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Thanks to What Spartans Succeeded in War - Research Paper Example

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The purpose of this essay “Thanks to What Spartans Succeeded in War” is to illustrate why Sparta proved to be a successful military foe, perfecting the powerful hoplite phalanx military formation with shields linked for greater effect, and defeating many enemies, including the Athenian army…
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Thanks to What Spartans Succeeded in War
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Download file to see previous pages While Athens is regarded as a principal of Western culture and the birthplace of democracy, Sparta has a much darker reputation. Athenians prided themselves on being able to fight well as soldiers without giving up the pleasures of life, but Spartans knew that training was all important. The emphasis was very much on the citizen a soldier. The advantage that Sparta held over its rival Athens was its army. Sparta’s army was disciplined, loyal to the death and very fierce on the battlefield with phalanx that must have been fearsome to behold on the field of battle. It can be said that military supremacy was Sparta’s specialty in Ancient Greece. How did Sparta gain such supremacy? Was it the unique social structure of Sparta with its military training that everyone who was destined to become a Spartan had to go through? Was it the political system that gave Sparta its ability to enforce its wishes through the use of its army?
Sparta thrived in the valley of the Eurotas river and was the chief and controlling city of Laconia which was in the southern Peloponnese. The Greek system of city-states meant that each was politically independent, often having their own calendar, army, customs, and even currency. The Spartans had arrived in the area and settled there during the Dorian invasions. Some invading people have managed to live as aristocratic neutrals alongside the general population. In Sparta, however, the newcomers asserted a rigid regime which bought the native citizens down to the level of being mere serfs and slaves. Herodotus says these made up some 80% of the population. Professor Ben Kiernan has described them as the first racist state and tells how they were admired by Adolf Hitler because they were capable of choosing who should live and who should die. The style of government was a complicated system which managed to combine a military oligarchy with a dual monarchy and also with a democracy of a sort, as well as timocracy. The unique dual monarchy actually had very little power, but the kings had mainly a religious function alongside their role as leaders in times of war. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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