3. Social relationships and gender roles

Social Structure and Organisation
Spartiates (homoioi)
– were of Dorian origin.
– elite group, owned a plot of public land (kleros), allegedly had to prove descent from Herakles
– were involved in few activities other than military training, as commerce was left to the Perioikoi and agriculture to the helots. (Forbidden from trade, industry, farming.)
– Had to contribute to the syssitia/pass through the agoge.
– Ideal men were soldiers. At 30, had full voting and citizenship rights.
– Women: restricted as were most women of ancient times, but had more freedom than most Greeks. Could inherit property if there were no male heirs. Luxury was discouraged for them as with the men. They also conformed to the ideal of sacrifice to the state and were supposed to encourage the men to be courageous and die honourably rather than live in cowardice. Had no voting rights, but did come to own 2/5 of land through inheritance.
– Spartiates came to be outnumbered 15/1 by helots and perioikoi.
– Citizens ultimately free off caring for own family, and could devote themselves to the state.
Social groupings:
- Tribe: large group of families claiming common ancestor
- Clan: smaller group of families part of tribe
- Phratry: 'brotherhood' – smaller grouping within clan, sometimes religious
- Oikos: the household/single family.
Tyrtaeus wrote that originally Sparta had 3 main tribes.

– were also Dorian in origin
– self-governing, had local citizenship, managed own communities and religion.
– Managed economic affairs: business and trade
– owed allegiance to Sparta, could not intermarry, expected to serve in army when required.
– It was a delicate balance to keep them satisfied (or intimidated) enough to remain faithful and submissive, but not to let them become independent enough not to be of any use.
– probably mined and made armour for the army – v. important.
– Essential for army as the Spartan population...