World Civilizations A
The Spartan City-State
The Spartan city-state is arguably the most well known and popularized of the Greek city-states. The Spartan city-state started out like most other Greek civilizations, growing to the point of needed expansion. Unlike the other cities of Greece, Sparta conquered its neighbor city-state of Messenia, rather than sending its people to form colonies. Seeing as how they could completely control a city 7 times their size in population, the elders and leaders of the city made the decision to become a military state. This way they could always control Messenia as their slaves. This is how the Spartans started the long road to becoming the fearless warriors depicted in popular culture.
Sparta’s cities were designed like most other Greek cities. Most of the population lived in a circle around the center of the city called an Acropolis, usually placed on a hill or outcropping of rock. Like almost all early civilizations, Sparta was located near a body of water, in this case the river Eurotas.
The Spartan city-state had a very organized educational system, and like many ancient civilizations, a very defined hierarchy of power. At 7 years of age, Spartan boys were sent to barracks to train until their 20th birthday. Once taken the only goals of the state to teach them was how to fight and be tough. The girls, raised somewhat similarly, were trained overall to be a healthy mother, and to raise good children. The Spartans also had strong religious beliefs, as imagined many intertwined with fighting and bloodshed. In fact one of the coming-of-age events in a young Spartans life involves being whipped at an altar to appease the goddess of the Temple of Artemis Orthia, who was not content until her altar was covered in blood. Although not much is known about Spartan history as there are no written records it is believed that Sparta had a very organized form of...