Sparta is a small single city state in the southern end of Greece, and known for being the home of the great Spartan warrior. Founded in BCE, it was almost a cult-like warrior society with a military of 10, men strong enough to contain the helots, the slaves in Sparta.
The Spartan soldier was the most elite of the time. There military dominated Athens in the Peloponnesian War and famously held off the gargantuan Persian army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers with their measly men for three days. While thought to be cruel and unethical, their violent ways were effective and beneficial by making their soldiers extremely tough and physical dominant, and teaching them the right morals to win.
The Spartan warriors relied on force, skill, and the ability to grind through the toughest of situations. Physically, the Spartans were unmatched, for they were phenomenally strong and sturdy. A baby Spartan boy was born to live the life of a warrior. When a baby was born it was inspected immediately by soldiers to see if it was strong enough.
A baby who was of inadequate strength would be left to die, possibly thrown off a cliff or left in the wilderness. The infants that passed would be bathed in wine to harden them. The babies lived with their mother and one nurse. The boys lived and breathed fighting from this point on. Once they were in training they received just one cloak and no shoes. The boys were fed a minimal amount of food and encouraged to steal more food from the helots, although if caught, they would be punished by the helot and then beaten by the older soldiers.
The older boys in training were directed to beat the younger boys to toughen them up. The training soldiers were instructed to instigate fights between each other. Although they were told not to fight with anger, boys would die when they got beaten, while some ran away.
When a boy became seventeen he entered his second stage. The boys were yet to be men, they continued living in barracks and at this point they were military reserve. Some were chosen to be police or city guards. Although age is disputed, this was most likely when the Spartan boys began practicing killing Helots the slaves in Sparta. By the time the boys were 20 they were considered men. They went through a series of rigorous and challenging tests and if they passed, they were considered part of the military.
The men had gone through the most terrible circumstances, having to endure killing, stealing, beating, getting beaten, fighting, and having nearly no freedom. The Spartans were tough as nails and had a legendary work ethic. The Spartans fought for a cause and trained for the same cause, this was knowing if they were not the toughest they would be decimated.
Greek biographer Plutarch probably preserved the greatest portion of what modern scholars now know of ancient Sparta in the assessments of such figures as Lycurgus, Agis, Lysander, and Kleomenes found in his Parallel Lives c. Together, these and other fragmentary references to Sparta in classical literature constitute an intriguing but necessarily incomplete view of Spartan culture and history, a malleable myth that modern critics have attempted to study, refashion, and form anew.
Historians believe that Dorian Greeks first entered the Peloponnesian district of Laconia in the eleventh century b. Established from the five associated villages of Pitana, Mesoa, Limnae, Cynosoura, and Amyclae, the city that would be known as Lacedaemon Sparta formed on the bank of the Eurotas River by about the middle of the tenth century.
Its highly defensible position, partially encircled by mountains to the east and west, and relatively removed from open water, served it well in the ensuing centuries of conflict. Between the eighth and sixth centuries b. As a rapidly expanding military and economic power during this period, Sparta responded to the fifth-century call of Athens and a confederacy of Greek city-states to aid in defense against the invading Persians.
As Herodotus recounts in his History, Sparta's King Leonidas I, determined to halt the Persian advance at a narrow pass near Thermopylae in , led his vastly outnumbered troops, including Spartan soldiers, to withstand the assault. Undermined by Theban treachery, Leonidas and his warriors battled the Persians but were eventually overcome and killed to a man.
Their sacrifice in slowing the Persians nevertheless helped the allied Greeks defeat the invaders elsewhere. Tales of martial valor such as this quickly became the stuff of Spartan military legend. The following decisive phase of Spartan history involved its clash with rival Athens in the Peloponnesian War b. After the final defeat of Athens, Sparta emerged as the dominant Greek city-state and continued to assemble its mighty empire.
The new Spartan hegemony, however, was quickly challenged during the Corinthian War b. Victorious in the final reckoning, the Spartan army, embodied in its imposing phalanx of highly-trained, heavily-armored hoplite soldiers, was long considered unstoppable.
Sparta's military expansion continued nearly unabated for another two decades until its spectacular defeat by a Theban force at Leuctra in Overextended by campaigns in Greece and nearby Asia Minor, Sparta entered a steady period of decline after Leuctra.
Its population dwindled and its empire crumbled before the end of the third century. Following a lengthy period of relative peace and prosperity, Roman Sparta ceased to exist after it was razed by Visigoths in a. The site was later resettled by Byzantines, who called it by its original name of Lacedaemon, but any surviving remnants of classical Sparta had long since been obliterated.
In this unique political structure, two hereditary kings wielded executive power simultaneously, although their responsibilities were primarily military rather than civil. Daily administration of the government relied on the Gerousia, or council of elders made up of Spartan men over sixty who were elected to their positions until the end of their lives , and the Ephors, short-term representatives chosen by the small body of full Spartan citizens, called the Spartiates.
For ordinary male citizens, daily life meant a near exclusive devotion to physical training for military service. Forbidden to engage in any kind of trade or craft, the Spartan citizen was first and foremost a soldier and spent his days preparing for battle. He shared his meals in a communal hall and was required to sleep in the barracks with the other men until the age of thirty, even if married.
Education for the young likewise focused on the development of physical strength and endurance. The system of Spartan public education, called the agoge, oversaw training and socialization of all children from the age of seven. Individual progress was strictly controlled by the state and oriented toward toughening the youth for future service in the military.
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Sparta Essay Sparta is a small single city state in the southern end of Greece, and known for being the home of the great Spartan warrior. Founded in BCE, it was almost a cult-like warrior society with a military of 10, men strong enough to contain the helots, the slaves in Sparta. sparta Essays | See the List of Sample Papers For Free - Bla Bla Writing.