Spartan Woman Bronze Statue

Spartan Woman

This bronze statue dates back to 500 B.C.E  depicting what archaeologist believe is a Spartan woman. This artifact is currently part of the British Museum’s collection. The statue is of interest because of what the woman is doing. The statue shows that she is engaging in exercise. While it could be that it is showing her doing some form of dance, the exercise theory does not seem that impossible. Spartan women were allowed to compete in athletics and exercise. Spartan women according to ancient texts mostly competed in footraces. They were not only allowed to engage in physical activity, but also gain education. Such opportunities were not available to other Greek women. Athens was particularly disgusted with Spartan gender relations. The reasons for Spartan women’s relative freedom was not for the sake of gender equality. Spartans thought that exercise would ensure women would produce healthier offspring. Spartan society was very regimented and militaristic. Equality was not the priority, but the maintenance of a warrior culture. The Spartan woman bronze statue demonstrates than women did participate in sports and exercise  in the ancient world, prior to modern professional sports.

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