What Was The Role Of Education In Spartan Society – Thanks in part to the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., where a small force of Spartan soldiers remained to fight to the death against a larger Persian army, Sparta’s warriors had long famous for their military prowess and strength. Even today, the word “Spartan” describes an excellent, skilled warrior, indifferent to pain and fear.
“Some [Greek] city-states had good armies,” explains Kimberly D. Reiter, an associate professor of antiquity and the Middle Ages at Stetson University. “Sparta is widely recognized as the best.”
What Was The Role Of Education In Spartan Society
, the education and training system of the Greek city-state, which used harsh, harsh and sometimes brutal methods to prepare boys to become Spartan citizens and soldiers.
Athens Vs. Sparta
“Agoge aims to instill in the soldier virtues: strength, endurance, unity,” wrote former Canadian historian Mark Golden. But all this was done at great cost, by making the childhood of the Spartan boys visible today as a traumatic experience.
According to the ancient Greek historian Plutarch, who wrote several centuries after Sparta’s heyday in the 400s B.C., the Spartans began training soldiers soon after birth, when male infants were examined. of Spartan elders. The “well-built and strong” children were allowed to live, while those deemed unhealthy or deformed were left at the foot of the mountain to die.
At the age of seven, Spartan boys were handed over by their parents to the state, where they were organized into companies that lived, studied and trained together.
“The boy who excelled in judgment and bravest in fighting was made captain of the company,” wrote Plutarch. “Others look upon him, obeying his commands and submitting to his punishments, so their young training is a habit of obedience.”
Ancient Sparta • Greek Gods & Goddesses
Plutarch describes Spartan boys as receiving little schooling. But Stephen Hodkinson, a professor emeritus of antiquity at the University of Nottingham, UK, says there are indications in other sources that they received “a standard Greek elementary education in reading, writing, numbers, song and dance.”
To make them stronger, Spartan boys were forced to walk barefoot and rarely bathe or use ointments, so their skin became hard and dry, Plutarch wrote. For clothing, they were given only one coat to wear all year round, so they could learn to endure heat and cold, and made their own beds from the plants they had to tear from on the ground with their hands from the banks of the river.
According to Plutarch, as young Spartans grew older, they were required to exercise more to strengthen their bodies. According to Donald G. Kyle in his book Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World, Spartan youths had to present themselves for regular inspection naked, and boys who were not well tanned – look beaten.
In addition to foot races and wrestling, their games include a more violent competition where two teams try to drive each other off an island by pushing, kicking, biting and crushing their opponents, according to Kyle’s book.
Spartan Soldier From Birth: Growing Up In A City Of Warriors
To make life more difficult, Spartan boys were fed very little food. Xenophon, a philosopher and historian who lived from the late 400s to the mid-300s B.C., noted that one purpose was to keep them slim, which Lycurgus, the founder of the Spartan system, believed to be makes them grow taller. But the boys’ hunger was also intended to encourage them to steal food from gardens and other places “to make the boys more daring in getting supplies, and better warriors.” man,” wrote Xenophon. But to make sure they learned to be cunning, boys who were caught stealing were whipped.
Such harsh punishment was a prominent part of the Spartan training system. The Spartans even made it an annual ritual, where boys tried to steal cheeses from the temple altar, which required them to avoid guards armed with whips.
“Flogging is a test of courage and honesty,” Reiter said. “Men are looking forward to a public display of their strength.”
Is a “trial by hardship,” as Paul Cartledge, a professor emeritus of Greek culture at the University of Cambridge, wrote in his 2003 book Spartan Reflections
Spartan Agoge Response
But it is an important step to be selected for one of the riots, the communal food groups, and become a full Spartan citizen and soldier.
Did not include military training, which did not begin in earnest until they became mature soldiers. Its real focus was to prepare Spartan men to be obedient members of society, willing to sacrifice everything for Sparta. Unlike other Greek city-states, Sparta was “remarkable in its socio-political stability,” says Hodkinson. “Part of the reason for this is that raising boys instills behaviors that encourage harmony and cooperation.”
But Spartan schooling’s emphasis on fitness helped Spartan soldiers on the battlefield. “This makes them stronger/stronger, more able to maintain the weight of a heavy basic wooden shield in the summer sun, better at pushing and shoving, better of strength,” Cartledge said.
The real secret of the Spartans was not physical fitness or indifference to pain and suffering, but superior organization. The Spartan troops drilled relentlessly, until they had perfected the tactics. “Perhaps it was their training in tactical maneuvers that gave Spartan soldiers their edge on the battlefield,” wrote JF Lazenby in his book The Spartan Army.
Education In Ancient Greece
According to Plutarch, the Spartans continued regular military training throughout their adult lives. “No one is allowed to live as he likes, but in their city, like a military camp, they always have a prescribed regimen,” he wrote. As Cartledge writes
, it wasn’t until the age of 60 that the Spartans were finally allowed to retire from the army—as long as they lived that long.
Also developed “led to a certain inflexibility,” says Hodkinson. For all the efficiency of the Spartans, they relied heavily on a limited set of maneuvers, and when they failed, they had no plan B.
Outside of the battlefield, the strict acceptance of the status quo enforced by the Spartan education system made it difficult for the Spartans to deal with social problems in their society, such as inequality in land ownership and of population decline.
N.m.) Kennell The Gymnasium Of Virtue. Education And Culture In Ancient Sparta. Chapel Hill And London: U North Carolina P, 1995. Pp. Xi + 241. $43.95. 0807822191.
“Eventually it created a kind of conceptual lock when the Spartans couldn’t imagine any kind of life,” Reiter explained. “This made it very difficult for the Spartans to accept innovation in war or politics.”
In that sense, the regimen that helped make the Spartans tough also contributed to Sparta’s eventual downfall. In 371 B.C., Thebes, a rival city-state, defeated Sparta at the battle of Leuctra by using unorthodox, creative cavalry maneuvers that the Spartans were unable to resist. That ended Sparta’s military rule, although their fearsome reputation lasted until .Home > Greek Culture > Ancient Greek History > Education System in the Ancient Greek City State of Sparta
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Most of us understand how unique the Spartan culture was because it was completely focused on the success of their warriors. Every aspect of society, including the education system, is focused on raising warriors, or raising those who will support warriors. Here’s a look at what the education system is like:
The Forgotten History Of Spartan Women And Their Role In Society
, or the Spartan education system, was to raise male soldiers to be effective in the Spartan army. Training began at the age of seven and all male citizens, except for the eldest son of the household, were required to attend this training. Students live in these communities until their twenties, when they become professional soldiers. However, girls are also sent to community schools – they just learn a different set of skills.
Students are organized into groups with each group electing their own leaders. These leaders in consultation with their peers will then choose the 20 year old they want as their teacher. These 20 year olds are in their last year of education. and it is their responsibility to train the young students in what they have learned before they spend the next 30 years serving in the military.
As mentioned above, the ultimate goal is to turn boys into soldiers and the training is comprehensive and also focused on physical training. They learned how to box, swim, wrestle, throw the spear, track animals, hunt, fish, and throw the discus. Learning survival skills such as tracking, hunting, and fishing are not only tools that help them in battle, but also help them while traveling. They also have wilderness training such as first aid, what to eat while on the road, and how to make a shelter.
Before graduation each boy must steal food without getting caught. The purpose of this exercise is to prove that the child can take care of himself if he needs to while living as a soldier. If he is caught, he is not punished for stealing, but he is punished for being arrested. It is believed that the boys who were caught were often flogged as was customary
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