Women were only useful for establishing a bloodline that could carry on the family name and give the proper last rites to the husband. However, women did form life long bonds with their husbands and found love in arranged marriages. Women in Athenian Society Women are “defined as near slaves, or as perpetual minors” in Athenian society (The Greek World, pg. 200). For women life didn’t extend far from the home, which was thought to be their sole realm of existence.
Around the year 500 BCE many poleis existed in ancient Greece. Two of the main poleis, or city states in Greece, were Sparta and Athens. Although both of the city states were located in the same area of the world; they had different ways of living. Sparta and Athens had many differences in how they ran their city states. There were many political, economic, and social differences between the two city states.
Women were more traditional because society bestowed more traditional values upon them. Most women planned on giving up work when they married because this was the standard. There were even fewer women with long-term career ambitions. Fewer women had gone to college, attained managerial positions, or became doctors and lawyers than now.1 In 1950, only 37% of women ages 25 to 54 participated in the labor force -- meaning they had a job or were looking for one. In the 1950s, it was not deemed necessary by society for a woman to have a job.
New York: Oxford UP, 1999. 143. Print) Whereas Athenian women only received one-sixth the amount that their brothers inherited. Spartan women inherited three times as more than their Athenian sisters. Spartan women were also allowed and even encouraged to be educated, whereas the education of Athenian girls was almost nonexistent.
The most important thing a Spartan learned in school was that their loyalty to the state came before everything, including their families. There was a saying that soldiers would come back either with their shield or on it. The idea of dying in the line of battle, while protecting their country was not scary. This concept was something that the men learned at an early age. The reason that Sparta had such a strong emphasis on military ideals in education was because they were preparing for
Throughout history, Greece could easily be labeled as one of the world’s most diverse ideological locations. From the coasts and Universities of Athens to the Agoge of Sparta, it has become abundantly clear that there was a great amount of difference between these two Greek city-states. Consequently, both Poli developed and grew in greatly different ways because of how each of them performed the many tasks of running a successful governing body, or society for that matter. Athens and Sparta had a plethora of similarities and differences, the main two most diverse ideas being the government, and the military. The Athenian government focused very heavily on democracy, and lacked much of a powerful military.
The two cultures that I will talk about are the ancient Greeks and the ancient roman cultures. Both great civilizations started off as city-states the geography of both of these places differed while for Greek the geographical fragmentation of Greece encouraged political fragmentation. Communications were poor, which led to more rocky paths than actual roads. In early Greek history, a few kingdoms did develop but with the rugged terrain it prohibited them from growing very big. While in Rome in was located with mountains on the east side and the sea on west side.
In conclusion Athens and Sparta were both very different Greek city-states, so different in fact that they could not get along. Trade, democracy, foreigners, individualism, thought, and the arts were all a part of Athens. Contrasting was Sparta whose focus was on the state, achieving power and independence, and their military. They were not able to ever unite, because of their sociological and cultural differences. Geographically they were so close that they could not ignore one another but fought for the top position among the Greek city-states.
There was no room for personal expression or freedom and the strict moral code in many cases restricted these women from even leaving their homes. There was a select group of women however who overcame these obstacles to achieve greater sexual, economical, and social freedom. They were the prostitutes. The freedom which prostitutes enjoyed would be better understood only after first assessing the status of "respectable" women in Athens. Girls were raised from an early age to learn domestic affairs and were to be wed even as early as the age of fourteen (Just 1989: 40).
This was a big step forward for women everywhere, they could finally live a life without men and still be okay. Women were finally responsible for themselves, their own person; free. In 1963 the “Equal Pay Act” was introduced in the United States. This act stopped employers from discriminating their employees on the bases of gender and paying less to one gender; and more to the other. Although some still got away with it, women were still given a fair chance at equal pay after decades of battles.