Statistics, or how to erase source effects

By using the LGPN (Fraser 1987—here, the LGPN II edited by Ostborne M.J. and Byrne S.G., 1994) as documentary source, Jacques Oulhen (Oulhen 2009, p. 112, footnote n°6, in French in the text) makes a statistical assessment that confirms the invisibility of Athenian women. We should nevertheless highlight the fact that by omitting to tally the contexts from which he cites women’s names (as well as men’s), he erases the source effects that the Eurykleia catalogue wishes, conversely, to foreground: “Out of any period, we know of 5,691 women (for 1,890 different names) versus 56,618 men (for 6,423 different names), i.e. a 1/10 ratio. Taking into account only individuals with a compound name, we arrived at the following numbers: 26,035 men bore a compound name (for 2,047 names) versus 2,060 women (for 511 names): a ratio of ca. 1/12.5, although this disparity is slightly lesser in the 4th century: 8,457 men bore compound names (for 1,335 names) versus 1,065 women (for 329 names): 1/8”.


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