Research Ramblings: Spartan Women Part 5

As noted in my January 9, 2014 post, the lives of Spartan women were completely unlike those of their Greek sisters, and I’m continuing my series on these differences with today’s fact:

Spartan women had a public life.

Spartan women were not chained to their homes. They’d go out to exercise and inspect property, and they could interact with men. According to one reference, jeering girls provided a kind of peer pressure to discourage cowardice among boys.

In contrast, Athenian society relegated women to the home. They could only leave for certain religious functions and were forbidden to interact with men other than relatives.  Except for perhaps midwifery, a woman could not have any occupation outside her home. All of which meant they were entirely dependent on men for their livelihood. If a woman lost all her male relatives and was so desperate as to take a job outside the house, she had really hit rock bottom.

Tune in next week for more about the Spartan women!


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