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Instituto Tecnolgico de Morelia

Education in the Ancient W


states, and the Sophists
A compilation for the Methods I course
By Brenda Resndiz Rumbo






Instituto Tecnolgico de Morelia
LEVEL: METHODS I

Group: SPMETHIA


Education in the Ancient World: the Greek city
states, and the Sophists


compilation for the Methods I course
Brenda Resndiz Rumbo
May 31
1
Instituto Tecnolgico de Morelia
orld: the Greek city-
compilation for the Methods I course
Brenda Resndiz Rumbo
May 31
st
, 2014
2

Ancient Athens .............................................................................................................................. 7
TIME LOCATION ......................................................................................................................... 8
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION .......................................................................................................... 15
NATURAL RESOURCES .............................................................................................................. 16
ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ............................................................................................................. 16
HEALTH .................................................................................................................................... 17
The P!"#e $% Athens............................................................................................................ 18
&e!' $% the !( ..................................................................................................................... 18
C!'e %$' the sic) !n* *e!* .................................................................................................... 1+
Rei"i$#s st'i%e...................................................................................................................... 1+
C!#se $% the ,!"#e .............................................................................................................. 2-
Asce,i#s .............................................................................................................................. 2-
.i'th ................................................................................................................................. 2-
&OO/ ....................................................................................................................................... 21
LINGUISTIC HERITAGE .............................................................................................................. 22
GOVERNMENT AN/ RELIGION .................................................................................................. 20
G$1e'n2ent ......................................................................................................................... 20
Asse2345E))esi! ............................................................................................................ 25
The C$#nci5The .$#e ..................................................................................................... 26
C$#'ts .............................................................................................................................. 27
Rei"i$n ................................................................................................................................ 2+
6AR CON&LICTS ....................................................................................................................... 0-
The Pe$,$nnesi!n 6!' 780198-8 .C: .................................................................................. 0-
INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES ........................................................................................................ 02
E*#c!ti$n! s4ste2 .............................................................................................................. 02
.$4s ................................................................................................................................. 02
Gi's.................................................................................................................................. 02
6h!t s#3;ects *i* st#*ents t!)e in Ancient Athens !n* (h4< ........................................... 02
Techn$$"ic! !*1!nces ........................................................................................................ 08
A'chitect#'e ..................................................................................................................... 08
P#3ic 6$')s .................................................................................................................... 08
6!te' C$c) ...................................................................................................................... 08
0

A't........................................................................................................................................ 05
IMPORTANT E/UCA/ORS OR PE/AGOGISTS O& THE PERIO/ ................................................... 06
S$c'!tes 7c. 86+=0++ .CE: ..................................................................................................... 06
P!t$ 7c. 827=087 .CE: .......................................................................................................... 08
A'ist$te 7c. 088=022 .CE: ..................................................................................................... 8-
E/UCATIONAL APPROACHES .................................................................................................... 82
Ancient C$'inth ............................................................................................................................ 88
TIME LOCATION ....................................................................................................................... 85
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION .......................................................................................................... 87
NATURAL RESOURCES .............................................................................................................. 88
The t($ ,$'ts> Lech!e#2 !n* Cench'e!e ............................................................................. 88
ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ............................................................................................................. 8+
HEALTH .................................................................................................................................... 5-
Ac!nth#s .............................................................................................................................. 5-
&OO/ ....................................................................................................................................... 5-
LINGUISTIC HERITAGE .............................................................................................................. 51
GOVERNMENT AN/ RELIGION .................................................................................................. 52
G$1e'n2ent ......................................................................................................................... 52
Rei"i$n ................................................................................................................................ 50
6AR CON&LICTS ....................................................................................................................... 58
INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES ........................................................................................................ 55
E*#c!ti$n! s4ste2 .............................................................................................................. 55
Scienti%ic !n* techn$$"ic! !*1!nces ................................................................................... 56
The C$'inthi!n He2et ..................................................................................................... 56
Ph4sic! e1i*ence ......................................................................................................... 56
Lite'!'4 e1i*ence .......................................................................................................... 57
A'chitect#'e ......................................................................................................................... 57
IMPORTANT E/UCA/ORS OR PE/AGOGISTS O& THE PERIO/ ................................................... 5+
Th'!s42!ch#s ...................................................................................................................... 5+
The Hist$'ic! Th'!s42!ch#s ............................................................................................ 5+
E/UCATIONAL APPROACHES .................................................................................................... 6-
Ancient S,!'t! ............................................................................................................................. 62
8

TIME LOCATION ....................................................................................................................... 60
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION .......................................................................................................... 66
NATURAL RESOURCES .............................................................................................................. 66
ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ............................................................................................................. 67
HEALTH .................................................................................................................................... 71
En*$c'in$$"4 in !ncient S,!'t! ........................................................................................... 72
The "'$(th $% 2e*icine in !ncient S,!'t! ......................................................................... 72
Me*ic! !tt'i3#tes $% !"n#s c!st#s ................................................................................... 78
&OO/ ....................................................................................................................................... 75
Ancient S,!'t!n &$$* !n* /iet ............................................................................................. 75
The S,!'t!n *iet $1e'1ie( .................................................................................................... 76
H#ntin" !n* the S,!'t!n *iet ............................................................................................... 76
S,!'t!n 2e!t ....................................................................................................................... 76
/!i'4 in the S,!'t! *iet ......................................................................................................... 77
S,!'t!n 3'e!* ...................................................................................................................... 77
S,!'t!n 3!c) 3'$th !n* s$#, ............................................................................................... 77
S,!'t!n (ine ........................................................................................................................ 77
LINGUISTIC HERITAGE .............................................................................................................. 78
GOVERNMENT AN/ RELIGION .................................................................................................. 7+
G$1e'n2ent ......................................................................................................................... 7+
The 3$$*ines $% the S,!'t!n )in"s .................................................................................. 8-
The A"i!* *4n!st4 ............................................................................................................ 8-
The E#'4,$nti* *4n!st4 .................................................................................................... 8-
The '$es $% the S,!'t!n )in"s........................................................................................... 81
I2,$'t!nt )in"s $% S,!'t! ................................................................................................. 81
King Leonidas ............................................................................................................... 81
Cleomenes I ................................................................................................................. 81
Agis IV .......................................................................................................................... 82
The %!*in" ,$(e' $% the )in"s $% S,!'t!............................................................................ 82
Rei"i$n ................................................................................................................................ 80
&!1$'ite G$*s $% S,!'t! .................................................................................................... 88
Rei"i$#s %esti1!s in S,!'t! .............................................................................................. 88
5

Rei"i$#s ,'iests !n* the )in"s $% S,!'t! ........................................................................... 88
6AR CON&LICTS ....................................................................................................................... 85
&i'st Messeni!n 6!'> 780 = 728 .C ....................................................................................... 85
Sec$n* Messeni!n 6!'> 685 = 668 .C ................................................................................... 88
A'"$s> The (!' $% si? h#n*'e* .............................................................................................. 8+
6!'s (ith Te"e! .................................................................................................................. +-
@e$2enes I ......................................................................................................................... +1
The Pe'si!n 6!'s ................................................................................................................. +2
.!tte $% The'2$,4!e> 88- .C ............................................................................................. +0
.!tte $% P!t!e!> 87+ .C ...................................................................................................... +5
The Pe$,$nnesi!n (!' I> 801 = 821 .C ................................................................................. +7
The Pe$,$nnesi!n (!' II> 815 = 8-8 .C ...............................................................................1-1
E?,e*iti$n in Asi! ................................................................................................................1-0
The 3!tte $% Le#ct'!> 071 .C ..............................................................................................1-6
INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES .......................................................................................................1-7
E*#c!ti$n! s4ste2 .............................................................................................................1-7
6$2en e*#c!ti$n in S,!'t! ............................................................................................111
Scienti%ic !n* techn$$"ic! !*1!nces ..................................................................................118
The H$,ite Ph!!n?.........................................................................................................118
Miit!'4 Sch$$s ...............................................................................................................115
C$nsc'i,ti$n ....................................................................................................................116
He$ts ..............................................................................................................................116
A't.......................................................................................................................................117
A'chitect#'! M$n#2ents ...............................................................................................117
Sc#,t#'e !n* C'!%ts in .'$nAeB I1$'4B !n* Te''! C$tt! .....................................................118
P$et'4B M#sicB !n* /!nce ................................................................................................11+
IMPORTANT E/UCATORS OR PE/AGOGISTS O& THE PERIO/ ...................................................12-
L4c#'"#s $% S,!'t! 782-970- .C: .........................................................................................12-
L4c#'"#s T'!1es t$ Le!'n A3$#t L!( ...............................................................................121
Rec!e* t$ S,!'t!B L4c#'"#s Instit#tes His L!(s 7Rhet'!: .................................................121
L4c#'"#s Ch!n"es S,!'t!Cs S$ci! O'"!niA!ti$n ................................................................121
E/UCATIONAL APPROACHES ...................................................................................................122
6

The S$,hists ...............................................................................................................................120
S$,his2 ..................................................................................................................................128
O'i"ins ................................................................................................................................128
Et42$$"4 ...........................................................................................................................126
S$,hists $% the 5th cent#'4 .C .............................................................................................127
P'$t!"$'!s 78+- .C 9 c. 82- .C: ...........................................................................................127
Phi$s$,h4 ..........................................................................................................................128
S$,hists !n* *e2$c'!c4 ......................................................................................................101
S$,hists !n* e*#c!ti$n .......................................................................................................102
P!t$Cs C'iticis2 $% the S$,hists ...........................................................................................102
6'itin"s ..............................................................................................................................100
The$'etic! iss#es ................................................................................................................108
H#2!nistic iss#es ................................................................................................................106
.i3i$"'!,h4 ............................................................................................................................108






7



Ancient
Athens







8

TIME LOCATION
c. 7000 BCE - 5000 BCE: Earliest known human habitation on the
Acropolis and around the Agora of Athens.
c. 1550 BCE - c. 1100 BCE: Mycenaean Period. Agora established at
Athens.
c. 1100 BCE - c. 600 BCE: Iron Age Development, public buildings erected
at the Agora in Athens.
683 BCE - 682 BCE: List of annual archons at Athens begins.
c. 624 BCE: Drakon codifies Athenian law.
600 BCE - 550 BCE: The Dionysia becomes a major Athenian festival in
honour of Dionysos.
600 BCE - 480 BCE: Attic black-figure pottery dominates the
greek ceramic market.
594 BCE - 593 BCE: In Athens the archon Solon lays the foundations for
democracy.
c. 560 BCE: Pisistratos becomes tyrant in Athens for the first time.
c. 546 BCE: Pisistratus lands his Argive mercenary force at Marathon and
with victory at Pallene establishes himself once again as tyrant of Athens.
c. 540 BCE: Athens removes and prohibits further burials on Delos to
purify the sacred island.
c. 525 BCE - c. 456 BCE: Life of Greek tragedy poet Aeschylus.
514 BCE: Fall of the Peisistratid tyranny in Athens.
+

514 BCE: The tyrant of Athens Hipparchos is killed by Harmodios and
Aristogeiton - the 'tyrannicides'.
c. 508 BCE: Reforms by Cleisthenes establishes democracy in Athens.
507 BCE: Cleisthenes establishes new form of government, Democracy,
in Athens.
c. 496 BCE - c. 406 BCE: Life of Greek tragedy poet Sophocles.
c. 495 BCE: Birth of Pericles.
493 BCE: The first fortifications are constructed at Athens' port of Piraeus.
490 BCE: Athens builds a treasury at Delphi following their victory
at Marathon against Persia.
490 BCE - 480 BCE: A 1.4m tall Iris or Nike sculpture is erected on
the acropolis of Athens in memory of the general Kallimachos, killed in
the battle of Marathon.
11 Sep 490 BCE: A combined force of Greek hoplites defeat the Persians
at Marathon.
487 BCE - 486 BCE: Archons begin to be appointed by lot in Athens.
c. 484 BCE - 407 BCE: Life of Greek tragedy poet Euripides.
482 BCE: Themistocles persuades the Athenians to build a fleet, which
saves them at Salamis and becomes their source of power.
480 BCE: Sack of Athens by the Persians under Xerxes. The Agora is
destroyed.
480 BCE: The fortifications of Piraeus instigated by Themistocles are
completed.
1-

Aug 480 BCE: The indecisive battle of Artemision between the Greek and
Persian fleets of Xerxes I. The Greeks withdraw to Salamis.
479 BCE: Xerxes' Persian forces are defeated by Greek forces
at Plataea effectively ending Persia's imperial ambitions in Greece.
478 BCE - 454 BCE: The treasury of the Delian League is kept
on Delos until its removal to Athens.
478 BCE - 404 BCE: The Delian League in Greece, led by Athens.
470 BCE: Statue group of Harmodius and Aristogiton in Athens.
c. 469 BCE - 399 BCE: Life of Socrates.
c. 465 BCE: Construction of the Long Walls fortifications joining Athens to
the port of Piraeus is begun.
462 BCE - 461 BCE: Radicalization of democracy in Athens; Cimon
exiled, Pericles comes to exercise influence.
c. 462 BCE - 458 BCE: Pericles introduces democratic institutions
in Athens.
461 BCE - 429 BCE: Pericles is ruler of Athens.
460 BCE - 445 BCE: First Peloponnesian War.
460 BCE - 429 BCE: The Age of Pericles. Athenian Agora is rebuilt,
construction of Parthenon.
c. 460 BCE - 403 BCE: Life of Critias, one of the Thirty Tyrants ofAthens.
c. 460 BCE - c. 380 BCE: Life of Greek comic poet Aristophanes.
457 BCE: Hegemony of Athens over central Greece.
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457 BCE: Sparta wins the battle of Tanagra during the 1st
Peloponnesian War with Athens.
454 BCE: The Athenians move the treasury of the Delian
League from Delos to Athens.
453 BCE: Pericles erects trophy at Nemea after Athenian victory over the
Sikyonians.
c. 451 BCE - c. 403 CE: Life of Athenian statesman and general
Alcibiades.
449 BCE: The Hephaisteion, temple to Athena &Hephaistos, built
in Athens.
447 BCE - 432 BCE: The construction of the Parthenon in Athens by the
architects Iktinos and Kallikrates under the direction of Pheidias.
28 Jul 447 BCE: Construction of the Acropolis of Athens begins
under Pericles' leadership.
446 BCE: The Middle Wall fortifications are added to the Long Walls which
connect Athens and the port of Piraeus.
c. 443 BCE: Thurii in Magna Graecia founded by Athenian settlers.
438 BCE: The cult statue of Athena Parthenos is dedicated in
the Parthenon of Athens.
c. 437 BCE - 431 BCE: The Propylaea is constructed on the
acropolis of Athens under the supervision of Mnesicles.
433 BCE: Alliance between Athens and Corcyra.
433 BCE: A naval battle between the victorious combined forces
of Corcyra and Athens against Corinth.
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432 BCE: Sparta declares that Athens has broken the Thirty Year Peace
and prepares for war.
431 BCE: Athens invades Megara.
431 BCE - 404 BCE: The Peloponnesian Wars which leave
Athens defeated and the Agora damaged.
431 BCE - 404 BCE: The 2nd Peloponnesian War between
Athens and Sparta (the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League)
which involved all of Greece.
430 BCE: The plague decimates Athens.
430 BCE - c. 354 BCE: Life of Xenophon of Athens.
429 BCE: Athens successfully campaigns in the Corinthian Gulf regions
during the Peloponnesian War.
429 BCE: Following attacks by Sparta, fortifications at the port
of Piraeus are extended to reduce the width of the harbour entrances.
427 BCE - 347 BCE: Life of Plato.
425 BCE: Pylos campaign, under Cleon and Demosthenes'
command Athens defeats Sparta at Pylos.
c. 425 BCE - c. 420 BCE: The Temple dedicated to Athena Nike is
constructed on the acropolis of Athens.
424 BCE: A force of Athenian peltasts defeat Spartan hoplites on
Sphaktria in the Peloponnese.
424 BCE: The Athenian expeditions against Megara and Boeotia are a
failure with a particularly heavy defeat near Delion.
422 BCE: Spartan general Brasidas employs Myrkinian and
Chalkidian peltasts to defeat a force of Athenian hoplites at Amphipolis.
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421 BCE - 406 BCE: The Erechtheion of Athens acropolis is constructed
with six Caryatids in the south porch.
c. 415 BCE: The Histories of Herodotus is published. The work is divided
into nine chapters, each dedicated to one of the Muses.
c. 415 BCE: Alcibiades persuades the Athenian assembly to send a
military expedition to Sicily.
415 BCE - 413 BCE: Athenian expedition to attack Syracuse.
414 BCE: The Athenian expedition in Sicily ends in disastrous defeat and
the Athenian generals Nikias and Demosthenes are executed.
414 BCE: Athens constructs fortifications at Sounion.
413 BCE: On the advice of Alcibiades the Spartans take over the Athenian-
held fort of Dekeleia.
411 BCE: The oligarchy of the 400 take over the democracy in Athens and
in a matter of months is replaced by an oligarchy of 5000.
410 BCE: Alcibiades leads the Athenian fleet to victory over Sparta at
Cyzicus.
c. 407 BCE: Alcibiades returns to Athens in triumph and is made strategos
autokrater.
406 BCE: The Athenian fleet is defeated by Lysander of Sparta at Notium.
404 BCE: End of the Peloponnesian war, Athens defeated By Sparta at
Aigospotamoi, Rule of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens.
404 BCE: Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus destroying parts of
the Long Wall fortifications.
403 BCE: Restoration of the democracy in Athens, death of the
tyrant Critias.
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395 BCE - 386 BCE: The Corinthian Wars between Sparta and an alliance
of Athens, Corinth, Argos, Boeotia and Thebes.
390 BCE: Athenian leader Iphikrates employs peltasts to defeat
Spartan hoplites at Lechaion near Corinth.
387 BCE: Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus.
384 BCE - 322 BCE: Life of Aristotle.
380 BCE: Plato founds his Academy outside of Athens.
362 BCE: Indecisive Battle of Matinea where Thebes fought
against Sparta and Athens. Theban general Epaminondas is killed.
c. 354 BCE: Xenophon dies at Athens or Corinth.
338 BCE: The Battle of Charonea gives Athens to the
Macedonian victors. Agora takes on Macedonian characteristics.
338 BCE: Philip of Macedonia defeats the Greek allied forces of Athens,
Thebes and Corinth in the Battle of Chaironeia.
307 BCE: Democracy is restored in Athens.
166 BCE: Rome gives dominion over the Cyclades to Athens.
166 BCE: Rome puts Delos under the jurisdiction of Athens and makes the
island a free port.
159 BCE - 138 BCE: King Attalos II of Pergamon builds the great Stoa in
the Agora of Athens.
86 BCE: The Roman general Sulla sacks Athens and the port of Piraeus.
86 BCE: Siege of Athens by the Roman general Sulla. Agora is destroyed.
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117 CE - 138 CE: Rule of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who supports great
building projects in and around the Agora of Athens.
267 CE: The Goths sack Athens, Corinth, Sparta, and Argos.
267 CE: Agora of Athens burned by invading Herulians.


GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
Athens sprawls across the
central plain of Attica that is
often referred to as the
Athens or Attica Basin. The
basin is bounded by four
large mountains: Mount
Aegaleo to the west, Mount
Parnitha to the north,
Mount Penteli to the
northeast and Mount
Hymettus to the east.
Beyond Mount Aegaleo lies
the Thriasian plain, which
forms an extension of the central plain to the west. The Saronic Gulf lies to the
southwest. Mount Parnitha is the tallest of the four mountains (1,413 m (4,636 ft)).
Cephissus river, Ilisos and Eridanos stream are the historical rivers of Athens.
Athens was a subtropical Mediterranean climate. The dominant feature of Athens's
climate was alternation between prolonged hot and dry summers and mild winters
with moderate rainfall.
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Snowstorms were infrequent but could cause disruption when they occurred.
Snowfalls were more frequent in the northern suburbs of the city.


NATURAL RESOURCES
Much of the soils in Athens are made up of silty, sandy soil. Limestone is a
characteristic type of soil found in Greece. The soil is not very fertile. Wheat was
Athenss main crop.
Farmers were limited in the amount of crops they could grow other than a bit of
barley and wheat, a few grape vines, fig trees and olive trees.
The main natural resource from Athens was the olive tree, the olive trees were
meant to hold the fertile soil, however, this did not happen because the olive tree
roots spread into the deeper soil for moisture leaving the surface bare to be
washed away. The situation was so bad that the statesmen in Athens decided to
import grains from Egypt to feed its population.
Athens had many mineral deposits. These are marble, clay, nickel, coal, bauxite,
ore, and chromate. These minerals have been used throughout history as is well
witnessed in the structure of the acropolis and other ancient monuments.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
The Athenian economy was based only on trade. The land around Athens was not
good for farming, but it was near the sea, and it had a good harbor. Athenians
traded with other city-states and some foreign lands to get the goods and
recourses that they needed.
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Athenians bought and sold goods at a huge marketplace called the agora. There,
merchants sold their goods from small stands. Athenians could also buy and sell
slaves at the agora.
Life of an Athenian was made up of trading goods, buying- selling food and other
products etc. People who lived outside the city lived of fishing and hunting. They
also worked on the fields. For an ordinary Athenian, the day was made up of
waking up, possible some breakfast, hunting/ fishing or farming, eating at noon and
continuing their work until late in the afternoon.

HEALTH
In Athens, Ancient Greek people commonly lived 35-40 years. Considering that
they were constantly in war, most of their soldier died very young in the battles.
The evolution of ancient medical practices, people from Athens linked sickness and
disease with the supernatural, tying them to the wrath of the gods. To appease the
gods, they employed prayers, purifications, animal sacrifices, etc. Even the idea of
health (Hygieia) was personified as a wonderful goddess depicted mostly in the
figure of a snake.
By the late 6th century BC, however, philosophy came to exercise a powerful
influence upon the development of medicine. Hippocrates who was born in the
Island of Kos and all the classical Greeks born afterwards were the first to evolve
rational systems of medicine free from magical and religious elements, and
Athenians realized that maintaining good health and fighting disease depend on
natural causes not on the gods.



18

The Plague of Athens
The Plague of Athens was a
devastating epidemic which hit the city-
state of Athens in ancient Greece
during the second year of the
Peloponnesian War (430 BC), when an
Athenian victory still seemed within
reach. It is believed to have entered
Athens through Piraeus, the city's port
and sole source of food and supplies.
Much of the eastern Mediterranean also saw outbreak of the disease. The plague
returned twice more, in 429 BC and in the winter of 427/426 BC.
Accounts of the Athenian plague graphically describe the social consequences of
an epidemic. Thucydides' account clearly details the complete disappearance of
social morals during the time of the plague.
The impact of disease on social and religious behavior was also documented
during the worldwide pandemic best known as the Black Death.

Fear of the law
Thucydides states that people ceased fearing the law since they felt they were
already living under a death sentence. Likewise, people started spending money
indiscriminately. Many felt they would not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of
wise investment, while some of the poor unexpectedly became wealthy by
inheriting the property of their relatives. It is also recorded that people refused to
behave honorably because most did not expect to live long enough to enjoy a good
reputation for it.

1+

Care for the sick and dead
Another reason for the lack of honorable behavior was the sheer contagiousness of
the illness. Those who tended to the ill were most vulnerable to catching the
disease. This meant that many people died alone because no one was willing to
risk caring for them. The dead were heaped on top of each other, left to rot, or
shoved into mass graves. Sometimes those carrying the dead would come across
an already burning funeral pyre, dump a new body on it, and walk away. Others
appropriated prepared pyres so as to have enough fuel to cremate their own dead.
Those lucky enough to survive the plague developed an immunity and so became
the main caretakers of those who later fell ill.

Religious strife
The plague also caused religious strife. Since the disease struck without regard to
a person's piety toward the gods, people felt abandoned by the gods and there
seemed to be no benefit to worshiping them.
The temples themselves were sites of great misery, as refugees from the Athenian
countryside had been forced to find accommodation in the temples. Soon the
sacred buildings were filled with the dead and dying. The Athenians pointed to the
plague as evidence that the gods favored Sparta, and this was supported by an
oracle that Apollo himself (the god of disease and medicine) would fight for Sparta
if they fought with all their might. An earlier oracle had warned that "War with the
Dorians (Spartans) comes and at the same time death".
Thucydides is skeptical of these conclusions and believes that people were simply
being superstitious. He relies upon the prevailing medical theory of the day,
Hippocratic theory, and strives to gather evidence through direct observation. He
notes that birds and animals that ate plague-infested carcasses died as a result,
which leads him to conclude that the disease had a natural rather than
supernatural cause.
2-

Cause of the plague
Historians have long tried to identify the disease behind the Plague of Athens. The
disease has traditionally been considered an outbreak of the bubonic plague in its
many forms, but reconsiderations of the reported symptoms and epidemiology
have led scholars to advance alternative explanations. These include typhus,
smallpox, measles, and toxic shock syndrome. Others have suggested anthrax,
tramped up from the soil by the thousands of stressed refugees or concentrated
livestock held within the walls.
Based upon striking descriptive similarities with recent outbreaks in Africa, as well
as the fact that the Athenian plague itself apparently came from Africa (as
Thucydides recorded), Ebola or a related Viral Hemorrhagic Fever has been
considered.
Given the possibility that symptoms of a known disease may have mutated over
time or that the plague was caused by a disease which no longer exists, the exact
nature of the Athenian plague may never be known. In addition, crowding caused
by the influx of refugees into the city led to inadequate food and water supplies and
an increase in insects, lice, rats, and waste. These conditions would have
encouraged more than one epidemic disease
during the outbreak.
Asclepius
Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of medicine
and he was also credited with powers of
prophecy.
Birth
He was the son of Apollo and a human woman,
Coronis.

21

His mother was killed for being unfaithful to Apollo and was laid out on a funeral
pyre to be consumed, but the unborn child was rescued from her womb. Or,
alternatively, his mother died in labor and was laid out on the pyre to be consumed,
but his father rescued the child, cutting him from her womb. From this he received
the name Asclepios, "to cut open.
The Athenian decision to locate their temple for Asclepius adjacent to the Theater
of Dionysus arose from deeper associations between drama, healing and the polis
that were engaged actively by the crisis of the plague.
The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.


FOOD
The ancient Athenians were especially frugal in their diet, compared to the rest of
the Greeks. It was this frugal diet that Aristophanes considered to be a great
advantage, claiming that the progress and spiritual cultivation of the Athenians was
largely due to the deprivation they endured.
Their diet was based on bread, a food that would sometimes be accompanied by
vegetables, olives, figs, raisins, honey, grapes or apples. By eating in such a light
way, they kept their bodies strong and minds sharp. The acumen of the inhabitants
of Attica was proverbially known as Attic Salt.
As a result of the simple diet, the Attic land was characterized by ancient historians
to be "leptogeous," that is, lean land. The lack of sufficient water meant that
cultivation was difficult and production small. In direct contrast to this, the plains of
Thessaly, Boeotia and some in the Peloponnese were particularly fertile due to
more favorable conditions, according to Thucydides.
22

The most important agricultural products of ancient Greece were barley, wheat,
wine, oil and olives.
Despite its barrenness, Attica was renowned for its honey and figs, a fruit
particularly dear to the ancient Greeks. Similarly, oil played a major role in the lives
of the Athenians. Apart from its use in food and cooking, it was essential for
lighting, as well as in the production of medicine and cosmetics.
Meat was eaten mainly on religious festivals, when a live lamb or kid goat would be
brought home and sacrificed in the yard. The entrails and the fat were burned on
the altar as an offering to the gods, and the rest of the meat would be roasted.
Cows were reserved for the major civic festivals and, after the sacrifice; the meat
would be distributed amongst the poor.
Only the wealthy partook in the wide range of dishes that the historian Athenaeus
relates in his description of symposia. These dishes often included hare cooked
with mint and thyme, roast thrush and quail, lamb or suckling pig on a spit, pies
with cheese or honey, sweets made with finely-sifted flour, and honeyed wine and
sesame. The affluent would enjoy rich Achaean cheeses, Attic figs and honey,
wine from Chios and Lesbos, grapes, eels from Lake Copais, seafood from
Euboea, bread from Pylos, fava, and honey puffs, among many other delicacies.


LINGUISTIC HERITAGE
The other major Greek language group during the Classical period consisted of the
related Ionic and Attic dialects. The Ionic dialect was used in eastern Greece, as
well across the Aegean Sea on the coast of what is now Turkey. The older form of
Ionic Greek came into use around 1000 BC, and was most famously used by
Homer.
20

Somewhere around 600 BC the language changed into "new" Ionic, and was
famously used by the "father of history," Herodotus, around 400 BC. These
influential figures who used Ionic Greek made the dialect more prestigious and
culturally influential than Doric.
Along with the New Ionic dialect, the Attic dialect came into use. It was only used in
a small area of eastern Greece surrounding the city of Athens. Despite its small
region of use, it was very significant because it was used by many famous thinkers
and writers, including the historian Thucydides and philosophers like Socrates. The
Attic dialect is remembered as the primary form of classical Greek (and is most
similar to modern Greek) because of its culturally influential speakers, and
especially because of its influence on the later Koine dialect which would become
dominant.
Of the ancient dialects, it is the most similar to later Greek, and is the standard
form of the language studied in courses of "Ancient Greek". It is sometimes
included in Ionic.


GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION
Government
Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state (known as a polis) of
Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of
Attica, around the fifth century BC. Athens is one of the first known democracies.
Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an
Athenian model, but none were as well-documented as that of Athens apart from
Sparta, which is known for having the strongest military of all the Ancient Greek
cities.
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It remains a unique and intriguing experiment in direct democracy, a political
system in which the people do not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but
vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right. Participation was by no
means open; to vote one had to be an adult citizen, and only about 45,000 of
Athens' population of around 300,000 were citizens.[citation needed] The public
opinion of voters was remarkably influenced by the political satire performed by the
comic poets at the theatres.
Solon (594 BC), Cleisthenes (508/7 BC), and Ephialtes (462 BC) contributed to the
development of Athenian democracy creating new institutions.
The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader was Pericles; after his death,
Athenian democracy was twice briefly interrupted by oligarchic revolution towards
the end of the Peloponnesian War. It was modified somewhat after it was restored
under Eucleides; the most detailed accounts are of this fourth-century modification
rather than the Periclean system. It was suppressed by the Macedonians in 322
BC. The Athenian institutions were later revived, but the extent to which they were
a real democracy is debatable.
There were three political bodies where citizens gathered in numbers running into
the hundreds or thousands. These are the assembly (in some cases with a quorum
of 6000), the council of 500 (boule) and the courts (a minimum of 200 people, but
running at least on some occasions up to 6000). Of these three bodies it is the
assembly and the courts that were the true sites of power although courts,
unlike the assembly, were never simply called the demos (the People) as they
were manned by a subset of the citizen body, those over thirty. But crucially
citizens voting in both were not subject to review and prosecution as were council
members and all other officeholders.
In the 5th century BC we often hear of the assembly sitting as a court of judgment
itself for trials of political importance and it is not a coincidence that 6000 is the
number both for the full quorum for the assembly and for the annual pool from
which jurors were picked for particular trials.
25

By the mid-4th century however the assembly's judicial functions were largely
curtailed, though it always kept a role in the initiation of various kinds of political
trial.

Assembly/Ekklesia
The central events of the Athenian democracy were the meetings of the assembly.
Unlike a parliament, the assembly's members were not elected, but attended by
right when they chose. Greek democracy created at Athens was direct, rather than
representative: any adult male citizen of age could take part, and it was a duty to
do so. The officials of the democracy were in part elected by the Assembly and in
large part chosen by lottery.
The assembly had four main functions: it made executive pronouncements
(decrees, such as deciding to go to war or granting citizenship to a foreigner); it
elected some officials; it legislated; and it tried political crimes. As the system
evolved, the last function was shifted to the law courts. The standard format was
that of speakers making speeches for and against a position followed by a general
vote (usually by show of hands) of yes or no.
Though there might be blocs of opinion, sometimes enduring, on important
matters, there were no political parties and likewise no government or opposition
(as in the Westminster system). Voting was by simple majority. In the 5th century
at least there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. If
the assembly broke the law, the only thing that might happen is that it would punish
those who had made the proposal that it had agreed to. If a mistake had been
made, from the assembly's viewpoint it could only be because it had been misled.
As usual in ancient democracies, one had to physically attend a gathering in order
to vote. Military service or simple distance prevented the exercise of citizenship.
Voting was usually by show of hands with officials judging the outcome by sight.
With thousands of people attending, counting was impossible.
26

For a small category of votes a quorum of 6000 was required, principally grants of
citizenship, and here small coloured stones were used, white for yes and black for
no. At the end of the session, each voter tossed one of these into a large clay jar
which was afterwards cracked open for the counting of the ballots. Ostracism
required the voters to scratch names onto pieces of broken pottery though this did
not occur within the assembly as such.
In the 5th century BC, there were 10 fixed assembly meetings per year, one in
each of the ten state months, with other meetings called as needed. In the
following century the meetings were set to forty a year, with four in each state
month. One of these was now called the main meeting, kyria ekklesia. Additional
meetings might still be called, especially as up until 355 BC there were still political
trials that were conducted in the assembly rather than in court. The assembly
meetings did not occur at fixed intervals, as they had to avoid clashing with the
annual festivals that followed the lunar calendar. There was also a tendency for the
four meetings to be aggregated toward the end of each state month.
Attendance at the assembly was not always voluntary. In the 5th century, public
slaves forming a cordon with a red-stained rope herded citizens from the agora into
the assembly meeting place, with a fine being imposed on those who got the red
on their clothes. After the restoration of the democracy in 403 BC, pay for
assembly attendance was introduced.
This promoted a new enthusiasm for assembly meetings. Only the first 6000 to
arrive were admitted and paid, with the red rope now used to keep latecomers at
bay.

The Council/The Boule
The presidency of the boule (the council) rotated monthly amongst the ten
prytanies, or delegations from the ten Cleisthenic tribes, of the Boule (there were
ten months in the Hellenic calendar).
27

The epistates, an official selected by lot for a single day from among the currently
presiding prytany, chaired that day's meeting of the boule and, if there was one,
that day's meeting of the assembly; he also held the keys to the treasury and the
seal to the city, and welcomed foreign ambassadors. It has been calculated that
one quarter of all citizens must at one time in their lives have held the post, which
could be held only once in a lifetime.
The boule also served as an executive committee for the assembly, and oversaw
the activities of certain other magistrates. The boule coordinated the activities of
the various boards and magistrates that carried out the administrative functions of
Athens and provided from its own membership randomly selected boards of ten
responsible for areas ranging from naval affairs to religious observances.
Altogether, the boule was responsible for a great portion of the administration of
the state, but was granted relatively little latitude for initiative; the boule's control
over policy was executed in its probouleutic, rather than its executive function; in
the former, it prepared measures for deliberation by the assembly, in the latter, it
merely executed the wishes of the assembly.

Courts
Athens had an elaborate legal system centered on full citizen rights. The age limit,
the same as that for office holders but ten years older than that required for
participation in the assembly, gave the courts a certain standing in relation to the
assembly; for the Athenians of the court were not only older, but were wiser, too.
Jurors were required to be under oath, which was not required for attendance at
the assembly. The authority exercised by the courts had the same basis as that of
the assembly: both were regarded as expressing the direct will of the people.
Unlike office holders (magistrates) who could be impeached and prosecuted for
misconduct, the jurors could not be censured, for they, in effect, were the people
and no authority could be higher than that.
28

A corollary of this was that, at least in words spoken by the jurors, if a court had
made an unjust decision, it must have been because it had been misled by a
litigant.
Essentially there were two grades of suit, a smaller kind known as dike or private
suit, and a larger kind known as graphe or public suit.
For private suits the minimum jury size was 200 (increased to 401 if a sum of over
1000 drachmas was at issue), for public suits 501. The juries were selected by lot
from a panel of 600 jurors, there being 600 jurors from each of the ten tribes of
Athens, making a jury pool of 6000 in total. For particularly important public suits
the jury could be increased by adding in extra allotments of 500. 1000 and 1500
are regularly encountered as jury sizes and on at least one occasion, the first time
a new kind of case was brought to court, all 6,000 members of the jury pool were
put onto the one case.
The cases were put by the litigants themselves in the form of an exchange of
single speeches timed by water clock, first prosecutor then defendant. In a public
suit the litigants each had three hours to speak; much less in private suits (though
here it was in proportion to the amount of money at stake). Decisions were made
by voting without any time set aside for deliberation.
Jurors did talk informally amongst themselves during the voting procedure and
juries could be rowdy, shouting out their disapproval or disbelief of things said by
the litigants. This may have had some role in building a consensus. The jury could
only cast a 'yes' or 'no' vote as to the guilt and sentence of the defendant. For
private suits only the victims or their families could prosecute, while for public suits
anyone could bring a case since the issues in these major suits were regarded as
affecting the community as a whole.
Justice was rapid: a case could last no longer than one day. Some convictions
triggered an automatic penalty, but where this was not the case the two litigants
each proposed a penalty for the convicted defendant and the jury chose between
them in a further vote. No appeal was possible.
2+

There was however a mechanism for prosecuting the witnesses of a successful
prosecutor, which it appears, could lead to the undoing of the earlier verdict.
Payment for jurors was introduced around 462 BC and is ascribed to Pericles, a
feature described by Aristotle as fundamental to radical democracy. Pay was
raised from 2 to 3 obols by Cleon early in the Peloponnesian war and there it
stayed; the original amount is not known. Notably, this was introduced more than
fifty years before payment for attendance at assembly meetings. Running the
courts was one of the major expenses of the Athenian state and there were
moments of financial crisis in the 4th century when the courts, at least for private
suits, had to be suspended.
The system showed a marked anti-professionalism. No judges presided over the
courts nor did anyone give legal direction to the jurors; magistrates had only an
administrative function and were laymen. Most of the annual magistracies at
Athens could only be held once in a lifetime. There were no lawyers as such;
litigants acted solely in their capacity as citizens. Whatever professionalism there
was tended to disguise itself; it was possible to pay for the services of a
speechwriter but this was not advertised in court (except as something your
opponent had to resort to), and even politically prominent litigants made some
show of disowning special expertise.
These juries formed a second mode for the expression of popular sovereignty; as
in the assembly, citizens acting as jurors acted as the people and were immune
from review or punishment.

Religion
In ancient Greece, religion was part of everyday life. Greek people believed that
the gods and goddesses would make their lives better while they were living, and
that they would be cared for when dead.
0-

The ancient people believed in polytheism, or the belief in more than one god or
goddess, and each god varied in importance and power.
To understand nature and the environment, ancient Greeks created myths that
were spread by travelers. The myths were about gods of the sea, underwater gods,
sky and woodland gods. Others were also about human heroes, half-gods (like
Hercules), and battles, wanderings, and betrayal. Because there was a god or
goddess for every aspect of life, religious temples were made, like the Parthenon,
which has an ivory and gold statue of Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom,
which guides and protects Athens. Even though the gods and goddesses were
very helpful, they would punish someone if that person displeases them.
If that person displeased the King of the Gods, Zeus, they would get shocked or
zapped with Zeus's lightning. Other gods or goddesses would bring bad weather
for farming, bad sailing and fishing, or would need a sacrifice to become happy
once more. Religion was very important in Athenian life style, and their lives were
affected because of their beliefs.



WAR CONFLICTS
The Peloponnesian War (431404 BC)
Was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the
Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war
into three phases. In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched
repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy
to raid the coast of the Peloponnese attempting to suppress signs of unrest in its
empire.
01

This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of
Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the
Peloponnese. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to
attack Syracuse in Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the destruction of the
entire force, in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally
referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta,
now receiving support from Persia, supported rebellions in Athens' subject states in
the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens' empire, and, eventually, depriving
the city of naval supremacy. The destruction of Athens' fleet at Aegospotami
effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year.
The Peloponnesian War reshaped the ancient Greek world. On the level of
international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's
beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta
became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the
war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese,
while Athens found itself completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war
prosperity. The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict
between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported
friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence
in the Greek world.
Greek warfare, meanwhile, originally a limited and formalized form of conflict, was
transformed into an all-out struggle between city-states, complete with atrocities on
a large scale. Shattering religious and cultural taboos, devastating vast swathes of
countryside, and destroying whole cities, the Peloponnesian War marked the
dramatic end to the fifth century BC and the golden age of Greece.



02

INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES
Educational system
Athens was the main educational, intellectual and cultural center of Ancient
Greece. The main purpose of education in Ancient Athens was to make citizens
trained in the arts, and to prepare them for both peace and war. It was aimed at the
cultivation of the students' physical, mental, and moral qualities. From Athens we
get the motto: A sound mind in a sound body. All schools were very small private
schools, and education was very valued.
Boys
Until age six, boys were taught at home by their mother or a male slave. Age six to
14 was primary school. The teacher in school was always a male. Once the youths
were 16, their 'basic education' was complete. The boys who didn't have to work
could now study the sciences and philosophy. From the ages of 18 to 20, able
bodied young men had to take military training for the army or the navy. Athenians
wanted their sons to have a well-rounded education so that they would know a
variety of things and appreciate lots of things.
Girls
Girls were taught at home by their mothers or a private tutor. The objective was to
prepare girls for being a stay-at-home mum, to look after and educate their children
just as they had been educated.

What subjects did students take in Ancient Athens and why?
Boys' education in Ancient Athens consisted of three main courses: Grammata,
Music, and Physical Education. Grammata included reading, writing, and
arithmetic. The literal translation of 'grammata' is 'letters.'
00

After the students had learnt their letters, they went onto learning the words of
famous poets such as Homer. The second course, music, consisted of singing,
playing the lyre and the flute, reciting, and musical performance of poetry.
Through this students learnt history, geography, and ethics. The third course,
physical education, was when the children practiced wrestling, jumping, running
and throwing of discus and javelin. They also played team games such as early
forms of field hockey and soccer. This was to make their body 'strong and
courageous.' The aim was not to produce athletes, or soldiers like in Sparta, but
young men who were graceful, fit, and attractive, and it was hoped they would
develop habits of fitness that they took with them their whole lives.
Their teacher, who was always a man, could choose what additional subjects he
wanted to teach. He might choose to teach drama, public speaking, government,
art, reading, writing, math, and another favorite ancient Greek instrument - the
flute.
Girls were mostly taught by their mothers in the comfort of their own homes. They
learnt things like motherhood and housekeeping. Girls were also allowed to take
part in sports such as wrestling. This was because parents were afraid girls would
be spoiled if they learnt how to read. In later life, their husband would be the one
doing all the work, so he would need the subjects he did at school, and a girl would
stay at home and raise the children, doing housework. This was how the separate
schooling systems for boys and girls worked and fitted in with what they needed to
know for later life. However, some families employed a private tutor, so some
Athenian women were very well educated.




08

Technological advances
Architecture
Subjected to the religious cults practiced by the ancient Athenians, architecture
was considered the most prominent technology developed in Athens.
Architecture was non-existent in Greece from about 1200 B.C. to the 7th century
B.C. After this time, the Greeks started building public structures.
Common materials used for building were wood, mud bricks or clay, limestone,
marble, terracotta, and metals such as bronze. Architects of the period constructed
five types of buildings: civic, domestic, religious, funerary or recreational. From the
sixth century B.C. onward, Greek temples and other significant buildings were built
mostly of stone. A few examples have survived.
Public Works
The Athenians brought water to the city through an underground aqueduct that
originated at Mount Pentelikos. They distributed the water throughout the city using
terracotta pipes. Such public works projects helped boost the economy of Athens
and led the city into a more sanitary way of life.
The public works system of planning was invented by Hippodamus of Miletus, and
his invention was greatly admired during this period. This water-supply system
helped in deciding where cities were to be built.

Water Clock
The water clock was invented in Athens. Because the city was a democratic
society and a litigious one, daily trials had to be limited and timed. The water clock
included upper and lower vessels, and water was emptied from one into the other.
This took several minutes.
05

During a trail in which a large sum of money was involved, more time was needed
to conduct the proceeding. So the Greeks used the simple system of emptying 10
vessels, since this took longer.

Art
Like an ant colony, ancient Athenian art was very decorative and fancy. To classify
the periods of art, the times are usually divided into three periods: the Archaic, the
Classical, and the Hellenistic periods. The Archaic period is usually divided from
around 1000 BC. The Persian Wars (480 - 448 BC) is the dividing line between the
Archaic and Classical periods. Alexander the Great's rule (336 - 323 BC) is the
separating line for the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Even though, this method
of classifying periods is flawed because different forms of art developed at different
times.
Greek pottery was divided into five periods instead of three, like Greek art. There is
the Protogeometric (1050 BC), Geometric (900 BC), Late Geometric, also known
as the Archaic (750 BC), and the Black Figure (early 7th century BC) and the Red
Figure (530 BC) periods. The pottery Greeks made weren't made for decoration,
but for everyday use. The only exceptions for displayed pottery were the trophies
used for the victory of a game. The most types of pottery that have survived over
the years consist of drinking vessels, like the amphorae, kraters, (bowls for mixing
water and wine), hydria, (water jars), libation bowls, jugs and cups, and painted
funeral urns. By the later Archaic and early Classical periods, Corinth and Athens
dominated pottery, which was exported all over the Greek world. By the 5th century
BC, pottery ceased to be an important art form and became an industry.
The sculptures of ancient Athens were the most important form of art that survived.
Because the people of Athens believed that gods took human form, Athenians
thought that human form art was the most important subject.
06

During the Archaic period, the most important sculpture was Kouros, a standing
male nude and the Kore, a standing female nude. Although Kore was an important
sculpture, female nudity wasn't allowed until the 4th century BC. Just like Greek
pottery, sculptures weren't only for decoration. Statues were commissioned for
public memorials, offerings to the gods/goddesses and temples, or as markers of
graves. Greek sculptures were never intended to resemble any one particular
person. The revolution of statues started during the Classical period. These statues
were usually associated with the introduction of democracy and the end of the
Aristocratic culture associated with the Kouros/Kouri. From 500 BC, the Greek
statues started to resemble real people and gods.


IMPORTANT EDUCADORS OR PEDAGOGISTS OF THE PERIOD
Socrates (c. 469-399 BCE)
Socrates Born in Athens around 469 BCE,
Socrates lived during the period of the city's
greatest cultural expansion. Son of a midwife and
sculptor, he was acquainted with the intellectual
elite at the court of Pericles, ruler of Athens,
despite his plebian origins. As a young man,
Socrates studied philosophy, establishing a
familiarity with the work of earlier Greek
philosophers. Heraclitus and Parmenides are
thought to have been particularly influential in his
education. During the Peloponnesian War, he
fought in several battles and received commendation for his actions.
07

By 423 BCE, Socrates was well-known in Athens, not so much for military
distinction as for his non-traditional teaching methods.
He did not keep a formal school, nor did he charge for his services. He was a
popular guest at social gatherings, and could often be seen arguing against
illogical reasoning and prejudice wherever people congregated. Socrates did not
sympathize with the ascetics -- he believed in enjoying life. He found fault with the
Sophists, contemporary teachers who were willing to argue either side of any
controversy and with whom he was often wrongly associated.
Socrates believed that truth, beauty, and justice have objective content, and that
we are born with an innate understanding of their existence. He taught his students
to use their rational understanding to rediscover knowledge they already had. He
also believed that a moral life brought men happiness, and that this morality was
something that could be transmitted through education. He himself was fond of
claiming that he knew nothing, which was his way of stating that he had no fixed
doctrine. Socrates alleged ignorance was called by the Greeks eironeia, Socratic
irony.
His willingness to criticize arguments that he found unsound, regardless of subject,
challenged and threatened some prominent Athenians. Socrates made powerful
political enemies when he spoke against Athens' new democratic governmental
system, which he considered ineffectual and corrupt. During this time, the
Peloponnesian War dragged on, and the city of Athens suffered plague, treason,
and finally total defeat. Socrates and his outspoken opinions became increasingly
aggravating to the ruling elite. It was thought that his influence over the youth of
Athens was dangerous, particularly his association with Critias, a former student
and a powerful figure in the Rule of Thirty, a tyrannic government that came to
power in Athens after the period of political flux in the aftermath of the
Peloponnesian War.
While some of the members of this oligarchy had indeed been followers of
Socrates, Socrates remained an outspoken critic of the new government.
08

When the Democrats regained power, however, Socrates' association with the
oligarchy, particularly with Critias and Alcibiades, gave his enemies reason to bring
him to trial. He was charged with corrupting the youth of Athens and with impiety.
Despite his eloquent defense, Socrates was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Plato records Socrates's last month of life in jail in the Apology, the Phaedo, and
the Crito. Socrates remained staunchly true to his beliefs, refused to recant any of
his statements, and also refused to accept exile over death. He took a cup of
hemlock surrounded by his friends, and, comforting them, drank the poison that
would end his life.
Socrates is considered to be among the most influential Western philosophers.
Although he never wrote a word himself, the many works of his student, Plato,
provides a window into Socratic philosophy. His major contribution to the study of
philosophy was to redirect inquiries away from the natural sciences and toward the
contemplation of systems of ethics and questions of ethical conduct.

Plato (c. 427-347 BCE)
Plato was Socrates' student and one of the most
influential philosophers in Western civilization. Born
to a politically active and wealthy noble Athenian
family, (Plato's mother was descended from Solon,
the famous lawgiver credited with major democratic
reforms that paved the way for Athenss Golden
Age) Plato grew up during the Peloponnesian War
(431-404 BCE), a conflict that arose among Athens,
Sparta, and their allies. This civil war was the
beginning of the end of the Athenian Golden Age,
and created an opening for later conquest by Philip
of Macedon. The principles of democracy in Athens were lost, as was much of the
cultural wealth of both city states.
0+

During this general shift away from democracy, Plato was a young man, and
probably served in the military around 409-404 BCE. The Rule of the Thirty, a
period of tyrannical government, replaced the last vestiges of democracy before
Plato reached adulthood. Though Sparta emerged victorious in battle, the balance
of power between the two city states remained uncertain, with neither state gaining
a clear economic or political advantage.
His relatives Critias and Charmides introduced Plato to Socrates and his radical
and vibrant philosophical group. Socrates became Plato's teacher from 469-399
BCE. Plato was deeply influenced by Socrates' emphasis on ethics and politics,
and would later commemorate Socrates as the wise and central speaker in his
philosophical writings. When Athens lost the Peloponnesian War, Critias and
Charmides, the same relatives who had established Plato in Athens, became part
of the despotic Rule of Thirty, also known as the Thirty Tyrants. When the
government of the Rule of Thirty crumbled in 403 BCE, Critias and Charmides
were executed. Socrates was then put to death in 399 BCE, not by the Rule of
Thirty, but by the newly reinstated and corrupt Athenian democratic system.
Plato gave up all political aspirations after this tragedy, and pursued instead a
career of travel and philosophy.
He travelled to the Greek city of Syracuse in Sicily around 387 BCE, ruled by the
despotic Dionysius, where he tutored and befriended Dion, a relative of the king.
During his journeying in Italy Plato encountered followers of Pythagoras, an early
philosopher whose views on the soul and the afterlife seem to have greatly
influenced Plato. Plato would also have been intrigued by tales of a Pythagorean
class of philosopher-elites who had ruled over some of the Greek cities in Italy, an
idea that would resurface in his Republic. Plato's visit to Syracuse, however, ended
abruptly -- one legend suggests that Dionysius was annoyed by Plato's critical
comments and tried to sell him as a slave -- and Plato came back to Athens in 386
BCE to found his school in a place dedicated to Academus, a mythical hero.
8-

He remained at the Academy for the next twenty years until drawn away from his
work there in 367 BCE by a request from Dion, his old friend from Syracuse, to
return to Sicily. Plato probably made the voyage with the expectation that he could
be instrumental in forming a new state in Syracuse, one dedicated to philosophical
ideals. In 361 BCE, however, he returned to Athens, feeling that Sicily's problems
were too great for one man to overcome. His return to Athens was marked by the
arrival of a brilliant student to the Academy named Aristotle, whom Plato taught for
the next twenty years until his death in 347 BCE, according to legend, with his pen
still in his hand.
Plato composed over twenty dialogues, (the dialogue itself was then a
revolutionary prose form) as well as a series of philosophical letters. Although most
of the letters are thought to be forged, the "Seventh Letter" contains information
about Plato's life that most scholars believe to be accurate.
Almost all of Plato's works were lost during the Middle Ages, except for the first
third of the Timaeus. His writings were not recovered until the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries, when Italian humanists gradually rediscovered and translated
his works into Latin. From this point forward, Plato's texts, and his magnum opus
The Republic, in particular, have had an impact on European history second only
to the works of Aristotle. Particularly influential was his theory of Forms, in which
Plato suggested that the reality of corporeal and materials things is based on a
metaphysical reality of ideas that exists in an eternal world of Forms. Plato's idea of
a an absolute Form of the Good was close to the Christian monotheistic God;
Neoplatonism in the Christianizing Roman Empire (100-400 CE) revived Plato as
an early precursor of Christian doctrine.

Aristotle (c. 384-322 BCE)
Aristotle Aristotle, or Aristoteles, was born in Stagirus
in the Greek colony of Chalcidice, which lies to the
north of Greece near Macedon. Aristotle was never
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an Athenian citizen, despite having spent most of his life in Athens. Nicomachus,
Aristotle's father, was court physician to King Amyntas III of Macedon.
Aristotle came to Athens to study and joined Plato's Academy in 367 BCE. Aristotle
became Plato's best student and was generally felt to be Platos successor.
He remained at the Academy until Plato's death in 347 BCE, when, bypassed in
the election of the Academy's next president, Aristotle left Athens with a few
students and friends.
He journeyed to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, where he established
a school at Assos at the behest of the ruling Persian vassal, Hermias. Aristotle
married Pythias, Hermia's adopted daughter. When Hermias fell out of favor with
the Persian authorities and was executed, Aristotle and his followers fled to the
Greek island of Lesbos. Here, Aristotle met Theophrastus, his successor.
It was also at Lesbos that Aristotle made some of his most famous zoological
observations and marine experiments in biology. In 343 BCE, Aristotle returned to
Macedon at the invitation of King Philip. For three years he became the tutor of the
adolescent Alexander the Great.
Aristotle returned to Athens to found his own school, the Lyceum, in 355 BCE, after
Alexander had assumed the throne. The Lyceum had a special status. Alexander
had made a large donation to his former tutor's new enterprise, and additionally the
Lyceum was under Macedonian protection. At the Lyceum, Aristotle had the
freedom to pursue a vast number of scientific and philosophic interests.
He developed a course of study that in many ways resembles the modern Western
university system. In fact, many of Aristotle's surviving works were probably
intended as notes for his advanced courses. He also gave lectures to the general
public. His philosophical school was known as "Peripatetic," either because
Aristotle had a habit of walking around while addressing his audience, or because
the roofed courtyard at the Lyceum was called a peripatos.
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Aristotle's good years in Athens did not last. Alexander died during his great
Eastern campaign in 323 BCE, and the withdrawal of Macedonian power and
protection from Aristotle's Athenian school gave his enemies the opportunity to
charge him with impiety. Aristotle fled to Chalcis, explaining, according to legend,
that he would not give the Athenians a chance to commit another sin against
philosophy (referring to the execution of Socrates on a similar charge in 399 BCE).
He died the following year at the age of sixty-two.
Despite the fact that only around thirty Aristotelean treatises remained extant,
Aristotle's work has directed academic pursuits in the West since the middle ages.
Among his most influential works are Politics, Physics, Metaphysics, Generation of
Animals, History of Animals, Nicomachean Ethics (named after his son,
Nicomachus, who is thought to have edited his father's work), Rhetoric, Poetics,
On the Heavens, Meteorology, and Prior Analytics. Aristotle's work might be
viewed as an attempt to reconcile naturalism, as posited by the pre-Socratics, with
the metaphysical world described by his teacher, Plato. Ultimately, Aristotle would
repudiate Plato's metaphysical understanding of the world. Aristotle preferred (and
indeed developed) the processes of scientific observation and experimentation in
the material world. He is credited with establishing systems and categories of
scholarly research that have survived to the present day. Aristotle's work has been
critical in the development of much of Western philosophic thought through to the
nineteenth century.


EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES
Of all the pedagogical methods from the ancient Greek time, the most well-known
is probably the so-called Socratic teaching by asking questions, illustrated in
Platos masterpiece "The Republic".
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Socrates is one of the best known philosophers of the ancient Greece, and his
dialogue method is popular even today, especially in the educational area that
uses the so-called critical thinking and law education. Socrates disciple Plato
founded the Academy in 387 B.C., considered to be the first higher education
institution. Platos most famous disciple Aristotle suggested to divide knowledge
into special areas, out of which every area was supposed to have its own
methodology and research theme.
In 335 B.C. Aristotle founded Lyceum in Athens, the first scientific-research and
education polytechnic in the world. Other than that, the greatest library of the
ancient period was in Alexandria and contained many scientific and cultural
achievements of the Hellenic era.








88



Ancient
Corinth







85

TIME LOCATION
c. 5000 BCE: Earliest Neolithic finds in the Corinth area.
c. 750 BCE: The Bacchiadae takes power in Corinth.
c. 734 BCE: Corinth founds the colony of Syracuse in Sicily.
c. 734 BCE: Traditional date when Corinth founds a colony on Corcyra.
c. 700 BCE: Corinthians adopt the trireme from the Phoenicians.
660 BCE: Corcyra wins a naval battle against their
founding city of Corinth.
c. 657 BCE - 585 BCE: The Kypselidai are tyrants of Corinth.
627 BCE - 587 BCE: Periander is tyrant at Corinth.
c. 625 BCE: Black-figure pottery created in Corinth.
c. 625 BCE - 600 BCE: The Orientalizing style of Greek pottery becomes
popular in Corinth.
c. 620 BCE - 600 BCE: Proto-corinthian reaches its zenith in artistic quality
producing the best pottery in Greece.
585 BCE: An oligarchy of 80 takes power at Corinth.
580 BCE: First athletic games at Isthmia.
c. 550 BCE: The temple of Apollo is constructed at Corinth.
525 BCE: Sparta and Corinth unsuccessfully attack Polycrates of Samos.
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c. 505 BCE - 365 BCE: Peloponnesian League alliance between
Sparta, Corinth, Elis and Tegea which establishes Spartan hegemony over
the Peloponnese.
433 BCE: A naval battle between the victorious combined forces
of Corcyra and Athens against Corinth.
429 BCE: Athens successfully campaigns in the Corinthian Gulf regions
during the Peloponnesian War.
395 BCE - 386 BCE: The Corinthian Wars between Sparta and an alliance
of Athens, Corinth, Argos, Boeotia and Thebes.
c. 354 BCE: Xenophon dies at Athens or Corinth.
338 BCE: Philip of Macedonia defeats the Greek allied forces of Athens,
Thebes and Corinth in the Battle of Chaironeia.
243 BCE: Corinth joins the Archaean League.
225 BCE: Macedonians bring an army across the Isthmus to face another
Achaian force trying to take Corinth.
146 BCE: Rome sacks Corinth and dissolves the Achaean
league. Greece is ruled by Rome.
44 BCE: Julius Caesar founds the Roman colony of Corinth.
67 CE: Under Nero excavation of the Corinth Canal begins but is
abandoned after three months.
267 CE: The Goths sack Athens, Corinth, Sparta, and Argos.
c. 396 CE: Corinth burned by the Visigoths under Alaric.


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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
Corinth's power and prestige were
grounded in its location. The city lay on an
isthmus, a narrow strip of land connecting
two larger bodies of land. The Corinthian
isthmus joined mainland Greece with the
Peloponnesus, a peninsula forming the
southern part of Greece.
The isthmus was only some three and-a-
half miles wide, and Corinth sat astride the
narrow strip of land. It had one harbor on
the north, Lechaeon on the Gulf of Corinth, and another on the southeast,
Cenchreae on the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. This strategic location made
Corinth the great crossroads of the ancient world. Trade between east and west
and between north and south passed through Corinth, for merchants did not want
to sail the dangerous waters around the southern tip of the Peloponnesus.
Consequently, Corinth became rich; throughout the ancient world, the name of the
city was associated with wealth.
Recent estimates put Corinth's size as about 2.5 square miles. The city rested on a
broad, elevated, natural terrace at the foot of the Acrocorinth. A rocky hill rising
over 1,800 feet, the Acrocorinth was a citadel that gave the Corinthians a lookout in
all directions.
It was founded as Nea Korinthos or New Corinth in 1858 after an earthquake
destroyed the existing settlement of Corinth, which had developed in and around
the site of ancient Corinth.


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NATURAL RESOURCES
Acrocorinthis, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock that was
continuously occupied from archaic times to the early 19th century. The city's
archaic acropolis, already an easily defensible position due to its geomorphology,
was further heavily fortified during the Byzantine Empire as it became the seat of
the strategos of the Thema of Hellas. Later it was a fortress of the Franks after the
Fourth Crusade, the Venetians and the Ottoman Turks. With its secure water
supply, Acrocorinth's fortress was used as the last line of defense in southern
Greece because it commanded the isthmus of Corinth, repelling foes from entry
into the Peloponnesian peninsula. Three circuit walls formed the man-made
defense of the hill. The highest peak on the site was home to a temple to Aphrodite
which was Christianized as a church, and then became a mosque. The American
School began excavations on it in 1929. Currently, Acrocorinth is one of the most
important medieval castle sites of Greece.

The two ports: Lechaeum and Cenchreae
Corinth had two harbors: Lechaeum on the Corinthian Gulf and Cenchreae on the
Saronic Gulf. Lechaeum was the principal port, connected to the city with a set of
long walls of about 2 miles (3.2 km) length, and was the main trading station for
Italy and Sicily, where there were many Corinthian colonies, while Cenchreae
served the commerce with the Eastern Mediterranean. Ships could be transported
between the two harbors by means of the diolkos constructed by the tyrant
Periander.
Corinth history must include the local resource of clay. The Corinthians used it to
develop their pottery, which was known and sought after throughout the ancient
world. They used the clay to make ceramic vases and pots. The clay was very fine,
and they were able to produce very delicate objects.
8+

They were also creative in other ways. They developed the production of bronze
objects, glass and purple dyes for cloth. (Purple dyes were extracted from foul-
smelling snails.)


ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Ancient Corinth lay at the intersection of two worlds, Rome to the west, and Asia to
the east. Its two large harbors facilitated the passage of sailors and merchants as
they traveled the seas and moved their goods from place to place. Because of its
prime location, Corinth became the stopping point for many commercial travelers in
ancient times.
As a result, the city became rich from the trade that occurred there. Despite being
completely destroyed in 146 B.C, Corinth again rebounded to prominence as a
commercial center following its refounding by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. In the third
Century B.C. Corinth also became home to a coin mint. The striking of coins at
Corinth continued for nearly five hundred years, eventually ceasing after the reign
of Septimius Severus in 211 A.D.
The Corinthian economy was more wide-ranging than that of many other Roman
colonies. In addition to agriculture, Corinth was known for manufacturing and trade,
especially of bronze, and the Isthmian games.
Not surprisingly the city derived income from its control of the isthmus. A charge
was imposed for boats or cargo hauled on a platform across the isthmus on the
"Diolkos," a paved road.


5-

HEALTH
The live expectancy of the population living in Corinth was between 30 to 70 years.
Some of them died fighting at war at the age of 25 to 30, others had the fortune to
die in their houses from a disease at the age of 70.
Acanthus
The acanthus plant grows throughout much of the Mediterranean region. Its large
leaves appear in many ancient sculptures, especially on top of columns in the
Greek style called Corinthian. Legends say that after a young girl's death, her
nurse placed her possessions in a basket near her tomb. An acanthus plant grew
around the basket and enclosed it. One day the sculptor Callimachus noticed this
arrangement and was inspired to design the column ornament.



FOOD
Corinths mainly ate fruits, vegetables and fish.
The cereals were often served accompanied by what was generally referred to as
/ pson which refers to vegetables likecabbage, onions, lentils, and beans.
In the cities, fresh vegetables were expensive and rarely eaten: the poorer city
dwellers had to make do with dried. As for onions, these were symbolic of military
life.
Fruit, fresh or dried, was eaten as dessert. The primary fruits were figs,
pomegranates, and nuts. Dried figs were also eaten as an appetizer or when
drinking wine. In the latter case, they were often accompanied by chestnuts, chick
peas, or grilled beechnuts.
51

Since Corinth had to harbors it was common for the population to eat fresh fish and
seafood (squid, octopus, and shellfish) were common. Sardines and anchovies
were also regular fare for the citizens of Corinth. They were sometimes sold fresh,
but more frequently salted.


LINGUISTIC HERITAGE
Doric or Dorian was a dialect of Ancient Greek. Its variants were spoken in the
southern and eastern Peloponnese, Crete, Rhodes, some islands in the southern
Aegean Sea, some cities on the coasts of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Epirus
and Macedon. Together with Northwest Greek, it forms the "Western group" of
classical Greek dialects. By Hellenistic times, under the Achaean League, the
Achaean Doric Koine appeared exhibiting many peculiarities common to all Doric
dialects and which delayed the spread of the Attic-based Koine to the Peloponnese
until the 2nd century BC.
It is widely accepted that Doric originated in the mountains of Epirus and
Macedonia, northwestern Greece, the original seat of the Dorians. It was expanded
to all other regions during the Dorian invasion (c. 1150 BC) and the colonisations
that followed. The presence of a Doric state (Doris) in central Greece, north of the
Gulf of Corinth, led to the theory that Doric had originated in northwest Greece or
maybe beyond in the Balkans.
The dialect's distribution towards the north extends to the Megarian colony of
Byzantium and the Corinthian colonies of Potidaea, Epidamnos, Apollonia and
Ambracia; there it further added words to what would become the Albanian
language, probably via traders from a now-extinct Illyrian intermediary.
52

Local epigraphical evidence is restricted to the decrees of the Epirote League and
the Pella curse tablet (both in early 4th century BC), as well to the Doric eponym
Machatas first attested in Macedonia (early 5th century BC).
Corinthian was spoken first in the isthmus region between the Peloponnesus and
mainland Greece; that is, the Isthmus of Corinth. The cities and states of the
Corinthian dialect region were Corinth, Sicyon, Cleonae, Phlius, the colonies of
Corinth in western Greece: Corcyra, Leucas, Anactorium, Ambracia and others, the
colonies in and around Italy: Syracuse and Ancona, and the colonies of Corcyra:
Dyrrachium, Apollonia. The earliest inscriptions at Corinth date from the early 6th
century BC. They use a Corinthian epichoric alphabet.
Corinth contradicts the prejudice that Dorians were rustic militarists, as some
consider the speakers of Laconian to be. Positioned on an international trade
route, Corinth played a leading part in the recivilizing of Greece after the centuries
of disorder and isolation following the collapse of Mycenaean Greece.


GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION
Government
Unlike its stable citizens, Corinth's government switched from a tyranny to a
monarchy to an oligarchy. Corinth was first brought under control by a well-ruling
tyrant named Cypselus, who helped Corinth gain the reputation as a trade and
cultural center. After Cypselus died, his son Periander took the throne and became
king. As a twosome, Cypeselus and Periander helped stabilize trade, created a
new coinage system, created a successful public works program, and provided
peace and prosperity in order for Corinth to flourish. In fact, Periander was
considered one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, according to Corinthians.
50

With these superior leaders, Corinth became one of the best city-states. Traders
and sailors rushed into Corinth, eager to trade. They were forced to convert their
own currency into Corinthian coinage to trade, and for a fee. Even when Corinth
was suffering of unemployment, Periander made a practical solution: organize a
public works program. While citizens were helping to improve Corinth (e.g. fixing
an aqueduct), they also gained employment!
Unfortunately, Periander earned himself a few critics for taking drastic measures to
improve Corinth. He eventually decided to stay armed at all times, and then went
mad. Then he killed one of his mistresses, and exiled his own son.
After this, Corinth became a stable oligarchy, with a king and several powerful
advisors.

Religion
The people of ancient Corinth believed their king, King Sisyphus of Corinth, was
the cleverest king who ever lived! They were always bragging about him.
Sisyphus was the mythical founder and first king of Corinth. He was a cunning
trickster, known for his abilities to decieve gods and humans alike. He was also
known as a murderer in his own kingdom, as he would often entertain himself by
killing travellers to his city.
Sisyphus also reported that Zeus had abducted the nymph Aegina to Aegina's
father, Asopus.
Sisyphus was condemned to Tartarus, the deepest, darkest reality beneath the
Underworld, by Zeus. There, he managed to fool Thnatos, the dmon responsible
for death. Sisyphus asked Thnatos to try out his chains to show him how they
worked, and when he did, Sisyphus secured him in place.
The consequence of the imprisonment of Thnatos was that mortals could no
longer die.
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This obviously upset the normal order of things, and especially upset Ares, god of
war, who could not enjoy his battles when the men he defeated did not die. Ares
intervened and released Thnatos.
Sisyphus was deemed guilty of hubris in his belief that he could outsmart the gods,
and that he had betrayed Zeus' secret as if it were his place to be involved in the
affairs of a god. As punishment, he was condemned to spend eternity rolling a
boulder up a hill. Each time the boulder would near the summit, it would roll back
down to the bottom. Sisyphus would then be forced to repeat his task.

WAR CONFLICTS
The Corinthian War was an ancient Greek conflict lasting from 395 BC until 387
BC, pitting Sparta against a coalition of four allied states, Thebes, Athens, Corinth,
and Argos, which were initially backed by Persia. The immediate cause of the war
was a local conflict in northwest Greece in which both Thebes and Sparta
intervened. The deeper cause was hostility towards Sparta provoked by that city's
"expansionism in Asia Minor, central and northern Greece and even the west".
The war was fought on two fronts, on land near Corinth (hence the name) and
Thebes and at sea in the Aegean. On land, the Spartans achieved several early
successes in major battles, but were unable to capitalize on their advantage, and
the fighting soon became stalemated. At sea, the Spartan fleet was decisively
defeated by a Persian fleet early in the war, an event that effectively ended
Sparta's attempts to become a naval power. Taking advantage of this fact, Athens
launched several naval campaigns in the later years of the war, recapturing a
number of islands that had been part of the original Athenian Empire during the 5th
century BC.
Alarmed by these Athenian successes, the Persians stopped backing the allies and
began supporting Sparta.
55

This defection forced the allies to seek peace. The Peace of Antalcidas, commonly
known as the King's Peace, was signed in 387 BC, ending the war. This treaty
declared that Persia would control all of Ionia, and that all other Greek cities would
be independent. Sparta was to be the guardian of the peace, with the power to
enforce its clauses. The effects of the war, therefore, were to establish Persia's
ability to interfere successfully in Greek politics and to affirm Sparta's hegemonic
position in the Greek political system.


INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES
Educational system
Corinth was a successful and wealthy trade center and Corinthian boys were
educated to a high level in both arts and sciences. There was not the stress to
develop magnificent military might, as was the case in Sparta, although as well as
receiving a sound basic education and being taught to read and write, the boys of
Corinth followed military training for 2 or more years. Girls received no formal
education, but were taught the domestic skills necessary for the running of the
household so that when they married they would be able to manage their own
homes.
Corinth had a glorious history as a cultural and trade center. In Corinth schools
were not as fine, perhaps, as those of Athens. The boys were educated in the arts
and sciences. As a child, kids were taught at home. From age 7-14 boys attended
school were they studied literature, culture, art and economics. Boys attended a
higher school if their parents could afford it, but all boys went to military schools for
at least two years.

56

Scientific and technological advances
The Corinthian Helmet
The Corinthian helmet originated in ancient
Greece and took its name from the city-state of
Corinth. It was a helmet made of bronze which in
its later styles covered the entire head and neck,
with slits for the eyes and mouth. A large curved
projection protected the nape of the neck. It also
protected the cheek bones, which Greeks adored.
Out of combat, a Greek hoplite would wear the
helmet tipped upward for comfort. This practice
gave rise to a series of variant forms in Italy, where the slits were almost closed,
since the helmet was no longer pulled over the face but worn cap-like. Although the
classical Corinthian helmet fell out of use among the Greeks in favour of more
open types, the Italo-Corinthian types remained in use until the 1st century AD,
being used, among others, by the Roman army.

Physical evidence
Apparently (judging from artistic and
archaeological evidence) the most popular
helmet during the Archaic and early Classical
periods, the style gradually gave way to the more
open Thracian helmet, Chalcidian helmet and the
much simpler pilos type, which was less
expensive to manufacture and did not obstruct
the wearer's critical senses of vision and hearing
as the Corinthian helmet did. Numerous
examples of Corinthian helmets have been
57

excavated, and they are frequently depicted on pottery.
The Corinthian helmet was depicted on more sculpture than any other helmet; it
seems the Greeks romantically associated it with glory and the past. The Romans
also revered it, from copies of Greek originals to sculpture of their own. From the
sparse pictorial evidence we have of the republican Roman army, it seems that in
Italy the Corinthian helmet evolved into a jockey-cap style helmet called the Italo-
Corinthian, Etrusco-Corinthian or Apulo-Corinthian helmet, with the characteristic
nose guard and eye slits becoming mere decorations on its face. Given many
Roman corruptions of ancient Greek ideas, this change was probably inspired by
the "over the forehead" position common in Greek art. This helmet remained in use
well into the 1st century AD.

Literary evidence
Herodotus mentions the Corinthian helmet in his Histories when writing of the
Machlyes and Auseans, two tribes living along the River Triton in ancient Libya (the
portion of ancient Libya he describes is most likely in modern Tunisia). The tribes
chose annually two teams of the fairest maidens who fought each other
ceremonially with sticks and stones. They were dressed in the finest Greek
panoply topped off with a Corinthian helmet. The ritual fight was part of a festival
honoring the virgin goddess Athena. Young women who succumbed to their
wounds during the ordeal were thought to have been punished by the goddess for
lying about their virginity.

Architecture
Like many ancient Mediterranean
cities, Corinth was also home to a
number of significant temples.
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Several of these temples are depicted on Roman period coins produced at
Corinths mint. In the heart of the city, dominating a prominent mound was the
temple of Apollo.
The Temple of Apollo was built about 540 B.C., according to Corinth, Temple of
Apollo (Building), which says this sixth century temple replaces one built in 625.
There were 38 columns, but only seven remain. The remaining columns are about
4 meters high with a column base diameter of 1.9 m. The temple had a double
cella, one opening west, one opening east, each with two rows of columns and a
pronaos.
This temple is one of the oldest surviving temples from ancient Greece.

On the outer reaches of the city was
the hospital like temple of Asclepius
the god of healing. Other temples
constructed throughout Corinths long
history include those to Tyche and the
imperial cult. In fact the writer
Pausanias describes at least twenty
six sacred placed devoted to worship
in Corinth.
However, there was one temple that
left Corinth with an enduring reputation.
It stood atop the 575m rock outcrop
called Acrocorinth that loomed over
the city. That temple was dedicated to
Aphrodite the goddess of love.
Aphrodite was significant among the
deities worshipped at Corinth.
5+

Various depictions of the goddess feature prominently on coins struck at the
Corinth mint during the early Greek period prior to 146 B.C.



IMPORTANT EDUCADORS OR PEDAGOGISTS OF THE PERIOD
Thrasymachus
Thrasymachus was a sophist of Ancient Greece best
known as a character in Plato's "Republic".
The Historical Thrasymachus
Thrasymachus was a citizen of Corint. His career
appears to have been spent as a sophist,
at Athens as far as we know, though there is no
concrete evidence that he was a sophist. He is
credited with an increase in the rhythmic character of
Greek oratory, especially the use of the paeonic rhythm in prose; also a greater
appeal to the emotions through gesture.
Aristotle mentions Thrasymachus in his "De Sophisticis Elenchis", where he credits
him with a pivotal role in the development of rhetorical theory.
Plato mentions Thrasymachus as a successful rhetorician in his "Phaedrus", but
attributes nothing significant to him.
There is a long philosophical tradition of exploring what exactly Thrasymachus
meant in "Republic I", and of taking his statements as a coherent philosophical
assertion, rather than as Plato's straw man.
6-

In the "Republic I", Thrasymachus violently disagreed with the outcome of
Socrates' discussion with Polemarchus about justice. Demanding payment before
speaking, he claims that "justice is the advantage of the stronger" and that
"injustice, if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and more masterly than
justice. Socrates counters by forcing him to admit that there is some standard of
wise rule; Thrasymachus does claim to be able to teach such a thing; and then
arguing that this suggests a standard of justice beyond the advantage of the
stronger. The rest of the dialogue is occasioned by Glaucon's dissatisfaction with
Socrates' refutation.


EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES
For Corinthians the importance of education in daily life was very essential to
develop skills and competencies among their young, this education should be
implemented in day to day life and should improve the quality of life of an
individual, a society and a country. Thus the key to the Corinthians successful
civilization was the imparting of quality education to its citizens, that allowed them
to lead an independent and quality life from other Greek cities at the time. The
ancient Corinth civilization also believed in educating their citizens for the
betterment of their society and the lives of the citizens. Education, art and culture
brought about growth in the economy of the Corinth.
The education in Corinth like in other city-states was always more stressed in boys
than in girls; a coastal city-state like Corinth had a glorious history as a cultural and
trade center. In Corinth schools were not as fine, perhaps, as those of Athens. The
boys were educated in arts and sciences, Kids younger than 7 years old were
taught at home. From seven to eleven years old attended schools were they were
61

formed to know literature, culture, arts and economics. Boys attended a higher
school if their parents could afford it, but all boys attended military schools at least
two years.
Because Corinth was a city of trade because of the two harbors it had men were
good with money and they were good problem solvers, that`s how they figure out
how to deal with unemployment and started to form alliances with Sparta and trade
also people for warfare; afterwards they generated a huge public program for
employment thanks to the money they made from trade, they even had their own
coinage and forced the cities they traded with to use it, and if they did not have the
coinage they exchanged the coins for a fee.









62



Ancient
Sparta









60

TIME LOCATION
c. 900 BCE: Sparta is founded.
706 BCE: Tarentum in Magna Graecia founded by Spartan settlers.
c. 700 BCE: Sparta, Argos and Paros hold the first documented musical
competitions in Greece.
c. 650 BCE: Sparta crushes Messenian revolt.
525 BCE: Sparta and Corinth unsuccessfully attack Polycrates of Samos.
c. 505 BCE - 365 BCE: Peloponnesian League alliance between
Sparta, Corinth, Elis and Tegea which establishes Spartan hegemony over
the Peloponnese.
494 BCE - 493 BCE: Spartan forces under Cleomenes I attack the
city of Argos.
494 BCE - 493 BCE: Telesilla of Argos defends her city against the
Spartan forces with an army of women.
c. 490 BCE: Leonidas becomes one of Sparta's two kings.
480 BCE: Death of King Leonidas of Sparta at the Battle of Thermopylae.
Aug 480 BCE: Battle of Thermopylae. 300 Spartans under
King Leonidas and other Greek allies hold back the Persians led
by Xerxes I for three days but are defeated.
479 BCE: Xerxes' Persian forces are defeated by Greek forces
at Plataea effectively ending Persia's imperial ambitions in Greece.
478 BCE: Sparta withdraws from alliance against Persia.
464 BCE - 463 BCE: Earthquake in Sparta, followed by slave revolt.
Surrender of Thasos.
460 BCE - 445 BCE: First Peloponnesian War.
457 BCE: Sparta wins the battle of Tanagra during the 1st
Peloponnesian War with Athens.
432 BCE: Sparta declares that Athens has broken the Thirty Year Peace
and prepares for war.
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431 BCE - 404 BCE: The 2nd Peloponnesian War between Athens
and Sparta (the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League) which
involved all of Greece.
431 BCE - 404 BCE: Thebes sides with Sparta against Athens in the
Peloponnesian War.
430 BCE - c. 354 BCE: Life of Xenophon of Athens.
429 BCE: Peloponnesian forces led by Sparta begin the siege of Plataea.
429 BCE: Following attacks by Sparta, fortifications at the port
of Piraeus are extended to reduce the width of the harbour entrances.
427 BCE: Plataea finally falls to the Spartans after a two year siege.
425 BCE: Pylos campaign, under Cleon and Demosthenes'
command Athens defeats Sparta at Pylos.
424 BCE: Spartan Brasidas' campaign in Thrace.
424 BCE: A force of Athenian peltasts defeat Spartan hoplites on
Sphaktria in the Peloponnese.
424 BCE - 420 BCE: The Nike of Paionios is erected at Olympia to
commemorate the Messenian and Naupaktian victory over Sparta at
the battle of Sphakteria.
422 BCE: Spartan general Brasidas employs Myrkinian and
Chalkidian peltasts to defeat a force of Athenian hoplites at Amphipolis.
421 BCE: Spartan soldiers return from campaigning Thrace, some
as Neodamodeis.
420 BCE: Sparta is excluded from the Olympic Games for breaking
the ekecheiria or sacred truce.
418 BCE: Sparta, led by Agis II, defeats Argos and her allies at
the battle of Mantinaea.
413 BCE: On the advice of Alcibiades the Spartans take over the Athenian-
held fort of Dekeleia.
412 BCE: Sparta allies with Persia.
c. 412 BCE: Rhodes revolts against Athens and supports Sparta in the
Peloponnesian War.
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410 BCE: Alcibiades leads the Athenian fleet to victory over Sparta at
Cyzicus.
406 BCE: The Athenian fleet is defeated by Lysander of Sparta at Notium.
404 BCE: End of the Peloponnesian war, Athens defeated By Sparta at
Aigospotamoi, Rule of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens.
404 BCE: Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus destroying parts of
the Long Wall fortifications.
c. 398 BCE: Xenophon works as mercenary for Sparta.
396 BCE: Spartan Agesilaus II's campaign into Ionia.
395 BCE - 386 BCE: The Corinthian Wars between Sparta and an alliance
of Athens, Corinth, Argos, Boeotia and Thebes.
390 BCE: Athenian leader Iphikrates employs peltasts to defeat
Spartan hoplites at Lechaion near Corinth.
387 BCE: Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus.
379 BCE - 376 BCE: Sparta establishes a garrison at Thebes.
377 BCE - 355 BCE: The Cycladic city states join Athens in the Second
Athenian League against Sparta .
375 BCE: Thebes defeats Sparta at the Battle of Tegyra.
371 BCE: Thebes defeats Sparta in the Battle of Leuktra.
367 BCE: Celtic mercenaries fight with the Spartans against Thebes.
362 BCE: Indecisive Battle of Matinea where Thebes fought
against Sparta and Athens. Theban general Epaminondas is killed.
267 CE: The Goths sack Athens, Corinth, Sparta, and Argos.
396 CE: Sparta is sacked by the Visigoths led by Alaric.



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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
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, this plain provided
fertilesoil for agricultural and
pastoral activities, however a
geological fault line ran through
the valley causing earthquakes in
the area, bounded to the west by Mt. Taygetus (2407 m) and to the east by Mt.
Parnon (1935 m). 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. The Spartan climate was cold in
winters and hot in summers.

NATURAL RESOURCES
Sparta was an extremely rich territory with considerable natural resources,
including copper and tin mines, quarries, forests, and good ports giving access to
the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The fertile valleys of the Eurotas (Laconia itself) and
Pamisos (Messenia) were suitable for the production of all essential foodstuffs of
the ancient world, from olives to wine, as well as providing good pasture land for
cattle, sheep, and goats.
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It was known for the variety of its garden vegetables, including cucumbers and
lettuce, which were considered distinctly Laconian. It was famed for its horses and
its Kastorian hounds, both of which were valuable exports, while the horses
frequently brought Sparta victories at the Olympic Games. More important,
however, unlike Athens and Corinth, Lacedaemon was self-sufficient in grain rather
than being dependent on imports of this vital commodity a critical political
advantage. In short, Sparta's power did not rest on its military might alone, but was
a function of its economic independence as well.
Sparta had to import copper and tin to make bronze they were able to mine iron
and lead and the coastline produced the molluscs from which purple/red dye was
made. The mountain ranges situated around Sparta provided excellent hunting
grounds and valuable timber. Bees were also colonized to provide wax and honey.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Spartan Citizens were prohibited from pursuing any profession other than
that of arms.
The Spartan economy was dependent not on property-slaves [chattel], as
were the other Greek city-states, but on the non-Doric population of
Laconia.
These were divided into free but non-citizen Perioikoi, and semi-free, serf-
like Helots.

To understand the Spartan economy, however, it is necessary to go back to the
origins of the city. The Spartan citizens often called Spartiates were the
descendants of Doric invaders who came to the Peloponnese in the 9th century
BC.
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Although there is no written record, it is evident that rather than exterminating or
enslaving the native population, as was more common at the time, the Spartans
allowed the conquered inhabitants to continue to live and work in Laconia. While
they were not citizens and so not politically enfranchised, they enjoyed far more
rights and higher status than chattel slaves. These peoples were divided into two
broad categories: the residents of other towns, who enjoyed a free but dependent
status as perioikoi, and the peasants, who endured a far more restricted status as
helots.
The perioikoi had their own laws and customs, could pursue any profession or
trade they liked, and had their own local officials and dignitaries. They were
restricted only with respect to foreign and military policy, being subject in these
areas to the government of Lacedaemon, run by the Spartiates. Perioikoi cities
presumably paid taxes to Sparta, and were certainly required to provide troops for
the Lacedaemonian army and to support Sparta in time of war.
However, because Spartan citizens were prohibited by their laws from engaging in
any profession except that of arms, the perioikoi had a monopoly on trade and
manufacturing throughout Lacedaemon. The perioikoi were the manufacturers,
merchants, and craftsmen of Lacedaemon. They also built and manned most of
Lacedaemon's ships, thereby contributing significantly to Sparta's political and
economic reach, and when the confrontation with the sea power Athens came in
the 5th century contributing to Lacedaemon's military capability as well.
Furthermore, perioikoi were not restricted by Sparta's laws and traditions to an
austere lifestyle, nor were they prohibited from hoarding gold and silver. In short,
they not only had a monopoly on all lucrative businesses and professions, they
were free to enjoy the fruits of their labor as well.
The helots, or rural population, had a significantly worse status. Helots were tied to
the land and were officially the property of the Lacedaemonian government.
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As a result of at least one revolt, they were regarded with increasing suspicion and
subjected to ever harsher laws. In fact, the Lacedaemonian government regularly
declared war on the helots to enable quick retribution against any "unruly" helot
without the tedious business of a trial.
Helots were not, however, routinely murdered or raped by the Spartiates, as some
modern commentators claim and many novelists depict. No economy can function
for an extended period of time on the basis of brutal coercion certainly not an
economy in which the elite is tiny in comparison with the oppressed. Sparta
enjoyed the prosperity it did over hundreds of years (at the least from the 7th to the
5th century BC) because a high degree of internal harmony and a system of
mutual benefit for all segments of the society had been established. It was not
until the second half of the 5th century, when the Spartiate population shrank to
roughly one-eighth of what it had been at the time of Thermopylae, that serious
incidents of brutality against helots are reliably recorded. There is only one
recorded incident of an organized mass murder of helots without due cause, and
this incident resulted from a crisis in Spartiate society. In fact, the deteriorating
relations between the Spartiates and the helots can be seen as both a symptom
and a cause of the disintegration of archaic Spartan society.
Many of the ancient commentators who remarked on the exceptional harshness of
the Spartan system not only date from this later period, but are engaged in outright
political propaganda. The only Spartan source for the status of helots is the 7th-
century poet Tyrtaios, who describes the helots like asses exhausted under great
loads to bring their masters full half the fruit their plowed land produced. This
statement tells us two significant facts often overlooked in shock at the image.
Namely, that helots only surrendered 50% of the fruits of their labor slaves all
over the rest of the ancient world surrendered 100% and that even half the
harvest was a heavy burden; i.e., Lacedaemon's agricultural land was so
productive that even half the yield was a burden.
7-

The latter element is further underlined by the fact that no less than 6,000 Spartan
helots were able to save up so much money from the 50% of the harvest they
retained that they could pay the enormous sum of 6 Attic minas to buy their
freedom in 223/222 BC.
Any discussion of helots and their lot in life must be made in the context of a world
in which a functioning economy without slave labor was considered inconceivable.
Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates were no exceptions. The status of helots is thus not
fairly compared to that of Spartiates, but only to that of other unfree populations.
The helots of Lacedaemon, when compared to chattel slaves in other Greek city-
states, were very privileged indeed. Chattel slaves could, as the name implies, be
bought and sold. They were not allowed to live in family units, often did not know
who their parents were, were not allowed to engage in any sexual activity other
than that sanctioned by the master, and any offspring shared their status (that is,
were automatically slaves) and belonged to the master. The master decided if a
child would be allowed to live, and if so, at what age and to whom the child would
be sold. Chattel slaves worked entirely for their master's benefit, and all earnings
derived from their activities whether prostitution, creating works of art, or
agricultural labor benefited the master. In Athens, slaves could be tortured in any
legal suit against an Athenian citizen, because it was believed that only statements
obtained by torture were valid! Helots, in contrast, could not be bought or sold.
They lived in family units, knew their parents, chose their wives, and raised their
own children. They retained 50% of the fruits of their labor and could sell what
they did not consume on the open market, while a Spartiate who tried to extract
more than his fair share from the produce of his estate was subjected to public
curse. Helots could also engage in cottage industries to earn extra money, and
hence helots could accumulate wealth and spend it as they pleased.
The revolts probably resulted from the extension of Sparta's territory beyond the
Eurotas valley into neighboring Messenia.
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Sparta invaded and tried to conquer Messenia. The Messenians either won this
first war or were reduced to perioikoi status, since they were able to field a hoplite
army half a century later, something peasants could not do. At the end of the
Second Messenian War, which the Spartans won, the Messenians were
"helotized." This means they turned men who had previously been free, rich, even
aristocratic, into peasants or serfs. It also means that they helotized not pre-Doric
peoples, but Greeks. This explains why the terms "Messenian" and "helot" are
often used interchangeably by the time of the Peloponnesian War. It explains why
the Lacedaemonian government declared war on the helots, and it explains why
the helots continued to revolt until they finally won their freedom, with foreign help,
and re-established an independent, free Messenia in the 4th century BC. It also
explains why other helots were loyal supporters of the Lacedaemonian government
and could even be trusted to provide logistical support to the army. Presumably
the Laconian helots were grateful for their relatively privileged status, whereas the
Messenian helots resented the loss of their freedom and independence.

HEALTH
The principle causes of death in ancient Sparta were battles. Education in those
times had a military approach, so Spartan men could have died at the age of 30 or
peacefully in their houses at the age of 70.
Sparta was of course, above all, known for having been a militaristic state; which of
course implies that this would have influenced the military education which
practically began when the child was but small.
It actually all began when the child was a newborn. Its mother would bathe the
child in wine, which was considered harmful, in hopes that it would be strong and
survive the ordeal.
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The child would then, if it survived, be presented to the Gerousia by its father, who
would wait until the child was examined and until it was decided whether or not it
was deemed to be nursed or not.
If the child was found to be puny and deformed it was then thrown down a gully
on one of the sides of Mount Taygetos. This place was typically called the
Apothetae, or Deposits in English.
This may seem cruel in modern eyes but it was considered a practical and logical
way to make sure that Spartan citizens would only give birth to strong progeny.
The death and mourning of a Spartan was a proud one and one that to
contemporary people may seem rather cold or insignificant. That was however
never the case.
When Spartans died, marked headstones would only be granted to those who had
perished in battle and only during victorious campaigns; which according to
Spartan history always was the case.

Endocrinology in ancient Sparta
The growth of medicine in ancient Sparta
One of the most critical problems that classi-cal Sparta faced was oligandria, the
decline in the number of Spartan male citizens who had civil rights and were
capable of fighting for Sparta. Recurrent wars, either conquering or defensive,
unremitting and gruelling military drilling, battle wounds and numerous war fatalities
caused the population of Spartas common male citizens-this did not include the
population of helots and perioikoi-to chronically be in decline. One means of
confronting this problem was through worship of the gods.
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Goddesses of fertility such as Helen, Orthia Artemis, Artemis Cyparissia and
Artemis Eilithia (pro-tector of childbirth) were worshipped in the city of Sparta from
the Homeric years. At the same time, however, efforts for development of scientific
medicine were also persued.
Sources report that during the Hellenistic years Sparta maintained close bonds
with the Ptolemy dynasty of Alexandria, a city that comprised the most important
medical center of that era. This relationship resulted in the development of Sparta
into an important center of teaching and practice of medicine, this being confirmed
by historical data and inscriptions. For example, an inscription of the 2nd century
BC, discovered on the island of Kythera, attests to the existence of a citizen
studying medicine in Laconia.
Pliny the Elder recounts that in 219 BC the Spartan doctor Archagathos was
working as a surgeon in Rome. According to certain sources, this doctor was the
first Greek physician in Rome, the Romans possessing no medical tradition before
him. In the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC two famous public doctors, known by the
title of Archiatroi, operated in Sparta, acquiring social recognition by offering
medical services.
Apart from the aforementioned we should not omit allusion to Agathinos, a man of
validity as Galen states. He was born in Sparta and practiced and taught medicine
in Rome from 60 to 100 AD. He founded the Eclectic or Episynthetic School of
medicine and was the tutor of important doctors such as Arhigenes and Leonidas.
According to many scholars Galens medical practice and his deep knowledge of
previous methods and testimonies classified him as one of the followers of the
eclectic faculty.


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Medical attributes of agnus castus
By looking back in time and examining medicine in the light of historical research,
we realise that the effects of Agnus castus and the regulatory abilities that it has on
the human body were valued in antiq-uity. In fact, Agnus was used for many
ailments of the human body. Hippocrates, Theophrastos and mainly Dioscourides
mentioned the plant as an anaphrodi-siac, Dioscourides also proposing baths with
Agnus for the treatment of diseases of the uterus, a use that did not differ much
from later perceptions. Through-out history the plant has generally been associated
with sexual desire.
For instance, throughout the duration of the Thesmophorion, Spartan women
placed Agnus leaves under their bed in order to remain agnes (pure).
The ancient Spartans also used Agnus as a heal-ing means for their wounds as
well as for snake and animal bites.
Even though the name Agnus derives from the Greek agnos meaning pure, thus
tending to emphasize the repressive effects of Agnus castus on human sexual
desire, scientific research has today demonstrated that the seeds and the fruit of
Agnus castus possess a number of medical applications in addition to the
anaphrodisiac uses, such as aphrodisiac, galactogogue, ophthalmic, sedative and
stomachic.
More generally speaking, it has been used to treat female hormonal disorders and
is considered to be a hormonal modulator. The property of Agnus as a repressor of
erotic desire, an anaphrodisiac, was probably of least concern to the Spartan
society.

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Agnus berries have a range of medicinal properties, but possibly the most
important one is its ability to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of
estrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone. It acts upon the pituitary gland,
reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of
others, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens. It thus has a wide application
of uses in malfunctions of the feminine reproductive system and has been used
with effectiveness in restoring absent menstruation, regulating heavy periods,
modulating Prolactin, restoring fertility when this is caused by hormonal imbalance,
relieving pre-menstrual tension and easing the transition to menopause. Agnus
castus essential oil also exerts antibacterial activity.
In fact, the seeds of Agnus castus have ostensibly contradictory effects, since they
reportedly stimulate and smoothe the function of the pituitary gland, thus creating
a balancing effect in the production of hormones, and especially progesterone.
This explains why Agnus is considered both an aphrodisiac and an anaphrodisiac,
since it increases sexual activity in those who are not very sexually active while
simultaneously decreasing it in those who are very active.

FOOD
Ancient Spartan Food and Diet
In ancient Sparta the diet was typically basic and limited by the local resources of
the Greek landscape. The Spartans were not as in love with their food as most of
ancient Greece, and their diet was more humble and basic.
The Spartans as with everything put their military above all, and their food and diet
was no different. Their theory on food meant that they ate to be strong and healthy,
and not to over indulge.
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As is now, over indulgence would have had a negative effect on not only the
physiques of the Spartan warriors but also their energy levels, and as we already
know peak fitness and performance was essential to be a Spartan citizen.
The Spartan diet overview
Natural food, grown locally by the helots were most of the Spartan diet would come
from. The Spartan society was very self sufficient and this shines through in their
approach to food. Common foods were meat and fish, with a wide variety of
animals and fish consumed. Honey, milk, cheese and bread were also common, as
were figs and wine. And of course fresh fruit would grow well in the warm Greek
weather, providing the Spartans with lots of variety albeit rather basic.
Hunting and the Spartan diet
Of course, the Spartans as they were warriors, they were also fine hunters, not
only could a Spartan strike fear into any enemy in the distance, Im sure they had
the same effect on their prey.
The Spartans would use any animal they hunted for food, even though it was also
considered a sport to them, they would not waste any fruits of their hunt.
Spartan meat
The Spartan diet would regularly consist of meat, including pigs, goat, and sheep.
Fish would also be eaten when available, and of course and spoils from hunting
would be on the menu too, including animals like wild boar and rabbits.

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Dairy in the Sparta diet
Dairy was also commonplace in the Sparta diet, with milk sourced from local sheep
and goats. The milk would additionally be used to create cream and cheese for use
in various dishes, and sealing cheese was a well-known skill in all of Sparta.
Spartan bread
The Spartans did eat bread, although it was not a staple of their diet. Typically
barley was used over wheat to create bread, although it is believed that on special
occasions wheat bread would be made.
Spartan black broth and soup
The legendary Spartan black broth or black soup is thought to have been a staple
food for the Spartan community, although certain historical information points that
is was not a common dish. Either way its one of the most well-known Spartan
dishes.
Fabled to be created from boiled pork, with salt, vinegar and blood, this thick soup
or broth was not considered a delicacy but rather a means to an end. Whether the
Spartans believed that this broth would give their soldiers strength or power, we do
not know and unfortunately there are no detailed surviving recipies.
Spartan wine
Wine was popular in ancient Sparta, liked but never to be over indulged in. The
Spartans would drink wine with or after most meals, although they typically watered
the wine down because as we alluded to before, being drunk in Sparta was not
considered appropriate.
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The Spartans considered drunkenness a sin of sorts, they believe it had negative
effects on not only the mind but also the body, and of course their warrior nature
could be compromised by its effect.

LINGUISTIC HERITAGE
Where the Doric dialect group fits in the overall classification of ancient Greek
dialects depends to some extent on the classification. Several views are stated
under Greek dialects. The prevalent theme of most views listed there is that Doric
is a subgroup of West Greek. Some use the terms Northern Greek or Northwest
Greek instead. The geographic distinction is only verbal and ostensibly is
misnamed: all of Doric was spoken south of "Southern Greek" or "Southeastern
Greek."
Be that as it may, "Northern Greek" is based on a presumption that Dorians came
from the north and on the fact that Doric is closely related to Northwest Greek.
When the distinction began is not known. All the "northerners" might have spoken
one dialect at the time of the Dorian invasion; certainly, Doric could only have
further differentiated into its classical dialects when the Dorians were in place in the
south. Thus West Greek is the most accurate name for the classical dialects.
Tsakonian, a descendant of Laconian Doric (Spartan), is still spoken on the
southern Argolid coast of the Peloponnese, in the modern prefectures of Arcadia
and Laconia. Today it is a source of considerable interest to linguists, and an
endangered dialect.
Laconian was spoken by the population of Laconia in the southern Peloponnesus
and also by its colonies, Tarentum and Heraclea, in southern Italy. Sparta was the
seat of ancient Laconia.
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Laconian is attested in inscriptions on pottery and stone from the 7th century BC. A
dedication to Helen dates from the 2nd quarter of the 7th. Tarentum was founded
in 706 BC. The founders must already have spoken Laconic.
Many documents from the state of Sparta survive, whose citizens called
themselves Lacedaemonians after the name of the valley in which they lived.
Homer calls it "hollow Lacedaemon", though he refers to a pre-Dorian period. The
7th century BC, Spartan poet, Alcman, used a dialect that some consider to be
predominantly Laconian.

GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION
Government
The Spartans were unique among Greeks because the political system they
developed never quite made it to a democracy. Elsewhere kings were overthrown
by an aristocratic class, which became the governing body of the Polis, and later
extended democratic rights to the common people. In Sparta, however, the kings
came to some kind of accommodation with the wealthy where they would give up
some power in return for the continuation of their authority. This sharing of power
created the stability Sparta needed to survive for six centuries.
Sparta had two kings -- hereditary kings, one from each of two families. The kings
were the sole military commanders and religious leaders but nothing more. When it
came to governance, they could only act as advisors to the oligarchy. Sparta had a
governing council called the Gerusia consisting of twenty-eight men plus the two
kings. This body advised the assembly, could veto legislation if it disapproved, and
also presided over trials for capital offences. Members had to be sixty years of age
and served for life.
8-

The assembly consisted of all adult Spartiates over twenty years of age a
number on the order of 5000. The assembly had limited power but was allowed to
debate the merits of legislation to try and influence its passage.
The bloodlines of the Spartan kings
The Spartan kings themselves would come from two bloodlines, two families, the
Eurypontids and the Agiads. Even though these two families were not the names of
the first kings, the two dynasties were named after them. Both of the two dynasties
where believed to have started around the same time in the ancient Greek timeline.
Due to the fragmented nature of information on the actual bloodlines of the kings of
Sparta, it is difficult to name with true certainty. There are various lists of the kings
that exist, and while its hard to define which is the most correct, its thought that
some of the history may have been altered, watered down, or even enhanced over
the passage of time.
The Agiad dynasty
The Agiad dynasty started with Eurystene but was named after Agis the second
king who was thought to have ruled for about 30 years. Agis was in fact the son of
Eurstenes and inherited the lineage which then becomes known as the Agiad
dynasty after his name.
The Eurypontid dynasty
The Eurypontid dynasty is again reported to have started around the same time as
Agis, and would soon pass to the third heir to the line Eurypon. After Eurypon ruled
the dynasty it was then named after him.
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The roles of the Spartan kings
As the kings of Sparta, both rulers had certain roles they were required to perform
or fulfil for the state. The Kings would command the foreign policies of the state;
they would also satisfy religious needs and perform judicial roles when required.
It was Aristotle himself who once said to be a king of Sparta, was a kind of
unlimited and perpetual generalship, moving to the point that kings of Sparta had
to be excellent warriors and also have a penchant for war and battle.

Important kings of Sparta
While Sparta was very much a military unit, the kings of Sparta with their dual
rulership had a unique influence over the people. In particular Sparta had some
truly important kings in its time, which we will go into more detail with.
King Leonidas
King Leonidas of Sparta is of course well known as the leader in the battle of
Thermopylae, where only 300 Spartans led by the king would do battle with ten
times more Persian warriors. While Leonidas fell in battle many will not know that
at the time he was reported to be around 60 years old, having shared the Kingship
of Sparta for the last ten years.
Cleomenes I
King Cleomenes was a Spartan king that ruled an overlapping time from the 6th to
5th century for what is thought to be around thirty years.
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During his time as king, Cleomenes was truly important to Sparta as a political and
tactical genius. While during his time he set out to destroy the Greek municipality of
Argos, he also was the mastermind behind the Peloponnesian League which
helped and ensured the success of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.
Agis IV
Agis was a king of Sparta for only a short reign, for what was thought to be only
four years and also at the rather young, early twenties age. Agis while not a famed
warrior like Leonidas, or a tactician like Cleomenes I, was a true saviour of the
traditional ways of ancient Sparta. At the time of 245 BC Sparta was in a state, the
ancient ways had gone, and the wealth was unevenly distributed. Agis would offer
to donate his lands between the Spartans and the Percoli in an attempt to more
evenly distribute the wealth and reduce the materialist direction Sparta was
heading.

The fading power of the kings of Sparta
While the twin kings of Sparta, the descendants of the Eurypontids and the Agiads
fore bearers found their power would dwindle over time. Slowly the Ephors, the
ones who oversees would grasp control from the once mighty kings. The Ephors
unlike other citizens never had to kneel to the kings and slowly they would move to
become a dominant force. Their decision making powers even riled one king so
much, Cleomenes III, which he had their standing abolished in 227 BC.
There is one other component of the Spartan political system we have not
mentioned the Ephors. The creation of Ephoric office was said to have been part
of the mid-seventh century reforms of Lycurgus. Five were elected by the assembly
each year, and their powers were varied and extensive. They had disciplinary
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control over other magistrates, conducted foreign policy, and presided over the
assembly and council. Their powers even included some controls over the king.
For example, they could summon the kings to a meeting, fine them for bad
behavior, or even recommend the king be impeached. Perhaps the Ephors most
powerful role was in foreign policy, because they were to ones who met with
foreign dignitaries and negotiated treaties.

Religion
The ancient Spartans believed in religion and the gods like the majority of the
ancient Greek states. Therefore the religion of Sparta was Polytheism, which
means that the Spartans believed in not just one god, buy many gods. The primary
gods in Ancient Greece at the time were of course the Olympians lead by the
mighty Zeus who was connected to all the Olympian gods in some way, and the
Spartans followed the belief in the powerful Olympians.
The belief in the gods was as strong in Sparta as in any ancient Greek state. In
many cases its reported that other Greek states in fact mocked the Spartans
fastidious praise of the Gods, as the Spartans believed the gods were to be
obeyed and respected without question.
The ancient Greek gods themselves were of course fitted with each state of the
Greek empire and groups of people in a unique way, and the gods would serve
different purposes for different states and Sparta was no different on this matter.
Aphrodite for example, the goddess of love, was in ancient Sparta considered and
worshipped as a warrior, which complimented perfectly the Spartan attitudes to not
only fighting but also their equality towards women.
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Favorite Gods of Sparta
The Spartans like many Greek states would have favorite gods, the ones who
merged most effortlessly with their lifestyle, their mantra and their ethics. With the
military focused Spartans their favorites gods were of course the war focused
ones, likes Ares and Apollo, although as we mention later, the Spartan were eager
to appease all the gods.

Religious festivals in Sparta
Sparta while being a military state, also enjoyed the benefits of festivals, and some
of their major festivals were intrinsically tied to their religious beliefs. The
Hyakinthia for example was a major festival in the Spartan calendar that lasted for
three days, and celebrated the god Apollo and Hyakinthos, hence the name of this
much loved Spartan festival.
It is also reported that the reason for the 300 soldiers that marched with Leonidas
was actually that number due to the Karneia festival that was ongoing at the time.
Leonidas and the Spartans did not want to upset the gods, and therefore did no
interrupt the festival, marching with only the men available at the time.

Religious priests and the kings of Sparta
In ancient Sparta, there were no priest persay, in many ways however the true
priests of the Spartan state were the kings themselves.
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The Spartans considered their kings to be priests of Zeus himself, tied intrinsically
to the primary Olympian, and they would partake in many religious practices,
including the overseeing of note taking of any signs from the gods.
The kings would also look to the gods as explanations for certain events, both
good and bad. A King of Sparta could for example look to blame the favour of the
gods on a lost battle, or even attribute a mistake that was more rooted in human
behavior to the gods.
There are numerous sources from Ancient Greek writers providing evidence that
Spartans took their religion very seriously. For example, Herodotus recorded that in
480 BC, King Leonidas lead a small army consisting of 300 Spartans (with several
thousand other Greek soldiers), who were to confront the powerful Persian army in
a battle which is now known as the Battle of Thermopylae. The reason that Sparta
only sent forth 300 soldiers to the battle because Sparta was in the middle of the
religious festival of the Karneia, and according to Herodotus, the Spartans would
only march with all the troops at their disposal at the conclusion of this
celebration.

WAR CONFLICTS
First Messenian War: 743 - 724 BC
The causes of the Messenian wars were two incidents, as Pausanias tells us,
although there is no doubt that the real reason was the rich and fertile plains of
Messenia, that Spartans wanted to conquer.

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The first incident occurred in the borders of Laconia and Messene, where there
was a temple of Artemis Limnatis, in which both Spartans and Messenians were
celebrating. In the midst of the dance of Spartan virgins, Messenians rushed and
took the women. King Teleklos of Sparta, who tried to hinder them, was killed. It
was said later that all the Spartan women committed suicide.
But according to the Messenian version, king Teleklos had dressed up young men
as virgins, with concealed daggers. When their plot was discovered, Messenians
after a fight killed Teleklos. Anyway the war did not start immediately after this
event.
The second incident happened with the Spartan Euphaenos and the Messenian
Polychares, a distinguished citizen and an Olympic victor in Stadium, 764 BC.
Euphaenos, who had been trusted with the care of Polychares cows, sold them
and later killed his son who came to inquire. Polychares, who was unable to find
justice in Sparta, started to kill every Lacedaemonian who passed the borders.
After these incidents, Spartans demanded from Messenians to deliver Polychares,
but in vain and so the war started.
Alkamenes, the son of the king Teleklos of Sparta, in a dark night surprised the
Messenians and entered the city of Ampheia, killing everybody. From Ampheia, the
Spartans were making constants raids, but they did not succeed to conquer any
other cities.
The king of Messenia, Euphaes, fought them with vigor, but for four years no
progress had been made, by either side. During the fifth year, a big battle took
place, which ended indecisive, but after this the Messenians retired to the fortified
mountain of Ithome. In the meantime an epidemic fell in Messene, killing many
people and Messenians in their distress sent a citizen named Tese at Delphi, to
ask about the outcome of the war.
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The oracle told them to sacrifice a maiden chosen by lot, from the house of
Apetidae. The lot fell to the daughter of Lyciskos, who refused to obey and went to
Sparta. A leading citizen then named Aristodemos, offered his own daughter, but
the youth who was in love with her, declared that she was carrying his child.
Aristodemos killed his daughter, opened her body and showed to everyone that
this was a lie. After the sacrifice Messenians took courage and attacked the
disheartened by the event Spartans, who for six years postponed any invasion.
During the thirteen year of the war, the Spartan king Theopompos marched against
Ithome and another battle took place, but again without a victor. When king
Euphaes was killed in action, Aristodemos took his place.
Five years later another battle took place, in which Corinth took the side of
Spartans and Arcadians and Sikyonians the side of Messenians. King Aristodemos
won a decisive victory over the Lacedaemonians, who were driven back in their
territories. Later things turned against Messenians. Aristodemos after a dream, in
which his daughter appeared showing to him her wounds, slew himself at her
tomb. Shortly afterwards and during the twentieth year of the war, Messenians
abandoned Ithome, which was raised to the ground by the Spartans. The defeated
Messenians were punished severely and took an oath, that they would never revolt
and they would deliver to Sparta every year half of their agricultural products. Many
families fled to Arcadia and the priestly to Eleusis. Those who stayed in the country
became helots. This was the end of the first Messenian war.
Not long after the annexation of Messenia (708 BC), Sparta founded a colony at
Tarentum in South Italy and it seems that the motive was political. A group called
themselves Partheniai (children of unmarried mothers), who were not recognized
as citizens, attempted revolution and Sparta deemed necessary that the best
solution was to send them away.

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Second Messenian War: 685 - 668 BC
Some years later Messenians revolted and their leader Aristomenes in a daring
move entered Sparta at night and offered a shield in the temple of Athena.
Spartans after this event went to the oracle of Delphi, which gave them the answer
"to take an Athenian adviser".
Spartans asked from the Athenians a general and they sent them Tyrtaeos, who
was poet and lame from the one leg. Tyrtaeos with his poems encouraged
Spartans and helped them to win the war.
During the war the leader of Messenias, Aristomenes, was made a great hero and
many stories talk about him.
According to the legend three times Aristomenes sacrificed to Zeus Ithomatis, the
so-called Hecatophonia, reserved only to the warrior who had killed with his own
hands one hundred enemies. Three times he was captured by the Spartans but he
managed to escape. His last capture occurred in a battle between him and many
Spartans, in which he was wounded all over his body, but he was still fighting, until
a stone found him on the head and fell. He was captured along with fifty others and
for punishment were thrown into the deep pit Kaeadas, of the mount Taygetos. All
the others were killed, but Aristomenes fell upon the wings of an eagle and
survived. When he realized, that there was no way to get out from this abyss, he
lay down and covered himself with his cloak, waiting to die. Three days later,
during the night he heard a soft sound and in the darkness show a fox eating the
corpses. He managed to catch the fox from the tail and he was guided by her to a
small hole, which he opened further and passed through.
Immediately he went to the city of Eira, which was besieged by Spartans. Passing
from their camp, he killed many of them in their sleep and plundered the tents of
the generals.
8+

Sometime later, in a stormy night and with the help of an informer, the Spartans
entered Eira. There was a hard battle, Messenians fought desperately, the women
too, throwing tiles to Spartan soldiers, but at the end they were defeated.
Aristomenes with many others managed to break the Spartan lines and took the
women and children in Arcadia. Immediately he chose five hundred men from
Messenian volunteers and with the help of three hundred Arcadians decided to
take Sparta by surprise, now that most of its army was away. They were ready to
move, when they discovered that the king of Arcadia, Aristocrates, had sent a
messenger to the Ephors, informing them about their plan. The treacherous king
was killed in the square of the city by the Arcadian people with stones and his
corpse was thrown out of Arcadia.
The Messenians moved then to Kyllene and from there to lower Italy, where they
founded the new city of Messene. Aristomenes did not follow them and went to his
brother in Rhodes, where he died from bitterness. The Messenians who did not
leave, became Helots and thus ended the second Messenian war.

Argos: The war of six hundred
Around 720 BC the Spartan army under the king Nikadros with the help of
township Asine, ravaged Argolis. Argives did not forget this and not much later took
revenge destroying totally Asine. In their turn the Spartans annexed Kynouria,
which formed part of the dominion of Argos.
In 547 BC, the Argives attempted to recover the territory, but instead of a full
combat they agreed with the Lacedaemonians, to decide the outcome of the war
and the annexation of Kynouria, with three hundred men each.
+-

The conflict of the six hundred chosen soldiers was so fierce, that only two Argives
survived and one wounded Spartan. The two Argive hoplites, Alcenor and
Chromios, left to give the news of their victory, but the Spartan Othryades
managed to spoil the dead bodies of the enemy and then killed himself, being
ashamed to return to Sparta. Both sides claimed the victory and a full battle took
place not much later, in which the Argives were defeated.

Wars with Tegea
Spartans attempted various expeditions against Arcadia and after a long struggle
managed to occupy the southern part of her. But they were totally unsuccessful in
the wars, with the city of Tegea. They were losing battle after battle and in the reign
of the Spartan kings Leon and Agesikles (580 BC), they carried pompously chains
in order to enslave the Tegeans. They met though with disaster, losing totally the
battle and their soldiers were putted in the very chains, they had brought.
Spartans in their distress asked the help of the Delphi oracle, which advised them
to obtain the bones of Orestes (son of Agamemnon). The oracle even directed
them to find the remains of the hero at Tegea and Spartans with a skillful
stratagem succeeded to carry the holy remains home. When that happened the
tide of the war turned. The proud Tegeans lost every battle and finally
acknowledged the supremacy of Sparta, but they were never reduced to subjection
and continued to be masters of their city, becoming only dependent allies.



+1

Kleomenes I
Kleomenes came to the throne of Sparta around 520 BC. In a rivalry between
Kleisthenes of Athens and Isagoras, he was called by Isagoras to help. Indeed
Kleomenes forced Kleisthenes and his family to leave the country, but when he
expelled five hundred more families and tried to revive the constitution, the
Athenians revolted and besieged Kleomenes in the Acropolis, who immediately
surrendered and left from Attica. He then assembled an army from Sparta and with
allies marched toward Athens, without telling them that he wanted to install
Isagoras as tyrant in Athens. But when the army came to Attica, the Corinthians
learned the purpose of the expedition and abandoned the enterprise. The second
king of Sparta, king Demaratos, who had joined the expedition refused also to go
further and returned home and thus the expedition collapsed.
This gave the opportunity to Athens to attack the Thebans and Chalkidaeans, who
were ravaging Attica and defeated them both.
In Sparta, after the kings quarrel, a new law was passed that in the future only one
king would command an expedition. They also summoned the League and
proposed to restore Hippias in Athens, who had been a friend of Sparta and had
come from Asia for the meeting. Again Corinthians and other allies rejected the
plan.
Around 505 BC, a war between Sparta and Argos took place, but the reasons are
unknown.
In 499 BC, the Ionian leader Aristagoras came to Sparta to ask help in their revolt
against Persia. Kleomenes refused and ordered him out of the city.
Kleomenes advanced into Argolis, but he failed to take Argos. He then asked ships
from Sikyon and Aigina which unwillingly gave them and landed near Tyrinth.
+2

There he found, at a place called Sepea, which was between Argos and the sea,
the Argive army. By gross carelessness of the Argives, he surprised them and
defeated them. The Argives then tried to find refuge in the sacred grove of the
Hero Argos. Kleomenes surrounded them and in a unthinkable for the Greek
customs action, he set fire to the grove. Six thousand Argives lost their lives at that
day, almost two thirds of the whole army (494 BC).
Kleomenes instigated Leotychides, the next heir in the Prokleid line of kings, to
question the legitimacy of king Demaratos. To resolve the problem the Spartans
went to the Delphi oracle, which declared Demaratos as an illegitimate king.
When later was known, that Kleomenes had bribed the oracle, they ordered him
home, but he fled first to Thessaly and later to Arcadia, where he worked for a Pan-
Arcadian alliance.
The Spartans called him again with promises, but when he arrived, he was
attacked by the people, who following their old habit; they were hitting him in his
head. The Ephors pronounced him insane. He committed suicide, having mutilated
himself with a knife (488 BC).

The Persian Wars
After the suppression of the Ionic revolt, king Darius started preparing an army to
attack Greece.
The Persian expedition that followed under Mardonios ended in disaster, losing his
fleet in a terrible storm in the promontory of Mount Athos. Darius was not
disheartened and having in his court the tyrant Hippias, keeping alive his
resentment against Athens, he started preparing a second expedition and on a
+0

larger scale. He first sent heralds to ask earth and water from the various Greek
cities. The Athenians threw them in the barathron pit and the Spartans in as well, to
find there their "earth and water".
For the first time the Greek cities, in the face of the imminent danger were all
united, recognizing Sparta as the leader of Greece. Sparta refused to send an
army to help Athens in Marathon and only arrived after the battle to find in their
amazement that the Athenians had won a complete victory (490 BC). Greece was
fortunate that the next invasion was led by the son of Darius, Xerxes, a much
inferior man than his father.

Battle of Thermopylae: 480 BC
Leonidas, king of Sparta on the arrival of Xerxes at Thermopylae, he found that the
place was defended by a body of three hundred Spartans and about seven
thousand hoplites from other states, commanded by the Spartan king Leonidas.
Xerxes learning about the small number of Greek forces and that several Spartans
outside the walls were exercising and combing their hairs, in his perplexity,
immediately called Demaratos to explain him the meaning of all these. Demaratos
told him that the Spartans will defend the place to the death and it was custom to
wash and dress their hairs with special care when they intended to put their lives in
great danger. Xerxes who did not believe Demaratos, delayed his attack for four
days, thinking that the Greeks as soon as they would realize his great forces will
disperse.
He sent also heralds asking to deliver up their arms. The answer from Leonidas
was "come and take them"
+8

A Spartan, who was told about the great number of Persian soldiers, who with their
arrows will conceal the sun, he answered: "so much the better, we will fight in the
shade".
At the fifth day Xerxes attacked but without any results and with heavy losses,
though the Medes fought bravely. He then ordered his personal guard the
"Immortals" under Hyrdanes, a body of ten thousand consisting from the best
Persian soldiers, to advance. They also failed and Xerxes was observed to jump
from his throne three times in anger and agony. The following day they attacked,
but again made no progress. Xerxes was desperate but his luck changed when a
Malian named Ephialtes told him about a secret path across the mountain.
Immediately a strong Persian force was sent with Hyrdanes, guided by the traitor.
At day's break they reached the summit, where the Phokian army was stationed
and who upon seeing the Persians fled.
When Leonidas learned all these incidents, he ordered the council of war to be
summoned. Many were of the opinion that they should retire and find a better
defendable place, but Leonidas, who was bound by the laws of Sparta and from an
oracle, which had declared that either Sparta or a Spartan king must perish,
refused. Three hundred Spartans and seven hundred Thespians took the decision
to stay and fight. The rest were permitted to leave, with the exception of four
hundred Boeotians, which were retained as hostages.
Leonidas did not wait the Persian attack, which had being delayed by Xerxes and
advanced in the path, he fell upon the Persians. Thousands of them were slain, the
rest were driven near the sea, but when the Spartan spears broke, they started
having losses and one of the first that fell was king Leonidas. Around his body one
of the fiercest battles took place. Four times the Persians attacked to obtain it and
four times they were repulsed. At the end, the Spartans exhausted and wounded,
carrying the body of Leonidas, retired behind the wall, but they were surrounded by
the enemy, who killed them with arrows.
+5

Battle of Plataea: 479 BC
The reluctance, which Sparta showed after the battle of Thermopylae until a little
before the battle of Plataea, did not help the Greek cause. But when finally she
took the decision to engage seriously herself in the war, it did it in a great manner.
Five thousand citizens, each one attended by seven Helots, together with five
thousand Lacedaemonian Perioikoi (each one attended by one light armed Helot)
marched toward the Isthmos. This was a very large army and never in the past
Sparta had sent such a big force in the field. At Isthmos, she was joined with the
Peloponnesian allies and marched towards Megara. The army was joined there by
three thousand Megarians and finally at Plataea with eight thousand Athenian
hoplites. The city of Plataea also contributed six hundred hoplites, who came from
Salamis, under the command of Aristeides. The number of Greek army was now
thirty eight thousand hoplites, who with light armed troops and the Helots reached
one hundred and ten thousand men. This number includes the eighteen hundred
badly armed Thespians. There was no cavalry and the bow men were very few.
When Mardonios learned the approach of Lacedaemonians, he left Attica and by
way of Dekeleia crossed the mount Parnes and entered Boeotia. Marching two
days along the Asopos River, he encamped near the town of Plataea.
The Greeks after consulting the Gods with sacrifices at Eleusis marched over the
ridge of Kithairon Mountain and descending from the northern side they saw the
encamped Persian army in the valley of Asopos. King Pausanias who was waiting
good omens from sacrifices held his troops from the attacks of the Persian cavalry,
near Erythrae, where the ground is ragged and uneven, but even this did not
prevent the commander Masistios to attack the Greeks. When the Megarians were
in great danger suffering many losses, three hundred Athenian hoplites succeeded
in repulsing the Persians, killing the tall and brave Masistios.
+6

His body was paraded in triumph, in a cart. This event encouraged Pausanias, who
positioned the army on the plain, in a line at the right bank of Asopos.
When Mardonios learned the change in the position of the Greeks he ordered his
army to be placed opposite to them on the other side of Asopos. He took the post
in the left wing, facing the Lacedaemonians. The rest of his army consisting from
Medized Greeks, fifty thousand strong, were opposite to Athenians. The center of
Mardonios composed from Bactrians Sacae and Indians. The whole army was
numbering three hundred thousand men.
For eight days the attack was delayed from both sides by unfavorable sacrifices.
On the eight day Mardonios by the advice of the Theban leader Timagenidas cut
off the supplies of the Greeks and captured a big supply in one of the passes of
Kithaeron. Artabazos too, advised him to continue this line of harassing and
wearing but Mardonios was impatient and ordered his cavalry to attack, which
obtained possession of the fountain of Gargapheia.
Pausanias summoned the council of war and took the decision to retreat, to a
place called the Island, which was two kilometers further and halfway between it
and the town of Plataea. When Pausanias at night gave the order of retreat, some
Spartans refused to move. Threats did nothing to persuade the Spartan captain
Amomferatus, who took a huge rock and threw it at the feet of Pausanias, with the
words: "with this pebble I give my vote not to fly".
Pausanias who had no time to lose since daybreak was near; he left
Amompheratus and his lochos behind and hurried to the island. Mardonios ordered
attack when he learned that the Greeks had retreated. His army passing the waters
of Asopos started to throw arrows to the Greeks, who did not engage, even in this
moment, in battle until they received a good omen from the sacrifices. Mardonios
at the head of his one thousand bodyguards was in the front line fighting bravely,
until he was struck down by the Spartan Aimnestos. When Mardonios fell the
+7

Persian army fled to their fortified camp. But this did not save them, the Greeks
managed to enter and a great massacre took place. Only three thousand Persians
who escaped, from the three hundred thousand, survived. The Greeks lost only
one thousand and three hundred men.
In 464 BC, during the night, a powerful earthquake shook Sparta and the rest of
Lacedaemon. The earth opened and the summits of mount Taygetos were torn. All
the houses of Sparta fell down except five. This catastrophe continued for five
days. At least twenty thousand Lacedaemonians lost their lives.

The Peloponnesian war I: 431 - 421 BC
The unavoidable clash between Sparta and Athens came with an incident at the
friendly to Athens city of Plataea. Archidamos invaded Attica in the spring of 431
BC without opposition, since Athens had taken the decision not to engage to a land
battle with Sparta and thus started the Peloponnesian war, that lasted for 28 years.
The first ten years of the war (431 - 421 BC) were named "Archidamios war" from
the name of the able king of Sparta Archidamos.
On the side of Lacedaemonians were all the Peloponnesian states with the
exception of Argos and Achaea which entered the war joining Sparta later. They
were also the Boeotians, Megarians, Lokrians, Phokaeans, Leukadians,
Ambrakiotes and Anaktorians. The coast states supplied ships, the Boeotians,
Locrians and Phokians with cavarly.
On the side of Athens were the Plataeans, Chians, Messenians, Corkyraeans,
Zakynthians, Akarnanians as well as the towns of the coast of Asia and Thrace and
all the isles of Aegean, except Melos and Thera.
+8

The Athenian troops were 29,000 hoplites, 1200 horsemen and 1600 archers and
her navy was 300 triremes without counting those of her allies. The Chians and
Corkyraeans supplied shipping.
Archidamos forces which entered Attica consisted from about 60,000 to 100,000
men and at the beginning he tried unsuccessful attacks upon the fortress of
Oenoe, on mount Kithairon, failing to take it. He then marched towards Eleusis,
where he arrived at the middle of June 431 BC. After ravaging the Thracian plain
he encamped at Acharnae, seven miles from Athens. In the meantime the
Athenians had collected the population within the walls and had sent all the
animals to Euboea. Archidamos evacuated Attica at the end of July and his army
was dismantled immediately. Upon his departure the Athenians at the end of
September, attacked Megara which they ravaged totally.
At the spring of 430 BC, Archidamos again invaded Attica, but in the meantime the
plague had broken out in Athens. The Lacedaemonians with greater force ravaged
all the neighborhood of Athens marching as far as the mines of Laurium. In their
turn Athenians, with 100 triremes under the command of Knemos devastated the
island of Zakynthos.
At the third year of the war (429 BC) Archidamos marched towards the city of
Plataea and demanded to hand him over the city and their land properties,
promising that after the war everything would be restored to them. The majority of
Plataeans were in favor of the proposal, but Athenians exhorted them to hold out
promising them assistance. After their refusal, Archidamos surrounded the small
city of Plataea and the famous siege started. For three months Spartans tried
everything to conquer the city but without success. They then decided to blockade
and starve the population. The double walls of Plataea, built by the Spartans, they
surrounded Plataea with a double wall, but even this measure had no success.
++

After two years, when the provisions of Plataea started to run short, 212 men
escaped in a stormy December night. The rest of the population surrendered in
427 BC. They were put in trial before five Spartan judges and executed.
The town of Plataea was transferred to Thebes, who after a few months destroyed
all the private houses to the ground.
In the fourth and fifth year of the war Spartans again invaded Attica. In the sixth
year of the war (426 BC) the Spartans did not invade Attica. A series of severe
earthquakes and floods occurred in various parts of Greece. At Athens the plaque
reappeared.
During the seventh year of the war the Lacedaemonian army under the command
of Agis invaded Attica, but only for the sort time of fifteen days. Agis was recalled
and marched towards Pylos, because the Athenians had established a military post
at Pylos in Messenia. The Peloponnesian fleet that was in Corkyra under the
command of Thrasymelidas, was also ordered to sail to Pylos. Thrasymelidas on
arriving at Pylos with his fleet, he occupied the small but densely wooded island of
Sfacteria with four hundred and twenty hoplites and their helots. Part of these men,
two hundred and ninety-two, among them many belonging to chief families, were
later captured by the Athenian Kleon and brought to Athens in chains, the rest had
been killed after a severe conflict on the islet. The event surprised the Hellenic
world who knew that Spartans never surrendered. Sparta was now in a bad
position. The Messenians from Pylos together with the runaway helots were able to
plunder the country; also Sparta could not invade Attica, knowing that the captured
men would put immediately to death.
The eighth year of the war (424 BC) was disastrous for Athens. They defeated at
the battle of Delium, by the Thebans. They also lost Thrace. After all these,
Athenians seriously considered the proposals for peace by Sparta.
1--

At the same year one of the biggest crimes, committed in ancient Greece,
occurred. Sparta pretending to give liberty to the most worthy Helots, who had
fought bravely, selected two thousand of the best men and after honoring them and
crowning them with garlands at a ceremony, slain them by secret orders from the
Ephors. The reason being, that Sparta felt threatened from their increased power.
In the ninth year of the war (423 BC) a truce was signed for a year, on which a
permanent peace would be prepared. But the negotiations were interrupted two
days after the signing of the truce, when Athenians learned that Scione had
revolted and was under the command of Brasidas. In August, an Athenian force by
the command of Kleon was sent to Scione. At the battle that followed, both Kleon
and Brasidas were killed and thus the obstacles for permanent peace seized to
exist.
The Spartan king Pleistoanax and general Nikias of Athens, in the spring of 421
BC, signed a peace treaty for fifty years, the so-called peace of Nikias. The
Spartan prisoners were returned and Athens was allowed to keep the cities of
Anactorium, Sollium and Nisae. Not everybody was satisfied by the peace and the
allies of Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, Megara and Eleans refused to ratify it.
During the peace between Sparta and Athens matters were far from being
satisfactory. Her allies, Boeotians and Corinthians never accepted the peace and
Athens refused to evacuate Pylos. Alkibiades of Athens persuaded both Achaea
and Patrae to ally with Athens and helped Argos in the attack upon Epidauros,
which they ravaged. Spartans could not accept all these and assembling a large
army, in which her allies were participating, invaded Argos and surrounded the
Argive army. A battle was ready to start when two Argive oligarch leaders came to
king Agis of Sparta and persuaded him to sign a truce for four months. A little later
Alkibiades leading a force of one thousand hoplites and four hundred cavalry came
to assist Argives and persuaded them to attack the city of Orchomenos in Arcadia.
After they conquered Orchomenos they marched against Tegea.
1-1

In the meantime king Agis, who had being blamed for the truce with the Argives,
marched with a large force in the territory of Mantinea and positioned himself near
the temple of Hercules. The Argives and their allies left the city of Mantinea and in
a well-chosen ground offered battle. King Agis was ready to attack them at this
advantageous for the Argives ground, but when the Spartans came close, an old
Spartan warrior told him, that with his act was trying "to heal one mischief by
another". These words made him to withdraw his men. After this, the Argives took
position in the plain and tried to attack them by surprise. The right section of the
Argive army, which was consisted from the flower of aristocracy, a permanent body
of one thousand chosen soldiers drilled and maintained by the city of Argos, were
successful to route the Lacedaemonians, but Agis with the rest of his army which
was more successful, he managed to win the battle (June 418 BC). Athenians lost
two hundred hoplites included the generals Laches and Nikostratos, the Argives
and their allies lost another nine hundred men. From the Lacedaemonian army
only three hundred men lost. Even after all these, the peace of Nikias typically was
still in existence.

The Peloponnesian war II: 415 - 404 BC
In 415 BC, in the expedition of Athenians in Syracuse, the Spartan general
Gylippos with four ships came to the assistance of Syracuse. Though his force was
small, he helped greatly Syracuse to win the war. He firstly captured the Athenian
fort at Labdalum, which made him master of Epipolae and build fortifications. He
then constructed a counter wall to intersect the Athenian lines at the north side. A
little later he was reinforced by the arrival of thirty triremes. This small participation
of Sparta in the war was of the outmost importance.
After the Athenian disaster in Syracuse, the war between Athens and Sparta
became maritime. Lacedaemonians gave a better attention on their naval power.
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A new office, that of Navarchia, was risen. The Navarchos (Admiral) was even
superior to the Ephors. In the beginning though Sparta had not much success.
In August of 411 BC, the Peloponnesian fleet commanded by Mindaros lost the
naval battle at Kynossema. The Athenian fleet though smaller in force, in the straits
of Sestos and Abydos, gained a complete victory.
In 410 BC, Alkibiades managed to capture the whole Peloponnesian fleet at
Kyzicos. Mindaros was killed and the second in command Spartan sent a letter to
the Ephors in Laconic form: "Ships gone; Mindaros dead; men starving; no idea
what to do."
Spartans were so discouraged, that they sent the Ephor Endius to Athens for a
peace agreement but the Athenians, who were influenced by the demagogue
Kleophon, rejected the offer.
Spartans now appointed a new navarchos, the able man Lysander. When his turn
of command expired, he was succeeded by Kallicratidas, who increased the
number of ships of the Spartan fleet. There was a naval battle at the harbor of
Mytelene with the Athenian fleet under Konon. The Athenians, who were
outnumbered, lost the battle and thirty ships. Another forty ships were saved by
bringing them ashore, near the walls of the town.
Kallicratidas then blockade the island. When the news arrived at Athens they sent
a fleet of one hundred and ten triremes and they were reinforced with another forty
later. The number of ships of Kallicratidas was one hundred and twenty. At the
small island of Arginusae, the Athenian fleet met the Spartan and after a hard
struggle defeated them (406 BC). The Lacedaemonians lost seventy seven ships
and the rest were retreated at Chios and Phocaea. Kallicratidas was thrown
overboard, when his ship was hit by another and perished. The Athenians lost only
twenty five ships.
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Though it was illegal for an admiral to have a second term, Lysander, with the title
of Epistoleus (bearer of letters), took the command of the Spartan fleet.
He immediately obtained large sums of money from Kyros, king of Persia, to
rebuild the fleet and made siege on Lampsacus.
The Athenians, who came to help, arrived too late to save the city and took post at
Aegospotamoi (Goat's river) close to the city of Lampsacus. Lysander who
systematically avoided a naval battle, since his ships were outnumbered, he
managed to capture the enemy fleet after treachery or negligence of the Athenians.
All 4000 Athenian prisoners were put to death. This event substantially marked the
end of Athens.

Expedition in Asia
After the fall of Athens, Sparta became the undisputed leader of Greece for 34
years. Their first move was to punish the Eleans, who along with Argos and
Mantinea had taken the arms against them, during the war with Athens and also for
the insults they had received when they excluded them from the games of
Olympia. They demanded from Eleans to pay for the expenses of the war and
resign their authority over the dependent townships in Trifylia. Eleans of course did
not accept these demands and in 402 BC king Agis entered in their territory but
unfavorable omens and an earthquake forced the Spartans to return home.
In the following year they invaded Elean again. After ravaging and plundering the
territory, they forced them to a humiliating peace.
At 400 BC, king Agis died and he was succeeded by Agesilaos, who led an army
into Asia.
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It was the first time, that a Greek army had entered Asia, from the times of
Agamemnon.
In 396 BC, he arrived and took command of the city of Ephesos. When the satrap
Tissaphernes ordered him to quit Asia, Agesilaos fooled him and instead of
attacking Caria, as was expected, he moved towards Phrygia, the satrapy of
Arnavazos and reached Daskylium, where he was repulsed by the Persian cavalry.
He then returned to Ephesos, where he prepared a cavalry.
Shortly later he again fooled Tissaphernes, making known that he would march
toward Sardis. Tissaphernes who thought that this was another trick, dispersed his
cavalry elsewhere and Agesilaos unopposed, he arrived at the river Pactolos,
where a battle took place and the Persians were defeated.
In the meantime, Tissaphernes was assassinated and Tithrastes took his place,
who persuaded Agesilaos to quit his satrapy for the sum of thirty talents. Agesilaos
then moved to the satrapy of Artavazos now, whose magnanimity he appreciated
and left his territory also and entered the plains of Thebes, close to the gulf of
Eleus.
In 394 BC, during his preparations for a big expedition in the interior of Asia Minor,
he was recalled home, because Sparta felt threatened.
Agesilaos during his expedition in Asia had been appointed Navarchos (admiral).
He was the first man in Sparta to acquire so much power. He immediately started
to prepare a new fleet of 120 triremes and put to the command his brother in law
Pisander. In the beginning of August of the same year, half of Sparta's fleet was
captured or destroyed by the Athenian fleet under Konon, in the peninsula of
Knidos in Caria. Pisander who fought gallantry perished in the battle.
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About the same time with the naval battle at Knidos there was another battle of
Sparta against the joining forces of Thebes, Athens, Corinth and Argos fought in
the territory of Corinth which Sparta won (battle of Corinth 394 BC).

Battle of Koronea
In August of 394 BC, king Agesilaos returned from the expedition in Asia and
brought his army in the valley Koronea of Boeotia. From the other side Thebans,
Athenians and their allies were ready for battle.
The two armies came silently close to each other. When they reached a distance of
two hundred meters, the Thebans raised their usual paeans and started to run
towards the Spartan army, who moved only when the Thebans came about one
hundred meters close. Thebans quickly overpowered the opposite of them soldiers
of Orchomenos, in the left wing, but Agesilaos, who had also success on the other
side, cut the Thebans from the rest of the army. Now Thebans were forced to
attack the Spartans, in order to join with their allies. It was such the force of the
impact of the two armies that the spears broke. Pushing with shields each other,
they only could use their daggers. Both armies fought desperately but Thebans
made their way through breaking the Spartan lines. King Agesilaos, though many
times wounded was at the front ranks and fought with valor. The outcome of the
battle though indecisive ended with victory of Sparta.



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The battle of Leuctra: 371 BC
In 371 BC, on the plain of Leuctra, Spartans were defeated again from the Theban
Sacred Band, this time under the leadership of General Epameinondas, though the
Theban forces were outnumbered by the Lacedaemonians, Epameinondas with a
series of ingenious tactics and with the help of his supreme trained men of the
Sacred Band defeated the invincible Spartan army. He arrayed the best men of his
troops, fifty shields deep, opposite to the opponent right wing occupied by the
Spartans, which were twelve shields deep, leaving his center and left wing weak
and ordering them to stay momentarily out of action. The battle started with the
engagement of Spartan and Theban cavalries, which ended quickly with the defeat
of Spartans. Pelopidas leading the Sacred Band fell upon the Spartans with
irresistible force but the Spartans fought bravely and at first were victorious. It was
only when leading Spartans fell that the Spartan lines pushed and broke carrying
away the rest of the army and driving them to the camp. King Kleombrotos of
Sparta and many of his officers were killed. The rest of the army hardly had any
serious fighting. From the 700 Spartans who took part in the battle, only 300
survived. The whole Hellas was in sock from the event, understanding that a new
power had risen. At Argos, there was a revolution and the people put to death
many of the upper class pro-spartan.
After the battle they sent heralds to Athens proclaiming their victory over the
Spartans, but Athenians were not satisfied with the turn of events. Now they had a
new superpower a few miles from Athens. They also sent a herald to Jason of
Pherae in Thessaly. Jason upon hearing the news said he would come quickly in
Thebes with triremes, but instead with great speed and passing through enemy
territory he arrived in Boeotia. There the Theban leaders proposed him to attack
the encamped Spartans and her allies. Jason and Epameinondas refused and
managed to persuade them to let them go and thus saving Spartans from a bigger
catastrophe. Spartans indeed soon left and at Aigosthena they met with
Archidamos who was marching to help them. From there they returned home.
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With the battle of Leuctra, the Hegemony of Greece passed from Sparta to
Thebes, but for the short time of ten years. It did no good and as that of Sparta it
hurt Greece greatly. Thebes had no experienced and knowledgeable men, nor her
economy could withstand this. It failed as Sparta did, to unite the Greek cities and
stop the blood bath of Greece. There was turmoil all over Peloponnese. The
inhabitants of Mantinea in Arcadia, which had been broken in several villages, took
back their capital and build new walls. In Tegea of Arcadia, the people formed an
Arcadian federation. In two years a powerful confederation was born that was
including except the old alliances, Phokis, Locris, Aitolia and Euboea. After the
battle of Leuctra, Thebes made again peace with Athens and wanted to destroy
Orchomenos for being in alliance with the Spartans. The city was saved thanks to
the great efforts of Epameinondas, but not for long. A few years later when
Epameinondas was at an expedition in Byzantium, the city was razed, its male
citizens were killed and the rest were sold in slavery. It was another big blunder by
the Thebans.


INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES
Educational system
Successful completion of the public system of up-bringing, the agoge, was a
prerequisite for Spartan citizenship.
Public education was provided for girls as well as boys.
Spartan education was famed for its exceptional harshness and emphasis
on physical skills and endurance.
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It was also characterized, however, by an astonishing degree of self-
government, freedom and responsibility.

Spartan public education was the subject of extensive - and controversial -
discussion even in the ancient world. No other contemporary state provided for,
and in fact required, its citizens to go through the same "up-bringing" or agoge.
Unfortunately, because we must rely on descriptions of the system provided by
outsiders, we have a kind of "mirror image" of the Spartan agoge. Observers
reported that which struck them as unique or different from education in their own
cities, rather than reporting systematically about Sparta's system of education
First, it is important to note that collective education was considered so important
that the agoge was not only a compulsory prerequisite for citizenship, but all adult
males bore an equal responsibility for rearing good citizens. This was manifest in
the laws which required boys in school to address all older men as "father," and
gave any citizen the right to discipline a boy or youth under age. All citizens were
directly involved in the education of the next generation in another respect as well:
at the age of 20, before being awarded citizenship at 21 and serving in the army,
young Spartans acted as instructors in the agoge for their younger classmates.
Last but not least, despite the emphasis on public education, it would be
absurd to think that parents did not take a very personal and intense interest in the
education of their own children. Numerous quotes demonstrate the pride and
sense of personal accomplishment that Spartan mothers felt with regard to their
sons. Human nature, which has changed very little in 3000 years, suggests that
fathers would not have been less proud.


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Second, all sources agree that the principle goal of public education was to raise
good future citizens. One aspect of this goal is obvious: future citizens were by
definition professional soldiers and so the education system very clearly sought to
create physically hardened men, capable of enduring hardship, pain and loss. The
emphasis of the education was thus on athletic activities and military skills. Many
stories are told about the hardships the boys endured, and that they were allowed
to steal. Despite a common misconception found even in ancient commentary,
careful research indicates that the boys in the agoge were not encouraged to steal
throughout their training - only during a specified segment.
Most likely, this was a form of "survival training" intended to teach the youths how
to survive on their own so that they would be able - for example - to operate behind
enemy lines. Throughout their public education, they were evidently subjected to
harsh discipline, which apparently included flogging - a punishment reserved
almost exclusively for slaves in other Greek cities.

Less obvious and often overlooked by modern observers is the fact that the goal of
producing good future citizens was not fulfilled by producing good soldiers alone.
Ideal future citizens were democratic, self-sufficient and independent. Thus,
despite the harsh discipline, Sparta did not seek to break her youth or make them
submissive. Instead, they were taught democracy from the very start of their
schooling - not in theory but in practice. On starting school at the age of seven, the
boys were organized into units, teams, or "herds" - and elected their own leaders.
Some sources suggest that they also "elected" their instructors from among the
eligible 20-year-olds.

Furthermore, although the emphasis of Spartan education may have been on
physical education, this training could not have been exclusive.
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The fact that no contemporary source mentions that the boys learned to read and
write has been taken mistakenly to mean they did not. This is absurd. There is
abundant evidence that the Spartans were every bit as well educated as other
Greeks. Anything less, would have put Sparta at a disadvantage in foreign affairs,
and made it inconceivable that Spartans were repeatedly requested to assume
positions of leadership.
Furthermore, the percentage of Spartans who were literate clearly exceeded that of
any other city because - in contrast to the other cities - Spartan women were
literate. The fact that learning to read and write is not mentioned in the descriptions
of the Spartan agoge is a function of the fact that all Greeks learned these skills
while in school and so this was not deemed worthy of comment. Worthy of
comment, however, was the excellence of Spartan education in music, poetry and
dance. The boys and youths of the agoge were famed for their mastery of all three
skills. It must be assumed that these activities were nearly as important as physical
education.
Another area in which Spartans excelled was in briefness and clarity of expression.
Rhetoric in ancient Greece was highly valued. Men are known to have paid large
sums to improve their speaking skills, and in democratic Athens power rested with
those men who could persuade the assembly with their rhetoric. If Athenians
collected Spartan sayings and "laconic" forms of expression were admired, this is
clear testimony of the quality of Spartan education in this regard.
Lastly, the manners of Spartan youth were universally admired in the ancient world
and comparisons were often drawn to the rude youth of other cities. One incident
describes an old man looking for a seat at the Olympic games. As he stumbled
about from one section to the other, the spectators laughed him at. But when he
came to the Spartan section, all the Spartans stood to offer him their places - and
there was universal applause.
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The moral drawn by the commentator was: you see, all Greeks know how we
ought to behave, but only the Spartans act on it.
It would nevertheless be imprudent [unwise] to conclude that Spartan youth was as
virtuous as its reputation. As the stories of theft suggest, it is far more likely that
Spartan youth learned to appear obedient and respectful in public, and also
learned just how to do whatever it liked when it was "out of sight."

Women education in Sparta
In no other Greek city-state did women enjoy the same freedom and status
as Spartan women.
Only in Sparta did women possess economic power and influence.
Only in Sparta did girls engage in sports and receive public education in
other city-states, most women were completely illiterate.
The status of women in most of the Greek world, and particularly in Athens, was
similar to the status of women under the Taliban today. Wives were acquired
strictly for the purpose of the production of legitimate heirs, and sexual pleasure
was sought from boys, slaves, and prostitutes (who were also unfree) in explicitly
lopsided relationships in which the free, adult male dominated and demeaned the
object of his sexual attentions. The wives and daughters of citizens were excluded
from all public and intellectual activities, were kept inside behind locked doors, and
were not allowed to exercise or eat as well as their brothers or husbands. Women
could not inherit or own property, and it was not considered wise to educate them.
It is against the backdrop of this essentially misogynous world, where women were
deemed "a curse to mankind" and "a plague worse than fire or any viper"
(Euripides), that the status of Spartan women must be judged. Spartan women
were not as free as modern women.
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Their primary role in society was that of wives and mothers. Their fathers chose
their husbands for them, and they were honored most for producing sons. They
did not have the right to vote (but then they weren't expected to spend forty years
in the army, either), and they could not be elected to public office. Nevertheless,
they enjoyed status and rights that were exceptional in ancient Greece and were
the scandal of the ancient world.
The greater freedom and status of Spartan women began at birth. Sparta's laws
required female infants and children to be given the same care and food as their
brothers in contrast to other Greek cities, where girls were more likely to be
exposed (rejected and killed) at birth, were fed on a less nutritious diet than their
brothers, and were prevented from getting exercise or even fresh air.
Furthermore, like their brothers, Spartan girls attended the public school, although
for a shorter period of time than the boys. At school they were allowed and
encouraged to engage in sports. But, as Plato points out in his Protagoras (342d),
this education was not purely physical. On the contrary, in Sparta "not only men
but also women pride themselves on their intellectual culture." This was more than
mere literacy: it was systematic education in rhetoric and philosophical thought.
When girls reached sexual maturity, they were not rushed as were their sisters
throughout the rest of the ancient world into marriage, thereby suffering
psychological and physical injury from premature sex and frequently dying early in
childbed. On the contrary, the Spartan laws explicitly advocated marrying girls only
after they had reached an age to "enjoy sex." The reasoning was simple: for
young girls not yet psychologically ready for sexual intimacy, sex was an "act of
violence." It is highly significant that Spartans condemned violence inside
marriage, and understood that sex with a child is abusive. Nor were Spartan girls
married to much older men, as was usual in other Greek cities. It is estimated that
most Spartan wives were only four to five years younger than their husbands.
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The fact that much of Sparta's concern was for the production of healthy children
does not detract from the fact that the laws protected girls from early marriage. All
Greek marriages were for procreation, but in other cities men were willing to accept
the inevitable higher death rates and other physical consequences of forcing sex
on young girls for the sake of indulging their own preference for sex with children.
Because Sparta's male citizens were required to devote their lives to the military
and other forms of public service, Sparta's matrons ran the estates of their
husbands. This meant that Spartan wives controlled the family wealth and, in
effect, the entire Spartan agricultural economy. (Trade and manufacturing were in
the hands of the perioikoi see the essay on Economy.) A Spartan citizen was
dependent on his wife's efficiency to pay his dues to his dining club and his son's
agoge fees. This economic power is in particularly sharp contrast to cities such as
Athens, where it was illegal for a woman to control more money than she needed
to buy a bushel of grain.
Spartan women could inherit and so transfer wealth. Athenian women, by contrast,
were never heiresses: all property passed to the next male kinsman, who might at
most be required to marry the heiress in order to claim the inheritance an
arrangement that often led men to discard their previous wife, although she was
blameless, just to get their hands on the inheritance of a kinsman. Economic
power has always had the concomitant effect of increasing status. This is clearly
evidenced by contemporary descriptions of Spartan women. They were
"notorious" for having opinions (even on political matters) and what was clearly
worse from the perspective of other Greek men "their husbands listened to them"
Aristotle claimed that Spartan men were "ruled by their wives" and cited the
freedom of Spartan women as one of two reasons why the Spartan constitution
was reprehensible.

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Lastly, it is a frequent misconception that Spartan society was blatantly
homosexual. Curiously, no contemporary source and no archaeological evidence
support this widespread assumption. The best ancient source on Sparta,
Xenophon, explicitly denies the already common rumors about widespread
pederasty. Aristotle noted that the power of women in Sparta was typical of all
militaristic and warlike societies without a strong emphasis on male homosexuality
arguing that in Sparta this "positive" moderating factor on the role of women in
society was absent. There is no Spartan/Laconian pottery with explicitly
homosexual motifs as there is from Athens and Corinth and other cities. The first
recorded heterosexual love poem was written by a Spartan poet for Spartan
maidens. The very fact that Spartan men tended to marry young by ancient Greek
standards (in their early to mid-twenties) suggests they had less time for the
homosexual love affairs that characterized early manhood in the rest of Greece.
Certainly the Spartan state considered bachelorhood a disgrace, and a citizen who
did not marry and produce future citizens enjoyed less status than a man who had
fathered children. In no other ancient Greek city were women so well integrated
into society. All this speaks against a society in which homosexuality was
institutionalized or predominant.

Scientific and technological advances
The Hoplite Phalanx
The Hoplite Phalanx was a special formation of specially-equipped Spartan
soldiers known as Hoplites.It changed the way land engagements were fought.
Until then, land battles had primarily come down to individual hand-tohand combat,
with warriors trying to kill the bravest and best fighter on the other side so as to
demoralize the opposition.
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The hoplite phalanx, however, consisted of specially-armed infantry. They all wore
bronze body armor, helmets, bronze shin guards, and all carried shields. Their
primary weapons were a short sword for close-quarter fighting, and the weapon
that became the trademark of the phalanx, an 8-15 foot long spear.
The phalanx fought in formation in a highly organized and disciplined manner.
Shields were worn on the left shoulder, and were long enough to cover the soldier's
knees. As the hoplite soldiers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, the shields overlapped
each other, forming a wall of shields and protecting each other.
A phalanx could be as many as eight rows deep, and moving in formation, they
were nearly unstoppable so long as their rear and flanks were protected. The
phalanx was perfect for combat on open ground or level terrain.
The concept of the phalanx was evidence of the Spartan concept that battles
should be quick, bloody, and decisive. Spartans did not want to spend a long time
on a military campaign, as most of the soldiers had to be home in time for harvest.
As a result, the Spartans were inexperienced at the concept of siege craft and
fortification, which became evident in the Peloponnesian War.
Nevertheless, the hoplite phalanx was one of the most successful innovations in
military history, the core concepts of which have been copied by armies the world
over. For a good depiction of what the hoplite phalanx looked like, the Oliver Stone
movie "Alexander" has an excellent portrayal of a phalanx.

Military Schools
The Spartans were the originators of the military school. Spartan male children
were sent to these military academies at a young age --- usually 7.
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The schools were part of the state education system, and boys would remain there
until they turned 20. The structure of the system was aimed at developing the boys
into warriors, ready to fight and die for Sparta, and the school structure was based
on discipline.

Conscription
The Spartans were the first to employ a form of mandatory military conscription in
which Spartan males were required to serve in the military at the age of 18. As they
got older, at 20, the men were placed in a military grouping called a "syssitia"
where they bonded with other soldiers in order to develop unit discipline and
courage. Sparta males remained in active military service until the age of 60.

Helots
Sparta did not invent slavery, but they did generate a particular kind of slavery
system. In Sparta, helots were captured enemies who were made to work for the
Spartans without pay. These slaves had no rights and belonged to the state --- not
to the landowners themselves. The primary role of the helots was to work on
agricultural development --- especially increasing the food yield. Each year the
Spartans organized a mass beating of the helots in an attempt to keep them in
order.


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Art
The common assumption that Sparta lacked artistic achievements is
incorrect.
Pausanias, traveling through Sparta in the second century AD, recorded
hundreds of significant buildings temples, monuments, tombs, and public
buildings that were part and parcel of Spartan art and culture.
According to contemporary sources, Sparta was particularly renowned for its
music and dance.
Spartan sculptors were active in pan-European sites such as Delphi and
Olympia.
Spartan bronze works were coveted as gifts and imports.
Spartan poets were admired throughout the ancient world and it was one
of these who wrote the first recorded heterosexual love poems known today.

Architectural Monuments
Looking first at architecture, Sparta was distinguished by its early democracy and
prosperity, and by the fact that it was unconquered and unplundered until relatively
late in ancient times. In short, its monuments were built early and there was no
compulsion to replace them. (We should not forget that the splendor of the
Athenian Acropolis is largely a function of the fact that the Persians destroyed all
the older temples on the site. As a result, Pericles was able to carry out a
comprehensive modernization of the entire Acropolis at the very pinnacle of
Athenian power, wealth, and artistic prominence.)
Sparta did have buildings and temples, however, which were greatly admired in
their own time. The most significant of these were the Menelaion and the
Amyklaion.
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The Menelaion, which dates from roughly 700 BC, was erected as a monument or
temple to Menelaos and Helen. It is located near the remains of a Mycenaean
palace allegedly the palace of Menelaos dating roughly from the 15th century
BC. The Amyklaion was admired by ancient historians as the most significant
temple in all Lacedaemon. It was built in Sparta's Golden Age the 6th century
BC. This temple contained a massive bronze statue of Apollo surrounded by
colonnades and stoa. Particularly worthy of mention is also the Spartan Assembly
Hall, a monumental stoa built in the mid-6th century and greatly admired by visitors
to Sparta. The Persian Stoa, built after the victory over the Persians in the 5th
century, was later added as a counterpart on the agora and was also significant. In
short, the city of Sparta had a rich, varied, and yet urban character despite the
disparaging remarks made by Thucydides.

Sculpture and Crafts in Bronze, Ivory, and Terra Cotta
There is now significant archaeological as well as historical evidence that Sparta
enjoyed an artistic Golden Age from roughly 650 to 550 BC. In this period, its
artistic achievements were renowned throughout the known world. At this time,
Spartan sculptors were active not only at home but also in cultural centers such as
Olympia and Delphi; at least nine sculptors are known by name. Spartan bronze
products were of such high quality that they were viewed as valuable diplomatic
gifts and found their way to the far corners of the earth. Laconian pottery was, for
a period of roughly 100 years, sufficiently valued to be a significant export
commodity. Beautiful examples of Laconian pottery still exist, providing sufficient
evidence of the very high quality of both the pottery and the painting even if
classical Corinthian and Athenian vases and painting demonstrate a yet higher
quality a century later. Laconian ivory work was another export product, reflecting
the high quality of the craftsmen.
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Poetry, Music, and Dance
Without doubt, Sparta was most renowned in its own time for its poetry, music, and
dance. We know of four Spartan poets and lyricists whose works were admired
throughout the ancient world, although only fragments of their work have survived
the centuries. We know that people traveled great distances to witness the choral
and dance contests of the Spartans at their various festivals, particularly the
Gymnopaedia and the Hyakinthia. It is also recorded that the Spartans advanced
into battle singing. Yet, as with all ancient Greek music and dance, nothing
remains for the modern observer to grasp. It is left to our imagination.
Music was as important a part of Spartan education as training in graceful
conversation. The Spartans learned inspirational songs that made them eager for
action. When the time for battle came, they sang to the sound of flutes as they
advanced at the enemy. Calmly and cheerfully, they walked into battle with such
complete confidence that it seemed they had been blessed with immunity by some
god. The effect of music on the emotions was used more in Sparta than anywhere
else.






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IMPORTANT EDUCATORS OR PEDAGOGISTS OF THE PERIOD
Lycurgus of Sparta (820730 BC)
Lycurgus was the legendary lawgiver of Sparta,
who established the military-oriented reformation of
Spartan society in accordance with the Oracle of
Apollo, at Delphi. All his reforms were directed
towards the three Spartan virtues: equality (among
citizens), military fitness, and austerity.
He is referred to by ancient historians and
philosophers Herodotus, Xenophon, Plato,
Polybius, Plutarch and Epictetus. It is not clear if this Lycurgus was an actual
historical figure; however, many ancient historians believed Lycurgus was
responsible for the communalistic and militaristic reforms that transformed Spartan
society, most notably the Great Rhetra. Ancient historians place him in the first half
of the 8th century BC.
In Sparta there were two kings who jointly shared the power. Lycurgus, according
to Plutarch, was the younger son of one of these two kings. His older brother's wife
was pregnant when both Lycurgus' brother and father died, and so, the unborn
would have become king -- assuming it was a boy -- in time. Lycurgus' sister-in-law
proposed to Lycurgus, saying she would do away with the child if he would marry
her. In that way both she and Lycurgus would maintain power in Sparta. Lycurgus
pretended to agree with her, but instead of having the child killed after birth, as was
a Greek custom, Lycurgus presented the child to the men of Sparta, naming the
child and saying that he was their future king. Lycurgus himself was to act as
guardian and advisor until the baby came of age.

121

Lycurgus Travels to Learn About Law
When slander about the motives of Lycurgus got out of hand, Lycurgus left Sparta
and went to Crete where he became familiar with the Cretan law code. Plutarch
says Lycurgus met Homer and Thales on his travels.

Recalled to Sparta, Lycurgus Institutes His Laws (Rhetra)
Eventually, the Spartans decided they needed Lycurgus back and persuaded him
to return to Sparta. Lycurgus agreed to do so, but first he had to consult with the
Delphic Oracle. The advice of the oracle was so well respected that it would add
authority to whatever was done in its name. The oracle said that the laws (rhetra)
of Lycurgus would become the most famous in the world.

Lycurgus Changes Sparta's Social Organization
With the oracle on his side, Lycurgus instituted changes in the Spartan government
and provided Sparta with a constitution. In addition to changes to the government,
Lycurgus altered the economy of Sparta, banning ownership of gold or silver and
useless occupations. All men were to eat together in common mess halls.
Lycurgus reformed Sparta socially, too. Lycurgus started the state-run education
system, including the training of women, the peculiar non-monogamous Spartan
marriages, and the role of the state in deciding which newborn was fit to live.
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In order to the good education of their youth he went so far back as to take into
consideration their very conception and birth, by regulating their marriages.

EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES
The primary purpose of Spartan education, and indeed of Spartan society as a
whole, differed greatly from that of the Athenians. The primary goal of Spartan
education was to produce good soldiers.
Sparta was not known for its educational and artistic culture, with its educational
focus firmly based on military activities, but these were supported by education in
the skills of reading and writing. Girls were also educated in reading and writing in
Sparta







120




The
Sophists





128

Sophism
Sophism was originally a term for the techniques taught by a highly respected
group of philosophy and rhetoric teachers in ancient Greece. The derogatory
modern usage of the word, suggesting an invalid argument designed to appeal to
emotion, is not necessarily representative of the beliefs of the original Sophists,
except that they generally taught Rhetoric. The Sophists are known today only
through the writings of their opponents (specifically Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle),
which makes it difficult to formulate a complete view of the Sophists' beliefs.
Origins
The meaning of the word sophist has changed greatly over time. Initially, a sophist
was someone who gave sophia to his disciples, i. e. wisdom made from
knowledge. It was a highly complementary term, applied to early philosophers such
as the Seven Wise Men (Sages) of Greece.
In the second half of the 5th century B.C., and especially at Athens, "sophist" came
to be applied to a group of thinkers who employed debate and rhetoric to teach and
disseminate their ideas and offered to teach these skills to others. Due to the
importance of such skills in the litigious social life of Athens, acclaimed teachers of
such skills often commanded very high fees. The practice of taking fees, coupled
with the willingness of many practitioners to use their rhetorical skills to pursue
unjust lawsuits, eventually led to a decline in respect for practitioners of this form of
teaching and the ideas and writings associated with it.
Protagoras is generally regarded as the first sophist. Other leading 5th-century
sophists included Gorgias and Prodicus. Socrates was perhaps the first
philosopher to significantly challenge the Sophists.

125

By the time of Plato and Aristotle, "sophist" had taken on negative connotations,
usually referring to someone who used rhetorical sleight-of-hand and ambiguities
of language in order to deceive, or to support fallacious reasoning. Socrates, Plato,
and Aristotle all challenged the philosophical foundations of sophism. Eventually,
the school was accused of immorality by the state.
In modern philosophical usage, sophistry is a derogatory term for rhetoric that is
designed to appeal to the listener on grounds other than the strict logical validity of
the statements being made.
The Sophists held a relativistic view on cognition and knowledge. Their philosophy
contains criticism of Religion, law and ethics.
Though many sophists were as religious as their contemporaries, some held
atheistic or agnostic views.
Unfortunately most of the original texts written by the sophists have been lost, and
modern understanding of sophistic movement comes from analysis of Plato's
writings. It is necessary to keep in mind that Plato and the sophists had severe
ideological differences, and Plato might have benefited from modifying or slanting
the original sophistic arguments when he presented them in his writings (ironically,
a sophistic technique at work), or may even not have fully understood their
arguments himself. An excellent book on the topic is "The Sophistic Movement" by
G. B. Kerferd.
In the Roman Empire, sophists were just professors of rhetoric. For instance,
Libanius, Himerius, Aelius Aristides and Fronto were considered sophists in this
sense.

126

Etymology
The Greek word, related to the noun sophia, had the meaning "skilled" or "wise"
since the time of the poet Homer and originally was used to describe anyone with
expertise in a specific domain of knowledge or craft. For example, a charioteer, a
sculptor or a warrior could be described as sophoi in their occupations. Gradually,
however, the word also came to denote general wisdom and especially wisdom
about human affairs (for example, in politics, ethics, or household management).
This was the meaning ascribed to the Greek Seven Sages of 7th and 6th century
BC (like Solon and Thales), and it was the meaning that appeared in the histories
of Herodotus. Richard Martin refers to the seven sages as "performers of political
poetry."
From the word sophos is derived the verb sophizo, which means "to instruct or
make learned," but which in the passive voice means "to become or be wise," or
"to be clever or skilled in a thing." In turn, from this verb is derived the noun
sophistes, which originally meant "a master of one's craft" but later came to mean
"a prudent man" or "wise man." The word for "sophist" in various languages comes
from sophistes.
The word "sophist" could also be combined with other Greek words to form
compounds. Examples include meteorosophist, which roughly translates to "expert
in celestial phenomena"; gymnosophist (or "naked sophist," a word used to refer to
a sect of Indian philosophers, the Gymnosophists), deipnosophist or "dinner
sophist" (as in the title of Athenaeus's Deipnosophistae), and iatrosophist, a type of
physician in the later Roman period.


127

Sophists of the 5th century BC
The names survive of nearly 30 Sophists properly so called, of whom the most
important were Protagoras, Gorgias, Antiphon, Prodicus, and Thrasymachus.

Protagoras (490 BC c. 420 BC)
Protagoras was born in Abdera, Thrace, in Ancient
Greece. According to Aulus Gellius, he originally made
his living as a porter, but one day he was seen by the
philosopher Democritus carrying a load of small pieces
of wood tied with a short cord. Democritus discovered
that Protagoras had tied the load himself with such
perfect geometric accuracy that it revealed him to be a
mathematic prodigy. He immediately took him into his own household and taught
him philosophy.
In Plato's Protagoras, before the company of Socrates, Prodicus, and Hippias, he
states that he is old enough to be the father of any of them. This suggests a date of
not later than 490 BC. In the Meno he is said to have died at about the age of 70
after 40 years as a practicing Sophist. His death, then, may be assumed to have
occurred circa 420. He was well known in Athens and became a friend of Pericles.



128

Philosophy
Protagoras was also known as a teacher who addressed subjects connected to
virtue and political life. He was especially involved in the question of whether virtue
could be taught, a commonplace issue of 5th century Greece related to modern
readers through Plato's dialogue.
Rather than educators who offered specific, practical training in rhetoric or public
speaking, Protagoras attempted to formulate a reasoned understanding, on a very
general level, of a wide range of human phenomena, including language and
education. In Plato's Protagoras, he claims to teach "the proper management of
one's own affairs, how best to run one's household, and the management of public
affairs, how to make the most effective contribution to the affairs of the city by word
and action".
He also seems to have had an interest in orthoepeia - the correct use of words,
although this topic is more strongly associated with his fellow sophist Prodicus. In
his eponymous Platonic dialogue, Protagoras interprets a poem by Simonides,
focusing on his use of words, their literal meaning and the author's original intent.
This type of education would have been useful for the interpretation of laws and
other written documents in the Athenian courts.
Diogenes Lartius reports that Protagoras devised a taxonomy of speech acts
such as assertion, question, answer, command, etc. Aristotle also says that
Protagoras worked on the classification and proper use of grammatical gender.
His most famous saying is: "Man is the measure of all things: of things which are,
that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not".
Plato protested strongly that Socrates was in no sense a Sophisthe took no fees,
and his devotion to the truth was beyond question.
12+

But from many points of view he is rightly regarded as a rather special member of
the movement. The actual number of Sophists was clearly much larger than 30,
and for about 70 years, until c. 380 BC, they were the sole source of higher
education in the more advanced Greek cities.
Thereafter, at least at Athens, they were largely replaced by the new philosophic
schools, such as those of Plato and Isocrates. Plato's dialogue Protagoras
describes something like a conference of Sophists at the house of Callias in
Athens just before the Peloponnesian War. Antimoerus of Mende, described as
one of the most distinguished of Protagoras' pupils, is there receiving professional
instruction in order to become a Sophist, and it is clear that this was already a
normal way of entering the profession.
Most of the major Sophists were not Athenians, but they made Athens the center
for their activities, although travelling continuously. The importance of Athens was
doubtless due in part to the greater freedom of speech prevailing there, in part to
the patronage of wealthy men like Callias, and even to the positive encouragement
of Pericles, who was said to have held long discussions with Sophists in his house.
But primarily the Sophists congregated at Athens because they found there the
greatest demand for what they had to offer, namely, instruction to young men, and
the extent of this demand followed from the nature of the city's political life. Athens
was a democracy, and although its limits were such that Thucydides could say it
was governed by one man, Pericles, it nonetheless gave opportunities for a
successful political career to citizens of the most diverse backgrounds, provided
they could impress their audiences sufficiently in the council and the assembly.
After Pericles' death this avenue became the highroad to political success.

The Sophists taught men how to speak and what arguments to use in public
debate. A Sophistic education was increasingly sought after both by members of
the oldest families and by aspiring newcomers without family backing.
10-

The changing pattern of Athenian society made merely traditional attitudes in many
cases no longer adequate. Criticizing such attitudes and replacing them by rational
arguments held special attraction for the young, and it explains the violent distaste
which they aroused in traditionalists. Plato thought that much of the Sophistic
attack upon traditional values was unfair and unjustified. But even he learned at
least one thing from the Sophistsif the older values were to be defended, it must
be by reasoned argument, not by appeals to tradition and unreflecting faith.

Seen from this point of view, the Sophistic movement was a valuable function of
Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC. It offered an education designed to
facilitate and promote success in public life.
All of the Sophists appear to have provided training in rhetoric and in the art of
speaking, and the Sophistic movement, responsible for large advances in rhetorical
theory, contributed greatly to the development of style in oratory. In modern times
the view occasionally has been advanced that this was the Sophists' only concern.
But the range of topics dealt with by the major Sophists makes this unlikely, and
even if success in this direction was their ultimate aim, the means they used were
surely as much indirect as direct, for the pupils were instructed not merely in the art
of speaking, but in grammar; in the nature of virtue (arete) and the bases of
morality; in the history of society and the arts; in poetry, music, and mathematics;
and also in astronomy and the physical sciences.
Naturally the balance and emphasis differed from Sophist to Sophist, and some
offered wider curricula than others. But this was an individual matter, and attempts
by earlier historians of philosophy to divide the Sophistic movement into periods in
which the nature of the instruction was altered are now seen to fail for lack of
evidence. The 5th-century Sophists inaugurated a method of higher education that
in range and method anticipated the modern humanistic approach inaugurated or
revived during the Renaissance.
101

Sophists and democracy
The first sophists prepared Athenian males for public life in the polis by teaching
them how to debate through the art of rhetoric. The art of persuasion was the most
important thing to have a successful life in the fifth century Athens social
commonplace when rhetoric was in its most important stage. The sophists'
rhetorical techniques were extremely useful for any young nobleman looking for
public office. The societal roles the Sophists filled had important ramifications for
the Athenian political system at large. The historical context provides evidence for
their considerable influence, as Athens became more and more democratic during
the period in which the Sophists were most active.
Athens was a flourishing democracy before the Sophists started their teachings
there. The Sophists certainly were not directly responsible for Athenian democracy,
but their cultural and psychological contributions played an important role in its
growth. They contributed to the new democracy in part by espousing expertise in
public deliberation, since this was the foundation of decision-making, which
allowed and perhaps required a tolerance of the beliefs of others. This liberal
attitude would naturally have precipitated into the Athenian assembly as Sophists
acquired increasingly high-powered clients.
Continuous rhetorical training gave the citizens of Athens "the ability to create
accounts of communal possibilities through persuasive speech". This was
extremely important for the democracy, as it gave disparate and sometimes
superficially unattractive views a chance to be heard in the Athenian assembly.
In addition, Sophists had great impact on the early development of law, as the
sophists were the first lawyers in the world. Their status as lawyers was a result of
their extremely developed argumentation skills.

102

Sophists and education
Sophists taught the art of speaking and writing in the western world before any
other philosophical or rhetorical figure. The Sophists were notorious for their claims
to teach virtue/excellence and for accepting fees for teaching. The influence of this
stance on education in general, and medical education in particular, have been
described by Seamus Mac Suibhne. The sophists "offer quite a different epistemic
field from that mapped by Aristotle," according to scholar Susan Jarratt, writer of
Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured.
Owing largely to the influence of Plato and Aristotle, philosophy came to be
regarded as distinct from sophistry, the latter being regarded as specious and
rhetorical, a practical discipline. Thus, by the time of the Roman Empire, a sophist
was simply a teacher of rhetoric and a popular public speaker. For instance,
Libanius, Himerius, Aelius Aristides, and Fronto were sophists in this sense.

Plato's Criticism of the Sophists
The Sophists formed part of the intellectual culture of classical Greece during the
second half of the fifth century BCE.
Best known as professional educators in the Hellenic world, they were regarded in
their time as polymaths, men of varied and great learning. Their doctrines and
practices were instrumental in shifting attention from the cosmological speculations
of the pre-Socratics to anthropological investigations with a decidedly practical
nature.

100

Plato critiques the Sophists for privileging appearances over reality, making the
weaker argument appear the stronger, preferring the pleasant over the good,
favoring opinions over the truth and probability over certainty, and choosing
rhetoric over philosophy. In recent times, this unflattering portrayal has been
countered with a more sympathetic appraisal of the Sophists' status in antiquity as
well as their ideas for modernity.

Writings
In addition to their teaching, the Sophists wrote many books, the titles of which are
preserved by writers such as Diogenes Lartius, who probably derived them from
library catalogues. It has usually been supposed that the writings themselves
hardly survived beyond the period of Plato and Aristotle, but this view requires
modification in the light of papyrus finds, admittedly few, that were copied from
Sophistic writings in the Christian Era. It also has been possible to identify in the
works of later writers certain imitations or summaries of 5th-century Sophistic
writers, whose names are unknown.
The most important of these are the discussion of law in the Protrepticus, or
Exhortation to Philosophy, by the 3rd-century-AD Syrian Neoplatonist Iamblichus,
and the so-called Dissoi logoi found in the manuscripts of Sextus Empiricus (3rd
century AD). This evidence suggests that while later writers took their accounts of
the Sophists from earlier writers, especially from Plato, the original writings did in
many cases survive and were consulted.



108

Theoretical issues
Relativism and scepticism have often been regarded as common features of the
Sophistic movement as a whole.
But it was early pointed out that only in Protagoras and Gorgias is there any
suggestion of a radical skepticism about the possibility of knowledge; and even in
their case Sextus Empiricus, in his discussion of skepticism, is probably right when
he declares that neither was really a sceptic. Protagoras does seem to have
restricted knowledge to sense experience, but he believed emphatically that
whatever was perceived by the senses was certainly true. This led him to assert
that the tangent does not touch the circle at a point only, but along a definite length
of the circumference; clearly he was referring to human perception of drawn
tangents and circles.
Gorgias, who claimed that nothing exists, or if it does exist it cannot be known, or if
it exists and is knowable it cannot be communicated to another, has often been
accused of denying all reality and all knowledge. Yet he also seems to have
appealed in his very discussion of these themes to the certainty of perceived facts
about the physical world; e.g., that chariots do not race across the sea. Others
dismiss his whole thesis as a satire or joke against philosophers.
Probably neither view is correct. What Gorgias seems to have been attacking was
not perceived reality nor one's power to perceive it but the attempt to assign
existence or nonexistence (with the metaphysical implications of such an
operation) to what we perceive around us.
There is evidence that other Sophists (e.g., Hippias) were interested in questions
of this kind, and it is likely that they were all concerned to some degree with
rejecting claims of any non-sensible existence, such as those of the Eleatics.
105

The Sophists, in fact, were attempting to explain the phenomenal world without
appealing to any principles outside of phenomena. They believed that this could be
done by including the observer within the phenomenal world. Their refusal to go
beyond phenomena was, for Plato, the great weakness in their thinking.
A second common generalization about the Sophists has been that they represent
a revolt against science and the study of the physical world. The evidence is
against this, inasmuch as for Hippias, Prodicus, Gorgias, and Protagoras there are
records of a definite interest in questions of this kind. The truth is rather that they
were in revolt against attempts to explain the physical world by appeals to
principles that could not be perceived by the senses; and instead of framing new
objective explanations, they attempted to explain things, where explanation was
required, by introducing the perceiver as one element in the perceptual situation.
One of the most famous doctrines associated with the Sophistic movement was the
opposition between nature and custom or convention in morals. It is probable that
the antithesis did not originate in Sophistic circles but was rather earlier; but it was
clearly very popular and figured largely in Sophistic discussions. The commonest
form of the doctrine involved an appeal from conventional laws to supposedly
higher laws based on nature. Sometimes these higher laws were invoked to
remedy defects in actual laws and to impose more stringent obligations; but usually
it was in order to free men from restrictions unjustifiably imposed by human laws
that the appeal to nature was made. In its extreme form the appeal involved the
throwing off of all restraints upon self-interest and the desires of the individual (e.g.,
the doctrine of Callicles in Plato's Gorgias that might, if one possesses it, is actually
right), and it was this, more than anything else, that gave support to charges
against the Sophists of immoral teaching. On other occasions the terms of the
antithesis were reversed and human laws were explicitly acclaimed as superior to
the laws of nature and as representing progress achieved by human endeavor.
106

In all cases the laws of nature were regarded not as generalized descriptions of
what actually happens in the natural world (and so not like the laws of physics to
which no exceptions are possible) but rather as norms that people ought to follow
but are free to ignore. Thus the appeal to nature tended to mean an appeal to the
nature of man treated as a source for norms of conduct.
To Greeks this appeal was not very novel. It represented a conscious probing and
exploration into an area wherein, according to their whole tradition of thought, lay
the true source for norms of conduct. If Callicles in Plato's Gorgias represents a
position actually held by a living Sophist when he advocates free rein for the
passions, then it was easy for Plato to argue in reply that the nature of man, if it is
to be fulfilled, requires organization and restraint in the license given to the desires
of particular aspects of it; otherwise the interests of the whole will be frustrated.
Both Plato and Aristotle, in basing so much of their ethics on the nature of man, are
only following up the approach begun by the Sophists.

Humanistic issues
The Sophists have sometimes been characterized by their attacks on the
traditional religious beliefs of the Greeks. It is true that more than one Sophist
seems to have faced prosecution for impiety, as did Socrates also. Protagoras
wrote concerning the gods, I cannot know either that they exist or that they do not
exist nor what they are like in form, and Prodicus offered a sociological account of
the development of religion. Critias went further when he supposed that the gods
were deliberately invented to inspire fear in the evildoer. It is thus probably correct
to say that the tendency of much Sophistic thought was to reject the traditional
doctrines about the gods. Indeed this follows almost inevitably if the supposition is
correct that all the Sophists were attempting to explain the phenomenal world from
within itself, while excluding all principles or entities not discernible in phenomena.
107

But in their agnostic attitudes toward the Olympian deities the Sophists were
probably at one with most of the Pre-Socratic philosophers of the 6th and 5th
centuries and also with most thinking people living toward the end of the 5th
century. It is thus probably misleading to regard them as revolutionary in their
religious beliefs.
The importance the Sophists attached to man meant that they were extremely
interested in the history and organization of human societies. Here again most is
known about Protagoras, and there is a danger of treating his particular doctrines
as typical of the Sophistic movement as a whole. In the 5th century, human history
was very commonly seen in terms of a decline from an earlier golden age. Another
view supposed that there were recurring cycles in human affairs according to which
a progression from good to bad would give way to one from bad to good. The
typical Sophistic attitude toward society rejected both of these views in favor of one
that saw human history in terms of progress from savagery to civilization. In a
famous myth Protagoras explained how man achieved civilized society first with
the aid of arts and crafts and then by gaining a sense of respect and justice in the
ordering of his affairs. The general thinking of most of the Sophists seems to have
been along similar lines.
One of the most distinctive Sophistic tenets was that virtue can be taught, a
position springing naturally from the Sophists' professional claim to be the teachers
of young men. But the word virtue (arete) implied both success in living and the
qualities necessary for achieving such success, and the claim that arete could be
taught by the kind of teaching that the Sophists offered had far-ranging
implications. It involved the rejection of the view that arete came only by birthfor
example, by being born a member of a noble familyand it involved also the
rejection of the doctrine that arete was a matter of the chance occurrence of
specified qualities in particular individuals. Arete, in the Sophists' view, was the
result of known and controllable procedures, a contention of profound importance
for the organization of society.
108

Moreover, what can be taught has some relation to what can be known and
understood. The belief that teaching of a high intellectual caliber could produce
success both for the individual and for governments has had a profound influence
upon the subsequent history of education. Once again, it is through the acceptance
of this doctrine by Plato and Aristotle that the Sophistic position came to be part of
subsequent humanist tradition.

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