Minoan Women of Ancient Crete
The Minoan Women of Ancient Crete created a society in which women had many of the same jobs as men, and holding some of the most powerful occupations. Minoan society was Matrilineal, meaning that the ancestors where traced through the mother’s family, rather the father’s. Minoan myths, such as the myth of the evil King Minos, revolved around women. In that particular myth, Ariadne, King Minos’ daughter, is the heroine, and saves many innocent people from a horrible death. Minoan religion valued women above men, as Priestesses held much power in society, making made decisions in government, and performing many sacred religious rituals. The Minoan people’s worship of the goddess of fertility above all others demonstrates their thinking that a woman’s power to give birth was mysterious and sacred. Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, originated in Minoan religion. The Minoan matriarchal religion was unusual for its time and was soon changed. However, many things stayed almost the same. For example, the Minoan goddess “Potnia” was turned into the male god “Poseidon” in later-day patriarchal Greek religion. Learn more about Minoan women.