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Sparta was a warrior society in ancient Greece. Spartan culture was centered on loyalty to the state and military service. Sparta was also known as Lacedaemon. It was an ancient Greek city-state located in the present-day region called Laconia.
Spartan men were soldiers so all manual labor was done the Helots (slaves.) Spartan men believed that they had to devote their lives to military service. A Spartan was taught that loyalty to the state came before everything else, including one’s family.
Spartan boys had to get education, military training and socialization program. Agoge is the system that emphasized duty, discipline and endurance. Spartan women were not active in the military, but they were educated and enjoyed more status and freedom than other Greek women.
Sparta consisted of three main groups: the Spartans, who were full citizens; the Helots, or slaves; and the Perioeci, who were not slaves or citizens. The Perioeci made weapons for the war. A Spartan believed that loyalty to the state came before everything else, including one’s family.
Spartan women had a reputation for being independent. They enjoyed more freedom and power than other women in Greece. Women often got an education. Females participated in athletic competitions and sang and danced competitively. Spartan women were allowed to own and manage property. Surprisingly, cooking, cleaning and tasks around the house were handled by the helots. Marriage was also important to Spartans.
Between ages five and seven, boys would be observed. Unhealthy children would be killed, and healthy children would be taken from their parents to start their military training. Spartans ate many of the same things as other Greeks such as grapes, olives, figs, honey, and wheat. They did not eat much because they needed to be physically fit. Since they where close to the sea, fish was an important part of the diet too. Spartans also ate pork and hunted.
Sparta was one of the strongest city-states in Greece and it was ruled by two kings and a Council of 30 elders (older citizens) who were all citizens over the age of 60. Sparta also produced fine art and literature. Sparta's political system had two hereditary kings from two separate families.
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