The Strength of Sparta
The strength of a state depends on the amount of glory within. Every man needs to be courageous in order for the whole to thrive. If an army is successful, it’s because each warrior had courage. In Sparta, if everyone didn’t excel at the same level, there wouldn’t be excellence as a whole. The amount of courage that a hoplite exhibited also showed how strong the state was. The state was above the self.
Education is one form of building up the people to be stronger. It taught the young people of Sparta loyalty and the value of taking orders. An intelligent army can make intelligent decisions when time isn’t dispensable. Also a good tactic was to monitor the people to see if all were strong. Monitoring was vital in this society so that there was no one that could fall short. Theoretically, the men weren’t trained to do any other profession other than being a warrior. But that was no matter; an education was still necessary. The agoge, or the educational system as a whole in the Hellenistic period, was the center of upbringing for the boys. The only way to see if they were strong enough to venture forth after they were judged from birth was to keep track of their progression. But when speaking of Sparta, it became clear that only the government had a say in how they were judged. In ancient Sparta, boys started the public education system when they were seven years old to create well trained soldiers and a strong military. They needed to be obedient to their state and psychologically disciplined. Literacy and arts were not a priority, since more physical pursuits were. Plutarch had stated about the system that “All their education was directed toward prompt obedience to authority, stout endurance of hardship, and victory or death in battle.” Through the education system, the state could be judged on how strong they were because obedience was synonymous to strength. Obedience meant having the intelligence to know when to act and a man...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document