Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Athenian Marital Life: A Union of Affection or of Duty?


A- A+
Alt. Display


Athenian Marital Life: A Union of Affection or of Duty?


Chandima SM Wickramasinghe

University of Peradeniya, LK
X close


Since a treatise or some historical account committed to recording information on the ancient Athenian society is absent in Athenian historical sources, any information on ancient Athenian society needs to be configured based on analytical examination of evidence gathered from numerous sources facetted by logical conjectures. By cross examining literary, archaeological and iconographical evidence, the social historian can therefore develop and configure the ancient Athenian social structure in order to understand it better within its socio-political context. This paper therefore makes an attempt to understand Classical Athenian family and the atmosphere which conditioned it with the help of literary and iconographical evidence. The objective of the present study is to re-examine the literary evidence on a par with the iconographical evidence which produce domestic scenes in order to investigate whether any affection existed among Athenian spouses because the interpretations given to some such scenes seem problematic.The study is mainly based on library research with evidence from verse and prose literature, relevant oratorical texts, and images of Attic vase paintings extensively examined.


The Sri Lanka Journal of Humanities XXXVIII (1&2) 2012; 63-78

How to Cite: Wickramasinghe, C.S., 2014. Athenian Marital Life: A Union of Affection or of Duty?. Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, 38(1-2), pp.63–78. DOI:
Published on 26 Jul 2014.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus