Sparta
Last Updated     6/6/2011     10/26/2007

Smith Social Studies Plans

Sparta, was built at the bottom of a deep valley, and used the surrounding mountains as a barrier against foreign thought.  The Spartans, on the other hand, never wrote a single line that was considered literature.  They knew how to fight, they liked to fight, and they sacrificed all human emotions to their ideal of military preparedness.   By 500 BC Sparta became the greatest military power in Greece.

Government
First ruled by a king.
800 BC nobles take over government.
Two kings rule jointly.
They led the army and conducted religious services.

Assembly
All citizens over 20 were members of the Assembly.
Assembly passed laws and decided to make war or peace.
Each year Assembly chose 5 ephors.
Ephors were incharge of public affairs and education of young Spartans.
Council of Elders helped Ephors.
Men over 60 chosen for life.
Suggested laws and sered as the high court.

Classes of People
Spartiatites (the elite) who are the full citizens, and there are always exactly 9,000 of them.
Perioeci took care o business
Helots: slaves

Farming
Spartans had little interest in farming.
Slaves, helots, worked the land.
750 BC,  20x the number helots as nobles.
Sixty to eighty thousand slaves
The Helots revolted twice.
Once a year there is a killing of the helots.
To kill a helot was a right of passage.

Food
Spartan Broth--The broth consisted of pork, blood, salt and vinegar.
Varieties of lettuce, cucumber, apples and figs.

Business & Trade
Spartans were not interested in business or trade.
There was a law in Sparta that banned all foreign trade and foreign travelling.
Perioeci took care of it.
Periocei were not slaves nor citizens.
Although they enjoyed freedom, they had no rights.

Spartan Way of Life
Unhealthy babies were allowed to die.

Education
At seven, boys went to military camp.
They learned to read, write, and use weapons.
Schools taught toughness, discipline, endurance of pain, and survival skills.
They also learned military poems, war songs, how to dance and recited Homer.
Girls were educated at age 7 in reading and writing, gymnastics, athletics and survival skills.

Men of Sparta
Spartan men married at 20.
They still lived in a military barracks.
At age of thirty, the Spartan became an "equal."
He was allowed to live in his own house with his own family
Retired from army at age 60.

Women of Sparta
Spartan women had  more freedom than women in other sity-states.
They mixed freely with men.
They enjoyed sports.
Spartan women could own and control their own property.
Women told men to come home with their shield or on it.

Marriage
Marriage for a Spartan woman was an almost non-ceremonial event.
The woman was abducted in the night by her suitor.
Her head was shaved, and she was made to wear men's clothing.
She would lay on a straw pallet in the dark.

Money
Spartans used iron rods for money while other city-states used coins.
It was against the law to have gold or silver.
Wealth was in the land.

Arts
They exported ceramic works to China in return for ivory.
These vessels were deep and decorated with birds.
The people of Sparta loved poetry, music, and dance.

Decline of Sparta
The Spartans did not improve their standard of living.
Remained a poor farming society dependent on slave labor.
371 BC Sparta defeated.

Time Line of Sparta

 

900 BC Founding of Sparta.
800 BC Spartan expansion in the south.
c. 700 BC 1st Messenian War.
706 BC Foundation of Taranta by the Spartans.
late 700's BC 2nd Messenian War.
664 BC Spartan defeat  by the Argians at the Battle of Ision.
510 BC Overthrow of the Dictator Peisistratiden in Athens.
508 - 506 BC Unsuccessful intervention by Cleomenes I in Athens.
First assembly of the Pelopponesian League governing body.
500 - 494 BC Ionian   rebellion.
494 BC? Spartan war with Argos (Cleomenes I).
  Spartan victory over Argos.
490 BC Athenian victory at Marathon.
481 BC Formation of the Hellenic Union under Spartan leadership.
480 BC Battles of Thermopylae, Salamis and Artemison
479 BC Battles of Plateau and Mykale.
Samos conference.
478 - 477 BC Formation of Delian League
470 BC Spartan victory at Tegea and Depaia.
464 BC Earthquake in Sparta, Helots rebel (Third Messenian War).
462 BC Breakdown of peace between Sparta and Athens.
460 - 446 BC 1st Pelopponesian War.
446 BC 30 year peace between Sparta and Athens.
431 BC Pelopponesian War begins.
404 BC Athens surrenders.
The beginning of the Spartan Hegonomy.
395 BC Corinthian War begins.
394 BC Spartan defeat at the naval battle of Knidos.
390 BC Spartan "Mora" is defeated at Lechaion.
386 BC Peace of Antalcidas ends Corinthian War
382 - 379 BC Spartan war against Olynthos.
382 BC Spartan occupation of Thebes.
371 BC Heavy Spartan defeat at the Battle of Leuctra.
359 BC Accession of Philip II in Macedonia.
358 BC Philip forms Corinthian Union.
Sparta abstains from joining.
264 BC Spartan defeat and death of Areus against the Macedonians at Corinth.
206 - 192 BC King Nabis , Regent and then Spartan Tyrant.
192 BC Sparta joins the Achain Confederacy.
146 BC Dissolvement of the Achain Confederacy
Sparta succumbs to the Romans and their allies.
Sparta evolves to become civitas libera and loses its indedpendance.