Supervisor: Prof. Alastair Blanshard

Secondary Supervisor: A/Prof. David Pritchard


Throughout contemporary scholarship there has been a major focus on answering complex social questions about past societies. One such area of analysis is the form, regulation and prevalence of domestic violence in different societies and contexts. To do so, there must be a discussion and analysis of the different frameworks and methodologies that ensure that a complete and well-rounded analysis of domestic violence in Classical Athens can be achieved. For this to be done, an analysis must engage in precise definitions of domestic violence and how these behaviours are described and presented; as well as the need for a sociological interpretation of why domestic violence occurs and how this can be analysed in Classical Athenian society. This will be done by, firstly, defining the term ‘domestic violence’ with its different meanings and interpretations; secondly, by examining domestic violence in areas of contemporary society; and finally, by translating these into Athenian proxies. In Classical Athens the proxies that influence the prevalence and regulation of domestic violence can be examined through four factors: sexism and misogyny, the acceptability of violence, definitions of the family, and status through the use of a range of contemporary scholarship. Ultimately, I aim to argue that it is these four factors that demonstrate the ways in which Classical Athens was a culture where domestic violence was very evident.