Volonaki, Eleni. 2023. “Women in Homicide Cases.” In “Γέρα: Studies in honor of Professor Menelaos Christopoulos,” ed. Athina Papachrysostomou, Andreas P. Antonopoulos, Alexandros-Fotios Mitsis, Fay Papadimitriou, and Panagiota Taktikou, special issue, Classics@ 25. https://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HLNC.ESSAY:103900192.
Introduction: Legal status of Athenian women
Homicide Trials: The cases of Antiphon 1 and Lysias 1
Female figures in Antiphon 1
Female women and slaves in Lysias 1, On the murder of Eratosthenes
The portrayal of the adulterous wife who is using all means to meet with Eratosthenes, even though her husband has come unexpectedly home from the fields shows the influence of comedy with the reversal of the roles. The woman becomes an “active agent” and uses “feminine poneria” and the man is passive and fool.  She even had the audacity of appearing with make-up the following morning and when the speaker asked “why the doors had creaked during the night, she claimed that the baby’s lamp had gone out, so she had to get it relit at their neighbours” (§14). The comic role of an Athenian woman who hides her lover in her husband’s oikos is rhetorically used to appeal for a well-known attitude and consequently a negative depiction of the Athenian wife.
Similarly to the depiction of the wife, the slave who was going for the shopping changes sides from being loyal to her mistress and her accomplice into becoming disloyal to her and loyal to her master, since she agreed not to tell anyone that Euphiletus knew about the adultery and to help him catch Eratosthenes in the act (§21). The slave girl woke Euphiletus up to say that he was inside the night of the murder and took care of the doors to be open when he would be back with witnesses (§§23, 24). The slave’s change was imposed through threat and blackmail by her master due to the discovery of the adultery, a sexual offence in which she had been also involved.