Spartan Women Life: Women were forbidden from speaking at the public assembly, but it is mentioned that they still held much influence in the community and often voiced their opinions about political matters, trusting their husbands to deliver their thoughts to the assembly for them.

Spartan Women Life

Spartan Women Life: Landowners

The dispute over how women in Sparta obtained land and from whom is largely discussed amongst historians, including those of the ancient world like Aristotle and Plutarch. Each adult male Spartiate was given a kleros when he finished agoge, a Spartan public school for boys. His kleros was run and tended to by the helots who inhabited the land.

The land was most commonly passed down from a family to the sons, however, considering the flexibility of Spartan law; fathers were allowed to leave portions of their land to their daughters. In the cases when men had no sons, the daughters would then be heiresses and inherit the entire estate.

Spartan Women Life

Spartan Marriage

As with inheritance, the practice of marriage is not well enough documented or universal enough to declare a specific practice amongst all Spartans. However, it was a general practice that men did not marry until the age of thirty when they were done with their mandatory military service.

Still, some men married in their twenties and simply crept away from the barracks at night to meet their wives. Women married later than most other Greek societies, usually in their late teens and early twenties.

Often marriages were bride-captures prearranged with the father’s consent. In bride-captures, the bride was clothed in men’s sandals and cloak and her hair were cut. The groom would then carry the woman away to bed and return to his barracks before the morning.

Spartan Women Life

Education in Sparta

Female education is vague and rarely mentioned as in a formal class setting, presumably taking place in the home. It is at least documented that wealthier women wrote letters to their sons and therefore assumed they could read and write. It is more clearly understood that women studied music, which consisted of the arts, music, dancing, and poetry.