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Everyday Life in Sparta

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Everyday Life in Sparta

Daily Life - Hunting

Historical Source - An 6th century Lakonian Kylix depicting a hunting scene. Louvre Museum, Paris. (Refer to page 114)


* Spartan armour shown, such as the spear and javelin

* Used spears and javelin to hunt boars, fish and birds

* Shows strength, courage and great social distinction of the men

* Kylix shaped like a plate


This Lakonian Kylix depicting a hunting scene shows us the important elements of everyday life within Sparta. Hunting is considered to be one of the most popular leisure activities for Spartans. The Spartan men hunting a boar is a mark of great social distinction for a man. The slaughter of one's first boar for a young man shows a "rite of passage" to full manhood. The killing of a dangerous boar was a "blooding", in a male warrior society which indicates a man's andreia (manliness or virility). Hunting developed a man's bravery and agility which made him a complete better soldier. Ancient Greek historian, soldier and mercenary Xenophon believed that "hunting made a man's body healthy, improved his eyesight and hearing and trained him for war by accustoming him to the hardships of the wild. Hunting also developted Spartan charatacter. This artefact reveals that hunting was highly important towards the everyday life of a spartan. It proves that the nature of spartan society was unique. The stealth of the young boys who had once been encouraged to steal food was developed into the stealth of the hunter who stalked his animal prey which required skill. This Lakonian Kylix suggests that hunting was infact exclusive and showed true characteristics of Spartiate life.


One of the main problems with ancient artefacts is that you can never be sure of its origin and artist however, the title of the artefact, "Lakonian Kylix" indicates that it is from Lakonia. The Artefact indicates a brave hunter however, it is possible that it could be bias as there isnt much Lakonian Kylix's depicting a hunting scene which shows the negative side of hunting. Also we must remember that most pottery was created by Perioici who acted in the role of slaves and did majority of the labour. Therefore, the nature of this artefact depicting a hunting scene shows the importance of everyday life and considered reliable.


Everyday Life in Sparta

Marriage Customs

Historical Source - Relevant fragments of written sources. (refer to page 124)

"At marriage the women were carried off by force, not when they were small and unready for marriage, but when they were ripe and in their prime. After a woman was abducted, the so-called "bridesmaid" took the girl and cut her hair off close to the scalp, put on her a mans's cloak and sandals and placed her on a bed of rushes down on the floor, alone, in th e dark. Then the bridegroom who was not drunk with wine nor impotent, after dining in the messes, slipped in stealthfully, untied the belt around her hips and took her off to bed. Then, after a short time with his wife, he went away discreetly to where he usually slept among the other young men. From this time on he spent his days with his comrades and slept among them at night, but visited his bride secretly and cautiously, full of shame and fearful that someone in the house might sense his presence. His bride schemed and planned with him as to how they could meet together unoticed by others whenever there was an opportunity". Plutarch, Life of Lykourgos


* Women were married when they were ripe and in their prime.

* Bridegroom



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