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Women in Antiquity 9.docx

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Mount Allison University
CLAS 2051
Fiona Black

Sparta Conclusion  Psuedo-Xenophon- On The Athenian Constitution, from a Spartan perspective, critical of Athenian law, the treatment of women, in Athens democracy gives too much power to everybody (slave can "slap" his master, master cannot do anything about it)  women have more privileges in Sparta than in Athens because they can bear children  treatment of women in Athens and in Sparta is the result of how they help achieve the ends of the men  childhood- positive treatment of children, no marriage until age 18 (Lycurgus believed this was the ideal age for childbearing)  Sparta had to extend and protect its boundaries- men were often away at war, gone for extended period of time, Spartan women had to fill their places ie. warriors away, don't know how many will come back, have to continue producing soldiers, accounts of Spartan women taking other partners while their husbands were away o one account: wife asks husband what she should do while he is away, he tells her to find a good husband o even Helots at one point were used to produce warriors (worst case scenario) o permitted infidelity- support of Sparta at all costs o stratification- Spartans, Perioikoi, Helots- Spartan women were trained in crafts, not allowed to do so for financial gain because they didn't need to (Perioikoi and Helots worked the land etc) o eugenics had less to do with the quality of Spartan warriors than the upbringing itself (living in barracks together, training, athleticism) o downside: men were mostly concerned with what the warrior were doing, as long as women produced children, the situation remained o women had financial resources to draw upon, no political motivations to change the state of affairs o Hellenistic period: luxurious spending by women, no restrictions on spending (woman first to enter horse competitions through funding) vs Athenian women did not have the same access to wealth o in Athens, widespread asceticism, however when a state becomes wealth enough, lavish spending increases  suspicious of the historical accuracy
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