Ancient History Assessment Task 1
Spartan Society to the Battle of Leuctra 371 BC
Who was Lycurgus? Lycurgus was the famous lawgiver of Sparta. An influential and powerful man who was written about often by Aristotle and Xenophon. Though very little is known about him. This is why there are many debates on whether he was a real person, or why Sparta would look to the one lawgiver. However he was responsible for many reforms in Sparta, including the Great Rhetra.
Lycurgus was also responsible for the creation of the syssitia and the agoge, critical parts of Spartan Society. Lycurgus is also depicted to have consulted the Delphic Oracle on many occasions to the success of his proposed laws.
Describe the main features of Spartan religion during this period. Sparta when it came to religion, were strict obeyers of the Gods and their celebrations. Like with other Greek states the Spartans worshipped Zeus, Apollo and Athena, though their devotion to the practice of religion was mocked by other Greeks. Festivals, all honouring Apollo were a major part of Spartan life.
The Karneia was a major celebration in Spartan society, performed in the holy month, between August and September. The name originated from Apollo Karneios, the Ram God. Two rituals were performed during Karneia.
Model rafts were built, symbolizing the return of the sons of Herakles.
The second ritual took form of a running race.
Religious sites were scarce in Sparta compared to other cities such as Athens, though Sparta was never meant to be remembered for great architecture. Though some religious sites did exist.
The temple of Artemis Orthia
The temple of Athena of the bronze hood
Shrine of Apollo
Divination, the art of interpreting the will of the Gods, was open to all citizens of Sparta, though mainly used by the Pithioi, the special officials sent by the King to consult the Delphic oracles about...