Tough Love – Life in the Spartan Army The Spartan Army was the military force of Sparta, one of the leading city-states of ancient Greece. Sparta created one of the toughest and most disciplined armies in the world. Their soldiers were trained from being infants to be tough and obedient to their laws. Sparta enjoyed a period of supremacy after the Peloponnesian War until they met their first defeats against Iphicrates of Athens and Epaminondas of Thebes. The troops were citizens known as the Spartiates, the superior social class of Sparta; the others were the Helots, who were slaves and the Perioeci who were the upper-slave-class.
They married the strongest boys with the strongest girls and the fastest boys with the fastest girls in order to bread the best warriors. Infamously, the Spartan elders would inspect all new born infants and any found to be imperfect, judged to be puny or deformed, were thrown from Mount Taygetos which is known as “The Deposits”. The soon to be Spartan warriors were taken from their home, around the age of six or seven, depending on the source, to attend the Agoge until the age of 18. They were subject to harsh training and discipline. Historical accounts tell of Spartan boys being allowed no shoes, very few garments, and being taught to take pride in enduring pain and hardship.
The Persians could not defend themselves from this and the cavalry ploughed a huge hole through the Persian formation. On the Persian side of tactics they made very poor battle formations, which were easy to get through or destroy. Alexander’s phalanx formation proved to be the most useful through all his battles, this is because its tight formation is hard to get through but also easy to attack from. Another one of the factors influencing alexander’s win at the battle of Granicus is his troops weapons and amour and how it differentiated from the Persians. Alexander’s army was smaller but this enabled them to be able to afford better weapons and
Why Was The Roman Army So Successful? The Roman Army conquered an empire and stretched it all around the Mediterranean Sea, this firstly proves that it was a very successful army. The roman army has a lot of elements to make it a fantastic and successful, for example: recruitment; tactics; organization; equipment and training. First, the Roman army’s recruitment is important. The Roman army will only hire the people who want to be a soldier or to fight with people because the volunteers want to fight, but the people who were forced to join the army will not like to fight or help the army a lot so they can make the whole army beaten up by the opponents.
Herodotus’ account of Thermopylae is one of the most accurate and contemporary records we have on the battle, and the skills the Spartans implemented throughout. He outlines three main reasons how the Spartans were ‘successful’ in their attempt to stall the Persian invasion. The first reason is that their military experience and skill outmatched the Persian infantry, Herodotus states that Xerxes “had in his army many men, indeed, but few soldiers” while this is contrasted with the homoioi of Sparta who had years of training and were trained heavily in their Agoge, where the weak were punished and the strong praised. Herodotus shows us how their ‘victory’ showed ow fearless they were in battle as they battled over the body of Leonidas four times with finally succeeding against massive odds with their “valour” in fighting. Spartan’s role in the infamous battle of Thermopylae was one of great importance; I have stated before how they were ‘successful’, the reason I used this word is because they were successful in their objective in stalling the Persian invasion.
Obedience because they would have to tolerate the training and pain and not drop out. Organisation because without it the Roman army would not know where to go and would not win without it if they were facing a bigger army. The second stage of the weapon training was to learn how to throw a pilum. This was like a javelin that had a wooden shaft 1.5 metres long
The Spartan’s were a military oriented society. Spartan’s took great pride in their military training, even at an early age, and their developments in fighting would eventually set a new standard in combat through the ancient world. Spartan boys would first enter military school at age 7. The Spartan boys would train in harsh environments to enforce their ability to handle various weather conditions. The boys also were subject to train in various forms of combat and athleticism including; wrestling, boxing, swimming, discus throwing.
The Athenians came in from the center and from the sides as well. This strategy had worked and the Athenians had won victory. They marched back to Athens with pride, but were ready to defend Athens against the Persian’s cavalry. We commemorate the Athenian soldiers and leaders who helped Greece. They were so brave and knew they could do it, even though they were small compared to the Persians.
These days, most parents are a little more reserved when it comes to their children going to war, but the same support and values are still present; the desire for their children to fight with the utmost honor, and if necessary, die valiantly. In ancient Sparta, young boys were taken away from their mothers at age 7, in order to undertake their society’s own test of manhood, called the agoge. Things may seem different in contemporary American culture but they are still inherently similar. For example, young men and women who join the US Military have to undergo their own “agoge” in the form of boot camp/basic training, the most rigorous of these being United States Marine Corps Boot Camp. It’s no coincidence that out of all of the branches of the US military, the Marine Corps’ values are most like the moral values of many ancient cultures, most notably the Spartans.
Sparta was a warrior society in ancient Greece that reached the height of its power after defeating rival city-state Athens in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.). Spartan culture was centered on loyalty to the state and military service. At age 7, Spartan boys entered a rigorous state-sponsored education, military training and socialization program. Known as the Agoge, the system emphasized duty, discipline and endurance. Although Spartan women were not active in the military, they were educated and enjoyed more status and freedom than other Greek women.