Notes on Sparta
  • Capitol of Laconia
  • Located on the Eurotas river, bordered by mountains on three sides
  • Social Order
    • Spartans
      • Dorians, not Greeks
      • required by law to be farmers or soldiers
      • about 25,000
    • Perioeci
      • free Greeks who were conquered by the Spartans
      • manufacturers and traders (because Spartans weren't allowed to)
      • number unknown
    • Helots
      • enslaved Greeks, Ionians and Achaeans
      • about 250,000 of them
      • miserable life, Spartans declared war on them once a year to keep them in check
  • Males
    • owned by the State from birth
    • weak ones were allowed to die
    • The life of a Spartan male
      • lived with mother 'till 7
      • then enrolled with 15 others 'till 20
        • ate with them in a public hall
        • bravest boy was made captain, gave orders, handed out punishments
        • at age 12, only one outer garment was allowed per year
        • beds were reeds gathered by hand (no weapons)
        • did not learn reading or writing, only the Iliad and certain songs of war and religion
        • were taught leaping, running, wielding a weapon with grace and accuracy
      • from 20 to 30 served as a kind of policeman that kept helots in order
      • at 30 he became a citizen and could marry, attend meetings and hold public office
      • at 60 he retired from the military and worked in public affairs or training the young
    • males were tough, proud, disciplined, obstinate, conservative, and short of speech
    • it was a great honor to achieve Kalos Thanatos, a Beautiful Death, or a glorious death for the Spartan state.
  • Females
    • freest life of any women in Greece
    • Engaged in athletics, ran their own households, engaged in business, were often wealthy and influential
    • women owned 2/5 of the land in Sparta