(42) We see something of this tragic spatial model in the later scenes of the Mostellaria, as the house becomes both the symbol of Theopropides' relationship with his household and the domain of the "opposite" sex, not only through the discussion of gynaecea
and Simo's mulieres, but also in the presumed presence of all the female characters in the play who are locked behind Philolaches' door.
For example, on great estates gynaecea, with multiple-skilled textile operations organized under one roof and staffed by female slaves, survived and prospered.(39) Monasteries and cathedral chapters, like royal and noble households, consumed cloth made on the premises.
Did these great households ever supplant the gynaecea or female workshops of an earlier age?