What were some of the cultural expectations of an ancient Greek man/husband?

Some of the cultural expectations of an ancient Greek man/husband were that they were to be treated with respect and that they were in charge of their family. Also, Greek men were responsible for earning money, as they were the ones who went to work every day, whilst the women usually stayed at home.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ancient Greece had a very patriarchal society, which means men were considered the head of the household. They held all the power and authority and were in charge of what was going on both in their homes as well as in public life. For example, a husband had the right to give or to withhold permission when his wife asked him for permission to leave the family home. This is in stark contrast to today, where men and women have more equal rights and women are able to move around freely. In ancient Greece, however, this was not possible; a husband had the right to forbid his wife to leave the house if he wanted to do so. It was the cultural expectation that the man was in charge and his authority would remain unquestioned. As a result, men in ancient Greece were treated with the utmost respect by their wives and women in general.

Another cultural expectation at the time that you might want to look into was the fact that men were solely responsible for earning money for their family. Whilst women stayed at home and took care of the household, men went to work. Some men had businesses, and other men would have worked on farms, but women were confined to the domestic sphere.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial