Agoge

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The Agoge is designed to prevent the importance of family life, and to emphasise the importance of the needs of the state and Sparta as a community. In the early stages of the Agoge, Spartiates were sent away from their mothers to prevent any family affection. According to Plutarch, one of the aims of the agoge was to produce prompt obedience towards the state. As the training progresses, spartiates will learn to abide by the will of the state. In regards to Pericles view of Athens being a more superior state to Sparta due to their ability to induce bravery and courage without the issue of a labourous system such as the agoge. I oppose this argument as I believe that the Athenians were not totally equipped and were not well prepared for war as Sparta had been. State Induced courage was essentially more effective than natural courage. “Their whole education was aimed at developing smart obedience, perseverance under stress and victory in battle.” Plutarch states that the agoges purpose was to produce the ability to endure through hardship and pain, and courage to determine victory in battle.

Another statement of Paul Cartledge was that the aim of the Agoge was to convert Spartan youths into Spartan men in such a way that they adapted and learnt the values of Spartan manhood, I agree with this statement as the one of the most crucial functions of the agoge is to ensure that youths internalise the values of the adult citizen warriorhood. H.Michell states that the strict agoge system was introduced slowly after the second Messenian war, this is true as after this war the Spartans realised the risk of another Helot attack, so they slowly developed a new disciplinary system with the purpose of containing the huge Helot population.
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