There is no doubt that women in Ancient Greece had a different social role than they have nowadays. And ever more, women's roles in ancient, pre-classical and classical period were changing as well. The classical age is the earliest to be studied, as the classical Greeks were talented artists and poets, there were many good writers and historians.
We may definitely say that Classical Greeks used to be patriarchal. Women were subservient to men. No one but native male Greeks could become citizens. To obtain some social power women had to get the status of the wife of some influential citizen. Otherwise the influence could be obtain somehow by the relation to a man. Women's activities were limited, and usually were reduced to the realm of a family or they could be courtesans. Within the family women might take care of their children, give orders to the servants, they might grid grain or weave the cloth. But anyway, it's wrong to say women had no influence at all. No home was prosperous or clean if there was no women in it. Women ran the households and protected the things carried across the sea. Their role in religion came first as well. The will of Loxias was prophesied by the women in the Phoibos' oracles. The sacred rituals for the Furies and the fates would never been holy if they were performed by men. These rituals were prosperous only in women's hands. Women related themselves to the goddesses, inspired be them. But anyway raising and bearing children always stayed their number one duties. They were baking bread, spinning and doing other ordinary "female" things.
As a conclusion it is interesting to mention than though the status of women in the Ancient Greek society seemed to be not than high, many Greeks monsters were pictured as women: Sphinx, Charybolis, Gorgons, Chimera and Scylla.
Labels: Women in Ancient Greece