Spartan - What Is Spartan
Spartan is an adjective used to describe ancient Greeks from the polis of Sparta and people who behave in ways thought to have been typical of these Spartans.
Sparta - A Military State
Unlike Athens, ancient Sparta was run and organized primarily as a military state.
The Peloponnesian War
Sparta led its allies against the allies of Athens in the Peloponnesian War, which marked the beginning of the end of the independent Greek poleis.
The Hoplites were the heavily armed foot soldiers of the Greeks who fought in close formation.
Education was state-sponsored in ancient Sparta, at least for the sons of the Spartan elite. Considered a very rigorous education, children learned to sing and dance, played ball and ate at the home of their 20-year old teacher. Learn more about this ancient education system that was considered so good that Xenophon sent his own sons to be...
The Peloponnesian League was formed in the 6th century with Sparta in charge.
After the Peloponnesian War - The Thirty Tyrants
When Athens surrendered at the end of the Peloponnesian War, democracy was replaced by the oligarchic rule of the Thirty Tyrants. From 404-403 B.C., during the start of the period known as the Spartan hegemony (404-371 B.C.), hundreds of Athenians were killed, thousands exiled, and the numbers of the citizens were severely reduced.
Persian Wars Timeline
Timeline of events in the Persian Wars. Links to information on the Persian War Battles of Salamis, Marathon, Thermopylae, and Plataea.
Herodotus on the Battle at Thermopylae and the Spartan 300
What Herodotus has to say about the Battle at Thermopylae where the Spartans under Leonidas made a last stand against the Persians under Xerxes.
Diodorus on the Battle of Thermopylae
Diodorus Siculus and others, including Plutarch and Justin, based on Pompeius Trogus, tell the story of the Battle of Thermopylae differently from Herodotus.
Names of the Spartans
About the names given the ancient Spartans.
Sparta - Rise to Power of the Greek City-State Sparta
When we think of Sparta and the Lacedaemonians, we usually envision a regimented, fearless, obedient, upper-class fighter or Spartiate, obviously superior militarily to the sensual, democracy-loving, philosophy-pursuing Athenians. But there weren't many of these Spartans. Even in Sparta, they were in the minority.
Polity of the Lacedaemonians - Xenophon
Xenophon describes the reforms of Lycurgus and the government of the Lacedaemonians (Spartans).
Cleomenes I King of Sparta (reigned c. 520-c. 490 B.C.)
After a noteworthy reign, including advising the Plataeans to ally with Athens against Boeotia, and leading a coup against Argos in which Cartledge says 6000 Argive warriors were killed, Cleomenes fell out of favor for such things as corrupting the priestess at Delphi or for excessive drinking of neat wine (which was considered a barbarian...
Leonidas King of Sparta - Leonidas and the Battle at Thermopylae
Leonidas was a fifth century Spartan military (Agiad) king who bravely led a small force of Greeks, mostly Spartan (300), but also Thespian and Thebans, against the much larger Persian army of Xerxes, at the pass of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. during the Persian Wars.
Cynisca of Sparta
Cynisca was a Spartan woman who gained fame as the first woman to be a victor in the Olympic games.
Gorgo was the only daughter of and heir to King Cleomenes I of Sparta (520-490). When Cleomenes died, his successor was his half-brother Leonidas, to whom Gorgo had been married in the late 490s, when she was in her late teens.
Sparta and Samos
Relations between Samos and Sparta were at times close despite the fact that Samos was not properly a colony of Sparta.
Spartiate was the term used for Spartan citizens who had gone through their military training. A Spartiate was a full citizen of Sparta.
Tyrtaeus was an important archaic era elegiac poet for the Spartans.
William Smith A Smaller History of Greece Chapter IV
Chapter from William Smith's history of Greece on the legendary founding of the Peloponnese, the social structure and political organization of the Spartans.
Sparta II: Rise to Power
Sparta had a downwardly mobile society with fewer elites than helots, but Sparta still defeated Athens, largely as a result of luck -- the Athenian plague -- and the development of a superior navy.
11th Brittanica: Delian League
By virtue of her naval power, as exhibited in the war against Xerxes, Athens was the head of this Ionian group of independent city-states that opposed the Persians and then the Spartans.
Periegesis Hellados III
Passage from Pausanias on the legendary history of the founding of Sparta. Lacedaemon was the son of Zeus who married Sparta, a daughter of Eurotas, the grandson of the aboriginal Lelex, the original ruler of the land. Very complicated genealogy.
Some Spartan Stories
Passages from antiquity revealing Spartan character and attitudes towards wealth, character, law, and sexuality. Anecdotes about Archidamus, Lycurgus, and Agesilaus.
Sparta New Perspectives
Review of editors Stephen Hodkinson and Anton Powell's Sparta: New Perspectives. Scholars argue about the Great Rhetra and Tyrtaios, Spartan education, subdivsions of the Spartan army, the importance of aidos (reserve), the ethnic identity of the Messenians, sophrosyne, democratic admiration for Sparta, and more.
Xenophon on the Spartans
Nine passages from Xenophon about the famous Spartan lawgiver Lycurgus.