Sunday, January 6, 2013

Adolf Hitler praised the Spartans

Adolf Hitler praised the Spartans, recommending in 1928 that Germany should imitate them by limiting "the number allowed to live". He added that "The Spartans were once capable of such a wise measure... The subjugation of 350,000 Helots by 6,000 Spartans was only possible because of the racial superiority of the Spartans." The Spartans had created "the first racialist state".[106] HP Compaq 464119-142 Battery In the modern times, the adjective "spartan" is used to imply simplicity, frugality, or avoidance of luxury and comfort.[107] The term laconic phrase describes a very terse and concise way of speaking that was characteristic of the Spartans. HP Compaq 464119-143 Battery Sparta also features prominently in modern popular culture (see Sparta in popular culture), particularly the Battle of Thermopylae (see Battle of Thermopylae in popular culture). Agis I (Greek: γις) was a king of Sparta and eponym of the Agiad dynasty. He was the son of Eurysthenes, first monarch of this dynasty,[3] which ruled the city along with the Eurypontids. HP Compaq 464119-162 Battery His genealogy was traced through Aristodemus, Aristomachus, Cleodaeus and Hyllus all the way to Heracles,[4] and he belongs to mythology rather than to history. Tradition ascribed to him the capture of the maritime town of Helos, which resisted his attempt to curtail its guaranteed rights (which had originally been granted by Eurysthenes). HP Compaq 464119-361 Battery The inhabitants of the town attempted to shake off the yoke, but they were subdued, and gave rise and name to the Spartan class of serfs called helots.[2] To his reign was referred the colony which went to Crete under Pollis and Delphus.[5] According to Eusebius he reigned only one year;[6] according to Apollodorus of Athens, as it appears, about 31 years.He was succeeded by his son Echestratus. HP Compaq 464119-362 Battery Agis II (Gr. γις) (died c. 401 BC) was the 17th Eurypontid king of Sparta, the eldest son of Archidamus II by his first wife, and half-brother of Agesilaus II.[1] He ruled with his Agiad co-monarch Pausanias.[2] Agis succeeded his father Archidamus in 427 BC, and reigned a little more than 28 years. HP Compaq 464119-363 Battery In the summer of 426 BC, he led an army of Peloponnesians and their allies as far as the isthmus, with the intention of invading Attica; but they were deterred from advancing farther by a succession of earthquakes which happened when they had got so far.[3] In the spring of the following year he led an army into Attica, but quit it fifteen days after he had entered it.[4] HP Compaq 482962-001 Battery In 419 BC, theArgives, at the instigation of Alcibiades, attacked Epidaurus; and Agis with the whole force of Lacedaemon set out at the same time and marched to the frontier city, Leuctra. No one, Thucydides tells us, knew the purpose of this expedition. It was probably to make a diversion in favor of Epidaurus.[5] HP Compaq 484786-001 Battery At Leuctra the unfavorable aspect of the sacrifices deterred him from proceeding. He therefore led his troops back, and sent round notice to the allies to be ready for an expedition at the end of the sacred month of the Carnean festival; and when the Argives repeated their attack on Epidaurus, HP Compaq 484787-001 Battery the Spartans again marched to the frontier town, Caryae, and again turned back, professedly on account of the aspect of the victims. In the middle of the following summer (418 BC) the Epidaurians being still hard pressed by the Argives, the Lacedaemonians with their whole force and some allies, under the command of Agis, HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery invaded Argolis. By a skilful manoeuvre he succeeded in intercepting the Argives, and posted his army advantageously between them and the city. But just as the battle was about to begin, the Argive general Thrasyllus and Alciphron came to Agis and prevailed on him to conclude a truce for four months. HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery Agis, without disclosing his motives, pulled his army back. On his return he was severely censured for having thus thrown away the opportunity of reducingArgos, especially as the Argives had seized the opportunity afforded by his return and taken Orchomenus. It was proposed to pull down his house, and inflict on him a fine of 100,000 drachmas. HP Compaq 491279-001 Battery But on his earnest entreaty they contented themselves with appointing a council of war, consisting of 10 Spartans, without whom he was not to lead an army out of the city.[6] Shortly afterwards they received intelligence from Tegea, that, if not promptly reinforced, the party favorable to Sparta in that city would be compelled to surrender. HP Compaq 491654-001 Battery The Spartans immediately sent their whole force under the command of Agis. He restored stability at Tegea, and then marched to Mantineia. By turning the waters to flood the lands of Mantineia, he succeeded in drawing the army of the Mantineans and Athenians down to the level ground. A battle ensued, in which the Spartans were victorious. HP Compaq 491657-001 Battery The Battle of Mantinea was reckoned one of the most important battles ever fought between Grecian states.[7] In 417 BC, when news reached Sparta of the counter-revolution at Argos, in which the oligarchical and Spartan faction was overthrown, an army was sent there under Agis. HP Compaq 496897-001 Battery He was unable to restore the defeated party, but he destroyed the long walls which the Argives had begun to carry down to the sea, and tookHysiae.[8] In the spring of 413 BC, Agis entered Attica with a Peloponnesian army, and fortified Decelea;[9] and in the winter of the same year, after the news of the disastrous fate of the Sicilian expedition had reached Greece, HP Compaq 360482-001 Battery he marched northwards to levy contributions on the allies of Sparta, for the purpose of constructing a fleet. While at Decelea he acted largely independent of the Spartan government, and received embassies from the disaffected allies of the Athenians, as from the Boeotians and other allies of Sparta.[10] HP Compaq 360483-001 Battery He seems to have remained at Decelea until the end of the Peloponnesian War. In 411 BC, during the administration of the Four Hundred, he made an unsuccessful attempt on Athens itself.[11] Afterwards the focus of the Peloponnesian War shifted to Asia, andLysander assumed a greater role in the siege of Athens. HP Compaq 360483-003 Battery After victory was secured, Agis voted to charge his Agiad co-monarch Pausanias with treason, but Pausanias was acquitted. [12] In 401 BC, the command of the war against the notoriously disloyal Elis was entrusted to Agis, who in the third year compelled the Eleans to sue for peace, HP Compaq 360483-004 Battery acknowledge the freedom of their Perioeci (Triphylians and others), and to allow Spartans to take part in the Olympic Games and sacrifices.[2] As he was returning from Delphi, where he had gone to consecrate a tenth of the spoil, he fell sick at Heraea in Arcadia, and died in the course of a few days after he reached Sparta.[13] He was buried in Sparta, with unparalleled solemnity and pomp.[2] HP Compaq 360484-001 Battery Agis left a son, Leotychides, who however was excluded from the throne, as there was some suspicion with regard to his legitimacy. While Alcibiades was at Sparta he made Agis his enemy. Later writers assign as a reason that Agis suspected Alcibiades of having slept with his queen, Timaea (and fatheredLeotychides). HP Compaq 361909-001 Battery It was probably at the suggestion of Agis that orders were sent out to Astyochus to put him to death. Alcibiades however received warning (according to some accounts from Timaea herself), and evaded the Spartans. Agesilaus II, or Agesilaos II (Ancient Greek: γησίλαος) (444 BC – 360 BC) was a king of Sparta, HP Compaq 361909-002 Battery of the Eurypontid dynasty, ruling from approximately 400 BC to 360 BC, during most of which time he was, in Plutarch's words, "as good as thought commander and king of all Greece," and was for the whole of it greatly identified with his country's deeds and fortunes. Agesilaus was the son of Archidamus II and his second wife, Eupoleia,[2] HP Compaq 364602-001 Battery brother to Cynisca (the first woman in ancient history to achieve an Olympic victory), and younger half-brother of Agis II.[3] Of the youth of Agesilaus we have little detail. We do know that he was not expected to succeed to the throne after his brother king Agis II, HP Compaq 365750-001 Battery largely due to the fact that he was crippled from birth, and since the latter had a son, named Leotychidas. Therefore, Agesilaus was trained in the traditional curriculum of Sparta, the agoge. But Leotychidas was ultimately set aside as illegitimate, contemporary rumors representing him as the son of Alcibiades, and Agesilaus became king around 401 BC, HP Compaq 365750-003 Battery at the age of about forty. In addition to questions of his nephew's paternity, Agesilaus' succession was largely due to the intervention of his Spartan general, Lysander, who hoped to find in him a willing tool for the furtherance of his political designs.[3] Lysander and the young Agesilaus came to maintain an intimate relation (see Pederasty in Ancient Greece), HP Compaq 365750-004 Battery as was common of the period. Their unique relationship would serve an important role during Agesilaus' later campaigns in Asia Minor. We first hear of him as king in the suppression of the conspiracy of Cinadon.[1] Then, in 396 BC, Agesilaus crossed into Asia with a force of 2,000 neodamodes (freed helots) and 6,000 allies HP Compaq 367457-001 Battery (including 30 spartiates) to liberate Greek cities fromPersian dominion. On the eve of sailing from Aulis he attempted to offer a sacrifice, as Agamemnon had done before the Trojanexpedition, but the Thebans intervened to prevent it, an insult for which he never forgave them. HP Compaq 372771-001 Battery On his arrival at Ephesus a three months' truce was concluded with Tissaphernes, the satrap of Lydia and Caria, but negotiations conducted during that time proved fruitless, and on its termination Agesilaus raided Phrygia, where he easily won immense booty from the satrapPharnabazus; HP Compaq 372772-001 Battery Tissaphernes could offer no assistance, as he had concentrated his troops in Caria. In these campaigns Agesilaus also benefited from the aid of the Ten Thousand, who marched through miles of Persian territory to make it to the Black Sea. After spending the winter organizing a cavalry force (hippeis), HP Compaq 381373-001 Battery he made a successful incursion intoLydia in the spring of 395 BC. Tithraustes was thereupon sent to replace Tissaphernes, who paid with his life for his continued failure. An armistice was concluded between Tithraustes and Agesilaus, who left the southern satrapy and again invaded Phrygia, which he ravaged until the following spring. HP Compaq 381374-001 Battery He then came to an agreement withPharnabazusand once more turned southward.[1] During these campaigns, Lysander attempted to manipulate Agesilaus into ceding his authority. Agesilaus, the former passive lover of Lysander, would have nothing of this, and reminded Lysander (who was only a Spartan general) who was king. HP Compaq 382553-001 Battery He had Lysander sent away to assist the naval campaigns in the Aegean. This dominating move by Agesilaus earned the respect of his men-at-arms and of Lysander himself, who remained emotionally close with Agesilaus.[4] In 394 BC, while encamped on the plain of Thebe, he was planning a campaign in the interior, or even an attack on Artaxerxes II himself, HP Compaq 383220-001 Battery when he was recalled toGreece owing to the war between Sparta and the combined forces of Athens, Thebes, Corinth, Argos and several minor states. A rapid march through Thrace andMacedonia brought him to Thessaly, where he repulsed the Thessalian cavalry who tried to impede him. HP Compaq 383510-001 Battery Reinforced by Phocian and Orchomenian troops and a Spartan army, he met the confederate forces at Coronea in Boeotia, and in a hotly contested battle was technically victorious, but the success was a barren one and he had to retire by way of Delphi to the Peloponnese. HP Compaq 385843-001 Battery Shortly before this battle the Spartan navy, of which he had received the supreme command, was totally defeated off Cnidus by a powerful Persian fleet under Conon and Pharnabazus. During these conflicts in mainland Greece, Lysander perished while attacking the walls of Thebes. HP Compaq 385895-001 Battery Pausanias, the second king of Sparta (see Spartan Constitutionfor more information on Sparta's dual monarchy), was supposed to provide Lysander with reinforcements as they marched into Boeotia, yet failed to arrive in time to assist Lysander, likely because Pausanias disliked him for his brash and arrogant attitude towards the Spartan royalty and government. HP Compaq 393549-001 Battery Pausanias failed to fight for the bodies of the dead, and because he retrieved the bodies under truce (a sign of defeat), he was disgraced and banished from Sparta.[4] In 393 BC, Agesilaus engaged in a ravaging invasion of Argolis. In 392 BC he took a prominent part in the Corinthian War, making several successful expeditions into Corinthian territory and capturing Lechaeum and Piraeus. HP Compaq 393652-001 Battery The loss, however, of a division (mora), destroyed by Iphicrates, neutralized these successes, and Agesilaus returned to Sparta. In 389 BC he conducted a campaign in Acarnania, but two years later the Peace of Antalcidas, warmly supported by Agesilaus, put an end to hostilities. HP Compaq 395790-001 Battery In this interval, we find him declining command over Sparta's aggression on Mantineia, and justifying Phoebidas' seizure of the ThebanCadmea so long as the outcome provided glory to Sparta.[1][4] When war broke out afresh with Thebes the king twice invaded Boeotia (in 378 BC and 377 BC), HP Compaq 395790-003 Battery although he spent the next five years largely out of action due to an unspecified but apparently grave illness. In the congress of 371 BC an altercation is recorded between him and the Theban general Epaminondas, and due to his influence Thebes was peremptorily excluded from the peace, and orders given for Cleombrotus to march against Thebes in 371 BC. HP Compaq 395790-132 Battery Cleombrotus was defeated atLeuctra and the Spartan supremacy overthrown.[3] In 370 BC we find Agesilaus engaged in an embassy to Mantineia, and reassuring the Spartans by an invasion of Arcadia. His prudence and heroism preserved an un-walled Sparta against the revolts and conspiracies of helots, perioeci and even Spartans, and against her enemiesHP Compaq 395790-163 Battery , four different armies led by Epaminondas, that penetrated Laconia that same year, and again in 362 BC when they all but succeeded in seizing the city by a rapid and unexpected march. The Battle of Mantinea, in which Agesilaus took no part, was followed by a general peace: Sparta, however, stood aloof, hoping even yet to recover her supremacy. HP Compaq 395791-001 Battery According toXenophon,[5] Agesilaus, in order to gain money for prosecuting the war, supported the satrap Ariobarzanes II in his revolt against Artaxerxes II in 364 BC (Revolt of the Satraps), and in 361 BC he went to Egypt at the head of a mercenary force to aid the king Nectanebo I and his regent Teos against Persia. HP Compaq 395791-002 Battery He soon transferred his services to Teos's cousin and rival Nectanebo II, who, in return for his help, gave him a sum of over 200 talents. On his way home Agesilaus died in Cyrenaica, around the age of 84, after a reign of some 41 years. His body was embalmed in wax, and buried at Sparta.[1] HP Compaq 395791-003 Battery Agesilaus was of small stature and unimpressive appearance, and was lame from birth. These facts were used as an argument against his succession, an oraclehaving warned Sparta against a "lame reign." Most ancient writers considered him a highly successful leader in guerrilla warfare, alert and quick, HP Compaq 395791-132 Battery yet cautious—a man, moreover, whose personal bravery was rarely questioned in his own time. Of his courage, temperance, and hardiness, many instances are cited: and to these were added the less Spartan qualities of kindliness and tenderness as a father and a friend. Thus we have the story of his riding across a stick (horse made of stick) HP Compaq 395791-142 Battery with his children and upon being discovered by a friend desiring that he not mention till he himself were the father of children; and because of the affection of his son Archidamus' for Cleonymus, he saved Sphodrias, Cleonymus' father, from execution for his incursion into the Piraeus, and dishonorable retreat, in 378 BC.[1] HP Compaq 395791-251 Battery Modern writers tend to be slightly more critical of Agesilaus' reputation and achievements, reckoning him an excellent soldier, but one who had a poor understanding of sea power and siegecraft.[2] As a statesman he won himself both enthusiastic adherents and bitter enemies. HP Compaq 395791-261 Battery Referring to the above sketch of Spartan history, we find Agesilaus shining most in its first and last period, as commencing and surrendering a glorious career in Asia, and as, in extreme age, maintaining his prostrate country. Other writers acknowledge his extremely high popularity at home, HP Compaq 395791-661 Battery but suppose his occasionally rigid and even irrational political loyalties and convictions contributed greatly to Spartan decline, notably his unremitting hatred of Thebes, which led to Sparta's humiliation at the Battle of Leuctra and thus the end of Spartan hegemony.[2] HP Compaq 395791-741 Battery Other historical accounts paint Agesilaus as a prototype for the ideal leader. His awareness, thoughtfulness, and wisdom were all traits to be emulated diplomatically, while his bravery and shrewdness in battle epitomized the heroic Greek commander. HP Compaq 395794-001 Battery These historians point towards the unstable oligarchies established by Lysander in the former Athenian Empire and the failures of Spartan leaders (such as Pausanias and Kleombrotos) for the eventually suppression of Spartan power. The ancient historian Xenophon was a huge admirer and served under Agesilaus during the campaigns into Asia Minor.[4] HP Compaq 395794-002 Battery Plutarch gives among numerous apophthegmata his letter to the ephors on his recall: We have reduced most of Asia, driven back the barbarians, made arms abundant in Ionia. But since you bid me, according to the decree, come home, I shall follow my letter, may perhaps be even before it. For my command is not mine, but my country's and her allies'. HP Compaq 395794-261 Battery And a commander then commands truly according to right when he sees his own commander in the laws and ephors, or others holding office in the state. And when asked whether he wanted a memorial erected in his honor: If I have done any noble action, that is a sufficient memorial; if I have done nothing noble, all the statues in the world will not preserve my memory. HP Compaq 396751-001 Battery He lived in the most frugal style alike at home and in the field, and though his campaigns were undertaken largely to secure booty, he was content to enrich the state and his friends and to return as poor as he had set forth.He was succeeded by his son Archidamus . When someone was praising an orator for his ability to magnify small points, he said, "In my opinion it's not a good cobbler who fits large shoes on small feet." HP Compaq 397809-001 Battery Another time he watched a mouse being pulled from its hole by a small boy. When the mouse turned around, bit the hand of its captor and escaped, he pointed this out to those present and said, "When the tiniest creature defends itself like this against aggressors, what ought men to do, do you reckon?" HP Compaq 397809-003 Battery Certainly when somebody asked what gain the laws of Lycurgus had brought Sparta, he answered, "Contempt for pleasures." Asked once how far Sparta's boundaries stretched, he brandished his spear and said, "As far as this can reach." HP Compaq 397809-242 Battery On noticing a house in Asia roofed with square beams, he asked the owner whether timber grew square in that area. When told no, it grew round, he said, "What then? If it were square, would you make it round?" HP Compaq 398650-001 Battery As he was dying on the voyage back from Egypt, he gave instructions to those close to him that they should not be responsible for making any image of his person, be it modeled or painted or copied, "For if I have accomplished any glorious feat, that will be my memorial. HP Compaq 398680-001 Battery But if I have not, not even all the statues in the world—the products of vulgar, worthless men—would make any difference."[11] Invited to hear an actor who could perfectly imitate the nightingale, Agesilaus declined, saying he had heard the nightingale itself. 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