Sparta Pride Essay

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Honor, endurance, and integrity: all traits valued in the Spartan society. Sparta was a dominant power in Greek politics for much of its history. This was thanks largely to its well and experienced army. No army in Greece was said to match the powers of the Spartans. Spartan’s held great pride in its soldiers, who “served their city in the place of bricks” (1). But it was this pride that led to the downfall of Sparta, and its defeat by neighboring city-states. The Spartans held much dominance over the Peloponnesian peninsula, where Sparta was located. They often held power over their neighboring cities, who they could force into service in times of war. They were so sure of their dominance, that no Spartan male took part in normal things in everyday life (2). They left the tasks such as farming, cooking, and cleaning to the helots, or the serfs. They devoted themselves entirely to military service,…show more content…
Two examples of this were with Athens and Corinth. Athens was a growing power in Northern Greece, and began to challenge Spartan authority. After a fragile alliance between Sparta and Athens ended the Persian wars, they split ways. While Spartan military dominance was achieved on land, they refused to build a navy. They did not see a benefit to wasting resources on the sea (4). Athens saw their chance and quickly took charge. With its newly built navy, Athens was able to take control of many northern cities into an Athens controlled alliance. Sparta saw to as a control to their Peloponnesian league. This was important when in 464 BC when an earthquake left Sparta unable to crush a rebellion. Athens sent an army to assist the Spartans but was turned away by the Spartan pride. It was actions such as this, and many like it with Corinth that would lead to the Peloponnesian and the Corinthian wars that devastated Spartan resources

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