Essay about Differences and Similarities of The Women of Athens and Sparta

Essay about Differences and Similarities of The Women of Athens and Sparta

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Women in the ancient world had few rights, they differed from country to country or, in the case of the women of Athens and Sparta, from city-state to the city-state. The women of the city-states of Athens and Sparta had profound differences in their roles in the political and the daily lives of their families and their cities. When it came to the difference in levels of power and the rights of women, Sparta was a leader in its time. At the same time, their rights as citizens were almost the same. While they did not take an active part in politics, they had opinions and ideas like women all over the world. Their thoughts, deeds, and opinions rarely recorded or if they were, the male historians or philosophers of the time recorded them. What were roles did the women in ancient Athens and Sparta? Were they citizens, did they have personal freedoms? On the other hand, did they in a time when the beginnings of democracy were happening were they less than a second-class citizen? The misogyny and patriarchal societies continued throughout the ancient and classical periods only beginning to change in the Hellenistic era.
Women in antiquity did not have an easy lot in life. They had few, if any, rights. Surviving early records of the civilizations of antiquity from ancient Greece, Egypt, China, and Rome suggest the diversity of women’s roles differed little from region to region. There were a few exceptions, mostly concerning women of nobility and the city-state of Sparta. Excluding the rare instances mentioned most antique women were generally limited on education, mobility, and almost all possibilities interfering with domestic or childbearing responsibilities. The limited social roles of women in antiquity suggest the perceived c...


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Mason, Moya K. Ancient Athenian Women of the Classical Period www.moyak.com/papers/athenian-women.html. Accessed: March 9, 2012.
Meyer, Jargen C. “Women in Classical Athens in the Shadow of North-West Europe or in the Light from Istanbul”. Women’s Life in Classical Athens. www.hist.uib.no/antikk/antres/Womens life.htm. Accessed: March 10, 2012
Nardo, Don . Women of Ancient Greece. San Diego: Lucent Books. 2000. Print.

Sarah Pomeroy. Goddess, Whores, Wives and Slaves. (New York: Pantheon. 1975, 1976. Print. P. 80
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