Children were raised to be soldiers, loyal to the state, strong and self-disciplined. Soldiers took the boys from their mothers at age 7, housed them in a hall with other boys and trained them to be soldiers. The boys endured harsh physical discipline to make them strong. The marched without shoes and went without food. They learned to fight, tolerate pain and survive through their fears.
The Spartan army was significant in all aspects of the society. The army was the basis of which Sparta developed into the state known all over the world. It impacted their lives spiritually, politically and socially. Its army was fundamental for the running of the town. Sparta wasn’t always the great nation of military denomination.
Their traditional rules, about festivals and sanctuaries, were there to be obeyed without question.” This exemplifies that the Greek gods were of high importance and held the power to determine and undermine the way Spartan society, military and religion was practised in everyday life. Their worship emphasized the attributes most relevant to the city's ideals. The Dioscuri, Castor and Polydeuces, were twin gods who play an important part in Spartan society and worship as they were known and associated as young men and their pursuits of horsemanship, athletics, warfare and protectors of guests
At Sparta's heyday in the 6th to 4th centuries BC, it was commonly accepted that "one Spartan was worth several men of any other state." In order to become highly trained warriors, Spartiates submitted themselves to the rigorous education system and discipline code of Sparta known as the agoge.
Polybius on Roman Military Discipline: A Summary Polybius, a Greek commander who spent years on campaign with Roman armies in the second century B.C.E.1, stated the ideal Centurion was instilled with what today’s U.S. military calls the “Core Values.” In the Air Force they are Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in all we do”. Core Values are the descendant of Arête, the Greek value of competitive individual excellence. “Men displayed arête as warriors and persuasive public speakers; the highest arête for women was savvy management of a well-organized household of children, slaves, and the family’s storerooms”.2 This commitment or drive imbues a passion of self sacrifice, honor, duty, and a commitment to end ones’ life in the service of the realm rather than go home in disgrace. Using this philosophy a committed army, led by Centurions who Rome wanted “not so much to be bold and eager to take risks but rather to be capable of leadership and steady and solid in character, nor do they want them to initiate attacks and precipitate battle”,3 was successful in increasing Rome’s rise in a barbaric time into a more “Western Civilization.” This ascension to an Empire and Republic further advanced the arts, technology, philosophy, and government systems that are being used or modeled after to this ---------------------------------------------- 1. See Lynn Hunt et al, The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, 3rd ed.
ANALYSIS OF PLATO AND TAO TE CHING AND IDEAL COMMUNITY It is common for ancient philosophers to have strict criteria to comply with in the development and defense of the generation of their respective societies. For example, Plato and Lao Tsu both offer their ideology of what a model community would look like in their books The Republic of Plato, and Tao Te Ching. In their respective books, Plato and Lao Tsu each provide an in-depth analysis of their distinct views of what constitutes an ideal society. Accordingly, both philosophers believe that their version of the ideal community would result in its inhabitants thriving and experiencing the best that life has to offer. In order to create the type of society that both Plato and Lao Tsu desire to emulate, it is critical that the ruler have the characteristics and qualities that will lead the respective societies in harmony with their philosophical principles.
Everything they did trained the citizens to be perfect soldiers. When babies were born, they were examined by doctors. If the doctors found the baby to not be physically fit the baby would be left outside to die. At age 7, boys were taken to live in the barracks. There they would undergo training that would help them become the perfect soldier.
When the young boys grew to be about age six or seven they were sent to a military school where they were taught the different strategies of war. The girls were taught how to please their men with cooking and cleaning of the household. When the boys grew to men they were sent on a conquest with the army and if they fell in battle it was a great honor but if they returned you returned a man. The Government of both societies was a crucial part of their city-states. The Spartan government was a militaristic style government with two kings.
In Athens, the boys went to school from the age of 6 to 14. They either went to a private or a primary school. They learned the poems by Homer and were taught how to play a lyre. They always had a man teacher. After that, they went to a higher school for 4 years and after they turned 18, they had to go to a military school for 2 more years.
It was also a choice for the child to be adopted by the helots. Spartan boys left home for military school at the age of seven and were required to serve in the army until age of thirty. When the Spartans started military training at the age of seven, they would enter the agoge, for the education and training for just about everything from physical training such as hunting and dancing, to emotional, and spiritual training. At the age of seven they would have to go through what was known as the gauntlet. They would have to run around a group of older children, who would lash them continuously with whips, sometimes to death.