Explananda Chris has been doing some Herodotus blogging. Building on that theme, here’s some Plutarch blogging, on the education of Spartan girls:
He (Lycurgus) did away with prudery, sheltered upbringing and effeminacy of any kind. He made young girls grow used to walking naked in processions as well as dancing and singing at certain festivals with the young men singing and looking on…There was nothing disreputable about the girls’ nudity. It was altogether modest, and there was no hint of immorality. Instead it encouraged simple habits and an enthusiasm for physical fitness, as well as giving the female sex a taste of masculine gallantry.
Also it promoted social cohesion by preventing women from using clothing to separate themselves from the community.
The Spartans were certainly keen on nakedness, holding a yearly Festival of Naked Children, with one and all attending to admire and look on as the comley young scamps cavorted about. All, that is, except for men who had grown old without issue. These were banned from the Gymnopaediae but forced to parade around naked in midwinter singing a humiliating song while everybody laughed at their shrivelled bits.
When Plutarch writes about Lycurgus doing away with effeminacy, by the way, he means doing away with it in girls.
More Lycurgan Rhetra blogging later, maybe.