Abstract

This paper considers the section on cosmetics in Xenophon's Oikonomikos (10.1–13) within the context of actual cosmetic use in Greece and the motif of female adornment in Archaic poetry. Rather than being out of place in a treatise on estate management, I argue that the wife's agreement to refrain from cosmetics is central to Ischomachos' presentation of her as a new kind of woman: a manager of the household, rather than a strain upon it. Xenophon's text reconsiders the stereotype of wives as idle, unproductive, and deceptive, making them instead active, productive, trustworthy, and effective partners of good household management.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9234
Print ISSN
0009-8418
Pages
pp. 233-248
Launched on MUSE
2009-06-03
Open Access
No
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