Women of Athens and Sparta

The Women of Sparta and Athens.doc (30 kB)


The living conditions for citizen women between Athens and Sparta were incredibly different. In Sparta the citizen woman was given great responsiblities in manage the household and guard the city. She had great freedom compared with the citizen women of Athens. However the greater freedom and responsbility was in the context of a violent warrior society, one that would take her sons away at a very young age for a lifetime of military service. Athletic prowess and strength were valued in Spartan society and expected of the female.

In Athens women were expected to tend to the home of her husband and her children's education. The athenian woman depending on her social class could be well educated and have her spoken words respected amongst her male peers (depending on her class remember). Athenian society was far more based on the arts that the Spartan society. It was also more hierarchical, with rich male citizens at the top, and the male citizen in general was in above his female compatriot and often seen as property.