Research Ramblings: Spartan Women Part 13

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 did not have to weave.

In other city states, a woman’s main occupation after child rearing and household management was weaving. Back then, producing cloth was a lengthy process, and any idle time a woman might have went into spinning and weaving.

Spartan women also had the responsibility of raising children and managing their homes, but they also had the benefit of the slave/serf helot population. The helots took care of menial tasks, including cloth production, which freed a Spartan woman’s time for other pursuits. However, that didn’t mean the women of Sparta didn’t know how to weave. They could if they chose, and some believe that they focused their efforts on special pieces, such as those for religious purposes, rather than everyday items like towels.

Tune in next week for more about the Spartan women!


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