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by Archaeology Newsroom

Women in Crete under Venetian rule

Women’s status in Venetian ruled Crete has not become as yet the subject of a comprehensive study, although a great number of significant data have come to light throught the systematic, especially in recent years, publication of the archival material preserved in Venice. This article does not seek to study the topic in depth, but to compile in a general framework the various pieces of information supplied by the notarial sources, published or unpublished, on women’s life and activities in Crete during Venetian occupation. On the basis of this material it becomes apparent that although women were not treated as equals to men in mediaeval society,Cretan women living in an area where urban values were well established, succeeded in actively participating in the financial activities of the community, thus contributing decisively to the creation of a flourishing urban class as it crystalized in Crete under Venetian domination.