What are the main differences between Athenian and Spartan women?

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This question asks you to present a view of a typical Athenian woman and a typical Spartan woman and compare them to each other.

Two examples of these differences are:

their dresses - Spartan women wore short tunic's, unlike Athenian women who wore long chitons and jewelry 

their skin tone - Spartan women were often tanned from being outside, Athenian women were expected to be pale to prove they were wealthy.

Both of these examples above are due to the differences in lifestyle and freedom that each group of women were allowed. It is important to not only note the physical differences but to explore why these were the case. In other words don't forget to examine the cultural reasons for their differences. Spartan women wore short tunics because they trained with the men and needed to be able to move freely, Athenian women were pale because it proved that they were wealthy enough to pay slaves to work outside for them.

The examiner will want to know that you understand the roles of Athenian and Spartan women in their respective societies.

Astoria Z.

About the author

is an online GCSE Classical Civilisation tutor with MyTutor studying at Exeter University

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