Immigrant Women in Athens
“Professor Kennedy’s teaching and research interests cover the history and culture of ancient Greece, especially focusing on issues of ethnicity and citizenship.
Her most recent book discusses the lives of immigrant women in Classical Athens. Many of the women whose names are known to history from Classical Athens were metics or immigrants, linked in the literature with assumptions of being ‘sexually exploitable.’ Despite recent scholarship on women in Athens beyond notions of the ‘citizen wife’ and the ‘common prostitute,’ the scholarship on women, both citizen and foreign, is focused almost exclusively on women in the reproductive and sexual economy of the city. This book examines the position of metic women in Classical Athens, to understand the social and economic role of metic women in the city, beyond the sexual labor market.
This book contributes to two important aspects of the history of life in 5th century Athens: it explores our knowledge of metics, a little-researched group, and contributes to the study if women in antiquity, which has traditionally divided women socially between citizen-wives and everyone else. This tradition has wrongly situated metic women, because they could not legally be wives, as some variety of whores.
Professor Kennedy critiques the traditional approach to the study of women through an examination of primary literature on non-citizen women in the Classical period. She then constructs new approaches to the study of metic women in Classical Athens that fit the evidence and open up further paths for exploration.