Coordinates: 37°4′55″N 22°25′25″E / 37.08194°N
22.42361°E / 37.08194; 22.42361
Σπάρτα / Λακεδαίμων
Lambda was used by the
Spartan army as a symbol of Lacedaemon
Territory of ancient Sparta
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Mantinea
Annexed by Achaea
Greek Dark Ages
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Hollow Lacedaemon. Site of the Menelaion, the ancient shrine to Helen
Menelaus constructed in the
Bronze Age city that stood on the hill
Therapne on the left bank of the
Eurotas River overlooking the
future site of Dorian Sparta. Across the valley the successive ridges
Taygetus are in evidence.
Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, Spártā; Attic Greek:
Σπάρτη, Spártē) was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece.
In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon
(Λακεδαίμων, Lakedaímōn), while the name
to its main settlement on the banks of the
Eurotas River in Laconia,
in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the
dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.
Given its military pre-eminence,
Sparta was recognized as the overall
leader of the combined Greek forces during the Greco-Persian Wars.
Between 431 and 404 BC,
Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens
during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious,
though at a great cost of lives lost. Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the
Battle of Leuctra
Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece.
However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman
conquest of Greece in 146 BC. It then underwent a long period of
decline, especially in the Middle Ages, when many Spartans moved to
live in Mystras. Modern
Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional
Laconia and a center for the processing of goods such as
citrus and olives.
Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and
constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize
military proficiency at all costs, and completely focused on military
training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates
(Spartan citizens, who enjoyed full rights), mothakes (non-Spartan
free men raised as Spartans), perioikoi (free residents, literally
"dwellers around"), and helots (state-owned serfs, enslaved
non-Spartan local population).
Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge
training and education regimen, and Spartan phalanges were widely
considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed
considerably more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the
Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in
Western culture following the revival of classical learning.[n 1] This
love or admiration of
Sparta is known as Laconism or Laconophilia. At
its peak around 500 BC the size of the city would have been some
20,000–35,000 citizens, plus numerous helots and perioikoi. The
likely total of 40,000–50,000 made
Sparta one of the largest Greek
cities; however, according to Thucydides, the population of
Athens in 431 BC was 360,000–610,000, making it unlikely that Athens
was smaller than
Sparta in 5th century BC.[n 2] The French classicist
François Ollier in his 1933 book Le mirage spartiate ("The Spartan
Mirage") warned that a major scholarly problem regarding
that all the surviving accounts were written by non-Spartans who often
presented an excessively idealized image of Sparta. Ollier's views
have been widely accepted by scholars.
4 Archaeology of the classical period
5.1 Prehistory, "dark age" and archaic period
5.2 Classical Sparta
5.3 Hellenistic and Roman Sparta
5.4 Postclassical and modern Sparta
6 Structure of Classical Spartan society
6.3 Non citizens
7 Life in Classical Sparta
7.1 Birth and death
7.3 Military life
7.4 Agriculture, food, and diet
8 Role of women
8.1 Political, social, and economic equality
8.2 Historic women
10 Notable ancient Spartans
11 See also
12 Notes and references
14 External links
The earliest attested term referring to Lacedaemon is the Mycenaean
Greek 𐀨𐀐𐀅𐀖𐀛𐀍, ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, "Lacedaimonian",
Linear B syllabic script,[n 3] being the equivalent of
the written in the Greek alphabet, latter Greek,
Λακεδαιμόνιος, Lakedaimonios (Latin:
The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the home
location of the Spartans. The first refers primarily to the main
cluster of settlements in the valley of the
Eurotas River: Sparta.
The second word was Lacedaemon (Λακεδαίμων); this was
also used sometimes as an adjective and is the name commonly used in
the works of
Homer and the historians
Herodotus and Thucydides.
Herodotus seems to denote by it the
Mycenaean Greek citadel at
Therapne, in contrast to the lower town of Sparta. It could be used
synonymously with Sparta, but typically it was not. It denoted the
terrain on which
Sparta was situated. In
Homer it is typically
combined with epithets of the countryside: wide, lovely, shining and
most often hollow and broken (full of ravines). The hollow
Sparta on the other hand is the country
of lovely women, a people epithet.
The name of the population was often used for the state of Lacedaemon:
the Lacedaemonians. This epithet utilized the plural of the adjective
Lacedaemonius (Greek: Λακεδαιμὀνιοι; Latin:
Lacedaemonii, but also Lacedaemones). If the ancients wished to refer
to the country more directly, instead of Lacedaemon, they could use a
back-formation from the adjective: Lacedaemonian country. As most
words for "country" were feminine, the adjective was in the feminine:
Lacedaemonia (Λακεδαιμονία, Lakedaimonia). Eventually, the
adjective came to be used alone.
"Lacedaemonia" was not in general use during the classical period and
before. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of
Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods, mostly in
ethnographers and lexica glossing place names. For example, Hesychius
of Alexandria's Lexicon (5th century AD) defines Agiadae as a "place
in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis. The actual transition may be
captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae (7th century AD), an
etymological dictionary. He relied heavily on Orosius' Historiarum
Adversum Paganos (5th century AD) and Eusebius of Caesarea's Chronicon
(early 5th century AD) as did Orosius. The latter defines
Sparta to be
Lacedaemonia Civitas but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by
Lacedaemon, son of Semele, relying on Eusebius. There is a rare
use, perhaps the earliest of Lacedaemonia, in Diodorus Siculus,
but probably with Χὠρα ("country") suppressed.
The immediate area around the town of Sparta, the plateau east of the
Taygetos mountains, was generally referred as Laconice
(Λακωνική). This term was sometimes used to refer to all
the regions under direct Spartan control, including Messenia.
Lakedaimona was until 2006 the name of a province in the modern Greek
prefecture of Laconia.
Sparta is located in the region of Laconia, in the south-eastern
Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas
River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of
fresh water. The valley of the
Eurotas is a natural fortress, bounded
to the west by Mt.
Taygetus (2407 m) and to the east by Mt. Parnon
(1935 m). To the north,
Laconia is separated from
Arcadia by hilly
uplands reaching 1000 m in altitude. These natural defenses worked to
Sparta's advantage and contributed to
Sparta never having been sacked.
Sparta had a harbor, Gytheio, on the Laconian Gulf.
Lacedaemon (Greek: Λακεδαίμων) was a mythical king of
Laconia. The son of
Zeus by the nymph Taygete, he married Sparta,
the daughter of Eurotas, by whom he became the father of Amyclas,
Eurydice, and Asine. He named the country after himself and the city
after his wife. He was believed to have built the sanctuary of the
Charites, which stood between
Sparta and Amyclae, and to have given to
those divinities the names of
Cleta and Phaenna. A shrine was erected
to him in the neighborhood of Therapne.
Archaeology of the classical period
The theater of ancient
Sparta with Mt.
Taygetus in the background.
Suppose the city of
Sparta to be deserted, and nothing left but the
temples and the ground-plan, distant ages would be very unwilling to
believe that the power of the Lacedaemonians was at all equal to their
fame. Their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid
temples or other edifices; it rather resembles a group of villages,
like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor
Until the early 20th century, the chief ancient buildings at Sparta
were the theatre, of which, however, little showed above ground except
portions of the retaining walls; the so-called Tomb of Leonidas, a
quadrangular building, perhaps a temple, constructed of immense blocks
of stone and containing two chambers; the foundation of an ancient
bridge over the Eurotas; the ruins of a circular structure; some
remains of late Roman fortifications; several brick buildings and
The remaining archaeological wealth consisted of inscriptions,
sculptures, and other objects collected in the local museum, founded
by Stamatakis in 1872 and enlarged in 1907. Partial excavation of the
round building was undertaken in 1892 and 1893 by the American School
at Athens. The structure has been since found to be a semicircular
retaining wall of Hellenic origin that was partly restored during the
Ruins from the ancient site
In 1904, the
British School at Athens
British School at Athens began a thorough exploration of
Laconia, and in the following year excavations were made at Thalamae,
Geronthrae, and Angelona near Monemvasia. In 1906, excavations began
A small circus described by Leake proved to be a theatre-like building
constructed soon after AD 200 around the altar and in front of the
temple of Artemis Orthia. Here musical and gymnastic contests took
place as well as the famous flogging ordeal (diamastigosis). The
temple, which can be dated to the 2nd century BC, rests on the
foundation of an older temple of the 6th century, and close beside it
were found the remains of a yet earlier temple, dating from the 9th or
even the 10th century. The votive offerings in clay, amber, bronze,
ivory and lead found in great profusion within the precinct range,
dating from the 9th to the 4th centuries BC, supply invaluable
evidence for early Spartan art.
In 1907, the sanctuary of Athena "of the Brazen House" (Chalkioikos)
was located on the acropolis immediately above the theatre, and though
the actual temple is almost completely destroyed, the site has
produced the longest extant archaic inscription of Laconia, numerous
bronze nails and plates, and a considerable number of votive
offerings. The Greek city-wall, built in successive stages from the
4th to the 2nd century, was traced for a great part of its circuit,
which measured 48 stades or nearly 10 km (6 miles) (Polyb. 1X.
21). The late Roman wall enclosing the acropolis, part of which
probably dates from the years following the Gothic raid of AD 262, was
also investigated. Besides the actual buildings discovered, a number
of points were situated and mapped in a general study of Spartan
topography, based upon the description of Pausanias.
Main article: Menelaion, Sparta
The Menelaion is a shrine associated with Menelaus, located east of
Sparta, by the river Eurotas, on the hill Profitis Ilias (Coordinates:
37°03′57″N 22°27′13″E / 37.0659°N 22.4536°E /
37.0659; 22.4536). Built early 8th century BC it was believed by
Spartans to be the home of Menelaus. In 1970 the British School in
Athens started excavations in an attempt to locate Mycenaean remains
in the area around Menelaion. Among other findings, they uncovered the
remains of two Mycenaean mansions and found the first offerings
dedicated to Helen and Menelaus. These mansions were destroyed by
earthquake and fire, and archaeologists consider them the possible
Menelaus himself.[better source needed]
Excavations made from the early 1990s to the present suggest that the
area around Menelaion in the southern part of the
Eurotas valley seems
to have been the center of Mycenaean Laconia. The Mycenaean
settlement was roughly triangular in shape, with its apex pointed
towards the north. Its area was approximately equal to that of the
"newer" Sparta, but denudation has wreaked havoc with its buildings
and nothing is left save ruined foundations and broken potsherds.
Main article: History of Sparta
Prehistory, "dark age" and archaic period
The prehistory of
Sparta is difficult to reconstruct because the
literary evidence is far removed in time from the events it describes
and is also distorted by oral tradition. However, the earliest
certain evidence of human settlement in the region of
of pottery dating from the Middle
Neolithic period, found in the
vicinity of Kouphovouno some two kilometres (1.2 miles)
south-southwest of Sparta. These are the earliest traces of the
original Mycenaean Spartan civilisation, as represented in Homer's
This civilization seems to have fallen into decline by the late Bronze
Age, when, according to Herodotus, Macedonian tribes from the north
Dorians by those they conquered) marched into
subjugating the local tribes, settled there. The
Dorians seem to
have set about expanding the frontiers of Spartan territory almost
before they had established their own state. They fought against
Dorians to the east and southeast, and also the Arcadian
Achaeans to the northwest. The evidence suggests that Sparta,
relatively inaccessible because of the topography of the Taygetan
plain, was secure from early on: it was never fortified.
Nothing distinctive in the archaeology of the
Eurotas River Valley
Dorians or the Dorian Spartan state. The prehistory of
the Neolithic, the
Bronze Age and the Dark Age (the Early Iron Age) at
this moment must be treated apart from the stream of Dorian Spartan
The legendary period of Spartan history is believed to fall into the
Dark Age. It treats the mythic heroes such as the
Heraclids and the
Perseids, offering a view of the occupation of the Peloponnesus that
contains both fantastic and possibly historical elements. The
subsequent proto-historic period, combining both legend and historical
fragments, offers the first credible history.
Between the 8th and 7th centuries BC the Spartans experienced a period
of lawlessness and civil strife, later attested by both
Thucydides. As a result, they carried out a series of political
and social reforms of their own society which they later attributed to
a semi-mythical lawgiver, Lycurgus. These reforms mark the
beginning of the history of Classical Sparta.
In the Second Messenian War,
Sparta established itself as a local
power in Peloponnesus and the rest of Greece. During the following
centuries, Sparta's reputation as a land-fighting force was
unequalled. In 480 BC a small force of Spartans, Thespians, and
Thebans led by King
Leonidas (approximately 300 were full Spartiates,
700 were Thespians, and 400 were Thebans although these numbers do not
reflect casualties incurred prior to the final battle), made a
legendary last stand at the
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Thermopylae against the massive
Persian army, inflicting very high casualties on the Persian forces
before finally being encircled. The superior weaponry, strategy,
and bronze armour of the Greek hoplites and their phalanx again proved
their worth one year later when
Sparta assembled at full strength and
led a Greek alliance against the Persians at the battle of Plataea.
The decisive Greek victory at Plataea put an end to the Greco-Persian
War along with Persian ambition of expanding into Europe. Even though
this war was won by a pan-Greek army, credit was given to Sparta, who
besides being the protagonist at Thermopylae and Plataea, had been the
de facto leader of the entire Greek expedition.
In later Classical times,
Sparta along with Athens, Thebes, and Persia
had been the main powers fighting for supremacy against each other. As
a result of the Peloponnesian War, Sparta, a traditionally continental
culture, became a naval power. At the peak of its power
many of the key Greek states and even managed to overpower the elite
Athenian navy. By the end of the 5th century BC it stood out as a
state which had defeated the
Athenian Empire and had invaded the
Persian provinces in Anatolia, a period which marks the Spartan
Sparta faced a coalition of the leading
Greek states: Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos. The alliance was
initially backed by Persia, whose lands in
Anatolia had been invaded
Sparta and which feared further Spartan expansion into Asia.
Sparta achieved a series of land victories, but many of her ships were
destroyed at the battle of Cnidus by a Greek-Phoenician mercenary
Persia had provided to Athens. The event severely damaged
Sparta's naval power but did not end its aspirations of invading
further into Persia, until
Conon the Athenian ravaged the Spartan
coastline and provoked the old Spartan fear of a helot revolt.
After a few more years of fighting, in 387 BC the Peace of Antalcidas
was established, according to which all Greek cities of
return to Persian control, and Persia's Asian border would be free of
the Spartan threat. The effects of the war were to reaffirm
Persia's ability to interfere successfully in Greek politics and to
affirm Sparta's weakened hegemonic position in the Greek political
Sparta entered its long-term decline after a severe
military defeat to
Epaminondas of Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra.
This was the first time that a
Spartan army lost a land battle at full
As Spartan citizenship was inherited by blood,
Sparta now increasingly
faced a helot population that vastly outnumbered its citizens. The
alarming decline of Spartan citizens was commented on by Aristotle.
Hellenistic and Roman Sparta
Sparta never fully recovered from the losses that the Spartans
suffered at Leuctra in 371 BC and the subsequent helot revolts.
Nonetheless, it was able to continue as a regional power for over two
centuries. Neither Philip II nor his son
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great attempted
Even during its decline,
Sparta never forgot its claim to be the
"defender of Hellenism" and its Laconic wit. An anecdote has it that
when Philip II sent a message to
Sparta saying "If I enter Laconia, I
will raze Sparta", the Spartans responded with the single, terse
reply: αἴκα, "if".
When Philip created the league of the Greeks on the pretext of
unifying Greece against Persia, the Spartans chose not to join, since
they had no interest in joining a pan-Greek expedition unless it were
under Spartan leadership. Thus, upon the conquest of Persia, Alexander
the Great sent to
Athens 300 suits of Persian armour with the
following inscription: Alexander, son of Philip, and all the Greeks
except the Spartans, give these offerings taken from the foreigners
who live in Asia [emphasis added].
During Alexander's campaigns in the east, the Spartan king, Agis III
sent a force to
Crete in 333 BC with the aim of securing the island
for Sparta. Agis next took command of allied Greek forces against
Macedon, gaining early successes, before laying siege to Megalopolis
in 331 BC. A large Macedonian army under general
Antipater marched to
its relief and defeated the Spartan-led force in a pitched battle.
More than 5,300 of the Spartans and their allies were killed in
battle, and 3,500 of Antipater's troops. Agis, now wounded and
unable to stand, ordered his men to leave him behind to face the
advancing Macedonian army so that he could buy them time to retreat.
On his knees, the Spartan king slew several enemy soldiers before
being finally killed by a javelin. Alexander was merciful, and he
only forced the Spartans to join the League of Corinth, which they had
previously refused to join.
Sparta was an ally of the Roman Republic.
Spartan political independence was put to an end when it was
eventually forced into the
Achaean League after its defeat in the
decisive Laconian War by a coalition of other Greek city-states and
Rome and the resultant overthrow of its final king Nabis. Sparta
played no active part in the
Achaean War in 146 BC when the Achaean
League was defeated by the Roman general Lucius Mummius. Subsequently,
Sparta become a free city in the Roman sense, some of the institutions
of Lycurgus were restored and the city became a tourist attraction
for the Roman elite who came to observe exotic Spartan customs.[n 4]
Postclassical and modern Sparta
According to Byzantine sources, some parts of the Laconian region
remained pagan until well into the 10th century AD. Doric-speaking
populations survive today in Tsakonia. In the Middle Ages, the
political and cultural center of
Laconia shifted to the nearby
settlement of Mystras, and
Sparta fell further in even local
Sparti was re-founded in 1834, by a decree of King
Otto of Greece.
Structure of Classical Spartan society
Main article: Spartan Constitution
Structure of the Spartan Constitution
Sparta was an oligarchy. The state was ruled by two hereditary kings
of the Agiad and Eurypontid families, both supposedly descendants
Heracles and equal in authority, so that one could not act against
the power and political enactments of his colleague.
The duties of the kings were primarily religious, judicial, and
military. They were the chief priests of the state and also maintained
communication with the Delphian sanctuary, which always exercised
great authority in Spartan politics. In the time of Herodotus, about
450 BC, their judicial functions had been restricted to cases dealing
with heiresses, adoptions and the public roads.
the kingship at
Sparta as "a kind of unlimited and perpetual
generalship" (Pol. iii. I285a), while
Isocrates refers to the
Spartans as "subject to an oligarchy at home, to a kingship on
campaign" (iii. 24).
Civil and criminal cases were decided by a group of officials known as
the ephors, as well as a council of elders known as the gerousia. The
gerousia consisted of 28 elders over the age of 60, elected for life
and usually part of the royal households, and the two kings. High
state policy decisions were discussed by this council who could then
propose action alternatives to the damos, the collective body of
Spartan citizenry, who would select one of the alternatives by
The royal prerogatives were curtailed over time. Dating from the
period of the Persian wars, the king lost the right to declare war and
was accompanied in the field by two ephors. He was supplanted also by
the ephors in the control of foreign policy. Over time, the kings
became mere figureheads except in their capacity as generals. Real
power was transferred to the ephors and to the gerousia.
The origins of the powers exercised by the assembly of the citizens
Apella are virtually unknown because of the lack of
historical documentation and Spartan state secrecy.
Not all inhabitants of the Spartan state were considered to be
citizens. Only those who had undertaken the Spartan education process
known as the agoge were eligible. However, usually the only people
eligible to receive the agoge were Spartiates, or people who could
trace their ancestry to the original inhabitants of the city.
There were two exceptions.
Trophimoi or "foster sons" were foreign
students invited to study. The Athenian general Xenophon, for example,
sent his two sons to
Sparta as trophimoi. The other exception was that
the son of a helot could be enrolled as a syntrophos if a
Spartiate formally adopted him and paid his way. If a syntrophos did
exceptionally well in training, he might be sponsored to become a
Spartiate. Spartans who could not afford to pay the expenses of
the agoge could lose their citizenship.
These laws meant that
Sparta could not readily replace citizens lost
in battle or otherwise and eventually proved near fatal to the
continuance of the state as the number of citizens became greatly
outnumbered by the non-citizens and, even more dangerously, the
Others in the state were the perioikoi, who were free inhabitants of
Spartan territory but were non-citizens, and the helots, the
state-owned serfs. Descendants of non-Spartan citizens were not able
to follow the agoge.
Main article: Helots
The Spartans were a minority of the Lakonian population. The largest
class of inhabitants were the helots (in Classical Greek
Εἵλωτες / Heílôtes).
The helots were originally free Greeks from the areas of Messenia and
Lakonia whom the Spartans had defeated in battle and subsequently
enslaved. In contrast to populations conquered by other Greek cities
(e.g. the Athenian treatment of Melos), the male population was not
exterminated and the women and children turned into chattel slaves.
Instead, the helots were given a subordinate position in society more
comparable to serfs in medieval Europe than chattel slaves in the rest
Helots did not have voting rights, although compared to non-Greek
chattel slaves in other parts of Greece they were relatively
privileged. The Spartan poet Tyrtaios refers to
Helots being allowed
to marry and retaining 50% of the fruits of their labor. They also
seem to have been allowed to practice religious rites and, according
to Thucydides, own a limited amount of personal property. Some
6,000 helots accumulated enough wealth to buy their freedom, for
example, in 227 BC.
In other Greek city-states, free citizens were part-time soldiers who,
when not at war, carried on other trades. Since Spartan men were
full-time soldiers, they were not available to carry out manual
labour. The helots were used as unskilled serfs, tilling Spartan
Helot women were often used as wet nurses.
Helots also travelled
Spartan army as non-combatant serfs. At the last stand of the
Battle of Thermopylae, the Greek dead included not just the legendary
three hundred Spartan soldiers but also several hundred Thespian and
Theban troops and a number of helots.
Relations between the helots and their Spartan masters were sometimes
strained. There was at least one helot revolt (ca. 465–460 BC), and
Thucydides remarked that "Spartan policy is always mainly governed by
the necessity of taking precautions against the helots." On
the other hand, the Spartans trusted their helots enough in 479 BC to
take a force of 35,000 with them to Plataea, something they could not
have risked if they feared the helots would attack them or run away.
Slave revolts occurred elsewhere in the Greek world, and in 413 BC
20,000 Athenian slaves ran away to join the Spartan forces occupying
Attica. What made Sparta's relations with her slave population
unique was that the helots, precisely because they enjoyed privileges
such as family and property, retained their identity as a conquered
people (the Messenians) and also had effective kinship groups that
could be used to organize rebellion.
Spartiate population declined and the helot population
continued to grow, the imbalance of power caused increasing tension.
According to Myron of Priene of the middle 3rd century BC:
"They assign to the
Helots every shameful task leading to disgrace.
For they ordained that each one of them must wear a dogskin cap
(κυνῆ / kunễ) and wrap himself in skins (διφθέρα /
diphthéra) and receive a stipulated number of beatings every year
regardless of any wrongdoing, so that they would never forget they
were slaves. Moreover, if any exceeded the vigour proper to a slave's
condition, they made death the penalty; and they allotted a punishment
to those controlling them if they failed to rebuke those who were
Plutarch also states that Spartans treated the
Helots "harshly and
cruelly": they compelled them to drink pure wine (which was considered
dangerous – wine usually being cut with water) "...and to lead them
in that condition into their public halls, that the children might see
what a sight a drunken man is; they made them to dance low dances, and
sing ridiculous songs..." during syssitia (obligatory banquets).
Each year when the
Ephors took office they ritually declared war on
the helots, thereby allowing Spartans to kill them without the risk of
ritual pollution. This seems to have been done by kryptai (sing.
κρύπτης kryptēs), graduates of the agoge who took part in the
mysterious institution known as the Krypteia.
"The helots were invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their
number who claimed to have most distinguished themselves against the
enemy, in order that they might receive their freedom; the object
being to test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their
freedom would be the most high spirited and the most apt to rebel. As
many as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves
and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom. The
Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever
knew how each of them perished."
Main article: Perioeci
The Perioikoi came from similar origins as the helots but occupied a
significantly different position in Spartan society. Although they did
not enjoy full citizen-rights, they were free and not subjected to the
same restrictions as the helots. The exact nature of their subjection
to the Spartans is not clear, but they seem to have served partly as a
kind of military reserve, partly as skilled craftsmen and partly as
agents of foreign trade. Perioikoic hoplites served increasingly
with the Spartan army, explicitly at the Battle of Plataea, and
although they may also have fulfilled functions such as the
manufacture and repair of armour and weapons, they were
increasingly integrated into the combat units of the
Spartan army as
Spartiate population declined.
Name vase of the Spartan artist known as the Rider Painter
(black-figured kylix, ca. 550–530 BC)
Spartan citizens were debarred by law from trade or manufacture, which
consequently rested in the hands of the Perioikoi. The Periokoi
monopoly on trade and manufacturing in one of the richest territories
of Greece explains in large part the loyalty of the perioikoi to the
Spartan state. Lacedaemon was rich in natural resources, fertile and
blessed with a number of good natural harbors. The periokoi could
exploit these resources for their own enrichment, and did.
Spartiates, on the other hand, were forbidden (in theory) from
engaging in menial labor or trade, although there is evidence of
Spartan sculptors, and Spartans were certainly poets, magistrates,
ambassadors, and governors as well as soldiers. Allegedly, Spartans
were prohibited from possessing gold and silver coins, and according
to legend Spartan currency consisted of iron bars to discourage
hoarding. It was not until the 260s or 250s BC that Sparta
began to mint its own coins.
The conspicuous display of wealth appears to have been discouraged,
although this did not preclude the production of very fine, highly
decorated bronze, ivory and wooden works of art and the production of
jewellery. Archeology has produced many examples of all these objects,
some of which are exquisite.
Allegedly in connection with the Lycurgan Reforms (e.g. in the mid-8th
Century BC), property had been divided into 9,000 equal portions as
part of a massive land reform. Each citizen received one estate, a
kleros, and thereafter was expected to derive his wealth from it.
The land itself was worked by helots, who retained half the yield.
From the other half, the
Spartiate was expected to pay his mess
(syssitia) fees, and the agoge fees for his children. However, we know
nothing about whether land could be bought and sold, whether it could
be inherited, if so by what system (primogeniture or equally divided
among heirs), whether daughters received dowries and much more.
What is clear is that from early on there were marked differences of
wealth within the state, and these became even more serious after the
law of Epitadeus, passed at some time after the Peloponnesian War,
removed the legal prohibition of the gift or bequest of land. By
the mid-5th century, land had become concentrated in the hands of a
tiny elite, and the notion of all Spartan citizens being "equals" had
become a farce. By Aristotle's day (384–322 BC) citizenship had been
reduced from 9,000 to less than 1,000, and then further decreased to
700 at the accession of
Agis IV in 244 BC. Attempts were made to
remedy this situation by creating new laws. Certain penalties were
imposed upon those who remained unmarried or who married too late in
life. These laws, however, came too late and were ineffective in
reversing the trend.
Life in Classical Sparta
Birth and death
Sparta was above all a militarist state, and emphasis on military
fitness began virtually at birth. Shortly after birth, a mother would
bathe her child in wine to see whether the child was strong. If the
child survived it was brought before the
Gerousia by the child's
Gerousia then decided whether it was to be reared or not.
It is commonly stated that if they considered it "puny and deformed",
the baby was thrown into a chasm on Mount Taygetos known
euphemistically as the Apothetae (Gr., ἀποθέται,
"Deposits"). This was, in effect, a primitive form of
Sparta is often portrayed as being unique in this
matter; however, there is considerable evidence that the killing of
unwanted children was practiced in other Greek regions, including
Athens. There is controversy about the matter in Sparta, since
excavations in the chasm only uncovered adult remains, likely
belonging to criminals.
When Spartans died, marked headstones would only be granted to
soldiers who died in combat during a victorious campaign or women who
died either in service of a divine office or in childbirth.
Main article: Agoge
Bronze appliqué of Spartan manufacture, possibly depicting Orestes,
550–525 BC (Getty Villa)
When male Spartans began military training at age seven, they would
enter the agoge system. The agoge was designed to encourage discipline
and physical toughness and to emphasize the importance of the Spartan
state. Boys lived in communal messes and, according to Xenophon, whose
sons attended the agoge, the boys were fed "just the right amount for
them never to become sluggish through being too full, while also
giving them a taste of what it is not to have enough." In addition
they were trained to survived in times of privation, even if it meant
stealing. Besides physical and weapons training, boys studied
reading, writing, music and dancing.
Special punishments were imposed
if boys failed to answer questions sufficiently 'laconically' (i.e.
briefly and wittily).
There is some evidence that in late-Classical and Hellenistic Sparta
boys were expected to take an older male mentor, usually an unmarried
young man. However, there is no evidence of this in archaic Sparta.
According to some sources, the older man was expected to function as a
kind of substitute father and role model to his junior partner;
however, others believe it was reasonably certain that they had sexual
relations (the exact nature of Spartan pederasty is not entirely
clear). It is notable, however, that the only contemporary source
with direct experience of the agoge, Xenophon, explicitly denies the
sexual nature of the relationship.
Post 465 BC, some Spartan youth apparently became members of an
irregular unit known as the Krypteia. The immediate objective of this
unit was to seek out and kill vulnerable helot Laconians as part of
the larger program of terrorising and intimidating the helot
Less information is available about the education of Spartan girls,
but they seem to have gone through a fairly extensive formal
educational cycle, broadly similar to that of the boys but with less
emphasis on military training. In this respect, classical
unique in ancient Greece. In no other city-state did women receive any
kind of formal education.
Spartan army and Spartiate
Marble statue of a helmed hoplite (5th century BC), Archaeological
Museum of Sparta, Greece
At age 20, the Spartan citizen began his membership in one of the
syssitia (dining messes or clubs), composed of about fifteen members
each, of which every citizen was required to be a member. Here each
group learned how to bond and rely on one another. The Spartans were
not eligible for election for public office until the age of 30. Only
native Spartans were considered full citizens and were obliged to
undergo the training as prescribed by law, as well as participate in
and contribute financially to one of the syssitia.
Sparta is thought to be the first city to practice athletic nudity,
and some scholars claim that it was also the first to formalize
pederasty. According to these sources, the Spartans believed that
the love of an older, accomplished aristocrat for an adolescent was
essential to his formation as a free citizen. The agoge, the education
of the ruling class, was, they claim, founded on pederastic
relationships required of each citizen, with the lover
responsible for the boy's training.
However, other scholars question this interpretation. Xenophon
explicitly denies it, but not Plutarch.
Spartan men remained in the active reserve until age 60. Men were
encouraged to marry at age 20 but could not live with their families
until they left their active military service at age 30. They called
themselves "homoioi" (equals), pointing to their common lifestyle and
the discipline of the phalanx, which demanded that no soldier be
superior to his comrades. Insofar as hoplite warfare could be
perfected, the Spartans did so.
Thucydides reports that when a Spartan man went to war, his wife (or
another woman of some significance) would customarily present him with
his hoplon (shield) and say: "With this, or upon this" (Ἢ τὰν
ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς, Èi tàn èi èpì tàs), meaning that true
Spartans could only return to
Sparta either victorious (with their
shield in hand) or dead (carried upon it). Unfortunately,
poignant as this image may be, it is almost certainly propaganda.
Spartans buried their battle dead on or near the battle field; corpses
were not brought back on their hoplons. Nevertheless, it is fair
to say that it was less of a disgrace for a soldier to lose his
helmet, breastplate or greaves than his hoplon, since the former were
designed to protect one man, whereas the hoplon also protected the man
on his left. Thus the shield was symbolic of the individual soldier's
subordination to his unit, his integral part in its success, and his
solemn responsibility to his comrades in arms – messmates and
friends, often close blood relations.
According to Aristotle, the Spartan military culture was actually
short-sighted and ineffective. He observed:
It is the standards of civilized men not of beasts that must be kept
in mind, for it is good men not beasts who are capable of real
courage. Those like the Spartans who concentrate on the one and ignore
the other in their education turn men into machines and in devoting
themselves to one single aspect of city's life, end up making them
inferior even in that.
Aristotle was a harsh critic of the Spartan constitution and way of
life. There is considerable evidence that the Spartans, certainly in
the archaic period, were not educated as one-sidedly as Aristotle
asserts. In fact, the Spartans were also rigorously trained in logic
One of the most persistent myths about
Sparta that has no basis in
fact is the notion that Spartan mothers were without feelings toward
their off-spring and helped enforce a militaristic lifestyle on their
sons and husbands. The myth can be traced back to Plutarch,
who includes no less than 17 "sayings" of "Spartan women," all of
which paraphrase or elaborate on the theme that Spartan mothers
rejected their own offspring if they showed any kind of cowardice. In
some of these sayings, mothers revile their sons in insulting language
merely for surviving a battle. These sayings purporting to be from
Spartan women were far more likely to be of Athenian origin and
designed to portray Spartan women as unnatural and so undeserving of
Agriculture, food, and diet
Sparta's agriculture consisted mainly of barley, wine, cheese, grain,
and figs. These items were grown locally on each Spartan citizens
kleros and were tended to by helots. Spartan citizens were required to
donate a certain amount of what they yielded from their kleros to
their syssitia, or mess. These donations to the syssitia were a
requirement for every Spartan citizen. All the donated food was then
redistributed to feed the Spartan population of that syssitia.
The helots who tended to the lands were fed using a portion of what
Plutarch reports the peculiar customs associated with the Spartan
The custom was to capture women for marriage(...) The so-called
'bridesmaid' took charge of the captured girl. She first shaved her
head to the scalp, then dressed her in a man's cloak and sandals, and
laid her down alone on a mattress in the dark. The bridegroom – who
was not drunk and thus not impotent, but was sober as always – first
had dinner in the messes, then would slip in, undo her belt, lift her
and carry her to the bed.
The husband continued to visit his wife in secret for some time after
the marriage. These customs, unique to the Spartans, have been
interpreted in various ways. One of them decidedly supports the need
to disguise the bride as a man in order to help the bridegroom
consummate the marriage, so unaccustomed were men to women's looks at
the time of their first intercourse. The "abduction" may have served
to ward off the evil eye, and the cutting of the wife's hair was
perhaps part of a rite of passage that signaled her entrance into a
Role of women
Main article: Women in ancient Sparta
Political, social, and economic equality
Spartan women, of the citizenry class, enjoyed a status, power, and
respect that was unknown in the rest of the classical world. The
higher status of females in Spartan society started at birth; unlike
Athens, Spartan girls were fed the same food as their brothers.
Nor were they confined to their father's house and prevented from
exercising or getting fresh air as in Athens, but exercised and even
competed in sports. Most important, rather than being married off
at the age of 12 or 13, Spartan law forbade the marriage of a girl
until she was in her late teens or early 20s. The reasons for delaying
marriage were to ensure the birth of healthy children, but the effect
was to spare Spartan women the hazards and lasting health damage
associated with pregnancy among adolescents. Spartan women, better fed
from childhood and fit from exercise, stood a far better chance of
reaching old age than their sisters in other Greek cities, where the
median age for death was 34.6 years or roughly 10 years below that of
Unlike Athenian women who wore heavy, concealing clothes and were
rarely seen outside the house, Spartan women wore dresses (peplos)
slit up the side to allow freer movement and moved freely about the
city, either walking or driving chariots. Girls as well as boys
exercised, possibly in the nude, and young women as well as young men
may have participated in the
Gymnopaedia ("Festival of Nude
Another practice that was mentioned by many visitors to
Sparta was the
practice of “wife-sharing”. In accordance with the Spartan belief
that breeding should be between the most physically fit parents, many
older men allowed younger, more fit men, to impregnate their wives.
Other unmarried or childless men might even request another man’s
wife to bear his children if she had previously been a strong child
bearer. For this reason many considered Spartan women polygamous
or polyandrous. This practice was encouraged in order that women
bear as many strong-bodied children as they could. The Spartan
population was hard to maintain due to the constant absence and loss
of the men in battle and the intense physical inspection of
Spartan women were also literate and numerate, a rarity in the ancient
world. Furthermore, as a result of their education and the fact that
they moved freely in society engaging with their fellow (male)
citizens, they were notorious for speaking their minds even in
public. Plato, in the middle of the fourth century, described
women's curriculum in
Sparta as consisting of gymnastics and mousike
(music and arts).
Plato goes on to praise Spartan women's ability when
it came to philosophical discussion.
Most importantly, Spartan women had economic power because they
controlled their own properties, and those of their husbands. It is
estimated that in later Classical Sparta, when the male population was
in serious decline, women were the sole owners of at least 35% of all
land and property in Sparta. The laws regarding a divorce were
the same for both men and women. Unlike women in Athens, if a Spartan
woman became the heiress of her father because she had no living
brothers to inherit (an epikleros), the woman was not required to
divorce her current spouse in order to marry her nearest paternal
Spartan women acquired so much wealth that in Aristotle’s analysis
of the laws and history of
Sparta he attributed its precipitous fall
(which happened during his lifetime) from being the master of Greece
to a second rate power in less than 50 years to the fact that Sparta
had become a gynecocracy whose intemperate women loved luxury. These
tendencies became worse after the huge influx of wealth following the
Spartan victory of the Peloponnesian War, leading to the eventual
downfall of Sparta.
Many women played a significant role in the history of Sparta.
Queen Gorgo, heiress to the throne and the wife of
Leonidas I, was an
influential and well-documented figure.
Herodotus records that as a
small girl she advised her father Cleomenes to resist a bribe. She was
later said to be responsible for decoding a warning that the Persian
forces were about to invade Greece; after Spartan generals could not
decode a wooden tablet covered in wax, she ordered them to clear the
wax, revealing the warning. Plutarch's
Moralia contains a
collection of "Sayings of Spartan Women", including a laconic quip
attributed to Gorgo: when asked by a woman from
Attica why Spartan
women were the only women in the world who could rule men, she replied
"Because we are the only women who are mothers of men".
Main article: Laconophilia
Laconophilia is love or admiration of
Sparta and of the Spartan
culture or constitution.
Sparta was subject of considerable admiration
in its day, even in its rival, Athens. In ancient times "Many of the
noblest and best of the Athenians always considered the Spartan state
nearly as an ideal theory realised in practice." Many Greek
philosophers, especially Platonists, would often describe
Sparta as an
ideal state, strong, brave, and free from the corruptions of commerce
Young Spartans Exercising
Young Spartans Exercising by
Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
With the revival of classical learning in
Laconophilia re-appears, for examples in the writings of Machiavelli.
The Elizabethan English constitutionalist John Aylmer compared the
mixed government of Tudor England to the Spartan republic, stating
that "Lacedemonia [meaning Sparta], [was] the noblest and best city
governed that ever was". He commended it as a model for England. The
Jean-Jacques Rousseau contrasted Sparta
Athens in his Discourse on the Arts and Sciences,
arguing that its austere constitution was preferable to the more
cultured nature of Athenian life.
Sparta was also used as a model of
social purity by Revolutionary and Napoleonic France.
Certain early Zionists, and particularly the founders of Kibbutz
movement in Israel, had been influenced by Spartan ideals,
particularly as a model for education. Tabenkin, for example, a
founding father of the
Kibbutz and the Palmach, was influenced by
Spartan education. He prescribed that education for warfare "should
begin from the nursery", that children should from kindergarten age be
taken to "spend nights in the mountains and valleys".
A new element of
Laconophilia by Karl Otfried Müller, who linked
Spartan ideals to the supposed racial superiority of the Dorians, the
ethnic sub-group of the Greeks to which the Spartans belonged. Adolf
Hitler praised the Spartans, recommending in 1928 that Germany should
imitate them by limiting "the number allowed to live". He added that
"The Spartans were once capable of such a wise measure... The
subjugation of 350,000
Helots by 6,000 Spartans was only possible
because of the racial superiority of the Spartans." The Spartans had
created "the first racialist state".
In the modern times, the adjective "spartan" is used to imply
simplicity, frugality, or avoidance of luxury and comfort. The
term laconic phrase describes a very terse and concise way of speaking
that was characteristic of the Spartans.
Sparta also features prominently in modern popular culture (see Sparta
in popular culture), particularly the
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Thermopylae (see
Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Thermopylae in popular culture).
Notable ancient Spartans
Agis I – king
Agis II – king
Agesilaus II – king
Cleomenes I – king
Leonidas I (c. 520–480 BC) – king, famous for his actions at the
Battle of Thermopylae
Cleomenes III – king and reformer
Lysander (5th–4th century BC) – general
Lycurgus (10th century BC) – lawgiver
Chionis (7th century BC) – athlete
Cynisca (4th century BC) – princess and athlete
Chilon – philosopher
Gorgo – queen and politician
Helen – of the Trojan War, Queen of Sparta
Menelaus – King of
Sparta during the Trojan War
Xanthippus of Carthage – Spartan mercenary, of the first Punic war.
Clearchus of Sparta – Spartan mercenary in the army of the Ten
Thousand (Greek mercenaries).
Nabis – King
List of Kings of Sparta
Notes and references
^ For the nature of this development, see the article on Laconophilia.
^ According to Thucydides, the Athenian citizens at the beginning of
Peloponnesian War (5th century BC) numbered 40,000, making with
their families a total of 140,000 people in all. The metics, i.e.
those who did not have citizen rights and paid for the right to reside
in Athens, numbered a further 70,000, whilst slaves were estimated at
between 150,000 to 400,000.
^ Found on the following tablets: TH Fq 229, TH Fq 258, TH Fq 275, TH
Fq 253, TH Fq 284, TH Fq 325, TH Fq 339, TH Fq 382. There are also
words like 𐀨𐀐𐀅𐀖𐀛𐀍𐀄𐀍, ra-ke-da-mo-ni-jo-u-jo
– found on the TH Gp 227 tablet – that could perhaps mean "son
of the Spartan". Moreover, the attested words 𐀨𐀐𐀅𐀜
, ra-ke-da-no and 𐀨𐀐𐀅𐀜𐀩, ra-ke-da-no-re could possibly
Linear B forms of Lacedaemon itself; the latter, found on the MY Ge
604 tablet, is considered to be the dative case form of the former
which is found on the MY Ge 603 tablet. It is considered much more
probable though that ra-ke-da-no and ra-ke-da-no-re correspond to the
anthroponym Λακεδάνωρ, Lakedanor, though the latter is
thought to be related etymologically to Lacedaemon.
^ Especially the Diamastigosis at the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia,
Limnai outside Sparta. There an amphitheatre was built in the 3rd
century CE to observe the ritual whipping of Spartan youths.
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 91
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 174
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 192
^ Morris, Ian (December 2005), The growth of Greek cities in the first
millennium BC. v.1 (PDF), Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in
^ Nielsen, Thomas Heine (29 December 2017). "Once Again: Studies in
Ancient Greek Polis". Franz Steiner Verlag – via Google
^ Wilson, Nigel Guy, ed. (2006). Encyclopedia Of Ancient Greece.
Routledge (UK). pp. 214–15. ISBN 0-415-97334-1.
^ a b Hodkinson, Stephen "The Imaginary Spartan Politeria" pp. 22–81
from The Imaginary Polis: Symposium, January 7–10, 2004 edited by
Mogens Herman Hansen, Copenhagen: Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 2005
Linear B word ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo". Palaeolexicon. Word study
tool of Ancient languages.
^ a b c "TH 229 Fq (305)". "TH Fq 258 (305)". "TH 275 Fq
(305)". "TH 253 Fq (305)". "TH 284 Fq (305)". "TH
325 Fq (305)". "TH 339 Fq (305)". "TH 382 Fq (305)".
"TH 227 Gp (306)". "MY 603 Ge + frr. (58a)". "MY 604 Ge
(58a)". DĀMOS Database of Mycenaean at Oslo. University of
^ Thompson, Rupert (2010). "Mycenaean Greek". In Bakker, Egbert J. A
Companion to the
Ancient Greek Language. Blackwell Companions to the
Ancient World. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 223.
^ Beekes, R.S.P. (2010). "s.v. υἱός". Etymological Dictionary of
Greek. 2. With the assistance of Lucien van Beek. Leiden, Boston:
Brill. p. 1528. ISBN 9789004174184.
^ Raymoure, K.A. "ra-ke-da-no". Minoan
Linear A & Mycenaean Linear
^ Jasanoff, Jay H.; Nussbaum, Alan (1996). Lefkowitz, Mary R.; Rogers
Maclean, Guy, eds. Black Athena Revisited. The University of North
Carolina Press. p. 193. ISBN 0807845558.
^ LIddell & Scott 1940, Λακεδαιμόνιος, s.v.
^ Lacedaemonius, s.v. Lacedaemon. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short.
Latin Dictionary on Perseus Project.
^ LIddell & Scott 1940, Σπάρτη.
^ Liddell & Scott 1940, Λακεδαίμων.
^ MacBean, Alexander; Johnson, Samuel (1773). "Lacedaemon". A
Dictionary of Ancient Geography [etc.] London: G. Robinson
^ Autenrieth 1891, Λακεδαίμων.
^ Schmidt, Maurice, ed. (1863). "s.v. Ἀγιάδαι". Hesychii
Alexandrini Lexicon (in Greek). Jena: Frederick Mauk. . At the
^ Wiener, Leo (1920). Contributions toward a History of Arabico-Gothic
Culture. V. III: Tacitus' Germania & Other Forgeries.
Philadelphia: Innes & Sones. p. 20.
^ Diodorus Siculus, Library, 19.70.2.
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 4
^ a b Pausanias 1918, Description of Greece, ΙΙΙ.1.2.
^ Thucydides, i. 10
^ The British School at Athens, Home.
^ "The Mycenaean presence in the southeastern
Eurotas valley: Vouno
Panagias and Ayios Georgios", by Emilia Banou.
^ a b Herodot, Book I, 56.3
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 28
^ a b Ehrenberg 2004, p. 31
^ Ehrenberg 2004, p. 36
^ Ehrenberg 2004, p. 33
^ "A Historical Commentary on Thucydides"—David Cartwright, p. 176
^ Green 1998, p. 10
^ Britannica ed. 2006, "Sparta"
^ "Dictionary of Ancient&Medieval Warfare"—Matthew Bennett, p.
^ a b "The Oxford Illustrated History of Greece and the Hellenistic
World" p. 141, John Boardman, Jasper Griffin, Oswyn Murray
^ Fine, The Ancient Greeks, 556–59
^ Davies 1998, pp. 133.
Plutarch 1874, De garrulitate, 17.
Plutarch 1891, De garrulitate, 17; in Greek.
Agis III – Livius". www.livius.org.
^ Badian, E. (29 December 1967). "Agis III". Hermes. 95 (2):
170–192. JSTOR 4475455 – via JSTOR.
^ Diodorus, World History
^ Diodorus, World History, 17.62.1–63.4;tr. C.B. Welles
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great and his time By Agnes Savill Page 44
^ Cartledge & Spawforth 2001, p. 82
Cicero (1918). "II.34". In Pohlenz, M.
Tusculanae Disputationes (in
Latin). Leipzig: Teubner. At the Perseus Project.
^ Michell, Humfrey (1964). Sparta. Cambridge University Press.
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 89
^ The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences,
Literature and ... p. 611. primary and secondary source
^ The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences,
Literature and ... p. 611. primary secondary source
^ The Greeks at War By Philip De Souza, Waldemar Heckel, Lloyd
Llewellyn-Jones, Victor Davis Hanson
^ The Politics By Aristotle, Thomas Alan Sinclair, Trevor J. Saunders
^ A companion to Greek studies By Leonard Whibley
^ σύντροφος in Liddell and Scott.
^ The Greek World By Anton Powell
Ancient Greece By Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter
Donlan, Jennifer Tolbert Roberts
Herodotus (IX, 28–29)
^ Xenophon, Hellenica, III, 3, 5
^ West 1999, p. 24
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 141
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 140
^ Ehrenberg 2004, p. 159
Thucydides (IV, 80); the Greek is ambiguous
^ Cartledge 2002, p. 211
Thucydides (VII, 27)
^ Talbert, p. 26.
^ Apud Athenaeus, 14, 647d = FGH 106 F 2. Trans. by Cartledge, p. 305.
^ Life of Lycurgus 28, 8–10. See also, Life of Demetrios, 1, 5;
Constitution of the Lacedemonians 30; De Cohibenda Ira 6; De
Commmunibus Notitiis 19.
^ (Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus 28, 7)
^ Powell 2001, p. 254
Thucydides (Book IV 80.4).
^ Classical historian Anton Powell has recorded a similar story from
1980s El Salvador. Cf. Powell, 2001, p. 256
^ Cartledge 2002, pp. 153–55
^ Cartledge 2002, pp. 158, 178
^ "Population Patterns in Late Archaic and Classical Sparta" by Thomas
Figueira, Transactions of the American Philological Association 116
(1986), pp. 165–213
^ Paul Cartledge, "
Sparta and Lakonia," Routledge, London, 1979, pp.
^ Conrad Stibbe, "Das Andere Sparta," Verlag Philipp von Zabern,
Mainz, 1996, pp. 111–27
^ Excel HSC Ancient History By Peter Roberts, ISBN 1-74125-178-8,
^ Greene, Robert (2000), The 48 Laws of Power, Penguin Books,
p. 420, ISBN 0-14-028019-7
^ Hodkinson, Stephen (2000), Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta,
^ Conrad Stibbe, Das Andere Sparta, Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz,
^ A.H.M. Jones, "Sparta," Basel Blackwell and Mott Ltd.,1967, pp.
^ Stephen Hodkinson, Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta, The
Classical Press of Wales, Swansea, 2000. See also Paul Cartledge's
discussion of property in
Sparta in "
Sparta and Lakonia," pp.
^ Social Conflict in
Ancient Greece By Alexander Fuks,
ISBN 965-223-466-4, ISBN 978-965-223-466-7
^ a b Cartledge 2001, p. 84
Plutarch 2005, p. 20
^ Buxton 2001, p. 201
Sparta – Research Program of Keadas Cavern Theodoros K.
^ Plutarch, Lycurgus 27.2–3. However this may be conflating later
practice with that of the classical period. See Not the Classical
Athens and the Construction of the Other in Greek Art ed. Beth
Cohen, p. 263, note 33, 2000, Brill.
^ a b c Xenophon, Spartan Society, 2
^ Kagan, Donald; Ozment, Steven; Frank, Turner; Frank, Alison (2013).
"The Rise of Greek Civilization". Western Heritage. Pearson.
pp. 44, Spartan Society.
^ Cartledge 2001, p. 85
^ Cartledge 2001, pp. 91–105
^ Cartledge 2001, p. 88
^ Cartledge 2001, pp. 83–84
^ E. David (1984).
Aristophanes and Athenian Society of the Early
Fourth Century B.C. Brill Archive. ISBN 9004070621.
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This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name
needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sparta.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Sparta on In Our Time at the BBC.
GTP – Sparta
GTP – Ancient Sparta
Schrader, Helena P. (2001–2010). "
Sparta Reconsidered: An
Introduction". The Spartans: Warrior Philosophers of the Ancient
World. Elysium Gates.
Papakyriakou-Anagnostou, Ellen (2000–2011). "History of Sparta".
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