Satyrs in the Women's Quarters<sup>†</sup>

FranÇois Lissarrague and Alison Waters

in Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780748613199
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651016 | DOI:
Satyrs in the Women's Quarters†

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Attic pottery of the fifth century presents a picture of the gynaeceum (women's quarters) as a world where, amongst themselves, women were sometimes visited by Eros and Aphrodite. The space assigned to women is defined by certain objects, limited in number, and is characterised by a proliferation of caskets, chests, boxes or baskets. These are not simply utilitarian objects, they are also figurative indications of a particular way of thinking with regard to women. Beardless satyrs, adolescents or children, are represented on Attic pottery; these representations start to appear from 490 bc and do not really develop until about 450. By then, we begin to see interplay between the various stages of life in the satyr world: babies, children, adults and white-haired old men. What is interesting is both the relationship of mother and child, displaced by the father in the satyr world, and the role of children themselves in this area of playful humour.

Keywords: Attic pottery; satyrs; gynaeceum; women's quarters; women; children; mother and child

Chapter.  4449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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