Marriage in Sparta
Posted on 26th December 2020
Spartan women married later than women in other parts of Greece, often not until they reached eighteen to twenty; men married around the age of thirty.
Little concern was given to a family’s wealth or status therefore, it is believed that dowries were not given in marriage. It was much more important to marry women that were strong, athletic and suitable for giving birth and raising strong, healthy children.
On the night of a Spartan wedding, the bride’s hair was cut short as married women were forbidden from having long hair. She was dressed in a man’s cloak and left in a darkened room; then visited and taken by her husband.
Husbands did not usually live with their wives; they lived in barracks even after marriage, only visiting their wives at night.
Spartan women were often independently wealthy and had many more rights than their Athenian counterparts; they could divorce and remarry without fear of losing their personal wealth.
A husband would sometimes 'loan out' his wife to other men; unmarried men who wanted a child for themselves; the woman would give birth to the other man’s child.
Tagged as: Junior Ancient Greece
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