Spartan Essay

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Imagine trying to overpower an army of soldiers, or hoplites, that covers about ten football fields. Imagine the fear you would experience as they rushed at you with their sharp bronze spears. Sparta had one of the most powerful armies of their time and conquered miles upon miles of land with their legions of Spartans. No civilization could surpass the greatness of the Spartan army or navy. They were hopeless against the relentless city-state that was a huge army base.

Sparta was one of the most war-sophisticated civilizations known to mankind. Sparta was a city of ancient Greece. It was located in a fertile, mountain -walled valley. With their swords, knives, and spears they would conquer most of Europe. The Spartiates gave themselves wholly to war (Spartan Society,15). They carried swords instead of bibles, and shields instead of baskets. They acquired everything they needed by brute force. Sparta was a war machine who molded strong courageous men out of the strongest boys. The boys would be checked at birth to see if he was worthy. If a baby was weak, it would be tossed aside ruthlessly (Sparta Society 10). Sparta had no room for weaklings. At the age of seven, boys started training to join the army. They were trained to endure pain, hunger, and the cold. At age twenty, they joined the army. At age thirty, you acquired full citizenship, but you still had to live in the barracks and eat with warriors. At age sixty, soldiers could retire from the army. Spartan men were usually in the army and women ran the homes and waited for their husbands to comeback from wars.

A Spartan hoplite usually carried a sword made of bronze and a shield made of the same alloy. They may also carry spear with a bronze tip and a shield that protected about three-fourths of their body. Spartan generals usually carried a sword encrusted with precious stones, metals, or jewels. Their armor usually consisted of a helmet, chest plate, leg plates, and fore arm plates which were all made of bronze. A Spartan rushed into battle for honor and came home a hero, if he returned at all.

One of the best war inventions was the hoplite phalanx. It was, in itself, a formation of soldiers in a rectangle. When a soldier was taken down in front of you, moved up into his spot. This created a defensive wall of hurt on anyone who opposed them. Armies that used this were unbeatable, especially Sparta. Mostly soldiers in this formation carried long spears and shields that was about one meter tall and covered most of their body mass(Corinthian War) The Spartan legions traveled in this formation everywhere they went. The Persian wars were a series of conflicts fought between Greek states and the Persian Empire (Persian Wars). The Persian army was massive. Not only were there many foot soldiers, but their navy was immensely large. It was unmatched by anything the Greeks had. It took most of the states in Greece to defeat Persia. Some states surrendered when Persia invaded them. These states were spared. The others, however, were not given a break from the constant war. One of the most famous battles was at Thermopylae, where the Spartan king Leonidas held off Xerxes’ army. Leonidas brought a small amount of soldiers because for Sparta to survive, a Spartan king must die (“Peloponnesian War”). This was told to him by an oracle. During the Persian wars, the battle of Marathon was underway. This is when Greece had the first victory of the war. Supposedly, a messenger named Pheidippides ran twenty five miles to Athens to tell of the victory. At the end of the great run, he died. This is why we have marathons. In 479 B.C., Xerxes was defeated at Plataea by Pausanias, the nephew of king Leonidas. Pausanias was called home to face a charge of treasonable negotiations with Persia (Pausanias). Luckily, he was acquitted of all charges. This happened yet again later on. And the same thing happened. Then he was accused plotting against Sparta. He hid in a temple and was left...
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