How did the role and status of women change between the Classical Greek period and the Hellenistic age?  

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whenever you talk about classical Greece, we need to realize that the culture was not monolithic. Hence, when it comes to the role of women it is not consistent. For example, Athenian women were domesticated and lacked power. However, from what we know of women from Sparta, they were much more influential.

When we approach the Hellenistic age, we come to the same problem of broadness. The Hellenistic world was enormous and there was no monolithic view on women. For example, women in the Ptolemaic kingdom were very powerful. One only has to think of the figure of Cleopatra to get a sense of the rise of the role of women.

With these points stated, it would still be fair to say that as time progressed by the time of the Hellenistic world, women had more rights and their roles expanded. When we reach the Roman era, this trend continued even further.

Below I will link something on ancient Greece in general and if you want to follow up a bit on the topic of women in Greece, I suggest you start with this book: Women in the Classical World, by Elaine Fantham. This will provide excellent bibliography.

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