Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece situated on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia in southeastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10 th century BCE, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. Around BCE, it rose to become the dominant military power in ancient Greece.
Athens and Sparta
Sparta is a city in Laconia, on the Peloponnese in Greece. In antiquity, it was a powerful city-state with a famous martial tradition. Ancient writers sometimes referred to it as Lacedaemon and its people as Lacedaemonians. Sparta reached the height of its power in B. When it was in its prime, Sparta had no city walls; its inhabitants, it seems, preferred to defend it with men rather than mortar. However, within a few decades, after a defeat against the Thebans at the Battle of Leuctra, the city found itself reduced to a "second-rate power," a status from which it never recovered. The prowess and fearlessness of Sparta's warriors has inspired the Western world for millennia and, even in the 21st century, has been incorporated into Hollywood films like " " and the futuristic video game series " Halo " where a group of super- soldiers are called "Spartans".
The sparsity of ruins from antiquity around the modern city reflects the austerity of the military oligarchy that ruled the Spartan city-state from the 6th to the 2nd century bce. Reputedly founded in the 9th century bce with a rigid oligarchic constitution, the state of Sparta for centuries retained as lifetime corulers two kings who arbitrated in time of war. In time of peace, power was concentrated in a Senate of 30 members. Between the 8th and 5th century bce , Sparta subdued Messenia , reducing the inhabitants to serflike status. From the 5th century the ruling class of Sparta devoted itself to war and diplomacy, deliberately neglecting the arts, philosophy, and literature, and forged the most powerful army standing in Greece. The Battle of Salamis revealed the magnitude of Athenian naval power and set in motion the deadly struggle between the two powers that ended in Athenian defeat at the close of the Peloponnesian War in and the emergence of Sparta as the most powerful state in Greece. In the Corinthian War — Sparta had two land victories over Athenian allied states and a severe naval defeat at Cnidus by a combined Athenian and Persian fleet. A century-long decline followed. In ce the modest city was destroyed by the Visigoths.
All rights reserved. Little remains of the ancient city of Sparta, capital of the Laconia region, situated on the Peloponnesus peninsula in modern Greece, but the impact of its unique culture is impossible to ignore. A state run by an inflexible military regime, whose people existed almost entirely to serve the army, the Spartans were legendary for their professionalism, intense physical and mental stamina, and absolute dedication to the defense of their land. No great philosophers would ever arise from Spartan culture the way they did from Athens. Founded around the ninth century B. Religion did occupy a central role in this warrior society. An efficient military machine in almost every other respect, war was only unthinkable during the festivities dedicated to Apollo Carneus. These were celebrated every summer, sometimes in full campaign season, and it was considered impious to interrupt them. The Athenian view of Sparta oscillated between admiration and fear, according to whether their warlike neighbors were allies or enemies.