Development of Athens and Sparta

Topics: Sparta, Ancient Greece, Classical Athens Pages: 3 (1111 words) Published: December 11, 2007
Sparta was originally made up of four small villages in Laconia, an area in the southwestern Peloponnesus, until 730 B.C., which is when Sparta began to take over Messenia. Laconians either became periokoi, a name for free people who were not citizens and who were required to pay taxes and perform military service for Sparta, or helots, who were forced to work on farms and as servants of the Spartans. The Messenians became helots by the 7th century, when Sparta took full control of Messenia. The Spartans turned Sparta into a military state by 6th century B.C. to make sure they would not loose control of what they had succeeded in conquering. Training for the military began at birth when state officials decided whether a baby was fit to live and he would be left to die if they felt that he was not fit for Spartan military life. Between the ages of eight and ten, boys were taken from their mothers to live in barracks for military training. They were taught to be obedient to authority and were exposed to extreme temperatures of hot and cold. The boys received a lack of food and also slept on straw mattresses so they would get used to being uncomfortable. When they reached their teenage years they were given weapons and many of them were accidentally killed during training. At the age of twenty, they became full Spartan soldiers. They were allowed to marry, but had to reside in the barracks until the age of thirty, which is when they also gained the ability to vote. They had to stay in the army until the age of sixty. The women of Sparta lived at home while their husbands lived in the barracks. This gave them more freedom and greater power in the household compared to women in other city-states, such as Athens. Athenian women were married by fourteen or fifteen and received no form of formal education. They were to remain out of sight unless they were attending a funeral or a festival and they had to be accompanied by a man. Spartan women exercised to...
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