Role of Women in Spartan Society

Describes how women in Sparta enjoyed more privileges and had more influence then women in other city-states.

Using Stephen Pressfield’s Gates of Fire, the unique role of Spartan women and their influence over men is shown. The paper explains that women were not subservient mothers, but played an active role in polis life and had considerable leverage in directing the men and the state to act.
During the times of the ancient Greeks, women were generally considered inferior to men and afforded very few rights and privileges. In these male dominated societies, a woman’s only function was to bear children and attend to the needs of her husband. However, the Spartans thought very highly of their women and granted them more freedoms than anywhere else in Greece. This is because unlike the women in other cities, Spartan women played an active role in the life of the polis. The role of Spartan women was not merely to produce male warriors, but to uphold Spartan ideals and ensure that the men maintained the standards which Spartan society was built upon.