Sparta and athens essay conclusion

Sparta was the largest military power of all the ancient Greek city-states. It was a primitive polis, or city-state. Culture, politics, and the economy were all stagnant. Its early history was heavily dominated with invasion of neighboring poleis in search of land and resources to support its dramatically increasing population. It invaded a fertile plain in a nearby mountain valley, the city-state of Messenia, whose valley could easily produce the resources needed to fuel both of the poleis. The Messenians were upset over their loss of independence and revolted, almost wiping out Sparta altogether, but they failed to free themselves of Spartan rule. At the end of the Messenian revolt, the Spartans were outnumbered 10 to 1 but were still in a position of authority, and were left with the problem of how to control a population that greatly outnumbered them. The Spartan solution was to invent a new political system as revolutionary as the Athenian's democracy in the north; to become a military state. The result of this was to force the Messenians into slavery. They were called helots, members of the slave class in Sparta that grew produce for the master of the estate (a Spartan) and kept the rest of the crops for himself and his family. This was a miserable life, work was long and the amount of food inadequate. The amount of food that they had to pay tribute to the landowner always put the helots on borderline subsistence. Spartan society itself changed after its transition tot a military state. The center of Spartan life was the military and the polis. Children were systematically determined at birth whether they were weak or strong and left to die of exposure if deemed unfit to serve the state's army. This had been performed before in Greece, but the state institutionalized it and made it a common practice. At the age of seven the Spartan male was sent to military and athletic school. There they were taught survival skills, endurance of pain, discipline, and toughness. This continued for 13 years when the Spartan was 20 and became a soldier. A soldier would live in his barracks with fellow soldiers, eat with his fellow

Sparta and athens essay conclusion

sparta and athens essay conclusion

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