Preview

Women in Spartan Society

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
820 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Women in Spartan Society
Using appropriate sources, DESCRIBE the role of women in the Spartan society. (10 Marks)

Spartan Women played a huge role in a society that was famous for its military power. These women were no where near the same as any other Greek woman. In no other city or state were women so well incorporated into society. In no other city or state did women receive as many privileges, as much freedom or hold the same economic power and influence, if any, as the Spartiate women.

Women were very much freed from their domestic duties and treated like men in a society that was predominantly slaves and helots. Their role in life was simple and straight forward. The power and freedom that these women possessed began at birth. The unwritten laws of Sparta state that female infants and children must be given the same care and food as their brothers. Unlike girls in other parts of Greece, Spartan girls were not brought up to perform such duties as weaving and spinning. Nor did they do the work of a man on the estate while their husbands and fathers were away fighting at war. Such duties in Sparta were fit only for helots or slaves. Instead of performing menial tasks, the girls would undergo physical training with their brothers and took part in various dancing and singing competitions.

The unique upbringing and training of the Spartan girls was put in place by Lycurgus for one main reason. The main role of women in the Spartan society was to conceive and give birth to strong and healthy male children who are worthy of becoming strong and successful warriors. They believed that if a woman were to be fed properly and were to train with the men and become strong themselves that there children will too be strong and worthy of a place in the Spartan military. Xenophon states that “Lycurgus thought that slave women were sufficient to supply clothing. As he considered child-bearing the most important function of free women, he prescribed physical training for women no less than

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    The life of men and women in Athens and Sparta was very different if we look at equality and women rights; the conclusion in the end will be declared as Sparta having more equality and more women rights then in Athens. The Athenian women were kept at low level status like the status of women under Taliban. The reason of this difference was because of the function of the governments of both the states. Sparta was a military oligarchy while Athens was a democracy. While Sparta had a history of producing magnificent fighters, Athens was famous for producing thinkers & philosophers etc. 5 men were supposed to run the Spartan Oligarchy. Athens on the other hand was a democracy, which functioned with the voice of the people through senate and the Roman Council.…

    • 2045 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Contrast Women in Sparta had more rights than Athens. For example in Sparta, women could own land and participate in athletic events just like the men in Sparta. In fact, women more than one third of the land in Sparta and daughters were allowed to inherit it just like sons. Women in Sparta were also given an education in both arts and athletics. They were also encouraged to develop their intellect. Since the men of Sparta were rarely ever home and spent most of their time in the military barracks; the women were free to be in charge of almost everything that did not involve the army. Unlike Athenian women, Sparta women wore short dresses and could leave the house whenever they wanted to. All in all, Spartan women had more freedom and rights and lived an all around better life then the women from…

    • 328 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Unlike the women of Athens, Spartan women were taught reading, and writing, but were also expected to be able to protect themselves. Where in Athens, the education of a girl involved spinning, weaving, and other domestic arts, for a Spartan woman such tasks were relegated to the helots or perioeci. A girls education was equally as brutal as the men's, and included many athletic events such as javelin, discus, foot races, and staged battles. In many such events, Spartan women would run naked in the presence of their male counterparts, and were respected for their athletic feats. Though women in Sparta were not subject to the same training as given by Lycurgus, Spartiate women were expected and driven to produce strong and healthy children, and to be loyal to their state. In comparison to Athens, Spartan girls were better fed their their Athenian counterparts, and were taught writing.…

    • 468 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the Roman Empire, women supervised the household, and also could inherit property. Although they were greatly confined to domestic duties, they had limited freedom, depending on the husband. In the Athens, the only freedom the women had was the domestic duties. They lived in buildings separate from their husband, and could not even eat meals with them. This is very different from the Minoans civilization. They worshipped many female gods, which resulted in them having a great respect for the women of their societies. The women were equals with men, and had a great amount of freedom.…

    • 738 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Essay On Spartan Military

    • 994 Words
    • 4 Pages

    At birth, the infant was inspected by state officials to see if he had any defects (Dijkstra 263). If deemed clear, he would return home with their mother until age seven; however, if deemed defective, he was thrown into a pit and left to die (Dijkstra 263). At age seven, the boys left home and joined "packs" (Dijkstra 263). In the "packs," they were beaten down and then built back up as Spartan soldiers. Their food was cut back and they were also forced to steal. As the teen years started, so did public nude inspections. At age twelve, the boys were placed into barracks where their education was mainly physical (Dijkstra 263). They participated in athletics and combat sports, which would teach them to obey orders without hesitation while also enduring pain (Dijkstra 263). At age twenty, the men joined a sussitia, which they would belong to for the rest of their life (Dijkstra 263). Finally, at age thirty, Spartan men gained full citizenship. As for Spartan women, training was not as grueling. However, Spartan women played a vital role in the society. Spartan society needed strong women in order to raise strong boys from birth until age seven. They set the tone for the rest of their child's…

    • 994 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Women were perhaps the most important feature of Spartan society for many reasons. A major responsibility they were given was to oversee the kleros while their husbands were away at war or in training. According to J.T Hooker, a woman could also inherit the state owned land from her father. This meant that they controlled the family wealth, and in effect, the Spartan agricultural economy. Spartan male citizens were dependant on their wife’s efficiency to pay their “dues” to the syssitia. Their most important role was to become mothers of citizens. Xenophon stated, “for free women the most important job was to bear children.” From birth, mothers disciplined the child and instilled the attitudes of the agoge both physically and psychologically. They introduced their children to physical training and taught them to be tough by refusing to nurture them as babies. They implanted the ideas of constantly performing at perfection, and were ultimately responsible for raising children to conform and be loyal to the state. Spartan women freely gave up their sons to the agoge at age seven, for their formal military training. Consequently mothers had to maintain her son’s discipline before the introduction to the agoge. Spartan…

    • 2163 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    In Xenophon’s explanation of the Spartan constitution, the central and most important role in Spartan society for the Spartiate or free woman was to continue Sparta, through childbirth. Spartan women were highly valued as the mothers of warriors and they had to maintain their fitness to ensure healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Since Sparta was regularly at war for much of its five hundred year history, it was a woman’s role to bear and rear healthy children, in particular, strong and brave sons to serve in the Spartan army.…

    • 2150 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Spartan Women

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages

    ROLE AND STATUS OF SPARTAN WOMEN Spartan Women played a pivotal role in a society which was renowned for its military power. (Womens Role in Society, 2010) In no other city or state were women so well incorporated into a society (Womens Role in Society, 2010), which enabled them to have more power, influence and freedom than neighbouring Greek states. (makedbyteachers, 2009) Although Spartan women did not have citizenship, could not hold political office or serve in the military, they were well respected and had status. (yorkiee, 2012) Their most important role and duty, was to give birth to healthy, strong Spartan babies who would grow to become warriors. To achieve this, the Spartans believed in physical training for women (which was regarded as some of the best in Greece) to stay strong and fit. Xenophon tells us; “if both parents were strong, their children would be more robust” (Xenaphon, Ancient Greece ). In addition to this, women also had the duty of running the household and had the opportunity to inherit, have ownership of land and accumulate wealth. According to Aristotle, “women owned as much as two fifths of the Spartan land” (Aristotle), in the fourth century BC.…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Women of Sparta

    • 2093 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Individual families headed by a husband were insignificant in Spartan society. Instead, the state laid down rules for everyone. Boys were sent away from home at around the age of seven to be trained as soldiers where they lived in army barracks until they were around 30 years old, even then, the men might have been absent for months, fighting in battles. This resulted in the Spartan women having to be very self dependent, they had to manage households all alone. Unlike other Greek women, Spartan women could own land and property and make all decisions on how it was to be run.…

    • 2093 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    One difference that the Spartan’s and Athens’s had on methods of political control was their aspects on different social lives within each other. The Sparta’s social life was everyone was treated with equality. For example, the Sparta woman and Sparta men had basis of equality. In ancient Greece males and females had largely separately but equal lives. When males were spending the most of the day in the fields, women would be around the house. (EV) Both the work and what a woman Sparta or man did gave a balance to one and another. However, unlike Sparta, the Athens social life was patriarchal, were the man had the power.…

    • 461 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Women in Classical Athens vs. Women in America Women in classical Athens, according to many of the accounts of women's position in the Greek city-state, lived a life of domestic slavery. Men controlled politics and societal influence in the public setting, so the lives of women were no different from foreigners or slaves who also had no civil rights. The lives of women in classical Athens greatly contrasts the lives of women in America today; however both share similar family obligations. While the obvious differences are that women didn't hold political office, didn't own property, and women didn't work outside the home, similar to women in America today, women were the primary caretakers of the home.…

    • 884 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Spartan Women In Greece

    • 730 Words
    • 3 Pages

    I was able to conclude that the Spartan women had more freedom and more active lives, which helped improve their appearance as well as strength. This also improved their ability to have babies and bear child labor. Although, the women were able to take responsibility for almost everything beside the army when their husbands were away but when the husbands return the women no longer could take charge .Spartan girls were given better education in order to train them to be beneficial members of society.Spartan females participated in sporting events alongside males, in full view of the public.Spartan mothers would act as the head of the household while their husbands and sons were away in the military.Spartan women were allowed to have and maintain their own property. The women married at an older age, at around 18 years old and above. I think that the Spartan civilization was a step ahead in compared to how other women in the ancient world were…

    • 730 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Women's Role In Sparta

    • 808 Words
    • 4 Pages

    As mentioned above, the most important role of Spartan women was to give birth to healthy Spartan babies to become warriors. Xenophon stated “for free women the most important job was to bear children”. In order to produce healthy children, women underwent physical training. This was because it was thought that a healthy mother would produce a healthy child. Lycurgus stated that only women who died in childbirth would be allowed to have a marked grave. Archaeological evidence has been found to support this statement. This highlights the…

    • 808 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Spartan girls were trained and given rigorous exercise, but it was mainly in hopes that they would bear strong children. Women in this ascetic society were also seen as the last defense for the polis, therefore giving them the least importance and authority in Sparta. The queens had no power in the Theban monarchy, even though they were higher in society than most men. This shows the relationship between men and women, because no matter how high their social standing was, the women were seen as the lower class. Athens worked toward negotiating order by focusing on the needs of the people (particularly the men). Government positions were only given to free adult males, leaving women with no voice in politics; Athens later opened office positions to all men, again giving women no say in the political world. The mindset of Ancient Greece is visible through three different, self-ruling cities who all had the same opinion on a patriarch…

    • 891 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    ancient history

    • 600 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Sources reveal that the lives of woman in Sparta, that they were treated differently to spartiate men, they were not allowed to do majority if things that the Spartan men did, such as hunting, working, and most leisure activities such as watching cockfighting or boar fighting. Woman were to stay at home and do home duties such as cooking, cleaning and ultimately look after the children. Women were expected to raise children and to make sure they learn the Spartan way of life. woman were able to compete in athletics,…

    • 600 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays