How Did Families in Sparta Differ From Those in Athens?

Updated: January 22, 2023
Spartan families were much more disciplined and militaristic than Athenian families. Spartan families also had a lot more restrictions placed upon them, such as not being able to own private property.
Detailed answer:

The Spartans believed that the family was the basic unit of society, and that children should be raised to be strong and disciplined soldiers. They lived together in military-style barracks, ate together, trained together and fought together. This close-knit bond between family members made them more willing to die for each other than many Athenian families were for their own members.

The men and women of Sparta lived in separate quarters, with the men usually being housed together. The women were not allowed to leave their homes without permission from their parents or husbands, and they could not eat in the company of men. They could also not attend public festivals or games.

Families in Sparta were required by law to marry within their own social class, this was a way for the Spartans to keep their society stable, as well as maintain power and influence over other city-states around them. If they married outside their social class, they could be exiled from the community, along with their family members who married outside of their own class.

In Greece during this time period, divorce was rare because it was believed that marriage was for life; however, the Spartans did not believe this way at all! In fact, if a couple divorced (which was very common), then both parties would have to return to their father’s house because there was no provision for single-parenting or custody issues (like there is today).

How Did Families in Sparta Differ From Those in Athens?. (2023, Jan 22). Retrieved from