Life in Ancient Greece: Spartan Men and Women

1673 Words Dec 17th, 2008 7 Pages
Life in Ancient Greece:

Spartan men and women

Bernice Gelin Professor Shepardson
November 18, 2008
World History

The ancient city of Sparta has had a lasting impression on the world today. Sparta was a model of discipline, conformity, militarism, and virtue. It was a prominent city state, but its society was unique from typical life in Greece. Sparta was a military state, believing in having only the strong and not the weak to maintain the army. At the time of birth, every child considered a property of the state, especially males. If a male child appeared deformed, the infant was left on a mountain at a place called the Apothatae. Spartan values of the state led them to develop
…show more content…
They had a great amount of influence despite not having a vote within the assembly. Daughters could inherit as much as a son or brother could and could inherit property. They acquired land through inheritance from their families and through marriage. The income from her own lands, she said with her husband and his income, he shared with her. Since men spent most of their time training or at war, they were granted full access and stake in the husband’s estate. Writing in the fourth century B.C., Aristotle indicated that, by the fifth century B.C., Spartan women owned two-fifths of the land (Jones, A.H. M., 136). Her independence allowed her to express herself, be assertive, and had much more expected of them than other Greek women. Women’s tunics were worn in a way to give them a little more freedom of movement and the opportunity to reveal a little leg and thigh if they desired to (Michell, H., 47). Spartan women dominated the household, offered opinion on public matters, and held power in and outside the home. They were the forefront of society behind the man.

Men were to dedicate their life to the state. Every young male Spartan was the property of the state. If they proved strong and healthy, they were raised as warriors. From infant to age seven, they were educated at home in literature, gymnastics, and told stories of courage and bravery. It was ingrained in them to be disciplined, the
Open Document