Women & Property in Ancient Near Eastern & Mediterranean Societies

Women and Property in Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean Societies

August, 2003

back to Past Conferences main page

Introduction, by conference organizers and editors, Deborah Lyons and Raymond Westbrook

Scholars in the two disciplines of Classics and Ancient Near Eastern Studies have recently focused a great deal of attention on the economic roles of women in the societies that they each study. In societies that are generally labeled “patriarchal,” and whose wealth was essentially derived from agriculture, the control and use of property was a determining factor in the maintenance of hierarchical, legal, and ideological structures in general. It therefore provides a perspective through which gender relations within an ancient society may fruitfully be explored….  Full Introduction (193 Kb PDF)


I. Women, Property, and the Ideology of Gender

Hans Van Wees: The Invention of the Female Mind: Women, Property and Gender Ideology in Archaic Greece (529Kb)
Deborah Lyons:  Dangerous Gifts: Ideologies of Gender and Exchange in Ancient Greece (594Kb)
Naomi Steinberg: Romancing the Widow: The Economic Distinctions between the  ́almānâ, iššâ- ́almānâ, and the  ́ēšet-hammēt  (353Kb)
Cheryl Cox: Women and Property in Ancient Athens: A Discussion of the Private Orations and Menander (291Kb)

II. Women’s Property in a Legal Framework

Sophie Démare-Lafont: Inheritance Law of and through Women in the Middle Assyrian Period (279Kb)
Cornelia Wunsch: Women’s Property and the Law of Inheritance in the Neo-Babylonian Period (218Kb)
Raymond Westbrook: Penelope’s Dowry and Odysseus’ Kingship (366Kb)
Stefan Link: “…, but not more!” Female Inheritance in Cretan Gortyn (320Kb)
Annalisa Azzoni: Women and Property in Persian Egypt and Mesopotamia (460Kb)
Lin Foxhall: Female inheritance in Athenian law (219Kb)
Stephen Hodkinson: Female Property Ownership and Status in Classical and Hellenistic Sparta (462Kb)

III. Women’s Property in the Material Record

Betsy Bryan: Property and the God’s Wives of Amun (322Kb)
Stefania Mazzoni: Having and Showing: Women’s Possessions in the Afterlife in Iron Age Syria and Mesopotamia (286Kb). Manuscript Images, Figures  1 – 18  (2.7MB)
Susan Langdon: Views of Wealth, a Wealth of Views: Grave Goods in Iron Age Attica (473Kb)
Diane Harris-Cline:  Women and Sacred Property: The Evidence from Greek Inscriptions (238Kb)

Copyright 2005, Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University