By Professor Lisa C. Nevett
This 1999 ebook re-examines conventional assumptions concerning the nature of social relationships in Greek families through the Classical and Hellenistic classes. via special exploration of archaeological proof from person homes, Lisa Nevett identifies a recognisable suggestion of the citizen family as a social unit, and means that this used to be found in a number of Greek towns. She argues that during such families family among women and men, routinely perceived as dominating the family atmosphere, may be positioned in the wider context of household task. even though gender used to be an immense cultural issue which helped to form the company of the home, this was once balanced opposed to different affects, significantly the connection among loved ones participants and outsiders. even as the position of the loved ones when it comes to the broader social buildings of the polis, or urban nation, replaced swiftly via time, with the home itself coming to symbolize a massive image of private status.
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Additional info for House and Society in the Ancient Greek World
The transmission of information using material culture, including through house construction, could therefore be either conscious or unconscious, depending on the individuaIs and circumstances in questiono In archaeological contexts this means that it will be up to the archaeologist to be aware of the possibility of manipulation of the environment by those who originally shaped it, and to determine the balance which has been struck in any particular instance. With respect to the present study, the organisation of artefacts offers a means of looking at actual patterns of activity and, where available, acts as an independent check on the results produced by analysing the architecture alone.
Where consideration has been given to Domestic architecture and social relations: sorne basic assumptions 29 the relationship between the architecture and its inhabitants, the interpretation of the archaeology has frequently tended to be dominated by assumptions based on textual evidence. One likely reason for this is the strength ofthe study ofliterature within the Classical tradition as a whole (see above p. 2). Neverthe1ess, the problem has also been increased by the interpretative difficulties involved in using archaeological material to reconstruct domestic activities and patterns of social interaction (compare Ault and N evett forthcoming): it is not always easy to see how partial collections of architecture and objects can tell us about the people who once used them.
This led scholars to the picture of the divided household mentioned above. In reality, however, we have little understanding of the significance of the two words or of how the spaces with these names would have been used. The way in which we translate them and our stress on their gender associations may well be misleading in relation to the total range of the activities carried out there or the identities of their expected occupants. Even setting aside these considerations, we have no evidence as to how representa tive either of these two examples is of actual practice, either of the Greek world as a whole or even of Athens alone.
House and Society in the Ancient Greek World by Professor Lisa C. Nevett