, told us about their world reporting cultural and social spaces for women that exist merely within definite parameters, male parameters. Women of the fourth century Athens were able to play with these parameters, they knew how to defend their individuality and find a way to exist not just as a wives and mothers, but as individuals, able to move between two worlds, public and private, and find their space of operation.

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