Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Education in Sparta

In Sparta, life was very different, in regards to Athens. There, education was mostly aimed at creating good soldiers, because every male citizen had to serve in the army for most of his life. Citizen boys had to leave home and join the army at the age of only seven. They were forced to live a hard life all together in barracks with only a mat on the floor for a bed. They were only allowed one cloak each year to wear and they were not allowed to have shoes. They were encouraged to steal food so that they would be able to steal when they were on campaign with the army. But if they got caught stealing food, they would be beaten. Sometimes, they were beaten just in order to toughen them up. They were also taught basic reading and writing and to play music, but physical education was considered the most important thing.

Citizen girls also received a state education in Sparta. They lived in special girls' barracks. We do not know whether these were as harsh as the boys' barracks. Much of their education was also physical education, as it was believed that it was necessary for mothers to be strong in order for them to have strong children. But it was also considered important to teach girls music and dancing.

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