19.THE “WOMEN’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT” IN ANCIENT PAGAN SOCIETY
Yet however submissive they may have been in earlier times, heathen woman were NOT AT ALL silent in public in the pagan Greco-Roman culture of the first century A.D. Indeed, by New Testament times pagan women were constantly usurping the male leadership position. And they were doing this not only in their homes (cf. Eph. ch. 5 & Col. Ch. 3 & I Pet. ch. 3), but also especially in their idolatrous heathen religious practices.
On this, just compare Euripides’ “gunocracy” and the “Pythoness” oracle of Delphi and the priestess of the goddess Diana at Ephesus — with Acts 16:16-21 & 19:24-35 & Rev. 2:20. Cf. too Balsdon’s Roman Women; Hurley’s Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective; Lacey’s Family in C1assica1 Greece; Braunstein’s Political Activities of Greek Women; Leipoldt’s Women in the Ancient World and in Primitive Christianity; Picket’s Epigraphic Texts on the Social History of the Greek World; and Schneider’s Cultural History of Hellenism. Indeed, even the famous Pre-Christian Pagan-Greek playwright Euripides during the fifth century B.C. had already popularised the emancipation of women for every theatre-goer — so that even some of the worldlier Christian woman in Corinth rejected male headship and, together with some of the like-thinking men, propagated even in the Church too the same levelling attitude they had become used to in their surrounding pagan society.