Spartan Women

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In fact, Spartan women were forbidden to wear gold or use cosmetics.

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Pomeroy presents a valid case that female babies were not put to the same scrutiny as the males except for obvious physical deformities. Not all male babies were capable of being warriors, but even the weakest female baby could grow into a mother of warriors.

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Unlike most societies in ancient Greece, the private family religious cult was virtually unknown in Sparta. There are several main reasons for this: The first is because there was such an emphasis on community, so primary loyalty was to the state not the family. Religion was important to women in Sparta, however. Spartan Women is scholarly and well-researched, yet written in an easy-to-understand style for a general audience. Your review is the best yet, because it fills in a lot of the valuable information that I would otherwise miss.

Women in ancient Sparta

The first sequence at that link has a fair amount of overlap with the above. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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Sparta was one of the most important Greek city-states throughout The lives of women in the Middle Ages were determined by the Church The Peloponnesian League c. One of the central values of ancient Egyptian civilization, arguably The fifth phase of the Delian League begins with the Peace of Nicias Gorgo was the queen of the Greek city-state of Sparta, daughter Help us write more We're a small non-profit organisation run by a handful of volunteers.

Independently published 03 May Sparta: Rise of a Warrior Nation. They also seem to have maintained a remarkable control over their own fertility compared to other Greek women.

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In particular, Pomeroy emphasizes the active role that Spartan women played in all aspects of Spartan life, especially in choosing their sexual partners, rearing their children, influencing their adult sons, and, above all, maintaining the norms on which Spartan life was based in such tales as the Spartan mother telling her son to come home "with his shield or on it". A particularly valuable part of Pomeroy's book is the appendix on "Sources for the History of Spartan Women," which offers a comprehensive survey and evaluation of all the evidence on this topic, both literary and material.

Pomeroy begins with two cautions about the literary evidence.

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First of all, the few extant ancient written sources on Spartan women tend to be influenced by foreign, especially Athenian, stereotypes of Sparta. Indeed, much of the literary evidence about Sparta comes from non-Spartans like Euripides, Plato, Xenophon, and Plutarch. While some of these authors reveal great admiration for the Spartan way of life, they remain, nevertheless, outsiders.

Pomeroy's second caution is that the female voice in these sources is only indirectly heard in literature produced by males. Pomeroy suggests that the Spartan woman can perhaps be heard in the voices of the girls speaking in the poetry of Alcman, in epigrams about women like the one celebrating the chariot victories of Cynisca, and in Plutarch's collection of Sayings of Spartan Women.

Even the names of Spartan women are not well documented, partly, Pomeroy suggests, because so much of the literature was written by non-Spartans, especially Athenians for whom it was inappropriate to mention the name of a respectable woman in public. Pomeroy's survey of sources is arranged first by type and then by chronology.

Spartan Women (Antiquity)

Beginning with literary sources, she moves from the poetry of Alcman in the Archaic period, to references to Spartan women in Athenian drama and philosophical texts like those of Plato and Xenophon in the Classical period, to authors like Plutarch in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. Pomeroy's overview of the treatment of Spartan women in various ancient authors and periods is an important feature of this appendix. Also of note is her section on secondary sources in which she observes that most studies of Sparta have either lacked an interest in women's topics or misinterpreted the evidence.

She cites Cartledge's Sparta and Lakonia , noted above, as an example of the former, and his important study "Spartan Wives: Liberation or Licence? A very different view of these women emerges when their lives are compared to those of their contemporaries in other parts of Greece.

In her survey of sources Pomeroy also examines the material evidence for the lives of Spartan women. Archaeological finds include thousands of lead female figures excavated at the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia as well as significant pottery, bronzes, and inscriptions from Laconia. Photographs of several of these artifacts are included among the illustrations in this book. Compared to other parts of Greece, however, the amount of material representing women in Sparta is sparse. Since much of the artwork in the rest of Greece was devoted to the theme of male domination and suppression of women, Pomeroy suggests, the general lack of such artwork in Sparta may have resulted from and reinforced the more active role Spartan women played in their society.

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