Spartan Women vs Athenian Women

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Most people think of ancient Athens as the city of freedom and democracy, while they think of Sparta as a highly restricted society. The schools teach us that modern democracies are modeled on Athens, while military dictatorships are modeled on Sparta. However, history shows us that women had much more liberty in Sparta than in Athens. In fact, the democracy of Athens was available only to free men who were citizens of Athens. Moreover, to claim citizenship, an Athenian had to prove that both his parents were "astoi." For the father, being "astos" meant that he was an Athenian citizen, but the mother could not be a citizen. Women were never citizens, but only able to transmit the rights of citizenship to their sons (Perry, et al, 1992,…show more content…
The social standing of the Hetaerae was at best at the level of prostitutes, and the level of power they achieved was only slightly significant (Cantarella & Lefkowitz, 1987, pp. 49-50).
Status of Spartan Women in Society
Life in Sparta was oriented around the state. The individual lived and died for the state. Their lives were designed to serve the state from their beginning to the age of sixty. Ironically, this soldier-centered state was the most liberal state with regard to the status of women.
Women did not go through military training, but they were required to be educated in a similar manner. The Spartans were the only Greeks who took seriously the education of women and also established it as state policy. This was not an academic education for the women or the men. It was a physical education that could be demanding. Infant girls were also exposed to die if they were judged to be weak. The children were given physical and gymnastics training. They were also taught that their lives should be dedicated to the state (Cantarella & Lefkowitz, 1987, pp. 42-43).
In most Greek states, women were required to stay indoors at all times, although only the upper classes could afford to observe this custom. Spartan women, on the other hand, were free to move about, and had an unusual amount of

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