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Old November 8th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #51

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Well, in matrilinear societies, as I have already remarked, and as the information you provide seems tp indicate, men still seem to be occupying positions of authority. The fact that a child's uncle is considered more important than the father still seems to indicate that a male is regarded as the main authority figure. He may be uncle rather than father, but he's still the head of the household
The article seems to suggest only in selected groups are male the head of the household.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #52

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The earliest devotional figures found in Europe are feminine and all religions that arose there stressed a healthy sexual relationship between deities as with humans and respect for mothers, motherhood and mother-like figures.
Prostitution is hardly "healthy".

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The Abrahamic religions are all misogynist and, frankly, some of the founders quite suspect (that Paul of Tarsus never even had a regular girlfriend did he?)
Abrahamic religions can not teach beyond their time or they would not make sense. It was the eras that were misogynist, and everything plus everyone was misogynist in a misogynist era.

BTW, what is your source that Paul never had a regular girl friend?
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Old November 9th, 2012, 07:45 AM   #53
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Well, the article says that the male head of the family is responsible for the children, which still seems to me to suggest a male authority figure is in charge. Matrilinear societies still seem to invest quite a lot of authority in males. Gods and goddesses are neither here nor there. And I am an agnostic, a Christian. But you still find that in most polytheistic religions, there is a supreme god who is male. This is the case in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, for example. You don't have to have a 'Christian consciousness' to br aware of the prevelance of the top deity being male in most cases.
The male is not giver of life. The female is the giver of life, and our earth is the mother of all life on earth. Why would anyone fancy a god being male?
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Old November 9th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #54
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I think chastity was already important among Roman Christians, but it doesn't matter. You say "this woman's power rested mostly in being virgin and chaste" but chastity was equally relevant to men. Think about Galahad, Perceval and Bors and their comparison to Gawian and Lancelot in the "Quest of the Holy Grail" from the Vulgate Cycle. Galahad's and Perceval's strength is related with being virgins and Bors' with celibacy.




Like I wrote Christian women were still under a male dominated society and you see the images of Desert Mothers with their heads covered like good Christian women. However Christianity did seem to drive several women to do outstanding things, probably on top of the list would be Joan of Arc.
Joan of Arc, the women who Christians burned as a witch, is your example of a good Christian woman? If you want to promote Christianity you may not want to bring up Joan of Arc.

On the other hand here is a list of great female warriors, and they were not all Christian.
http://listverse.com/2008/03/17/top-...male-warriors/

I need to add, the democracy of America is defended by the three aspects of Athena, Athens goddess of Liberty, Justice and Defense. We know her as our Statue of Liberty, Lady of Justice, and Spirit of America, and I do not like what Christianity has done to our memory of democracy. I remember when women were prevented from attending many colleges and could not have careers, and I am not impressed by what Christianity did to women in society.

Last edited by athena; November 9th, 2012 at 08:10 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #55

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Joan of Arc, the women who Christians burned as a witch, is your example of a good Christian woman? If you want to promote Christianity you may not want to bring up Joan of Arc.
You can speak for yourself because I can't find a better example of a devout Christian woman who broke so many conventions though I can find other good examples.

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On the other hand here is a list of great female warriors, and they were not all Christian.
Top 10 Badass Female Warriors - Top 10 Lists | Listverse
Thank you for the list, I didn't knew about Tamar of Georgia, it's an interesting figure. Can't find any reference about her taking part in combat though. Joan of Arc is probably the best documented in the list, most are legendary figures, some even based solely on oral transmission. Nevertheless that's two Christian females on top of the list.


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I need to add, the democracy of America is defended by the three aspects of Athena, Athens goddess of Liberty, Justice and Defense. We know her as our Statue of Liberty, Lady of Justice, and Spirit of America, and I do not like what Christianity has done to our memory of democracy. I remember when women were prevented from attending many colleges and could not have careers, and I am not impressed by what Christianity did to women in society.
I understand your point and Athena was my favourite godess from Greek mythology, however Athena was not godess of liberty. Godess Liberty or the Roman godess Libertas is the one represented in the Statue of Liberty and other statues and images the French made after the French Revolution.

Statue of Liberty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberty (goddess) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old November 11th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #56

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The male is not giver of life. The female is the giver of life, and our earth is the mother of all life on earth. Why would anyone fancy a god being male?
Women do not produce children on their own, it takes two. Males give life just as much as females. If you think women produce life spontaneously, you should ask for your money back from your biology teacher.

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Old November 11th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #57

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Joan of Arc, the women who Christians burned as a witch, is your example of a good Christian woman? If you want to promote Christianity you may not want to bring up Joan of Arc.

On the other hand here is a list of great female warriors, and they were not all Christian.
Top 10 Badass Female Warriors - Top 10 Lists | Listverse

I need to add, the democracy of America is defended by the three aspects of Athena, Athens goddess of Liberty, Justice and Defense. We know her as our Statue of Liberty, Lady of Justice, and Spirit of America, and I do not like what Christianity has done to our memory of democracy. I remember when women were prevented from attending many colleges and could not have careers, and I am not impressed by what Christianity did to women in society.
Joan of Arc certainly was a very devout Christian woman, she called on Jesus with her dying breath, which convinced many who saw her die that she was innocent.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #58

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It was exactly women was tied to kids and reproduction that there was a matrilineal society. People growing up knowing only the mother. It's no wonder.

While Indo-European peoples mainly were patriarchal and patrilineal, certain ancient myths have been argued to expose ancient traces of matrilineal customs that existed before historical records.
The ancient historian Herodotus is cited by Robert Graves in his translations of Greek myths as attesting that the Lycians[3][4] of their times "still reckoned" by matrilineal descent, or were matrilineal, as were the Carians.[5]
In Greek mythology, while the royal function was a male privilege, power devolution often came through women, and the future king inherited power through marrying the queen heiress. This is illustrated in the Homeric myths where all the noblest men in Greece vie for the hand of Helen (and the throne of Sparta), as well as the Oedipian cycle where Oedipus weds the recently widowed queen at the same time he assumes the Theban kingship.
This trend also is evident in many Celtic myths, such as the (Welsh) mabinogi stories of Culhwch and Olwen, or the (Irish) Ulster Cycle, most notably the key facts to the Cúchulainn cycle that Cúchulainn gets his final secret training with a warrior woman, Scáthach, and becomes lover both to her and her daughter; and the root of the Táin Bó Cuailnge, that while Ailill may wear the crown of Connacht, it is his wife Medb who is the real power, and she needs to affirm her equality to her husband by owning chattels as great as he does.

A number of other Breton stories also illustrate the motif. Even the King Arthur legends have been interpreted in this light by some. For example the Round Table, both as a piece of furniture and as concerns the majority of knights belonging to it, was a gift to Arthur from
You might as well add ancient Egypt - was not a pharaoh supposed to marry his sister to become the Pharaoh after his father's death? If I remember correctly, that was the reason for Nefertiti and Amenhotep IV marriage.

I do not know about ancient Persia, but Atossa first married her brother, than pseudo-brother, than Darius. If Darius made sense because he was not Cyrus's son, Cambyses, her brother, was, and their marriage could be explained only by dynastic requirements.

Power in ancient world was not an abstract notion. The king was usually the chief of the tribe, the next in line after death of the old chief. He ruled over the city, but he had his own, personal, land, and was the richest. (Same for Medieval, or later, times). I wonder if actually "transfer of power" through the woman was done in an attempt to not split the family land and wealth.

The post is excellent. Just a couple of things. Perhaps Helen of Troy is not the most illustrative example. She had two brothers, but by the time of her reaching marriageable age they were both dead. Her sister was wed away. Helen was the heiress because she was the only "child" of Tyndareos remaining in Sparta. Had one of her brothers been alive, she would have been wed away with the dowry. Her "suitors" were chiefs of neighboring tribes competing for the land and the power.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 01:50 PM   #59

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In Aeschylus' tragedy trilogy The Oresteia, Orestes was instructed by Apollo to kill Clytemnestra, his mother, or he will be tormented by Apollo. So he did. However, this incurred the wrath of the Furies who avenged the wrong-doings especially against blood relatives. So Orestes escaped to Delphi as Furies pursued relentlessly. Apollo then instructed for Athena for judge this case in Athens. Athena said something to the effect that this is too complex for one person to judge, so she convened an Athenian jury to judge this case, with Athena at last casting the deciding vote to acquit. But Furies would remain as guardians of Athens. Hence, the name of the last play The Eumenides (the Kindly Spirits).

The symbolism is on several levels. Apollo represents the young, male-dominated, rational, the more recent patriarchal society who insisted on avenging for Agammenon. Furies, being female and born of the oldest goddess, represent the old custom of matrilineal society that obviously placed more emphasis on the mother and the female. This has to be decided by someone who was not partial to either side. Athena, being female, yet born from her father's head without a mother. Also, although being of female, she had some very distinctly masculine traits was the only one fits.

I think women's position in Greek society was actually higher in the older matrilineal society than the later archaic or classical age.
"Oresteia" is difficult to interpret. On many levels. I see parallels with Oriental young gods killing the old ones (I do not remember who introduced the concept of "tanist", but Orestes is an young tanist killing the old god, Aegistos.

But on a surface basis. Klytemnestra was within her right, too. Agamemnon had been away for over ten years, no news from him, and Aegistos remained the oldest in line, so she took him in to rule the kingdom. They have no children, so it will be Orestes to inherit the kingdom after Aegistos died. She and Aegistos have no children, so the chance for Orestes to inherit the kingdom in the future is high. But, Agamemnon, old chief, came back with a younger, more beautiful, woman who is of child-bearing age. Foreseeing either herself being killed, or at least a nasty fight for the power, a queen with the new tribal chief (Aegistos) kill the old one. Ironically, st this moment Klytemnestra could have also been securing the kingdom for her children with Agamemnon.

Orestes grows up, and by this time something changes in the sutiation. He claims his father's chiefdom, kills the old chief and his wife. And takes the power back. In real life, the people of Mycenae, his land, would have probably accepted such turn of events. In mythology, it is transferred into Athena casting her decisive vote. I do not know why he needed to necessarily kill his mother, but perhaps there was the reason to claim the throne so promptly. On the other hand, in many cultures the son has to take revenge for his father's murder, so it might have been the normal course of events.

For comparison, Odysseus left for a while, but ended up absent for 20 years, and in his absence, the suitors who are also neighboring chiefs, start competing for the kingdom and the land. But his wife the queen wants to preserve it for her son, who is young or not strong enough, so she delays the time, waiting for him to mature. Which actually means that the power did not necessarily need to be transferred through a woman, because Telemachus could not marry his mother to become the king. But he was the sole heir of the kingdom and the land, and had no need to keep the inheritance as a whole.

The goal of this post is to emphasize that "Power" at that time was not "our", abstract, "presidency", but came with material inheritance. As in the Medieval times, the King was merely the richest feudal. Agamemnon was elected "the chief" of the Danaans because he had most ships and manpower.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #60

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We were most certainly organized by Athens social and political order. We should be aware that this democracy is an imitation of the gods, but also an imitation of Sparta that was not a democracy like Athens, but a war machine. The US was the modern day Athens and Germany the modern day Sparta. Then the US adopted the German model of bureaucracy and the German model of education for technology, making the US the modern day Sparta
This is what I have heard before, and I myself always thought that Sparta was the old Soviet Union and Athens were the USA in the times of the Soviet Union.

Since we all know Spartan system - let me ask. A king with very limited power who needs constant approval by the elected body which constantly blocks his activities - which country does it resemble you of? Which politlical system? Surely not Germany, of any time. Not to me.
And as if in mockery, there is one more detail, two kings, one of which has slightly more power than the other one... I do not think the comparison with the German model of bureaucracy stands trial. Actually, our modern system of bureaucracy is unparallelled. Or perhaps a slightly adjusted copycat of the Spartan system.

Last edited by arkteia; November 14th, 2012 at 02:20 PM.
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