The Debate That Existed In Athens And Sparta

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The debate that existed in Athens and Sparta


The debate, that is, the exchange of arguments that reflect the positions of one side or another and which are supported by what was said in the exchange, could not be carried out, leaving for the synthesis of said activity a void that, by far That you try, cost or will be practically impossible to fill. In spite of this, what is allowed to do in the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves is a memory of one of the topics to be addressed in the activity. In the case of a server, this issue is war, one of the most fundamental aspects of Spartan society. With war I don’t seek to refer to combat only; To the war conflict between two sides in which, after the relevant bloodshed, one of the two participants stands winner. 


The war in Spartan society is an institution, to name it in some way. That is, the handling of the sword and the spear; the realization of formations, the respect of the military hierarchy. All military instruction was carried out by means. It began in children who had reached seven years, and were included in Barracones. They were put under tutelage of other older children. Among the tests, little food was provided to sharpen their sense of survival. Once I passed it, at 20, it became part of communal dining rooms: the Syssitía, where each one accessed a general meal that marked the passage to adulthood. 

War in the case of Sparta also equals myth, legend. Known by all is the battle of the thermopylars in which the Leonida King and his men faced with Persian troops, braking the progress of these for a long time, a crucial time for the Greeks to prepare a fierce defense against their enemies. This heroic act was possible thanks to the strict Lacedemonium educational model: strict, hierarchical, capable of forging in the man who receives a strong and imposing figure capable of performing unthinkable feats such as thermopylars. The great poet Torteo already spoke about the burning and discipline of the Spartans on the battlefield and the beautiful death that occurred in the contest.

But it is not only the man who performs the deeds that will resonate in songs and stories. A Hoplita is nothing without his equipment, corresponding to: a Corinthian helmet; a shell; the round shield or hoplon/aspís; the pimples/grebbas; a spear of about two meters and must be handled with both hands; And, upon reaching melee, a short sword. Next to this panoply, embellished by his carriers before entering into combat so that it was brighter, a purple robe that infused terror in his adversaries was extended behind the backs of the men in his adversaries. This homogenization of the Spartan Hoplitas is the work of the father of the great retra: Licurgo. Licurgo, one of the most important names in the history of Greece, would lay the foundations of a strong and warrior Sparta. 

Citing Analía V. Sapere, in this Constitution, transmitted orally, what is about ‘is not only the redistribution of the land, the creation of gerousia, the strict militarized education, the institution of the systemitia, the restrictions in luxury, the expenses Superfluos and the excesses of the rich, but the set of all these measures which affects the Spartan people to forge a positive image of Licurgo ‘. This shows how society, thanks to Lycurg’s performance, becomes a single entity in which all those with the status of citizen have to show the same, no matter if you are an aristocrat or a simple peasant. This, in the military field, we can see it reflected in the vision of the Hoplitas, where, although each member had to pay his team, they had a long hair and dressed.

As has been commented before, a purple robe. This way of reflecting equality among citizens was what allowed the Lacedemonios to rise as the most important of the Hélade polis. I would like to mention a comment made by Herodotus about the Spartan laws. According to the appointed ‘father of history’ "the lacedemonios had had the worst laws of almost all of Greece, both in regard to their internal situation, and in terms of their isolationist attitude towards foreigners" the translation comes from the translation comes from Text found in the following source: Streeter, F. B. "Sparta was always free of tyrants" some considerations around the myth of Spartan immunity to tyranny. Well, let’s consider that, among all those peoples that live in the Hélade.

The inequalities are present in each corner and, therefore, give rise to some acts of rebellion by the people, sponsored by people of Alto Abolengo. With the great retra, these acts of rebellion are not possible in citizen conception, since all are equal before all. Likewise, in this way there is also no possibility of a tyranny as a regime because, thanks to the diarchy system present in our land, there is no individual capable of capitalizing on power in the totality in his person, since another can stop his ambition. It is thanks to this system that the army is always obedient to that in his command and fierce against his adversary, since one of the kings always accompanies his own to the battlefield. To finish this section, I would like to ask why, if they were the worst among all the Greeks.


Why were they brought under the auspices of the great Oracle of Delphi? And, to go back to more recent times, why was the lacedemonium model chosen among the other Hellenic models by Rome or revolutionary France as a method of government? Finally, I would like to make a brief summary of everything said previously. The war in Sparta is not simply an armed confrontation. The war for Lacedemonios is a way of life in preparation for it, the Spartan and fierce citizen is forged; that he shows respect to his superiors and knows no doubt. It is thanks to the laws arriving from Delphi through Lycurg that Sparta forges its identity as polis, as well as its legend, being taken as a model to follow for subsequent civilizations over time.


Fornis, c. (2009). Sparta, city of virtue and war. History of three cities: Athens, Sparta and Utopia, XVI Antiqua Conference organized by the Koldo Mitxelena Center in San Sebastián, San Sebastián, 1-13.

SAPERE, a. V. (2014). The man behind the law: about the characterization of Lycurg in Plutarch’s life.

Streeter, f. B. "Sparta was always free of tyrants" some considerations around the myth of Spartan immunity to tyranny. Limes R, 105.

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