Most people think of ancient Athens as the city of freedom and democracy, while they think of Sparta as a highly restricted society. The schools teach us that modern democracies are modeled on Athens, while military dictatorships are modeled on Sparta. However, history shows us that women had much more liberty in Sparta than in Athens. In fact, the democracy of Athens was available only to free men who were citizens of Athens. Moreover, to claim citizenship, an Athenian had to prove that both his parents were “astoi.” For the father, being “astos” meant that he was an Athenian citizen, but the mother could not be a citizen. Women were never citizens, but only able to transmit the rights of citizenship to their sons (Perry, et al, 1992, pp.60-61).
The political structure of Sparta, on the other hand, provided more liberty for more people, especially when those people were women. This goes against our generally held beliefs, yet there is much evidence for it. Both Athenian and Spartan women lived much of their lives separately from the men of their societies. Athenian men spent time away discussing politics and philosophy, but when they went home they expected obedience from their wives. Moreover, no Athenian citizen would ever admit that he took advice from a woman. Spartan men were gone even more, since they were soldiers. Only the men held official office, but everyone recognized the influence of women in decision making.
Spartan women gained freedom from male domination, but they were not likely to get any emotional support from their marriages. The men of Athens had to be the boss in public, but not necessarily in the home behind closed doors. In Athens, the men held public power, but in Sparta the state held public power (Perry, et al, 1992, pp.54-55, pp. 60-61).
The Essay on How Athen Took Over Leadership Of Sparta After The Persian Wars
HOW ATHENS TOOK OVER LEADERSHIP OF SPARTA AFTER THE PERSIAN WARS During the period of Greek history from the last years of the Persian Wars till the beginning of the First Peloponnesian War, the primacy of Sparta declined whileAthens was gaining increased influence in Greece. The Athenian, Thucydides (460-400 BC), one among few contemporary historians, left behind the most creditable records about ...
Even the style of dress reveals the relative liberty of the Spartan women, compared with the Athenian women. Athenian wives wore plain, modest clothing. Only prostitutes were allowed to wear jewelry or bright colors in public.
Spartan women, on the other hand, wore tunics in a way that gave them a little more freedom of movement and the opportunity to reveal a little of their legs if they so desired. Spartan girls competed in athletics at the same time as the boys and may have done so in the nude with a mixed audience. Fashions in clothing were closely associated with morality. With regard to education, the difference is striking. Athenian women were taught how to perform household chores, but they were discouraged from learning to read and write. Spartan women, on the other hand, received basically the same education as men, including physical education, as well as academics. Women were free to leave their homes without fear of being labeled as a prostitute or a slave, and they could fulfill strong roles in their society. Status of Athenian Women in Society Most Athenian philosophers believed that women had strong emotions and weak minds, so of course they had to be protected from themselves and prevented from harming others. Guardianship was the system developed to deal with this perceived quality in women.
Every woman in Athens had a kyrios (guardian) who was either her closest male birth-relative or her husband. Although she could own her clothing, jewelry, and personal slave and purchase inexpensive items, she was not allowed to buy anything else, or to own property or enter into any contract. Her kyrios controlled everything about her life (Oswyn, 1986, p. 212).
Citizenship for a woman entitled her to marry a male citizen and to join certain religious cults that were closed to men and non-citizens, but it did not give her any political or economic benefits (Oswyn, 1986, pp. 208-209).
The Essay on Women’s Education
Education is an important factor in a persons life now in the 21st century as well as it was in the past. The only differences between now and the past were the people that were able to receive a full education. In the present century, every one is entitled to the right to peruse an education. But in the past, men had the choice to receive a full education in a university, while women had the ...
Compared to the women of Sparta, the status of an Athenian woman in Greek society was minimal.
Athenian wives were only a small step above slaves. From birth a girl was not expected to learn how to read or write, and she could never expect to earn an education. Boys were taught reading and writing, while girls were taught spinning and other domestic duties by the slaves her family had (Oswyn, 1986, p. 228).
There are some notable exceptions. For example, there was Hipparchia, a philosopher of the Cynic school.
“She was able to marry and educate herself at the same time. ‘Respectable’ women, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of classical Greece, were not allowed to participate in the educational, cultural, or political life of their communities”(Kersey, 1989, p. 107).
Education Most Greek women, however, did not get an education. The famous philosopher Aristotle said: “It is advantageous for animals to be governed by men… between the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject”(Finnegan, 1995).
This concept explains and justifies why they thought that it was necessary for men to hold power over women. On the other hand, the philosopher Plato said, “that man and women with the same natural ability should receive the same education and training and to the same kind of work. Hence there will be female guardians and rulers, as well as male ones” (Grube, 1992, p.
Classes of Women Athenian women were divided into three general classes. The lowest class was the slave women, who did the menial domestic chores and helped to raise the children of the wife. Male slaves worked in the trade arts, including pottery making, glass working, and wood working, or educating the sons of a house. The second class of women was the Athenian citizen woman, who could pass the right of citizenship to her sons. The third class was known as the Hetaerae.
The Homework on Traditional Education System Change My Life
Traditional Education System Change My LifeEducation is a way to generate the complexities of knowledge. It is necessary for everyone to understand the public policy from the education. However, I was being in a nine years spoon-fed education system in Hong Kong. Particularly, traditional family spoon-fed education was influenced me unhappy and dependent. My family was a one of the simple ...
Unlike the slaves and the citizens, they were given an education in reading, writing, and music, and were allowed into the Agora and other places that were off limits to citizen and slave women. The social standing of the Hetaerae was at best at the level of prostitutes, and the level of power they achieved was only slightly significant (Cantarella & Lefkowitz, 1987, pp. 49-50).
Status of Spartan Women in Society Life in Sparta was oriented around the state. The individual lived and died for the state. Their lives were designed to serve the state from their beginning to the age of sixty.
Ironically, this soldier-centered state was the most liberal state with regard to the status of women. Education Women did not go through military training, but they were required to be educated in a similar manner. The Spartans were the only Greeks who took seriously the education of women and also established it as state policy. This was not an academic education for the women or the men. It was a physical education that could be demanding. Infant girls were also exposed to die if they were judged to be weak. The children were given physical and gymnastics training.
They were also taught that their lives should be dedicated to the state (Cantarella & Lefkowitz, 1987, pp. 42-43).
In most Greek states, women were required to stay indoors at all times, although only the upper classes could afford to observe this custom. Spartan women, on the other hand, were free to move about, and had an unusual amount of domestic freedom. For one thing, their husbands didnt live at home. Women could own property, and in fact, they owned more than a third of the land in Sparta.
Unlike the women in Athens, they had the right to manage their own property and to enter into contracts. Daughters inherited along with sons. Attempts were made to get rid of the practice of needing a dowry to get married (Cantarella & Lefkowitz, 1987, p. 91).
The ancient historian, Herodotus, wrote about the women of Sparta. In the stories in the Histories of Herodotus, the Spar ….