The Spartan Warrior

Spartan army stood at the centre of the Spartan state, whose male and female citizens were trained in the discipline and honor of the warrior society.[1] Subject to military drill from early manhood, the Spartans were one of the most feared military forces in the Greek world. At the height of Sparta's power – between the 6th and 4th centuries BC – it was commonly accepted that, "one Spartan was worth several men of any other state."[1] According to Thucydides, the famous moment of Spartan surrender at the island of Sphacteria off of Pylos was highly unexpected. He said that "it was the common perception at the time that Spartans would never lay down their weapons for any reason, be it hunger, or danger."

The iconic army was first coined by the Spartan legislator Lycurgus.[2] In his famous quote of Sparta having a "wall of men, instead of bricks", he proposed to create a military-focused lifestyle reformation in the Spartan society in accordance to proper virtues such as equality for the male citizens, austerity, strength, and fitness. A Spartan man's involvement with the army began in infancy when he was inspected by the Gerousia. If the baby was found to be weak or deformed he was left at Mount Taygetus to die, since the world of the Spartans was no place for those who could not already fend for themselves. It should be noted, however, that the practice of discarding children at birth took place in Athens as well. Those deemed strong were then put in the agoge at the age of seven. Under the agoge the young boys or Spartiates were kept under intense and rigorous military training.[3] Their education focused primarily on cunning, sports and war tactics, but also included poetry, music, academics, and sometimes politics. Those who passed the agoge by the age of 30 were given full Spartan citizenship.

Spartan History

The History of Sparta describes the destiny of the ancient Dorian Greek state known as Sparta from its beginning in the legendary period to its incorporation into the Achaean League under the late Roman Republic, as Allied State, in 146 BC, a period of roughly 1000 years. Since the Dorians were not the first to settle the valley of the Eurotas River in the Peloponnesus of Greece, the preceding Mycenaean and Stone Age periods are described as well. Sparta went on to become a district of modern Greece. Brief mention is made of events in the post-classical periods.Dorian Sparta rose to dominance in the 6th century BC. At the time of the Persian Wars, it was the recognized leader by assent of the Greek city-states. It subsequently lost that assent through suspicion that the Athenians were plotting to break up the Spartan state after an earthquake destroyed Sparta in 464 BC. When Sparta defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War, it secured an unrivaled hegemony over southern Greece.[1] Sparta's supremacy was broken following the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC.[1] It was never able to regain its military supremacy[2] and was finally absorbed by the Achaean League in the 2nd century BC