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  • Pandora's Box - The Roles of Women in Ancient Greece (Video Lecture Series Volume I)
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Pandora's Box - The Roles of Women in Ancient Greece (Video Lecture Series Volume I)

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This video features 138 works of art from 5th century Greece. With a text by Dr. Ellen Reeder, Curator of Ancient Art at the Walter's Art Gallery, it provides ground breaking perspectives into the lives, customs, rituals and myths of Classical Greece. The masterpieces viewed and discussed display a range of archetypes -mother, virgin, prostitute, protectress- that have been tightly woven into the fabric of Western culture. Organized in four sections, the lecture begins with what constituted the ideal woman in Greek society, including proper body language, facial expression and general comportment. The second section explores a key metaphor for women in Ancient Greece: woman as vessel. Images of containers and containment, confinement to hearth and home, and the womb for childbearing inspire the symbolism on vases and statues. The third section examines the metaphor of woman as a wild animal who needs to be tamed. This includes fertility rites and the view of courtship as a hunt, with woman as the prey. The final section focuses on various myths that dramatize the anxiety and apprehension the Greeks felt regarding the taming of women. Representations of mythological figures, such as Artemis, Circe, the Sirens are discussed in terms of their dominant roles and connotations of independence. Pandora's Box presents material directly connected to Art History and Classical Archaeology; in addition its subject matter is of great value to Women's Studies, Sociology and Anthropology. Contents: Introduction -- Aidos and Sophrosyne-modesty and dignity -- Gesture and gaze -- The wedding -- Containers as metaphors for women -- Women and the metaphor of wild animals -- Mythical women as images of apprehension -- Conclusion.

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