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Spartan Women

by Sarah B. Pomeroy

ISBN 0195130677 / 9780195130676 / 0-19-513067-7
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

This is the first book-length examination of Spartan women, covering over a thousand years in the history of women from both the elite and lower classes. Classicist Sarah B. Pomeroy comprehensively analyzes ancient texts and archaeological evidence to construct the world of these elusive though much noticed females. Sparta has always posed a challenge to ancient historians because information about the society is relatively scarce. Most existing scholarship on Sparta concerns the military history of the city and its heavily male-dominated social structure--almost as if there were no women in Sparta. Yet perhaps the most famous of mythic Greek women, Menelaus' wife Helen, the cause of the Trojan War, was herself a Spartan. Written by one of the leading authorities on women in antiquity, Spartan Women reconstructs the lives and the world of Sparta's women, including how their status changed over time and how they held on to their surprising autonomy. Proceeding through the archaic, classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods, Spartan Women includes discussions of education, family life, reproduction, religion, and athletics. [via]