The Treatment Of Women And Spartan Women Essay

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The treatment of women in ancient Greece varied wildly from state to state. Two particular cities stand out as stark opposites: Athens and Sparta. When considering the two, many consider Sparta to have been far more progressive in terms of women’s rights, at least for that day and age. Compare: in Sparta women were encouraged to eat well, and train their bodies, that they might be at their peak physical form, while in Athens women were fed what the men did not eat, and were rarely allowed to leave their homes. At first it appears that Sparta embraces the idea of equality, but I believe that Sparta’s apparent feminism is only a coincidence, a byproduct of Sparta’s unique patriarchy. I will argue that the reason Athenian women and Spartan women were treated differently lies in how their respective societies functioned, rather than due to religion or ethics. Survival is what lies at the heart of ancient women’s rights, roles, and treatment in religion.

To explain why these two city-states differed by such a margin requires knowledge of how each city functioned. Athens and Sparta may have existed at the same time, but they couldn’t have been further apart. Athens is considered the birthplace of democracy, and for good reason. Citizens were given the right to vote, hold office, and serve on juries. They decided, created, and ruled upon the laws of their city. The men of Athens were poets, scholars, artists, farmers, doctors, philosophers, and they believed in the power of mind.…

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