Presentation on theme: "Seminar, week 8 – Tuesday 19 th November Group C: 4-5pm S0.20 Sharples-Worboys Group B: 5-6pm H0.52 Learoyd-Hurst-Platt Group A: 6-7pm S0.19 Addy-Laverick."— Presentation transcript:
Seminar, week 8 – Tuesday 19 th November Group C: 4-5pm S0.20 Sharples-Worboys Group B: 5-6pm H0.52 Learoyd-Hurst-Platt Group A: 6-7pm S0.19 Addy-Laverick
Lecture outline Views on Spartan Society – the evidence Educating Spartan women Physical exercise Getting Married Underlying questions – do you think that Spartan society can be considered a feminist society? Were Spartan women the exception to the rule in Greece?
The Helots Lower-class group, outnumbering Spartan Greeks living in Laconia and Messenia, reduced to servitude by the Spartans in archaic period Worked like slaves Essential to Spartan economy Responsible for domestic work in Spartan homes
Views on Spartan Society Aristotle; ‘The licence permitted to women…’ Xenophon – writing in 4 th century Plutarch – writing AD 100
Education Archaic & Classical period – boys and girls both educated in official system Girls raised to become ideal Spartan mothers Boys raised to become ideal Spartan soldiers
A Boy’s Education Demanding Emphasis on survival Training to be hoplite
A Girls Education Used to make all girls the same kind of mothers Did not required full-time system Lived and ate at home with mothers Had leisure and privacy Significantly more freedom that other Greek women
Literacy Evidence is scant Emphasis upon writing, music, dancing and poetry Influence of oral culture
Plato’s Praise “In those two states there are not only men but women also who pride themselves on their education; and you can tell that what I say is true and that the Spartans have the best education in philosophy and argument…” Plato, Protagoras, 342D
Dancing the Bibasis? 520-500 BC Bronze girl, found in Prizren
Physical Education Most heavily documented aspect of Spartan women’s lives Of interest to ancient writers and observers Most likely unique in the Greek world
Activities Running, wrestling, javelin, discus throwing Did boys and girls exercise together? Possibly took part in hunting!
Horsemanship Votive bronze horse, 8 th century, dedicated at Olympia All genders involved in horse activities Likely that Spartan women rode horses
Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas, Young Spartans Exercising, 1860
Becoming a wife “But Lycurgus though that slave women were able to supply clothing, and he believed motherhood was most important for freeborn women. Therefore first he ordered the female sex to exercise no less than the male; moreover, he created competitions in racing and trials of strength for women as for men, believing that healthier children will be born if both parents are strong” Xenophon 1.1-4
‘Husband-doubling’ “[Lycurgus]…. Decreed…that the husband should embarrassed to be seen visiting his wife… thus the desire for intercourse would e more fervent… If, however, it happened that an old man had a young wife… He required the elderly husband to bring in some man whose body and spirit he admired, in order to beget children.”
‘Husband-doubling’ 2 …he made it legal for [the husband] to choose a woman who was the mother of a fine family and well born, and if he persuaded her husband, he produced children with her. Many such arrangements developed. For wives want to get possession of two oikoi, and the husbands want to get brothers for their sons”
Marriage ceremony “They used to marry by capture, not when the women were small or immature, but when they were in their prime and fully ripe for it. The so-called ‘bridesmaid’ took the captured girl. She shaved her head to the scalp, then dressed her in a man’s cloak and sandals, and laid her down alone on a mattress in the dark…”
Marriage practices Married couple would be close in age Could have seen each other exercising nude Husband lived with army group with aged 30 – leaving women in charge of children and household!
Feminist Society? Do you think that Sparta was a feminist society?