Sparatan Military Way of Life Essay

Submitted By paladin243
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Ancient History Essay 4 The individual Spartan solider was a highly skilled and courageous. They were extremly dedicated to their code of honour and also their religious beliefs which was linked to all aspects of their culture. Fighting as a member of a disciplines and closely coordinated army they were a formidable enemy, their entire way of life was designed to produce this result.

We are given an indictation of the tools provided to the Spartan warrior that contributed to make them such a formidable force through images such as Source 2. Sources such as this have allowed historians to build up a detailed picture of the armour and weapons of a Spartan hoplite. We see that the Spartan is putting on his greaves first indicating that it may have been difficult to put on once their corset had been put on, we see helmets and shileds showing these were heavily armourd troops compared to that of the Persians.

The distinctive feature of sources such as this is that the Spartans are shown to have long hair. This was seen as a coming of age passage for Spartan boys once they had reached their 13th year of age as it was seen to denote physical vigour. We know from Plutarch that Spartans 'Took a great deal of care of their hair' as it made them appear taller and 'added beauty to a good face and terror to an ugly one' Herodotus recounts how on the eve of the battle of Thermopylae Leonidas and his 300 Spartans spent time curling and adorning their hair, as Xerxes was informed 'it is common practice of the Spartans to pay careful attention to their hair when they are about to risk their lives'

For ancient societies, religion was an important part of their way of life. While today piety is largely a personal thing, for the ancient Greeks religion was believed to be btoh personal and integral to the well being of the city-state. "play the hymn to castor, and they moved in step toward pain and death, filled with deliverate valor" Herodotus The link to military conduct through their religion was of paramount importance. This was demonstrated at the battle of Plataea. According to Herodotus, Pausanias refused to advance because good omens were not divined in the goat sacrifices that were performed. At this point as Greek soldiers began to fall under the barrage of arrows, the Tegeans started to run at the Persian lines. Offering one last sacrifice and a parayer to the heavens in front of the Temple of Hera, Pausanias finally received favourable omens and gave the command for the Spartans to advance, whereupon they also charged the Persian lines. Despite all logic indicating they should have charged sooner the Spartans were so devout to their religious beliefs that they let it influence their entire battle strategy.

A spartan male was submitted to the strict discipline and training and in doing so gained admission and…