Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sparta or Lacedaemon,, Sparta (Doric: Σπάρτα; Attic: Σπάρτη Spártē), or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese.[1] It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. HP Compaq HSTNN-105C Battery During c. 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece. Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the overall leader of the combined Greek forces during theGreco-Persian Wars.[2] Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War,[3] from which it emerged victorious, though at great cost. HP Compaq HSTNN-C12C Battery Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC. Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which completely focused on military training and excellence. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C Battery Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates (Spartan citizens, who enjoyed full rights),Mothakes (non-Spartan free men raised as Spartans), Perioikoi (freedmen), and Helots (state-owned serfs, enslaved non-Spartan local population). Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, and Spartanphalanges were widely considered to be among the best in battle. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-4 Battery Spartan women enjoyed considerably more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical world. Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in the West following the revival of classical learning.[4] This love or admiration of Sparta is known as Laconism or Laconophilia. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-5 Battery The earliest attested term referring to Lacedaemon is the Mycenaean Greek ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, "Lacedaimonian", written in Linear B syllabic script and transliterated as Λακεδαιμόνιος (Lakedaimonios) in the Greek alphabet. The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the home location of the Spartans. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C Battery The first refers primarily to the main cluster of settlements in the valley of the Eurotas River: Sparta.[6] The second word was Lacedaemon (Λακεδαίμων);[7] this is the name commonly used in the works of Homer and the Athenian historians Herodotusand Thucydides. Herodotus seems to denote by it the Mycenaean Greek citadel at Therapne, in contrast to the lower town of Sparta. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-4 Battery It could be used synonymously with Sparta, but typically it was not. It denoted the terrain on which Sparta was situated.[8] In Homer it is typically combined with epithets of the countryside: wide, lovely, shining and most often hollow and broken (full of ravines).[9] The hollow suggests the Eurotas Valley. Sparta on the other hand is the country of lovely women, a people epithet. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-5 Battery The name of the population was often used for the state of Lacedaemon: the Lacedaemonians. This epithet utilized the plural of the adjective, Lacedaemonius (Greek Λακεδαιμὀνιοι, Latin Lacedaemonii). If the ancients wished to refer to the country more directly, instead of Lacedaemon, they could use a back-formation from the adjective: Lacedaemonian country. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB05 Battery As most words for "country" were feminine, the adjective was in the feminine: Lacedaemonia. Eventually, the adjective came to be used alone. Lacedaemonia was not in general use during the classical period and before. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of Laconia and Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods, HP Compaq HSTNN-DB06 Battery mostly in ethnographers and lexica glossing place names. For example, Hesychius of Alexandria's Lexicon (5th century AD) defines Agiadae as a "place in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis.[10] The actual transition may be captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae (7th century AD), an etymological dictionary. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB0E Battery He relied heavily on Orosius' Historiarum Adversum Paganos (5th century AD) and Eusebius of Caesarea's Chronicon (early 5th century AD) as did Orosius. The latter defines Sparta to be Lacedaemonia Civitas but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by Lacedaemon, son of Semele, relying on Eusebius.[11] There is a rare use, perhaps the earliest of Lacedaemonia, in Diodorus Siculus,[12] but probably with Χὠρα ("country") suppressed. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB11 Battery The immediate area around the town of Sparta, the plateau east of the Taygetos mountains, was generally referred as Laconice (Λακωνική).[13] This term was sometimes used to refer to all the regions under direct Spartan control, including Messenia. Lacedaemon is now the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB16 Battery Sparta is located in the region of Laconia, in the south-eastern Peloponnese. Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Evrotas River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water. The valley of the Evrotas is a natural fortress, bounded to the west by Mt. Taygetus (2407 m) and to the east by Mt. Parnon (1935 m). HP Compaq HSTNN-DB28 Battery To the north, Laconia is separated from Arcadia by hilly uplands reaching 1000 m in altitude. These natural defenses worked to Sparta's advantage and contributed to Sparta never having been sacked. Though landlocked, Sparta had a harbor, Gytheio, on the Laconian Gulf. In Greek mythology, Lacedaemon was a son of Zeus by the nymph Taygete. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB29 Battery He married Sparta, the daughter of Eurotas, by whom he became the father of Amyclas,Eurydice, and Asine. He was king of the country which he named after himself, naming the capital after his wife. He was believed to have built the sanctuary of the Charites, which stood between Sparta and Amyclae, and to have given to those divinities the names of Cleta and Phaenna. A shrine was erected to him in the neighborhood of Therapne. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB67 Battery Suppose the city of Sparta to be deserted, and nothing left but the temples and the ground-plan, distant ages would be very unwilling to believe that the power of the Lacedaemonians was at all equal to their fame. Their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid temples or other edifices; HP Compaq HSTNN-FB05 Battery it rather resembles a group of villages, like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor show. Until the early 20th century, the chief ancient buildings at Sparta were the theatre, of which, however, little showed above ground except portions of the retaining walls; HP Compaq HSTNN-FB18 Battery the so-called Tomb of Leonidas, a quadrangular building, perhaps a temple, constructed of immense blocks of stone and containing two chambers; the foundation of an ancient bridge over the Eurotas; the ruins of a circular structure; some remains of late Roman fortifications; several brick buildings and mosaic pavements. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB51 Battery The remaining archaeological wealth consisted of inscriptions, sculptures, and other objects collected in the local museum, founded by Stamatakis in 1872 and enlarged in 1907. Partial excavation of the round building was undertaken in 1892 and 1893 by the American School at Athens. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB52 Battery The structure has been since found to be a semicircular retaining wall of Hellenic origin that was partly restored during the Roman period. In 1904, the British School at Athens began a thorough exploration of Laconia, and in the following year excavations were made at Thalamae, Geronthrae, and Angelona near Monemvasia. In 1906, excavations began in Sparta. HP Compaq HSTNN-I04C Battery A small circus described by Leake proved to be a theatre-like building constructed soon after AD 200 around the altar and in front of the temple of Artemis Orthia. Here musical and gymnastic contests took place as well as the famous flogging ordeal (diamastigosis). The temple, which can be dated to the 2nd century BC, HP Compaq HSTNN-I12C Battery rests on the foundation of an older temple of the 6th century, and close beside it were found the remains of a yet earlier temple, dating from the 9th or even the 10th century. The votive offerings in clay, amber, bronze, ivory and lead found in great profusion within the precinct range, dating from the 9th to the 4th centuries BC, supply invaluable evidence for early Spartan art. HP Compaq HSTNN-I39C Battery In 1907, the sanctuary of Athena "of the Brazen House" (Chalkioikos) was located on the acropolis immediately above the theatre, and though the actual temple is almost completely destroyed, the site has produced the longest extant archaic inscription of Laconia, numerous bronze nails and plates, and a considerable number of votive offerings. HP Compaq HSTNN-I40C Battery The Greek city-wall, built in successive stages from the 4th to the 2nd century, was traced for a great part of its circuit, which measured 48 stades or nearly 10 km (Polyb. 1X. 21). The late Roman wall enclosing the acropolis, part of which probably dates from the years following the Gothic raid of AD 262, was also investigated. Besides the actual buildings discovered, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C Battery a number of points were situated and mapped in a general study of Spartan topography, based upon the description of Pausanias. Excavations showed that the town of the Mycenaean Period was situated on the left bank of the Eurotas, a little to the south-east of Sparta. The settlement was roughly triangular in shape, with its apex pointed towards the north. HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-A Battery Its area was approximately equal to that of the "newer" Sparta, but denudation has wreaked havoc with its buildings and nothing is left save ruined foundations and broken potsherds. The prehistory of Sparta is difficult to reconstruct because the literary evidence is far removed in time from the events it describes and is also distorted by oral tradition. HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-B Battery However, the earliest certain evidence of human settlement in the region of Sparta consists of pottery dating from the Middle Neolithicperiod, found in the vicinity of Kouphovouno some two kilometres south-southwest of Sparta.[16] These are the earliest traces of the original Mycenaean Spartan civilisation, as represented in Homer's Iliad. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C Battery This civilization seems to have fallen into decline by the late Bronze Age, when, according to Herodotus, Macedonian tribes from the north marched into Peloponnese, where they were called Dorians and subjugating the local tribes, settled there.[15] The Dorians seem to have set about expanding the frontiers of Spartan territory almost before they had established their own state. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-A Battery They fought against the Argive Dorians to the east and southeast, and also the ArcadianAchaeans to the northwest. The evidence suggests that Sparta, relatively inaccessible because of the topography of the Taygetan plain, was secure from early on: it was never fortified. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-B Battery Nothing distinctive in the archaeology of the Eurotas River Valley identifies the Dorians or the Dorian Spartan state. The prehistory of the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Dark Age (the Early Iron Age) at this moment must be treated apart from the stream of Dorian Spartan history. HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-A Battery The legendary period of Spartan history is believed to fall into the Dark Age. It treats the mythic heroes such as the Heraclids and the Perseids, offering a view of the occupation of the Peloponnesus that contains both fantastic and possibly historical elements. The subsequent proto-historic period, combining both legend and historical fragments, offers the first credible history. HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-B Battery Between the 8th and 7th centuries BC the Spartans experienced a period of lawlessness and civil strife, later testified by both Herodotus and Thucydides.[18] As a result they carried out a series of political and social reforms of their own society which they later attributed to a semi-mythical lawgiver, Lycurgus.[19] These reforms mark the beginning of the history of Classical Sparta. HP Compaq HSTNN-I49C Battery In the Second Messenian War, Sparta established itself as a local power in Peloponnesus and the rest of Greece. During the following centuries, Sparta's reputation as a land-fighting force was unequaled.[20] In 480 BC a small force of Spartans, Thespians, and Thebans led by King Leonidas HP Compaq HSTNN-I50C-B Battery (approximately 300 were full Spartiates, 700 were Thespians, and 400 were Thebans although these numbers do not reflect casualties incurred prior to the final battle), made a legendary last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against the massive Persian army, inflicting very high casualties on the Persian forces before finally being encircled.[21] HP Compaq HSTNN-I54C Battery The superior weaponry, strategy, and bronze armour of the Greek hoplites and their phalanx again proved their worth one year later when Sparta assembled at full strength and led a Greek alliance against the Persians at the battle of Plataea. The decisive Greek victory at Plataea put an end to the Greco-Persian War along with Persian ambition of expanding into Europe. HP Compaq HSTNN-I64C-5 Battery Even though this war was won by a pan-Greek army, credit was given to Sparta, who besides being the protagonist at Thermopylae and Plataea, had been the de facto leader of the entire Greek expedition.[22] In later Classical times, Sparta along with Athens, Thebes, and Persia had been the main powers fighting for supremacy against each other. HP Compaq HSTNN-I65C-5 Battery As a result of the Peloponnesian War, Sparta, a traditionally continental culture, became a naval power. At the peak of its power Sparta subdued many of the key Greek states and even managed to overpower the elite Athenian navy. By the end of the 5th century BC it stood out as a state which had defeated the Athenian Empire and had invaded the Persian provinces in Anatolia, a period which marks the Spartan Hegemony. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB05 Battery During the Corinthian War Sparta faced a coalition of the leading Greek states: Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos. The alliance was initially backed by Persia, whose lands in Anatolia had been invaded by Sparta and which feared further Spartan expansion into Asia.[23] HP Compaq HSTNN-IB08 Battery Sparta achieved a series of land victories, but many of her ships were destroyed at thebattle of Cnidus by a Greek-Phoenician mercenary fleet that Persia had provided to Athens. The event severely damaged Sparta's naval power but did not end its aspirations of invading further into Persia, until Conon the Athenian ravaged the Spartan coastline and provoked the old Spartan fear of a helot revolt.[24] HP Compaq HSTNNIB12 Battery After a few more years of fighting, in 387 BC the Peace of Antalcidas was established, according to which all Greek cities of Ionia would return to Persian control, and Persia's Asian border would be free of the Spartan threat.[24] HP Compaq HSTNN-IB16 Battery The effects of the war were to reaffirm Persia's ability to interfere successfully in Greek politics and to affirm Sparta's weakened hegemonic position in the Greek political system.[25] Sparta entered its long-term decline after a severe military defeat to Epaminondas of Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB18 Battery This was the first time that a Spartan army lost a land battle at full strength. As Spartan citizenship was inherited by blood, Sparta now increasingly faced a helot population that vastly outnumbered its citizens. The alarming decline of Spartan citizens was commented on by Aristotle. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB28 Battery Sparta never fully recovered from the losses that the Spartans suffered at Leuctra in 371 BC and the subsequent helot revolts. Nonetheless, it was able to continue as a regional power for over two centuries. Neither Philip II nor his son Alexander the Great attempted to conquer Sparta itself. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB51 Battery During Alexander's campaigns in the east, the Spartan king, Agis III sent a force to Crete in 333 BC with the aim of securing the island for Sparta.[26] Agis next took command of allied Greek forces against Macedon, gaining early successes, before laying siege to Megalopolis in 331 BC. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB52 Battery A large Macedonian army under general Antipater marched to its relief and defeated the Spartan-led force in a pitched battle.[27] More than 5,300 of the Spartans and their allies were killed in battle, and 3,500 of Antipater's troops.[28] Agis, now wounded and unable to stand, HP Compaq HSTNN-IB55 Battery ordered his men to leave him behind to face the advancing Macedonian army so that he could buy them time to retreat. On his knees, the Spartan king slew several enemy soldiers before being finally killed by a javelin.[29] Alexander was merciful, and he only forced the Spartans to join the League of Corinth, which they had previously refused to join.[30] HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 Battery Even during its decline, Sparta never forgot its claims on being the "defender of Hellenism" and its Laconic wit. An anecdote has it that when Philip II sent a message to Sparta saying "If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta", the Spartans responded with the single, terse reply: "If."[31] When Philip created the league of the Greeks on the pretext of unifying Greece against Persia, HP Compaq HSTNN-LB05 Battery the Spartans chose not to join—they had no interest in joining a pan-Greek expedition if it was not under Spartan leadership. Thus, upon the conquest of Persia, Alexander the Great sent to Athens 300 suits of Persian armour with the following inscription Alexander, son of Philip, and all the Greeks except the Spartans, give these offerings taken from the foreigners who live in Asia [emphasis added]. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB08 Battery During the Punic Wars Sparta was an ally of the Roman Republic. Spartan political independence was put to an end when it was eventually forced into the Achaean League. In 146 BC Greece was conquered by the Roman general Lucius Mummius. During the Roman conquest, Spartans continued their way of life, and the city became a tourist attraction for the Roman elite who came to observe exotic Spartan customs.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB0E Battery According to Byzantine sources, some parts of the Laconian region remained pagan until well into the 10th century AD. Doric-speaking populations survive today in Tsakonia. In the Middle Ages, the political and cultural center of Laconia shifted to the nearby settlement of Mystras. Modern Sparti was re-founded in 1834, by a decree of King Otto of Greece. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB11 Battery The Doric state of Sparta, copying the Doric Cretans, developed a mixed governmental state. The state was ruled by two hereditary kings of the Agiad and Eurypontid families,[32] both supposedly descendants of Heracles and equal in authority, so that one could not act against the power and political enactments of his colleague. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 Battery The duties of the kings were primarily religious, judicial, and military. They were the chief priests of the state and also maintained communication with the Delphian sanctuary, which always exercised great authority in Spartan politics. In the time of Herodotus, about 450 BC, HP Compaq HSTNN-LB52 Battery their judicial functions had been restricted to cases dealing with heiresses, adoptions and the public roads. Aristotle describes the kingship at Sparta as "a kind of unlimited and perpetual generalship" (Pol. iii. I285a),[33] while Isocrates refers to the Spartans as "subject to an oligarchy at home, to a kingship on campaign" (iii. 24).[34] HP Compaq HSTNN-MB05 Battery Civil and criminal cases were decided by a group of officials known as the ephors, as well as a council of elders known as the Gerousia. The Gerousia consisted of 28 elders over the age of 60, elected for life and usually part of the royal households, and the two kings.[35] HP Compaq HSTNN-OB06 Battery High state policy decisions were discussed by this council who could then propose action alternatives to the Damos, the collective body of Spartan citizenry, who would select one of the alternatives by voting.[36][37] The royal prerogatives were curtailed over time. Dating from the period of the Persian wars, HP Compaq HSTNN-OB52 Battery the king lost the right to declare war and was accompanied in the field by two ephors. He was supplanted also by the ephors in the control of foreign policy. Over time, the kings became mere figureheads except in their capacity as generals. Real power was transferred to the ephors and to the Gerousia. HP Compaq HSTNN-OB62 Battery The origins of the powers exercised by the assembly of the citizens are virtually unknown because of the lack of historical documentation and Spartan state secrecy. Not all inhabitants of the Spartan state were considered to be citizens. Only those who had undertaken the Spartan education process known as the agoge were eligible. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB05 Battery However, usually the only people eligible to receive the agoge were Spartiates, or people who could trace their ancestry to the original inhabitants of the city. There were two exceptions. Trophimoi or "foster sons" were foreign students invited to study. The Athenian general Xenophon, for example, sent his two sons to Sparta as trophimoi. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB11 Battery The other exception was that the sons of a helot could be enrolled as a syntrophos if a Spartiate formally adopted him and paid his way. If a syntrophos did exceptionally well in training, he might be sponsored to become a Spartiate.[38] Others in the state were the perioikoi, who were free inhabitants of Spartan territory but were non-citizens, and the helots,[39] HP Compaq HSTNN-UB18 Battery the state-owned serfs. Descendants of non-Spartan citizens were not able to follow the agoge and Spartans who could not afford to pay the expenses of the agoge could lose their citizenship. These laws meant that Sparta could not readily replace citizens lost in battle or otherwise and HP Compaq HSTNN-UB68 Battery eventually proved near fatal to the continuance of the state as the number of citizens became greatly outnumbered by the non-citizens and, even more dangerously, the helots. The Spartans were a minority of the Lakonian population. The largest class of inhabitants were the helots (in Classical Greek Εἵλωτες / Heílôtes).[40][41] HP Compaq HSTNN-UB69 Battery The helots were originally free Greeks from the areas of Messenia and Lakonia whom the Spartans had defeated in battle and subsequently enslaved. In contrast to populations conquered by other Greek cities (e.g. the Athenian treatment of Melos), the male population was not exterminated and the women and children turned into chattel slaves. HP Compaq HSTNN-W42C Battery Instead, the helots were given a subordinate position in society more comparable to serfs in medieval Europe than chattel slaves in the rest of Greece. Helots did not have voting rights, although compared to non-Greek chattel slaves in other parts of Greece they were relatively privileged. HP Compaq HSTNN-W42C-A Battery The Spartan poetTyrtaios refers to Helots being allowed to marry and retaining 50% of the fruits of their labor.[42] They also seem to have been allowed to practice religious rites and, according to Thucydides, own a limited amount of personal property.[43] Some 6,000 helots accumulated enough wealth to buy their freedom, for example, in 227 BC. HP Compaq HSTNN-W42C-B Battery In other Greek city-states, free citizens were part-time soldiers who, when not at war, carried on other trades. Since Spartan men were full-time soldiers, they were not available to carry out manual labour.[44] The helots were used as unskilled serfs, tilling Spartan land. Helot women were often used as wet nurses. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB0E Battery Helots also travelled with the Spartan army as non-combatant serfs. At the last stand of the Battle of Thermopylae, the Greek dead included not just the legendary three hundred Spartan soldiers but also several hundred Thespian and Theban troops and a number of helots.[45] HP Compaq HSTNN-XB11 Battery Relations between the helots and their Spartan masters were sometimes strained. There was at least one helot revolt (ca. 465–460 BC), and Thucydides remarked that "Spartan policy is always mainly governed by the necessity of taking precautions against the helots."[46][47] On the other hand, HP Compaq HSTNN-XB18 Battery the Spartans trusted their helots enough in 479 BC to take a force of 35,000 with them to Plataea, something they could not have risked if they feared the helots would attack them or run away. Slave revolts occurred elsewhere in the Greek world, and in 413 BC 20,000 Athenian slaves ran away to join the Spartan forces occupying Attica.[48] HP Compaq HSTNN-XB21 Battery What made Sparta's relations with her slave population unique was that the helots, precisely because they enjoyed privileges such as family and property, retained their identity as a conquered people (the Messenians) and also had effective kinship groups that could be used to organize rebellion. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB24 Battery As the Spartiate population declined and the helot population continued to grow, the imbalance of power caused increasing tension. According to Myron of Priene[49] of the middle 3rd century BC: "They assign to the Helots every shameful task leading to disgrace. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB28 Battery For they ordained that each one of them must wear a dogskin cap (κυνῆ / kun) and wrap himself in skins (διφθέρα / diphthéra) and receive a stipulated number of beatings every year regardless of any wrongdoing, so that they would never forget they were slaves. Moreover, if any exceeded the vigour proper to a slave's condition, HP Compaq HSTNN-XB51 Battery they made death the penalty; and they allotted a punishment to those controlling them if they failed to rebuke those who were growing fat".

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