Sparta was a very unique society which could be defined as Utopian Militaristic State. Spartan boys all were devoted their entire lives from an early age to the Spartan army. This heavily militarist society was also unique in terms of women's position in society. They had much more rights and freedoms than other Greek women, but in terms of family life they were not so lucky. Women were living separately from spouse during their whole lives. Their husbands were only coming to home at night, they were secretly removed after a short time. And also they were separated from their sons for military training. Women had to be strong in family and social life. Spartan lawgivers wanted girls to receive a good education in order to prepare them to their womanhood duties.
Most of the information we have today about the women of ancient Greece was wrote by well educated, higher class men that were considered the experts of the time but naturally did not know what it was like to live as a woman. These men depicted the women as emotional, less rational, impulsive, and weaker than men, lacking knowledge of the world and dependent solely on them. But that idea did not hold true for the Greece city/state of Sparta.
Women in Athens and Sparta were treated completely different. Women in Sparta were viewed more equally, while the women in Athens were treated like slaves. Women in a Greek city/state known as Athens, were not educated, and were treated the same if not worse than slaves (Athenian, 2005). In Athens, “Women lived in a society completely dominated by men” (O’Pry, 2012). This all ended when the women of Sparta (a Greek city/state) were seen overcoming these issues. The life of a woman in Athens was completely different than a Spartan. Women were treated differently, in Sparta they could manage the land, have their own public opinion, and were treated equal as men, while women in Athens had no public or political rights. Not only was this a big
Despite Athenian and Spartans being associates of the same influential nation, these two states or ‘Peloi’ and denominations of people in Ancient Greece in (400BC) were substantially different. The women in their own distinct societies endured several problematic issues and experienced inequity, demoralisation and condemnation. The notion of women and their purpose was typically conjectured by men in society, specifically Aristotle who claimed that women brought ‘disorder, were evil, were utterly useless and caused more confusion than the enemy’ . However despite misogynistic, biased and loathsome perspectives of women, both Athenian and Spartan women have all played exceedingly significant roles and contributed substantially to the prosperity of Ancient Greek society in their own inimitable ways.
Women’s role in Greece can be seen when one first begins to do research on the subject. The subject of women in Greece is coupled with the subject of slaves. This is the earliest classification of women in Greek society. Although women were treated differently from city to city the basic premise of that treatment never changed. Women were only useful for establishing a bloodline that could carry on the family name and give the proper last rites to the husband. However, women did form life long bonds with their husbands and found love in arranged marriages. Women in Athenian Society Women are “defined as near slaves, or as perpetual minors” in Athenian society (The Greek World, pg. 200). For women life didn’t
Throughout ancient human history, men and women held vastly different roles. Women were often given the duty of bearing and raising children, whereas men were expected to fight, provide an income, and protect the household. Women were seen as totally inferior to men and described by Euripedes as “a curse to mankind” and “a plague worse than fire or any viper.” However, this misogynistic view of women and designated role of inferiority was not apparent in every ancient civilization. The role of the female in ancient Greek history can best be explored and contrasted between two important civilizations: The Spartans and the Athenians. The Spartan women were incredibly advanced for their time, and the Athenian women were drastically far behind. Both the Spartan and Athenian women held roles at home and lived lives far removed from the men of their societies. However, their lives were much different. While the Spartan women were strong and educated, the Athenian women held a status almost equal to slavery. The Spartan women were far more advanced than Athenians in aspects of life including education, athleticism, and independence.
Sparta was definitely more progressive in people equality that the other city-states in Greece. The woman of Sparta had much more rights and opportunities that women in other city-states like Athens. For example, women could own their own land and control their own property and women also wore a special tunic that showed that they had freedom. Women were also free to speak to the husband friends and even remarry to another man if their husband has been gone for too long at war. Unlike in Athens, woman and men were both educated. Women studied something called Mousike, which was a combination of different lessons consisting of music, dance, and poetry. When women got older, the were very skilled with governance,
When comparing power levels and women’s rights, Sparta was a leader in its time. Athens and Sparta, though both Greek city-states were different in the way they operated. More specifically, Sparta was different in the way that they treated their women. Athenian woman were treated quite appallingly compared to the standards of today’s women. The stem of this difference seems to lie in how these two city-states were governed. Sparta, known for its’ militaristic ways, was an oligarchy and Athens, known for its’ philosophers and thinkers, was a democracy. Sparta’s oligarchy was ruled by a counsel of 5 men, on being a lawmaker or giver. The lawgiver’s name was Lycurgus. Lycurgus was
But in the Spartan society, the woman had a dignified position just because they were the mother of the famous Sparta worriers. The Athenian women were also not allowed for education or to educate themselves. Men were the only ones allowed in the schools. They also wore clothing that completely covered their bodies and was not able to walk where they
Even being from the same time frame in history, the Roman women from Sparta and the Greek women from Athens were completely different. Their ideas, habits, and daily activities were majorly impacted by the community they lived in. Some of the main differences between the lifestyles of these women include the rights they were given under the government, the daily and professional attire of the women, and the marital and divorce rituals of each of the women. Though they had many different things about them, they also had some similarities that connected them together. Both the Athens and Sparta have two completely different statuses for their women in the society, in many different aspects as well.
Greek and Roman women lived in a world where strict gender roles were given; where each person was judged in terms of compliance with gender-specific standards of conduct. Generally, men were placed above women in terms of independence, control and overall freedom. Whereas men lived in the world at large, active in public life and free to come and go as they willed, women's lives were sheltered. Most women were assigned the role of a homemaker, where they were anticipated to be good wives and mothers, but not much of anything else. The roles of women are thoroughly discussed in readings such as The Aeneid, Iliad, Sappho poetry, and Semonides' essay.
Athenian society was very dynamic in many areas while it was strict in regard to the treatment of women. Although Athenian women were protected by the state and did not know a different way of living, they were very stifled and restricted. The only exception was slaves, and heteria, prostitutes, and this was due to the fact that they had no male guardians. Since these women were on there own they had to take care of themselves, and therefore were independent. In a more recent and modern way of viewing the role of a woman, independence and freedom to do as one likes is one of the most important aspects of living. In Athens the wives had none of this freedom and the prostitutes did. Who then really had a “better”
The Spartan way of life for women would not be approved of by Ischomachus. Spartan training for women was to make the females better breeders; Ischomachus’s training of his wife was purely economic. Ischomachus did not think that women should be sedentary, but they should remain in the house. Exercise for women should be relegated to supervising the servants and participating in household chores. This did not necessarily make her more physically fit, but it did make her better able to understand the economics of the home. Ischomachus made his wife, his partner in the marriage, which allowed for growth. Spartan
This investigation will attempt to answer the question what are the similarities and differences of the role of women in Athens and Sparta. The question is relevant because women’s roles have developed over time and knowing women’s history helps women’s rights to keep moving forward. The issues that will be addressed are the religious, job roles and the expectations of women in their society. Women of wealth and women of lower classes will be included. This investigation will focus on the time period of 600 BC to 300 BC and the places investigated will include Athens and Sparta. This will be accomplished through a thorough examination of academic journals, books and websites.
Sparta was, above all, a military state, and emphasis on military fitness began at birth, imprinted through society and the political system. The education of the Spartan male children prove that the military and war was constantly a huge part of Spartan society, and the laws and systems that Sparta was governed by, only enforced the militaristic attitude into the society of Sparta. That the Spartans needed to be ready for war is proved by the discord between the Spartiate and the helots, who outnumbered and under ranked the Spartans.