Sparta the Life , of Spartan history of Greek soldiers

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23 May, 2016, 9:32 PM UTC

Sparta the Life , of Spartan history of Greek soldiers

INSTITUTIONS: All laws and the Constitution of Sparta characteristics are attributed to Lycurgus, although it is known him very little. Some say he traveled the world known in his time studying and comparing the laws of different peoples. Others claim it was inspired by the life of bees to compose their laws. What is clear is that carried out a legislative revolution in the city, giving a different regime of everyone else.

Lycurgus, was a legendary Spartan legislator to the wording of the Constitution of ancient Sparta was attributed. He began naming him in the s. VI a.J.C. According to tradition, it was the author of the customs code that constituted the traditional laws of the Spartans.

EARTH AND POLICY. He divided the land equally capable lots of produce much more than necessary to support a person, and distributed equitably among citizens. Then he introduced a deeply democratic political system whose fundamental rule, the so-called Great Retra, was: "Let the people make the decisions. But if you make a mistake, rechácenlas elders and kings. " There was talk of "kings" in the plural, because one of the peculiarities was spartan two kings reigning simultaneously, so that none of them was king.

In addition, there was a Senate or Council of Elders, composed of respected individuals who formed a kind of popular aristocracy. How to choose them had the charm of the early democratic practices. A group of judges would lock himself in a sort of shed without windows, and the people gathered around him. The candidates were presented one by one before the popular assembly. The people cheered without mentioning the names. The judges, from his confinement, had to decide what was the most acclaimed, and that was the one.

 MONEY. One of the best contributions of Lycurgus was the factual invalidation of money. Spartan coins were made of iron, but not even worth their weight in iron, because they are tempered with vinegar so that the metal could not be reused. In addition, they were so big and heavy to transport thousand drams needed a pair of oxen. That several purposes at once pursued: cancel the greed-or at least put in evidence, as a rich man needed a barn to save his fortune hinder theft and maintain an autarkic system without contact with the outside market . Besides, it was a way to prevent settlement in Sparta greedy foreigners, who are viewed with enormous suspicion.

 FIDICIA. Another institution of Lycurgus was 1 meal in public. All men were required to belong to a kind of gastronomic society formed by 15 members, which contributed in kind to what is necessary each month: flour, wine, cheese, figs and some money for meat. The essential dish was his famous "black soup" made of blood, wine and finger viscera. These clubs had or -fldicia- name that means savings, but the word also evoked the concept of friendship. They were a way to maintain cohesion and coexistence, as well as a school for the younger ones. Control also served to keep out 1 gluttony, a detested vice in Sparta, and obesity, also frowned upon. Despite the rigidity of its laws, Lycurgus not have been a severe men. It was he who introduced the statue of La Risa, who presided over the fidicia.

 SEXUAL MORALITY. The Spartans practiced such an amazing his contemporaries as it still is for us today sexual morality. There was no prejudice or scandals. Young was exhibited naked before men. Most citizens were bisexual because, although homosexuality was normal marriage was mandatory. Those who are not married to making publicly humiliated around the square for not giving children the homeland. The notions of jealousy and adultery were alien to a society that was not frowned upon both spouses maintain other relationships, and even live together with their husbands and lovers in the same household.

severe and arbitrary laws Lycurgus -up, his portrait-, introduced severe laws. A council of elders examined the health of babies to be born. If you were not healthy they were killed. Above left, a mosaic showing the murder of Lycurgus.


At twenty, the Spartan warrior receives weapons and and the first political rights of citizens. Even thirty years can be said to be nothing more than a soldier. Although it has the moral obligation to marry before that age, you must live in the barracks. After thirty years, is a citizen with full enjoyment of their rights and have a little more independence, but as can be mobilized up to sixty need permission to travel abroad or leave the city, because every night should participate the common meal. 


In fifteen tables, the Spartans dine frugally, alongside his fellow combatants. Each must pay the fee that corresponds, under penalty of being relieved of his title of citizen acquired so hard, and demoted to a lower division. Free military at sixty obligations, can live as he pleases. It is the age of honors, and for some, the big public office. Subjected his life to a discipline that has learned to love, when it comes to occupy a role in city government, why not do everything possible to perpetuate the same system, the same implacable rigor?

Spartan moral which meant the absolute love of country and forgetting himself undoubtedly had its greatness, but also represented a brake on all civilizing impulse and the harmonious development of personality.

Sparta only ambition survive and perpetuate itself, and so lived without industries and without art. At the end of the sixth century had an army, the best of Greece, which allowed him long play an important role. However, this still city will be lost to the Greek civilization, which leave behind and continue their march.

The way to fight the Spartans was legendary. Foreign kingdoms who wanted invade Greece sought before a military alliance with Sparta and the Spartans showered gifts. Instead, the best present that Sparta could do to the other Greek cities was a general.

HOPLITES. Spartans were the 300 men who held the formidable Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae and also those who, with the Athenians, the Platea derrotaren again. Trained from childhood to endure pain, agitated by a fervent patriotic impulse and avid students of the strategy, the Spartans held the preponderance in Greece during the V century. C. This resulted in the development of military technology, special yen for a new form of attack that involved the frontal thrust of a mass equipped with heavy armor warriors hoplites. But these successes drowned their society in a blind militarism annulling all its other capabilities, to the point that cultural activity ceased.

TOTALITARIANS. In other aspects yen this militarism and blind xenophobia His authority, for example obedience, the foundations of the old city helena agree with the political foundations of totalitarianism of the last century. Although Sparta never endured tyrants, Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin spoke admiringly of it, even though none of the three had made a brilliant career there.

LACONICALLY. I would have missed a meritorious conduct that exhibit and they would have overrun all his oratorical resources because the Spartans hated speeches. In fact it was to refer to them for what born the concept of terseness.


There is nothing strange that what most call the attention of the other Hellenes who frequently visited Sparta was the behavior of women and their equal status with men. 

ATHLETES. They ttambién exercised in sports games, and was famous slenderness and strength of their bodies, which also facilitated their role as mothers. They fought completely naked and Sparta were many famous athletes who complained of not being able to participate in the Olympic Games men.

ADMINISTRATORS. Since the state took care of their children and husbands spent long periods participating in wars, they enjoyed much free time to entertain yourself and get organized. They were the ones who handled the finances, administered and held the reins of home. They were so little subject to a foreign man who came to ask the wife of the famous Leonidas of Thermopylae why, among all women, only Spartan dominated his men. To which the other woman replied:

"Is it because we give birth only real men".

LOVERS. They did not marry according to the will of their parents, but with his own and did not, as was customary elsewhere, to June 14, 15 years but at 20. They left abduct man who chose and, after that, relations between them a season during which each lived at home stretched. The meetings were secret, brief and in complete darkness, without a time of fellowship, to keep their bodies "Recent love, forever leave both the flame of desire and complacency" as Plutarch wrote. Sometimes that relationship lasted so long that there were men who were parents without ever having seen his wife to sunlight. They were not required dowry and equality law recognized to the extent that they were allowed legal minds have lovers. A young woman married to an older man could bring home a young lover if he wished. An older man in love with a married woman could obtain, if she accepted, permission to visit her husband with an agreed assiduously.

VOICE AND VOTE. The women had no voice in political assemblies and could receive the inheritance from their parents when they died, so that Sparta had many wealthy ladies who lived their lives in full freedom.


Although all citizens of Sparta were equal before the law, not all residents were citizens. Most were periecos free-men, but -esclavos- rights- or helots. Both lived to ensure subsistence and dispose of the Spartans, who never stained their hands with anything that was not blood, wine or ream of lectures. They lived to meet the needs of the state with regard to the military, administration and especially education. 

EDUCATION. The base of Sparta lay in education. In fact, the whole philosophy of Lycurgus rested on the idea that the better off every citizen, better and stronger would be the state. And the concept of being best Lycurgus mistook to be the stronger and less need. It is said that once asked how he could Esparta rid forever of his enemies and said, "being poor and not wanting to have more power than the other."

TOUGH CHILDHOOD. Lycurgus asked a lot of their fellow citizens, so not easy to be a good Spartan. It carefully examined newborns, and if the creatures were not normal is the left or despeñaba from Mount Taygetos. Children declared healthy living to seven years with parents. Then the charge state of the men was made. They put special effort to free them from childhood fears, darkness, loneliness and superstitions, so spartan upbringing housewives were highly valued throughout Greece.

 TESTS CONSTANT. A male masquerading them gradually through a series of trials and sufferings that were intended to harden. Sometimes, educators promoted fights between them in order to study their qualities and their individual value. They were starving and cold, running barefoot through rocky places and sleep on reeds cut themselves with their hands. They learned to speak little and to say things in the most accurate way and with the fewest words possible. They demanded blind obedience. Punishments ranged from thumb bite them to whip them. They were allowed to steal food, but if they were caught were punished. Not for stealing, but for being surprised. As for his statement as we understand it today, learning to read and write, but not much else. They looked malnourished by all parties, but agile and alive as anyone. At 18 they improved status, but continued to live in prison regime until 30.

 PATRIOTS. To give a picture of patriotic sentiment inculcated, serve the story of that Spartan who, instead of feeling humiliated for not having been chosen among the 300 best citizens, as he claimed, came back very happy choice that would in 300 city better than him.

As for his regime of freedom, and the obligation to marry is, citizens were forbidden to travel abroad, and must obey a series of sumptuary laws that prevented them from owning gold or silver. But if there were nothing to the point of not being able to contribute to the common meals, they were withdrawing citizenship.

FAME AND DEATH. The Spartans were never many. At most, about 20,000, so they all knew each other and fame was very important to them. The few who reached age 60 used to be famous and respected individuals. They lived comfortably the rest of their lives and when they died they did great state funeral, the same state that had led and forced every step of his life. But the burials of ordinary people were much simpler: the wrapped with a cloth, they added some olive branches and quietly buried. By law, duels could only last twelve days.

As for religion, ritual was spartan, ruling, and dedicated to recognize the gods as those who gave them, through the "prophet" Lycurgus, its precious laws.

Of all the institutions established by the constitution of Lycurgus, none was so important for the sustainability of the Spartan political and social system as ogoge, or educational system. According to him, children, lest they became weak, should be separated from their mothers when they turn seven years old. In the barracks school, where they were then interned, he learned to read and write, but also to survive in a hostile world. To begin to experience the rigor and harshness of military life also they were forced to go barefoot and wear the same clothes throughout the year. Between 18 and 20 years-during two years-young were left in the field to learn how to survive. Pass this test initiation, called criptia, gave the boys citizenship and the possibility of joining the army fail, condemned to become periecos. Girls, meanwhile, also went to school at age seven. There, besides education, they received the same physical training than their siblings. So it is trying to ensure that, in future, have healthier children.

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