Imagine trying to overpower an army of soldiers, or hoplites, that covers about ten football fields. Imagine the fear you would experience as they rushed at you with their sharp bronze spears. Sparta had one of the most powerful armies of their time and conquered miles upon miles of land with their legions of Spartans. No civilization could surpass the greatness of the Spartan army or navy resume writing service business plan . They were hopeless against the relentless city-state that was a huge army base. Sparta was one of the most war-sophisticated civilizations known to mankind. Sparta was a city of ancient Greece.
It was located in a fertile, mountain -walled valley. With their swords, knives, and spears they would conquer most of Europe. The Spartiates gave themselves wholly to war (Spartan Society,15). They carried swords instead of bibles, and shields instead of baskets. They acquired everything they needed by brute force. Sparta was a war machine who molded strong courageous men out of the strongest boys. The boys would be checked at birth to see if he was worthy. If a baby was weak, it would be tossed aside ruthlessly (Sparta Society 10). Sparta had no room for weaklings.
At the age of seven, boys started training to join the army. They were trained to endure pain, hunger, and the cold. At age twenty, they joined the army. At age thirty, you acquired full citizenship, but you still had to live in the barracks and eat with warriors. At age sixty, soldiers could retire from the army. Spartan men were usually in the army and women ran the homes and waited for their husbands to comeback from wars. A Spartan hoplite usually carried a sword made of bronze and a shield made of the same alloy. They may also carry spear with a bronze tip and a shield that protected about three-fourths of their body.
Spartan generals usually carried a sword encrusted with precious stones, metals, or jewels. Their armor usually consisted of a helmet, chest plate, leg plates, and fore arm plates which were all made of bronze. A Spartan rushed into battle for honor and came home a hero, if he returned at all. One of the best war inventions was the hoplite phalanx. It was, in itself, a formation of soldiers in a rectangle. When a soldier was taken down in front of you, moved up into his spot. This created a defensive wall of hurt on anyone who opposed them. Armies that used this were unbeatable, especially Sparta.
Mostly soldiers in this formation carried long spears and shields that was about one meter tall and covered most of their body mass(Corinthian War) The Spartan legions traveled in this formation everywhere they went. The Persian wars were a series of conflicts fought between Greek states and the Persian Empire (Persian Wars). The Persian army was massive. Not only were there many foot soldiers, but their navy was immensely large. It was unmatched by anything the Greeks had. It took most of the states in Greece to defeat Persia. Some states surrendered when Persia invaded them. These states were spared.
The others, however, were not given a break from the constant war. One of the most famous battles was at Thermopylae, where the Spartan king Leonidas held off Xerxes’ army. Leonidas brought a small amount of soldiers because for Sparta to survive, a Spartan king must die (“Peloponnesian War”). This was told to him by an oracle. During the Persian wars, the battle of Marathon was underway. This is when Greece had the first victory of the war. Supposedly, a messenger named Pheidippides ran twenty five miles to Athens to tell of the victory. At the end of the great run, he died. This is why we have marathons.
In 479 B. C. , Xerxes was defeated at Plataea by Pausanias, the nephew of king Leonidas. Pausanias was called home to face a charge of treasonable negotiations with Persia (Pausanias). Luckily, he was acquitted of all charges. This happened yet again later on. And the same thing happened. Then he was accused plotting against Sparta. He hid in a temple and was left to starve to death. The Peloponnesian Wars were most likely the most important wars of Sparta. These were wars against Athens, which was probably one of Sparta’s worst enemies. They took place from 431 B. C. to 404 B. C. (Peloponnesian War).
There were very many disputes of government. Athens and Sparta battled on land and by sea. There was an armistice between the two, although they kept fighting without an end. Finally, in 422 B. C. , the Spartans won at Amphipolis. This was a major feat for Sparta, as they had just taken out their biggest enemy. One of the most notable Spartan was a naval commander named Lysander. He led an army of Spartans but he fell in the battle of Haliartus. By taking Athens, Sparta took control of the land and enslaved its people. The tremendous wars that Sparta was in were usually a landslide.
Sparta was usually outnumbered, and with their military superiority, they came out triumphant. There were many feats that took place during the history of Sparta, but like other civilizations, there was an end. The Corinthian war was an armed conflict between Corinth, Argos, Thebes, and Athens on one side and Sparta on the other (Corinthian War 14). The only way to bring upon the downfall of Sparta was to overwhelm its forces. Through all the fighting and disputes, Sparta had much conquered land. The Spartiates were the only citizens and the only sharers in the land allotments of the lands and of the Helots… (Spartan Society 1).
Although the Spartans had a lot of land, there was an excess amount of people in Sparta. Even as they expanded their borders, the overpopulation became worse. It was once said that Helots, the slaves, outnumbered Spartans by as much as ten to one. Sparta also took over many civilizations. Surely Sparta could not control it all. This spread Sparta’s governing power too thin. They also had governors from the different regions they took over. These people usually did not listen to the king and their people would be punished severely. Also, the Helots revolted a few times, but did not prevail.
Government also played a part in war. Whoever was ruling was commander of the army. If the ruler was worthy, the army was effective. However, there were many revisions of the Spartan government which tended to make the army less effective. Also, there was a lot of corruption in their government. This caused many disputes within the civilization. Sparta was weakened because its people were now fighting each other. (Spartan Society 4) The Spartan society was different from many others. Since most of the men were at war, women were the people who ran shops and what not. They would produce weapons and armor.
Women also owned most of the land in Sparta. If you compare the society to that of Athens, you see major differences in their army. In Sparta, everyone was supposed to do their job. Men were supposed to be in the army, and women do everyday things. However, in Athens, women were to only marry and have children. They were also rarely seen in public. Most of the men were the ones who worked, therefore their army would never be able to be as strong as Sparta’s. A family In Sparta, however, was not very sturdy. The father went to war, the boys were taken at the age of seven, and some newborns would be thrown away.
If you had a weak child, it brought shame to your family, so it was best to only have strong Spartans who would someday become heroes (Spartan Society 3). Even the Spartans in the community were strict. They could not eat with their families. They had to belong to a special dining table. They could not have any luxuries such as music, reading, or even talking nice. They spoke short and got to the point. Some people say this is called laconic speaking because the Spartans originated from Laconia. The Corinthian war was the last fought by the Spartans. It started in 395 B. C. and ended in 86 B.
C. (Corinthian War 13). Sparta was outnumbered four to one. It was the first and only time Sparta would lose a major war, this one costing its very existence. Athens gained help from Persia to build a fleet better than the Spartan fleet of battleships. Antalcidas persuaded Artaxerxes II to agree to the King’s Peace or peace of Antalcidas. This was going to make Persia stop helping the other Greek states. The Persian king controlled it, however. This did eliminate many enemies though. Sparta fell in 371 B. C. The greatest warring state had been defeated by Thebes at Leuctra.
In conclusion, Sparta had fallen for many reasons. First, its government was corrupt. Second, with all the inside disputes, people were fighting their own people. And last, they were overwhelmed by all the forces. Athens had gotten what they wanted-revenge. Sparta advanced the way humans see battle today. They made new types of weapons. They also made battle plans that humans used for centuries after that. They were also the first to dominate large amounts of land and to make a huge empire. The Spartans set guidelines as to how soldiers are to be raised.
They also solved problems past civilizations had. Sparta was one of the most war-advanced civilizations that ever battled on the face of the earth. It was a forerunner of war, battle, and soldiers. All throughout history you can see bits and pieces of the Spartan war culture in many civilizations around the world. If you look closely, you can trace them back to Sparta, the land of the Spartans. Works Cited “Corinthian War. ” Student Rsearch Center. Ebscohost, n. d. Web. 8 Oct. 2009. Durant, Will. The Life of Greece. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1939. N. pag. Print.
Greece Travel Guide. “Sparta History. ” Greece Travel. N. p. , 2009. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. “Hoplite. ” Student Research Center. N. p. , n. d. Web. 8 Oct. 2009. Lazenby, J. “Sparta. ” Middle Search Plus. N. p. , 1967. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. “Lysander. ” Middle Search Plus. Columbia Encyclopedia, n. d. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. “Pausanias, Spartan general. ” Columbia Encyclopedia. N. p. , n. d. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. “Peloponnesian War. ” Ebsco Host. N. p. , n. d. Web. 8 Oct. 2009. “Persian Wars. ” Primary Search. N. p. , n. d. Web. 7 Oct. 2009. “Sparta. ” History World. N. p. , n. d. Web. 8 Oct. 2009. .