Plutarch: The Lawgiver Of Ancient Sparta

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Early Greek historian and essayist, Plutarch, known for his accounts of prominent leaders, orators, and statesmen of Ancient Greece, wrote The Life of Lycurgus. In The Life of Lycurgus, Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Ancient Sparta, was responsible for the laws that made Sparta one of the prominent city-states of Greece. His distinct regulations allowed Spartan women to have a sense of independence, which was an unconventional practice to the Athenians and other Greeks. Plutarch even goes so far as to say, “He [Lycurgus] freed them from softness and sitting in the shade and all female habits…” (Plutarch, 2nd Cent. A.D.). Because of the laws and principles established by Lycurgus, Spartan women had more freedoms than Athenian women, however, they…show more content…
Sparta’s combative endowment had a high demand for Spartan bred male warriors (Pomeroy, 1975). In order to procreate strong and healthy male offspring, Lycurgus believed that child-bearers had to be strong and healthy too (Plutarch, 2nd Cent. A.D.). In fact, the early historian, Plutarch, wrote, “he [Lycurgus] ordered the maidens to exercise themselves… to the end that the fruit they conceived might, in strong and healthy bodies, take firm root and find better growth,” (Plutarch, 2nd Cent. A.D.). For this reason, Spartan girls had the same rations of food as the Spartan boys (Pomeroy,…show more content…
Socrates’ admiration for Sparta’s unique principles revealed, that not only were Spartans different from the rest of the Greeks, but how restricted the right to an education was to women in other parts of Greece.
In Athens, wealthier families hired tutors to teach their daughters the basics of writing and reading, but the rest of the Athenian girls had no “formal” education. In rare occasions, daughters of Athenian aristocrats, particularly females of the noble Athenian family, were sent to live with one of the many female cults that served numerous temples of various goddesses to acquire knowledge from them (Lewis,

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