Women During The Ancient World

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Throughout the ancient world women possessed few rights and privileges. A woman’s freedom varied depending on where she was born, in this case Athens and Sparta. But it can be said that most women were second-class citizens during this time period. Most women had limited social roles, little education, and no involvement in politics. Power and freedom was something that only existed in a man’s world, while women were expected to be submissive, docile, bear children, and take care of the household. Surviving records from ancient Greece show that women’s roles did not differ much from city-state to city-state but there were exceptions that include noble women and most notably, Spartan women. Some civilizations treated women with respect…show more content…
Life in Athens and Sparta evidently shows Spartan women held more freedom and authority than their Athenian counterparts. Sparta and Athens were both prominent city-states or poleis in Ancient Greece. Sparta, meaning “sown land” or “broom shrub” was also called Lacedaemon and was located on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia on the southeastern Peloponnese. Sparta was a model oligarchy and a very unique city-state because of its social system which was entirely focused on military training. “The Spartans were secretive and anti-intellectual. They rarely let in visitors and left behind few writings. Most modern knowledge of Sparta comes from information preserved by the Ancient Greek writers Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Aristotle, and Plutarch who were not themselves Spartans” (Sacks). Their inhabitants were classified as spartiates (Spartan citizens), mothakes (non-free Spartan men raised as citizens, perioikoi (free men), and helots (non-Spartan serfs and slaves). Sparta was a subject of fascination or disgust for Ancient Greeks. Athens was also a Greek city-state and is one of the oldest cities in the world that has been continuously inhabited for 5,000 years. Athens is named after the Goddess Athena, their patron. Athens stands on what was once a defensible settlement, called an acropolis. Athens was known
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