“Spartan policy was always mainly governed by the necessity of taking precautions against the helots. ” (Discusses; History of the Peloponnesus War). Since birth, Spartan men and women were inculcated with a mentality developed from the necessity to comply with a militaristic way of life. This society Indeed grew out of a symbiotic tension with the vast population of Spartan helots. Men were taught, through the gauge (education system) harsh training and self reliance that would later be necessary when they began their lives as an adult splatter.
The purpose of training for women was to produce virile and healthy offspring for the defense of the state both against internal and external threats. Since the conquest of neighboring Magnesia in BBC, and the enslavement of the entire population, the Spartan found themselves outnumbered 10 to 1 by a hostile population. As a result, they developed a society revolving around the military as a necessity to keep these helots under control. Although widely held, this view is disputed by P. Cartilage who points to the emergence of hoppled warfare as [“the cause’? Of] this social and political change.
Nevertheless, the freedom from labor allowed the Spartan to pursue this way of life. Plutarch attributes these institutions to the great (if not mythical) lawgiver Ulcerous. The resulting gauge indoctrinated both boys and girls with this militaristic mentality from birth. Spartan babies were (10 days after birth) inspected by the pepper for any defects and even washed the babies in wine in the belief that any sick or weak child would die. If found unsatisfactory, the baby would be abandoned in a jar by Met Tastes to die of exposure. There was no place in Spartan society for a child who loud not grow up to be a fierce, ascetic warrior.
Young children were supervised at home by their mothers and taught traditional answers to questions rather than from their own opinion. They grew accustomed to being left alone or In the dark and discouraged from sulking. At age 7, Spartan boys entered the gauge and lived in communal barracks. They were trained In physical sports and emphasis was placed on excellence, with the most able boy made captain over his herd. Boys were almost never unsupervised with the patrimonies aided by older boys called reins armed with whips constantly enforcing enmeshment.
Indeed, Spartan boys were looked on as property of the state with any man invested with the power to punish not only his own but other children. Old men stirred up “disputes and quarrels” (Xenophobe) to encourage fighting. A Spartan boys training Intensified at age 12. At 10, he would learn music and dance which was highly patriotic and even martial. An example is the Pyrrhic Dance (learnt at age 15) a mock fight commemorating a victory against Argos. The poet Trusses 1 OFF the front line unyielding, putting shameful flight from his mind”. (Trusses).
Boys ere fed minimum rations and stealing was necessary to encourage self reliance and prepare boys for the privations of war. “Indeed, the boys take being caught stealing so seriously that one boy who had a live fox under his tunic let the animal claw him to death rather than be found out. ” (Plutarch). Adolescent boys would accompany homier (prime men) in their pursuits of hunting to learn such skills and observe others. They attended the sensation (public mess) to hear of noble battle deeds and uncultured with this mentality. Music and religious festivals were particularly useful in educating young boys with his mentality.
The cheese stealing ritual at the temple of Artemisia Aortic (patron goddess) was a test of endurance through older boys armed with whips and commonplace drawing of blood. This was a rite of initiation for boys to encourage physical endurance and prowess. The gymnosperms and the “festival of unarmed boys” was another such test of endurance and would take place on long hot summer hours. Games were played where kicking, biting and eye-gouging were commonplace. These tests and activities were vital in training boys to become fierce warriors and to vive within the highly militaristic society of Sparta. 7 and 18 year old boys entered the Krypton of the Spartan “secret police”. Here they would hide themselves during the day and at night they would seek and murder any helots they could find. This not only kept the helot population under control, but also uncultured the boys in killing and absolved blood guilt. At 18 he became an rein and could apply for membership to the sensation. Voting must be unanimous (never drop to present tense) and only the most distinguished and capable young men were allowed (although in reality every rein had to Join a sensation to maintain citizen numbers).
They also accompanied the patrimonies in inflicting punishment and whipped younger boys at the cheese stealing ritual at Artemisia Aortic. He would be tested in physical endurance and bravery, necessary later in life in battle, and would have to live up to the ideal of the Spartan embodied in soldiers such as Leonia. He would be taught submission of self to the state and to execute orders without question. The purpose of training Spartan women was different however. Girls would train eked with the boys up until the age of 18 when they were expected to enter motherhood.
Women were vital in Spartan society to increase the population and produce Spartan for the defense of the state. All training geared towards being able to endure the pains of childbirth and the labor of pregnancy. One exercise they practiced was the basis where they would Jump up and down “each time touching their buttocks with their heels”. (Bradley 1988). They would be encouraged to eat and drink freely and exercise regularly in the early months of pregnancy. Marriage would occur early in life [maybe today but late for ancient times! And men would marry at 20 (to 24) under the belief that the most virile and healthy offspring would be produced “in the prime of bodily vigor”. (Xenophobe). Indeed, this training prepared “Indeed, Spartan value motherhood so highly that there were only two ways a Spartan would receive their name on a gravestone: death in battle or death in childbirth”. (Xenophobe). Artemisia Aortic was the patron goddess of Sparta and indeed demonstrated how highly the Spartan valued the need to produce healthy offspring for the defense of the state. Artemisia was a goddess of fertility and women would pray to her for fertility and aid in pregnancy.
They wore broaches of her image and in fact the cheese stolen at her altar was believed to be the preserved milk of the goddess and so therefore highly valuable. The Spartan Gauge (education system) inculcated men and women with both the mentality needed to comply with a militaristic life and the skills by which to carry this out in their society. The need to control the vast numbers of hostile helots and guard against their possible revolt (as occurred in BBC in conjunction with an earthquake) impelled the polis of Sparta to gradually adopt this totally militaristic society and way of life.
Men were trained in physical endurance and bravery to prepare them for the privations of war and were taught the complete submission of oneself to the state and forfeit of individuality to allow them to execute orders. Women trained in physical exercise for the purpose of motherhood and providing as many healthy and virile offspring as possible for the defense of the state. This training for Spartan men and women would allow them to function within the mindset of their society.