If you’re wondering why the ancient Greek city-state belonging to the Spartans evolved into such great warriors, you should take a look at their roots. In the beginning, Sparta was just a small village comprised of what was known as the Dorian people. The Dorians were warriors, which passed on their skill and desire to be strong onto the residents of Sparta. In this article, you will learn more about Sparta and their ancient ways.
In order to become a Spartan, you had to prove yourself. This quest to become a worthy Spartan soldier and citizen involved a process of great pain, physical obstacles, and determination. In Sparta, they followed a governmental system called an oligarchy. This meant that the people were actually ruled over by a small group of warriors. Oftentimes, the Spartans and the Athenians were compared to one another. While the residents of Athens mainly focused on the arts, it was Sparta that followed a different path.
While the Spartans spoke and wrote Greek, their whole educational system and “language” was centered on becoming the strongest and proving themselves worthy of as a mighty soldier. For example, boys were separated from their parents at the tender age of seven. Immediately, they were transferred to the hard life of a solider, living in the barracks and enduring what many would call, ‘cruelty.’
During their days in the soldier barracks, younger children suffered beatings from the older children. This was a method of ‘toughening up’ the younger kids. Children were also subjected to beatings with a whip that was conducted in front of groups of other Spartans. Often times, their parents were amongst the onlookers. However, they were not allowed to cry out in pain.
The training process also limited the amount of food that the children were given. This caused them to steal for survival. If they were caught in the process, they were given a beating. In an attempt to dodge extreme amounts of pain, the children were transformed into master thieves, liars, and cheaters. Throughout this harsh education, some young Spartan boys became warriors, while others entered the Spartan secret police , spying on residents, especially those within the slave community. If a slave exhibited any signs of leadership, they were killed on the spot by the secret police.
The family dynamic of the Spartan family was quite different from other city-states. The men did not live with their families. While they were allowed to pay visits to their loved ones, they actually lived in the soldier barracks with their fellow soldiers. This allowed the women to enjoy a great deal of freedom , something that females in other Greek city-states did not. They entered an education to learn fighting skills with some even becoming warriors in their own right. Many ran their own businesses and they came and went as they pleased.
In Sparta, the warriors were bred to be fearless and proud. Because of this, no great works are associated with the Spartan culture like the Athenians produced. However, they left behind a legacy of strength above all else.