Byzantine primary sources portray women as both public and secluded figures. Scholars have suggested that idealized stereotypes of secluded chaste women or fluctuations in the actual practice of secluding women could explain the discrepancy. Neither of these theories satisfactorily explains the contradictions. This study determines that by tracing the practice of secluding women in the gynaeceum, or women's quarters, from its origins in the ancient Greek world through to the Byzantine period, the dichotomy can be solved. By studying the ancient gynaeceum it is determined that wealthier women were secluded, but they could leave their homes for certain acceptable reasons. Lower class women were not subject to seclusion. By using historical documents, literary works, scholarly analysis and archeological evidence, the gynaeceum can be detected throughout the centuries and into the Byzantine Empire. The contradictory Byzantine sources are easily resolved when interpreted through this ancient model of the gynaeceum.