• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The role and status of woman in Spartan society.

Extracts from this document...


The role and status of woman in Spartan society. Woman in Spartan society had much more power, influence and freedom then those in other neighbouring Greek states. Woman in other Greek areas were given manual tasks of making clothes, and harvesting crops. They were also given the plainest of foods and were rarely permitted to drink wine. This was not the case in Sparta. Spartan woman were criticised by many ancient historians such as Aristotle for their power, but they maintained a very important role in Spartan society. Woman of Sparta had the primary duty of producing physically and mentally strong children. They were expected to train regularly in order to maintain a high level of fitness. The view Lycourgus supposedly held was that if the mother and father of the child were fit and healthy as possible, the child would also have these traits and therefore a strong Spartiate. ...read more.


Women were also able to mingle freely with men and wear less restricting clothes, another display of power. One can speculate that Woman were of almost equal levels of respect and standing in society as men. They had much freedom and enjoyed many of the activities men were required to undergo. Another huge responsibility of woman was to run a household. While men were absent on campaign woman maintained Spartan society. They were essential in keeping the warrior society functioning and maintaining itself. As woman could inherit property, and wealth derived from landownership woman of Sparta could become subsequently wealthy and influential. Aristotle believed that by the end of the classical period woman owned 2/3 of the land. He also states however that their freedom and influence woman had on both their husbands and society inevitably lead to their downfall. Woman also held a very powerful position when it came to influencing men of Sparta. ...read more.


They remained in the household and were taught what officials thought necessary to learn. They learnt to weave, but this was only thought to be the weaving of ritualistic wear. (Every day weaving was left to the helot slaves) it is also assumed they learnt basic literary skills but there is no strong evidence to support this. Physical training was apart of their education as dictated by Lycourgus. They participated in outdoor group sports and athletics, which were frowned upon by many Greek states. They were also taught to sing alone and in choruses. Along with these aspects of education they were taught to be powerful woman who supported their warrior husbands, fathers or brothers. They were taught to enforce military prestige to their sons, when they themselves were mothers. We know this from the famous quote; 'come home with your shield or on it' a saying of Spartan woman. They were also taught how to manage e properties while their husbands were away on campaign. Aristotle saw their education and prominence as Spartans downfall. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. In your opinion, where did the real power lie within the Spartan Constitution?

    This type of power often relies on brute force and the fear of those being coerced. Unlike the other types of power however, Coercive Power, is normally ineffective as it builds resentment and resistance from the people who experience it.

  2. Euripides was accused by his contempories of being a woman hater. Why do you ...

    In this sense we must respect her for sticking by her decision and understand that Agamemnon did kill their daughter and come back with a concubine. In a very slight way, she is justified. Therefore, Euripides has created in Electra a very complicated character.

  1. The Waterways to Freedom.

    Here on Calypso's island, he lives in majestic paradise: "A deep wood grew outside, with summer leaves of alder and black poplar, pungent cypress. Ornate birds rested there stretched wing - horned owls, falcons, cormorants - long-tongued beachcombing birds, and followers of the sea" (22-26).

  2. Greek History - the status of the Helots in Sparta

    They were natives of Greece who spoke Greek, and could not be sold abroad. Additionally, they were allowed to own property, whereas their counterparts typically were not (Pomeroy 160).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work