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Lecture

Women in Antiquity 8.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLAS 2051
Professor
Fiona Black
Semester
Fall

Description
Sparta, Continued  Sparta and Athens, two major powers in Greece in the Classical period, mirrors of one another  Aristotle, writing in Athens, looking to Sparta and describing how different Sparta was from Athens o in particular, Lycurgas (480-350 BCE) (parallel to Solon), famous law writer, had big ideas of what to do with their polis, made reforms to government o problem with Spartan law, gives women too much liberty o Why should Athens continue to restrict giving power to women- it doesn't work in Sparta o similarities to Russia and America during the Cold War o suspicion from both sides of what happens in the opposite locale  Sparta left very little in terms of written documentation in Classical period  no opposing story to Aristotle's version of Sparta not being functional due to the liberities given to women  Plutarch- Roman world, 2nd century CE- recorded Spartan history, several hundred years later o confirmed Neo-Platonist, believes in equality between men and women o more sympathetic to Sparta, women than Aristotle o wrote about life of Lycurgas  criticism of Sparta by Aristotle is skewed because it views Athens as the base, good, and others as lower  sustained itself for a long time, eventually died out  Helot slaves ritually killed to show Spartan strength and force  in order to keep Helots (and Perioikoi) in their place, have a very strong army/force  Lycurgas introduced laws that led to the mass production of soldiers o Plutarch- Lycurgas kicked out of Sparta, went to Crete, met a poet who taught him about politics, Ionia and met Homer, and then brought "the best ideas"
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