10 facts about Sparta, the ancient Greek city-state

(ORDO NEWS) — Sparta or Lacedaemon is an ancient city-state (polis) in the Greek region of Laconia, in the south of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Evrota Valley, on the banks of the Evrotas River. Below are ten interesting facts about this state of the past:

  • Polis Sparta dates back to the 10th century BC. e., but the really dominant power of the region Sparta became only in 650 BC. e. Deliberate isolation from the outside world, constant wars, political and economic crises led to the decline. In 146 BC. e. Sparta was incorporated into the Roman province of Achaea , so that it was effectively liquidated as a state.
  • Sparta had a well-founded reputation as a powerful military power, and Spartan warriors were considered the best ground soldiers in all of Ancient Greece .
  • The Greco-Persian wars (500 BC – 449 BC) forced the Greek poleis to temporarily end internal conflicts and unite against a common enemy invading the region. Sparta was given command of the entire Greek army.

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  • During the Battle of Thermopylae Gorge (Battle of Thermopylae), which unfolded in September 480 BC. e., the king of Sparta Leonidas fought an army and 300 Spartan warriors and about 5,000-7,000 soldiers provided by allied policies against the 250-thousandth army of the Persians. Leonidas and his associates were able to “mow” thousands of Persian soldiers before they were finally defeated. Despite the victory in the battle, the military spirit of the Persians left much to be desired, so in the end they lost the war.
  • Peloponnesian War (431 BC – 404 BC) – military conflict between Sparta and Athens, which ended with the defeat of the latter. The key reason for the long-term war lies in the different political structures of states: Athens was a democracy, and Sparta was in the hands of the oligarchy. Each side feared the spread of unwanted ideas within their own system.
  • At all times, Sparta was ruled by two kings. One was to come from the Agiad family, and the other from the Eurypontides family.
  • The inhabitants of Sparta were divided into social groups: Spartiats (citizens of Sparta with a full range of rights and freedoms), motake (free people who are not Spartans), perioiks (a politically dependent class formed from the conquered original population of Laconia), and helots (serfs, enslaved local residents).

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  • Everything, absolutely everything in Sparta was focused on the “production” of warriors and maintaining military superiority.
  • Soon after the birth of the Spartan babies, they were bathed in wine, and then they were introduced to Gerousia (the elder), who determined the further fate of the child: the strong waited for service in the army, and the weak and / or sick – a fall from Taygetus, the highest mountain in the Peloponnese and one of the largest mountains. throughout Greece.
  • Spartan boys began military training at the age of seven. They were trained to fight, survive in extreme conditions, eat right, read, write and … dance. The mentors did everything to raise strong, tough and cruel warriors.

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