Ancient Sparta - Life and History of Ancient Sparta in Ancient Greece

Ancient Sparta.

Ancient Sparta was a military city-state in ancient Greece. People in Ancient Sparta were raised exclusively to become soldiers and this is the fundamental difference between Ancient Sparta and Ancient Athens, the two leading city-states in ancient Greece.

Ancient Sparta

Ancient Sparta

Anyone with basic knowledge of ancient greek history knows that Ancient Sparta wasn't exactly the ideal place to live in. Life in Ancient Sparta was tough and ancient Spartans have often been described as being culuturally stagnant. And they probably were.

However, before describing what people in ancient Sparta had to endure to obtain political rights, it's interesting to look into the reasons behind Sparta's extremely cruel political system.

The Spartans, running sort of food around 700 BC, invaded their neighbours territory, Messenia and found a temporary solution to the food problem. However, the conquered Messenians revolted aroung 650 BC and Sparta was almost defeated, which is logical, seeing that for every Spartan, there were ten Messenians to beat.

To avoid future revolutions and to secure their domination over the Messenias, people in Ancient Sparta invented a new political system, essentialy turning their city-state into a military state.

The Messenias were turned into slaves, the helots that worked mainly in the crop fields. Their lives were miserable and they had no rights whatsoever. In order to keep the helots under control, the Spartans had to become exceptional soldiers and spend their lives making sure Sparta was safe. That's the reason behind the absence of cultural development and the spartan way of life.

Life in Ancient Sparta

Becoming a citizen with political rights was a tough thing to do in Ancient Sparta for both women and men.

Before going through rigorous training, males and females had to pass a fitness test right after birth. Weak and sickly children were heartlessly abandoned to die in the hills, and only those with a strong body were allowed to have a chance at life.

At the tender age of 7, boys in Ancient Sparta were obliged to leave home and join sternly disciplined groups (brotherhoods) where they were rigoroursly trained until the age of 18.

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Ancient Sparta