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Unformatted text preview: Ancient Greece Mar 5 Exam 3 THE LIFE IN SPARTA The problem in Thermopylae • Lost in the Battle of Thermopylae o Spartans consider this to be their finest moment Interesting because the Spartans lost o All other think their finest hour was when they won Sparta • South eastern Peloponnese o Mount Taygetus ( natural boundaries) Where the Spartan youths go to learn how to fight When babies don’t pass inspection, they are tossed off a cliff on Mt. Taygetus o Rugged, fertile, and enclosed by mountains o Prehistory: Trojan war: Helen married Menaleus and her sister, Clytemnestra, marries Agamemnon, his brother. • In stone, Agamemnon is stabbing Clytemnestra • Menaleus is rubbing Helen’s back Heracles - ancestor of the kings of Sparta in classical times • The Dorians are supposedly the sons of Heracles • All Spartans claim decent from Heracles (esp the kings) Menelaion – the palace in Mycenaean times • On a hill • Surrounded by Mt. Taygetus Mycenaean civilization disappears from Sparta • Renaissance will happen as the rest of Greece emerges from the dark ages • 715 BC – Sparta begins to conquer the rest of the Southern Peloponnese o 755-715: first Messenian war Spartans crossed chain of mountains into Messenia and subjugated entire population Key moment in Sparta history Enslave (helot = slave) the people of Messenia o Sparta has to keep these helots under control 7-10 helots –to- 1 Spartan Sizeable threat to the Spartans Why do they want Messenia if it’s so large? • Messenia is even more fertile that Laconia o Conquest of Helots Makes Sparta one of the first slave populations • They become totally dependant on these slaves Without the helots, Spartan economy is in tatters When Sparta falls in 4 th C BC, its because the helots have been...
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- Spring '07
- Helots Makes Sparta