Spartan Life: Survival of the Strongest
The Spartans are known as the most ferocious fighters of the ancient times. Their reputation as highly-trained warriors with animalistic instincts was quite an accurate description of the elite soldiers. To get to that level of warring genius, the Spartans life was prepared for brutal fighting at an extremely early age.
> Candidate Selection
Spartans boys were scouted while they were still laying in their cribs and feeding from their mothers’ breasts. Soldiers went around town to every house with a baby boy to check out his potential for becoming a soldier. To separate the strong from the weak, Spartan infants were bathed in wine, and their reaction to the bath was analyzed by the soldiers present. Those who did not cry and squirm were considered brave and strong and noted for future action. All others were unfit for a warrior’s lifestyle and later became slaves instead.
> Forging a Warrior
When the strong infants reached 7 years of age, soldiers returned to the homes to take them from their families for training. They were housed with other boys like them in military-style barracks so that there could be no other environmental influences on them. Training began with activities that were designed to toughen up the mind and body. Marching without sandals, taking long breaks between meals, sleeping outside exposed to the elements, and taking beatings from other Spartan boys built up the endurance of the new class. The adolescents were taught how to fight using their bare hands and with a variety of different weapons by seasoned warriors. Spear throwing, sword fighting, and wrestling were just some of the abilities they had to master. Spartan teens also learned other survival skills like how to hunt for food. To keep their morale up, the boys were told stories of their courageous ancestors and other great warriors.
> Soldier of the State
When the Spartans reached about age 20, they had to pass a difficult physical test before they could become one of the Spartan elite. This also meant that they were given aristocratic citizenship and became members of the upper class. Unlike in many other Greek city-states, social status was based on both merit and bloodline rather than bloodline alone.
Full-fledged Spartan warriors were awarded by the state with a plot of land and slaves to maintain it. The slaves grew and sold crops from that land so that the warriors could focus all their efforts into fighting. Marriage was also mandatory in spartan life so future Spartan soldiers could be brought into the world.
After serving in the army for many years, Spartan men were given the right to reside at home with their families instead of in the army barracks. This right was given when the men turned 30 years old. If they survived until age 60, the Spartans were allowed to put down their swords and armor to live a life of peace. The majority never made it to retirement……the spartan life was a tough one.
> The Legendary Spartans
The amazing warriors of Sparta were known throughout Greece as the greatest army in history. Clad in bronze armor, the Spartans were unrivaled in bravery, strength, and fighting ability. They fought excellently as a cohesive unit and even better alone. While their numbers were few, their presence on the battlefield was immense. Enemies of Sparta feared the super-soldiers because they were the very best around.
The Spartans are symbols of strength and honor. They were committed to their military duties, their state, and their families. The Spartan life was that of extreme discipline and hard work, and it is the ultimate example of achieving greatness through perseverance.