Sparta Essay Research Paper The early expansion

Sparta Essay, Research Paper The early expansion of Sparta Sparta is a town located south of the Arcadian highlands in Greece. One of a number of townships that

Sparta Essay, Research Paper

The early expansion of Sparta

Sparta is a town located south of the Arcadian

highlands in Greece. One of a number of townships that

arose on the Laconia plain was Sparta, which consisted of

Pitane, Mesoa, Limnae, and Conoura, all small villages.

Sparta then conquered other nearby villages and took over

the plain of Laconia. Sparta , which may mean ?scattered,?

was made up of homes and estates spread around an area

centering on a small hill that came to be named Acropolis.

Sparta was unwalled, unlike other ancient cities, until after

200 B.C.

The Messenian Wars

The continuing expansion led Sparta to Northeast of Mt.

Parnon to defeat the plain of Thyrea, but the Argives

defeated the Spartans at the Battle of Hysiae. Sparta lost

interest in that area for more than 100 years. The expansion

led toward the west into Messenia a plain which was settled

by the Dorians. A nineteen year war began and the

Spartans won. Then Messenia gave Sparta their extensive

land, and when Messenia combined with Laconia, the area

was appropriately called Lacedaemon.


page 1

Boys Trained as Fighters

Sparta was run like an army camp, life was very

competitive, and the people lived like savages. This way of

living was extremely different than the lives of the people

that lived in other Greek communities because they feared

that the helots, or their slaves, would revolt as well as other

enemies. Spartans were tough people who raised their

children to be tough as well. The boys had to walk around

barefoot, and in cold weather they were allowed to wear

only one cloak. They were starved and told to steal food,

but if they got caught they were beaten. This was to teach

them to steal more efficiently in the future. The whip was

part of the upbringing in Sparta, and it was used on younger

boys by the older ones during stealing competitions.

Helots were slaves that greatly outnumbered the

Spartans, and the teaching the children to received was

teach the boys to hunt runaway helots. This involves staying

in the countryside undetected for days and stealing food to

survive. Strength and courage are necessary traits for the

boys to possess in battles against enemies from other

states. They learn to fear authority and do what they are

told so that when they are in battle they will not argue

commands. In other Greek cities, the elderly were not given

as much power and respect as in Sparta.

page 2

Spartan girls also trained in athletics. They were

involved in running, jumping, wrestling, and throwing the

discus and the javelin. This was so that they could raise

strong healthy children.

Why Spartans despised Family Life

Boys do not always go home to their families at night,

and young married couples were not allowed to be seen

with one another in public. Wife and husband were not

meant to become close. Men of all ages ate in military

messes and woman were not around. That was because the

differences created from being raised in separate families

can make people dislike one another. Families tend to be

loyal to themselves, and this can lead to fighting with other

families. If that happened, Sparta would become

vulnerable to the helots and their other enemies.

Encouraging Bravery by Scorning Weakness

Spartans were banned from heavy drinking because

this would allow the helots a chance to revolt. All other

Greek cities had relaxed and happy times because they did

not have the Spartan?s worries, and they had religious

festivals with mass drunkenness.

page 3

Humiliation was a common practice to teach younger

citizens. A man who failed to go into battle and fight bravely

was made to shave only one side of his face and grow a

beard on the other so he could be laughed at and scorned.

The Peloponnesian War

Athens wanted to create one state of all the city-states

and make Athens the capital of all of Greece. Their navy

started to attack cities to force them to join Athenian

empire. Sparta refused to join the Delian League, and

Sparta, with the help of other supporters, formed the

Peloponnesian League. The Peloponnesian War lasted for

twenty-seven years. Finally, a Spartan general, Lysander,

defeated the Athenian fleet by a surprise attack in the

harbor at Aegospotami on the Hellespont. Lysander then

sailed to Piraeus, a place where strong city walls linked the

city with the harbor, and his ships stopped food from getting

to Athens. The starvation caused by this action forced

Athens to surrender in 404 B.C. When the war was over, the

city-states were happy to be free of the harsh rule of the

Athenian empire, until they realized that they were in a far

worse situation then before. Spartan were harsh rulers who

were not believers in democracy. The city-states rebelled

and the powerful Spartans were defeated for the very first

time by a smaller army in the year 371 B.C.

page 4

The Three Classes of the Spartan State

The three classes were the Spartiatai, or true Spartans,

the perioikoi, made up of the inhabitants of federated towns

that surrounded the city of Sparta, and the Helots. Only the

Spartiatai had voting privileges and a say in the

government. The perioikoi carried on the necessary trade

and industry of the country. They were not involved in the

government , but did have certain rights. The Helots carried

on all the daily work and Sparta was able to concentrate on

military training.

BY: Krystal

page 5