previous next

Women at Sparta

Spartan women1 were renowned throughout the Greek world for their relative freedom. Other Greeks regarded it as scandalous that Spartan girls exercised with boys and did so wearing minimal clothing. Women at Sparta were supposed to use the freedom from labor provided by the helot system to keep themselves physically fit to bear healthy children and raise them to be strict upholders of Spartan values. A metaphorical formulation of the male ideal for Spartan women appears, for example, in the poetry of Alcman in the late seventh century, who wrote songs for the performances of female and male choruses that were common on Spartan civic and religious occasions. The dazzling leader of a women's chorus, he writes, “stands out as if among a herd of cows someone placed a firmly-built horse with ringing hooves, a prize winner from winged dreams.”

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: