Among all the states of ancient Greece in a special way were allocated, only 2 - Sparta and Athens. These were the two societies opposed to each other. In Sparta, reigned two kings, and each of them handed his power by inheritance. But the real power had the council of elders, who was elected from noble Spartans, who were at least 60 years old. This council of elders and decided all state affairs, when kings commanded the army.
Lycurgus — one of the first kings of Sparta established laws, which prevented property stratification of society and the enrichment of people. Fertile lands were divided into equal areas, and each Spartan received his allotment. This allotment provided Spartan family with: oil, wine and barley flour. Lycurgus pursued luxury in any form: canceled circulation of coins - gold and silver, banned residents of Sparta to engage in crafts agriculture and trade..
The main occupation of the Spartans was considered military, and the nations which they conquered had to provide them with the necessary food supply. On land allotments of Sparta residents also worked their slaves. Also was considered that Lycurgus established collaborative meals of free Spartans. These meals were held in all combat detachments, on which was divided all Spartan society.
For the meal was collected common pot, where each Spartan warrior brought his share of products. During the meal, very strictly watched to ensure that all portions were eaten. If someone did not eat, he could be suspected, that he had dined elsewhere and could be fined or at all banished from the detachment.
All Spartans were natural-born warriors with their were trained the art of war from childhood. Mortally wounded Spartan even have to die without screams and moans. Spartan Phalanx (order of warriors with long spears) had bringing terror to the whole Greece. Spartan mothers admonished their sons, who went to the war with following words: "With the shield or on the shield." "With the shield," - meant, waiting for your return with a victory. "On the shield" - meant, its better than you will be brought dead, than you'll come back with shame, having run away from the battlefield. The Spartans (they are residents of Laconia) was laconic, but very accurate in expressions, namely from here occurred the expression "laconic speech."
Militancy of Sparta residents can be explained by the fact that the Spartans being a very small nation (about ten thousand people), in their military strength they seen only way to survive. When in Spartan family was born a boy, he was examined by elders and if they found any physical shortcomings, they threw him into the abyss. In the opinion of the Spartans, frail and sick child had no right to life. State was fully engaged in upbringing of Spartans children.
At 7 years the boys were taken from their parents and were given to tutors and mentors. Boys were joined in detachments, where reigned a very strict discipline. Young warriors were taught to tolerate all the beatings, and to obey their superiors. Young Spartans had to get meals themselves, and they could do this only by stealing food from houses and gardens.
If the thief was caught, then he was punished, but not for stealing, but for the fact that he was caught. Every spartan lived a barracks life up to thirty years. Only after 30 years, he was allowed to marry and acquire family. Even Spartan girls came to learn art of war, but not in such severe conditions.
Conquered peoples has repeatedly rebelled against the Spartans. Despite the excellent military training, Spartan warriors did not always won. In the 7th century BC. e. in Messenia, conquered by Sparta uprising broke out, led by a Aristomene. Exactly he caused the Spartan warriors several defeats.
Spartans succeeded to defeat the Aristomene, only thanks to betrayal in his army. But even after the defeat Aristomene did not leave Spartans in peace and switched to guerrilla warfare. And one night Aristomene himself surreptitiously has penetrated into the Sparta, snuck into the most important sanctuary, and having the desire to confound the enemy, as a gift to the god he left the weapon, which he had taken from the Spartan in battle. But despite all their efforts, the Spartans did not manage to catch him.
Video: "Ancient Worlds: The Spartans"
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