Sparta, which existed from 800 B.C. until A.D. 200, was renowned in the ancient world as a stoic and martial city-state, and most of what we know about Sparta concerns its military history and male-dominated social structure. Yet Spartan women were in many ways among the most liberated of the ancient world, receiving formal instruction in poetry, music, dance, and physical...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 11th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 1st 2002)
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There are clearly but few sources about Spartan women. Judging by this work, too few to justify a whole book dedicated to the subject. When you add to that Pomeroy's tendency to overemphasize dramatic information, this work is not an asset to modern scolarship. For instance, the practice of wife-sharing or husband-doubling is so contrary to what we know from the rest of Greece at this time and of history in general that it should be discussed with a highly critical view, but instead she repeats...more
I've always felt akin to that people and times. People have a funny idea of what life was like many many centuries ago but people have the same wants, desires, fears and tragedies and triumphs. A spare life does not mean an unfulfilled life. And one gets a taste of that and especially from a female perspective. They were afforded many "luxuries" we do not have this day.
This is not my field, but I understand why Pomeroy is so well known and respected. This book is, in my view, extremely well done and highly informative. If I could understand sources from antiquity better, I'd give it 5 stars. I just am never sure about methodology during this time period. But, from what I can tell -- it's flawless! :)