April 18 2013
Gender Roles in Athens and Sparta
The ancient Greek city-states of Sparta and Athens are much known and have played a big role in history. Their ways and customs have affected the United States and many other countries around. Although they are both located in Greece these two city states are different in many ways. From governmental organizations to education these two are very different. The gender roles that are played by males and females , especially females differ greatly. The genders caught interest and the question that this difference stirs is: What roles did gender play in the ancient Geek city-states of Sparta and Athens?
Sparta is known as the capital of Laconia, which is found in Greece. Sparta was created when the Dorian Greeks invaded the area. The Dorian Greeks also later conquered the countryside of Laconia and Messenia. Sparta’s trust came from their Army. The army defeated their opponents in army strength. The faith of their Army was so strong that for a long time they went without city walls. The society that Sparta created was built on order and discipline. Sparta’s society was governed by two hereditary kings. The two kings were the leaders in battle as well as leaders in religion. Sparta’s religion was polytheism. They believed in many different gods to supply different needs for them. Sparta’s society consisted of a council of elders and a general assembly was held for citizens to voice their concerns and opinions. Although they kings and elders played their role in society, it was safe to say society was actually ruled by a board of five ephors. The ephor was comprised of an executive, legislative, and judicial board. The elections were made annually among Sparta. The kings and ephor relation was often questioned. The kings were considered the authorized military commanders, but the ephors were given full discretion in demanding the troops. The social structure was composed of Spartiates, Perioeci and Helots. Spartiates were considered the men who served in the military. They were given the privilege to vote as well. The Perioecis did not serve in the army but they were considered freemen. Most of perioecis were artisans and merchants. They were not able to vote. The helots were the people they captured after invading other places. The social classes mostly consist of the male population in Sparta.
Athens is known as the capital of Greece. It has been said that Athens was founded when King Theseus united in state settlements of Attica. Ancient Athens was known for their wealth and leisure. The abundance of both produced literature and art which man Athens great in Greece. Unlike Sparta, Athens became a democracy. This gave the citizens of Athens rights and duty on the governance of Athens. It gave the citizens a voice. Although Athens did have military they…