→Spartan Women and Public Life
==== Spartan Women and Public Life====
Spartan women were part of the political community and they had the same rights as men. The city-state’s political system was a curious one and it had two royal families and two queens. Now, these queens did not have real formal political power, but they had enormous influence. The queens had a great deal of social prestige and Gorgo, the widow of King Leonidas, who died a hero at Thermopylae, was a very important figure in Laconia. Many queens used this to influence policies and even royal successions. Perhaps the most influential queen was, Arachidamia, who contributed to the successful defense of the city against Pyrrhus IV in 272 BC <ref> Cartledge, p 201</ref>. The Spartans were very pious and observant in the worship of the Gods. There were many cults in Sparta dedicated to female gods and heroes. Helen of Troy, who was born in Sparta was worshiped by both women and men. The cults dedicated to female heroes and deities were overseen by priestesses, something that was not uncommon in the Greek world. The number of cults dedicated to female figures indicates the relative importance of women in the city-state. Females played a very important role in the enforcement of Spartan values, especially the family members of warriors. The female relatives of fallen soldiers celebrated the death of those who died in battle and lamented the survival of those adjudged to be cowards. The mothers of warriors had to ensure that their sons fought and died like their forefathers. Reputedly, a Spartan mother told her son ‘to come back with his shield or on it’ <ref>Talbot, p 118</ref>. In other words, come back a hero or come back dead. Clearly, women had a great deal of social authority in the city-state unlike other parts of Greece. It was widely believed in the Greek world that women ‘ruled’ the men in the city-state. When a queen was asked why Spartan women were the only in Greece able to dominate men, she replied ‘"because we are also the only ones who give birth to men." <ref> Plutarch, Moralia 225A and 240E </ref>.
====Spartan women and land ownership====