Spartan Society

Spartan Society - extremely fertile along the coast and...

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History 116B Spartan Society The original roots of Spartan society date all the way back to when the Dorian’s returned to Greece in 1104 in what is known as the return of the Heraclids. Following the victory in the Second Messenian War of the seventh century, Sparta established itself as a local power in Peloponnesus and the rest of Greece. During the following centuries, Sparta's reputation as being the best land-fighting army was unquestionable. Unlike some states that had sent out colonies in order to drain away the excess population, (These primary colonies were doing in the southern portion of Italy where the Greeks knew the area as Magna Graecia.) the Spartans, as whole did not colonize. One reason for this is that they were not great seafarers, (they were not on the water like Cornith), and also because for the most part they were not adventurous people. Spartan’s were very conservative and didn’t travel widely. Hence, the solution to their population probles was to go after the land that was right adjacent to them, Messenia. At the time Messenia was
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Unformatted text preview: extremely fertile along the coast and this was perfect as the Spartans wanted to be able feed them selves. Incidentally, The Spartans had a strange custom of having two kings at the same time. The reason as to why they had two kings because there were two royal houses as exemplified in (Herod. Book 7), but neither one was ever strong enough over the other. The conservatism of the Spartans made them prize negative action over positive action. It was actually the main duty of men in Spartan society to serve in the army. Men went into the army as young as 12 and served up until they were 60. They were occasionally allowed to go home on leave, (partly for the reason of producing more future soldiers.) Women were allowed to sleep with men they were not married to in order to produce more soldiers as well, but if the children they produced did not fit up to Spartan standards then they killed without any regard....
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This note was uploaded on 03/16/2008 for the course HIST 116B taught by Professor Martin during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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