Joys and miseries of married life

Pierre Brulé and Antonia Nevill

in Women of Ancient Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780748616435
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651023 | DOI:
Joys and miseries of married life

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This chapter examines the functioning of the ‘house’ in ancient Greece insofar as it relies on the movement of women from place to place. As an example, it looks at the ‘house’ of Pericles, one of the most celebrated in classical Athens. Pericles marries a relative. There is nothing surprising in the second marriage of this wife, because this feature is not peculiar to her alone and also because she has not yet finished with it all. In more prosaic terms, Pericles replaced a legitimate wife in his ‘house’ with a concubine. Condemned to spinsterhood through poverty: it is easy to see by what mechanism the dowry formed a barrier excluding poor girls from the matrimonial market. The chapter discusses marriage in ancient Greece, the joys and miseries of married life, the authority of fathers and husbands, polyandry in Sparta and Socrates's view of marriage.

Keywords: Sparta; ancient Greece; marriage; Socrates; house; Pericles; women; dowry; fathers; polyandry

Chapter.  15825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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