Vol.3, No.1 | [Articles] Greek Women, Power and the Body: From Fieldwork on Cults Connected with the Female Sphere towards a Deconstruction of Male Ideologies, Modern and Ancient



Based on studies in ancient Greek sources, mainly produced by men, combined with results from fieldwork carried out on contemporary Greek religious festivals, a comparison is made with similar ancient festivals through an analysis of the fertility-cult, which is important in the festivals. This is a useful way to try to consider the female part of society, since women are the central performers of the actual cult that plays an important role within the official male value-system. This is the value-system, from which the festivals and the society that they reflect, traditionally have been considered. The absence of the female value-system leaves previous analyses one-sided and incomplete. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis requires the female point of view to be included. Hence, the paper argues for the importance of changing our approach when working with ancient culture. Taking account of the female sphere, which still exists in Greece, provides us with a basis for considering the female part of society. But, by so doing, the official male perspective, which is similar to the Western male perspective generally applied within Greek studies, has to be deconstructed. So, by arguing for the importance of not using the general male model when presenting Greek women, the article tries to deconstruct the male ideologies “from within”.

Keywords : Modern Greece, Ancient Greece, Women, Gender, Gendered Valuesystems, Religious Festivals, Fertility-cult, Rituals