Men and Women in the Ancient World: opposition or complementarity?

Seminar-workshop (participation by application)
3-4 February 2024, at 11.00-15.00
Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum


Organized by:


Academic coordination:

Spyridon Rangos
Professor of Ancient Greek Philology and Philosophy, University of Patras

Chryssanthi Papadopoulou
Archaeologist, Harvard CHS Fellow in Comparative Cultural Studies 2021-2022


The Canellopoulos Museum and the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece organize the workshop “Men and Women in the Ancient World: opposition or complementarity?”

Drawing from selected ancient Greek texts, the archaeological record and numerous artefacts exhibited at the Canellopoulos Museum, this workshop will focus on gender roles, gender stereotypes and their occasional reversals in ancient Greece. The coordinators will analyze the ways male and female bodies were presented in Greek art and discuss the classical Greek notions of beauty, idealization, moderation, and modesty. Drawing on ancient Greek philosophy, poetry, history, and art the group will reflect on corporeality, love, erotic desire, gender relations and their challenges.

Thematic areas – Workshop structure

The approach to the workshop’s topic will be structured around the following thematic axes:

  • Methodology: texts, images, matters of interpretation, gods and mortals
  • Gender roles in ancient Greece: opposition and complementarity
  • Male power: war and athletic games
  • Female resilience: childbirth and mourning
  • Husband and wife in Xenophon’s Oikonomikos (ch. 7)
  • The male and female figure in ancient Greek sculpture
  • The three sexes in Plato’s Symposium (189c-193d)
  • Plato and Aristotle on the role of women
  • Men and women on ancient Greek vases and gender identities in the archaeological record

During the workshop meetings, the academic coordinators will introduce the above topics, and participants are invited to contribute to the group’s discussions and case studies actively. The workshop includes an interactive tour in the museum’s collections. In addition, ten days before the workshop, participants will receive relevant reading material that they may optionally study in advance.

Learn more about the workshop’s objectives and participation process (in Greek).