Ancient History: Sparta 98% Assesment Mark

6395 words 26 pages

By Jorge T

What are the main features of Spartan government in the period to 500BC?:


Throughout the Greek world at this time, a great period of expansion and colonization took place, chiefly due to land hunger. Sparta attacked neighboring Messenia and engaged in a series of wars, reducing the population to serfdom. The success in these wars enabled Sparta to double the agricultural resources. At some point after the Messenia wars, the Spartans undertook a drastic and revolutionary reorganization of their social and political systems. The whole state became geared to a militaristic way of life; a new system of law and order, or eunomia was
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Their place of meeting, called the skias, refers to a canopy, and possibly the name of a building. The ecclesia was a place where the citizens could speak their minds and try to influence one another in the political process. The ekklesia opened the doors for all citizens, regardless of class, to nominate and vote for magistrates, have the final decision on legislation, war and peace, and have the right to call magistrates to account after their year of office. In the 5th century BC their numbers amounted to about 43,000 people. However, only those wealthy enough to spend much of their time away from home would have been able to participate until Pericles' reforms in early 451-2 BCE allowing payment for jurors. The assembly was responsible for declaring war, military strategy, and electing strategoi (army leader) and other officials. It originally met once every month, but later it met three or four times per month.

“This was because he wanted to make them show their opinions openly and so make them all the more enthusiastic for war. He therefore said, Spartans those of you who think that the treaty has been broken and that the Athenians are aggressors, get up and stand on one side. Those who do not think so stand on the other side. And he pointed out to them where they were to stand, they hen rose to their feet and separated into two divisions” Thucydides, history of the Peloponesian war. 1.87

Why did Sparta develop along different lines from