WILLIAM BARRON – YEAR 12 – ANCIENT HISTORY
GREECE: SPARTAN SOCIETY TO THE BATTLE OF LEUCTRA 371 BC
(A) What was the ephorate?
Members of the government who kept watch over the actions of the kings an assembly. Spartan magistrates, elected by the citizens. Provided over meetings and were responsible for execution of decrees. They held and shared great power with the kings.
They did not have to knell before the kings, and the citizens held them in high esteem.
(B) What does the writing of Tyrtaeus indicate about society in this period?
Tyrtaeus was a Spartan poet who wrote songs to inspire and boost the morale of the Spartan army. It showed that Sparta was very much against cowardice and wanted their army to be strong and remain loyal to Sparta during the wars. During this period of war their was a great deal of redistribution of the land which resulted in change in status for some of the richer citizens.
EXAMPLE OF ONE OF HIS POEMS:
Tyrtaeus also wrote about Spartan government affairs. Poetic style The three longest fragments of surviving verse (fr. 10–12) are complete or virtually complete poems describing the ideal warrior and the disgrace or glory that attends his personal choices. Their poetic quality is uneven, they include some arresting imagery and there are some clumsy transitions, repetitions and padding. The following lines belong to one of these (fr. 11, lines 27–34, here referred to as lines 1–8) and they give a compelling picture of battle between hoplite forces. ἔρδων δ' ὄβριμα ἔργα διδασκέσθω πολεμίζειν, μηδ' ἐκτὸς βελέων ἑστάτω ἀσπίδ' ἔχων, ἀλλά τις ἐγγὺς ἰὼν αὐτοσχεδὸν ἔγχει μακρῷ ἢ ξίφει οὐτάζων δήιον ἄνδρ' ἑλέτω, καὶ πόδα πὰρ ποδὶ θεὶς καὶ ἐπ' ἀσπίδος ἀσπίδ' ἐρείσας, ἐν δὲ λόφον τε λόφῳ καὶ κυνέην κυνέῃ καὶ στέρνον στέρνῳ πεπλημένος ἀνδρὶ μαχέσθω, ἢ ξίφεος κώπην ἢ δόρυ μακρὸν ἑλών. Paraphrased to retain the form of an elegy:
Let a man learn how to fight by first daring to perform mighty deeds, Not where the missiles won't reach, if he is armed with a shield, But getting in close where fighting is hand to hand, inflicting a wound With his long spear or his sword, taking the enemy's life,
With his foot planted alongside a foot and his shield pressed against shield, And his crest up against crest and his helm up against helm
And breast against breast, embroiled in the action—let him fight man to man, Holding secure in his grasp haft of his sword or his spear!
(C)Describle how land ownership was organised in Sparta in this period? Land was distributed as evenly as possible to each Spartan.
Land was known as kleros. The land was owned by the state and allotted to each Spartan for his life.
Spartan women could have ownership of land through inheritance.
The allotment of land meant that all Spartans could be equal. Spartan men
Were the original Dorian conquerors of Laconia and numbered c.9,000 A privileged social class of full-time soldiers holding all political power At age 30, as full citizens, could sit on the apella and elected the gerousia and ephoroi All "equal" under the law and subjected to the rigid discipline of the state Lived a life that stressed courage, loyalty, endurance and obedience Appears there were rich and poor but there is controversy over a nobility Were supported by the state, each having a kleros (farm) with helots to work it Forbidden to engage in farming, trade and industry
The helots and the economy
The Spartan economy was based on the labour of the helots. Helot families were granted land from the state and worked this land while the Spartiati (Spartiate) master was on military duty. Helotswere permitted to keep surplus produce once their quota was filled. Originally this quota was 50%!Helots could not move from place to place without government permission. They acted as servants to Spartiati during war...they sometimes served as lightly-armed skirmishers in battle. A helot who distinguished...
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