Sisters of cowards could not be married.
In Sparta, as in other city states, several factors could lead to a maiden being deemed unsuitable for marriage, but this reason is particularly Spartan. Cowardice was the ultimate disgrace in Sparta, and that particular shame dishonored not only the individual but his entire family. One commentator suggests that those famous anecdotes of Spartan mothers exhorting their sons to choose death over cowardice were fueled because they didn’t want their families burdened with unmarriageable daughters.
Tune in next week for more about the Spartan women!