• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evalute the importance, strengths and weaknesses of the Spartan Army

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐The Spartan army preceding 371 BC, marked a time in ancient Greek history in which Sparta was recognized as ?the most formidable power in the Greek world?[1] due to their overt strength and power in the front of military pursuits. Due to the exposed nature of Sparta, having no city walls, the protection of the city relied solely on the military capabilities of the Lacedaemonians, expressing the significant importance placed on the hoplite warriors. The rise and fall of Sparta?s combatant supremacy lies in their rigid and strict educational practices and the sequential formation of strategic battle formations that both aided and hindered the strength of their army. The education system of Spartan males began from the age of seven and ?was directed toward prompt obedience to authority, stout endurance of hardship, and victory or death in battle?[2]. Many historians attribute the success of Sparta to the Agoge, as it provided Sparta?s male youth with great physical strength on the battle field. The rigorous training process built agility, through the removal of footwear as one would ?run more quickly than one in sandals?[3] and a greater tolerance to battle conditions was provided by food rationing and limited clothing. ...read more.


Entering this battle with the traditional Spartan mentality to ?always stand firm?[18] was detrimental and a clear signifier of Sparta?s fall ?for the city could not withstand a single blow?[19]. Due to the fact that Sparta entered the battle of Leuctra with knowledge of their inability to recover from defeat the Spartan mentality of fighting to the death[20] weakened the army and contributed not only to Sparta?s loss of the battle, but to the general downfall of Spartan supremacy. The Spartan army acted as the only protection for Sparta as they became ?a wall of men, instead of bricks?[21], acting as the replacement of fortified walls to surround the city. The army was built upon a foundation of rigorous education schemes that instilled in its students infallible courage and knowledge as well as a mindset of dedication and commitment in the battle field. Hoplites were undoubtedly strong and titled ?the best fighters in the world?[22] and although their flaws were few, when discovered and attacked they were detrimental. The traditional nature of their strategic battle plans led to predictability and an inability to adapt to tactical changes and their conviction to war led to heavy causalities that left Sparta unable to recover and defeated. ...read more.


Richard The Peloponnesian War- Donald Kagan Ancient Greece- Mathew Dillion and Lynda Garland 09.06.12 Thucydides and the Peloponnesian war- George Crawkwell 10.06.12 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/371leuctra.asp http://hsc.csu.edu.au/ancient_history/societies/greece/spartan_society/sparta_army/ancient_sparta_army.htm http://www.livius.org/pb-pem/peloponnesian_war/war_t13.html ________________ [1] George Crawkwell Thucydides and the Peloponnesian war page 41 [2] Plutarch V. III 237.4 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Moralia/Instituta_Laconica*.html) [3] Xenophon Constitution of the Spartans 2.3 (Ancient Greece Mathew D. Lynda G.) [4] Herodotus the histories 7.104.3 (Ancient Greece from Homer to Alexander Joseph R.) [5] Thucydides 12.79.6-7 (The Peloponnesian war Donald K.) [6] Donald Kagan The Peloponnesian war pg 237 [7] Plutarch, Pelopidas (http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/pelopida.html) [8] Xenophon 13 (Ancient Greece from Homer to Alexander Joseph R.) [9] Thucydides (Ancient Greece Mathew D. Lynda G.) [10]Herodotus the Histories (given source) [11] Xenophon Lycurgus (http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/sparta-a.html) [12] Tyrtaeus 11, line 29 (Ancient Greece Mathew D. Lynda G.) [13] Diodorus (Ancient Greece Mathew D. Lynda G.) [14] Tyrtaeus 11 lines 21-38 (http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/cchampion/HST352/Tyrtaeus.htm) [15] Herodotus the Histories (Given source) [16] Greek and Roman Warfare; Battles, Tactics and Trickery John M. [17] Aristotle Politics II, ix (Ancient Greece Mathew D. Lynda G.) [18] Herodotus the Histories (Given source) [19] Aristotle Politics II, ix (Ancient Greece Mathew D. Lynda G.) [20] Tyrtaeus ?we must fight to the death for our land and children? [21] Lycurgus (http://www.e-classics.com/lycurgus.htm) [22] Herodotus the Histories (Given source) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Louis XIV's fondness of war resulted his downfall

    and tried to topple William. This was just a vital miscalculation that allowed William to become King of one of the most powerful countries in the world, therefore allowing him to finally declare war on France with a stable enough backing. Louis provocation of Europe by invading the German states in 1688 was one of the most sufficient causes of the Nine Years War.

  2. Assess the factors that lead to the defeat of Boudica and the Iceni in ...

    About eighty percent of the force was infantry and the remainder was cavalry5, which played into Roman favour. It is unclear what size the Celtic force was. Cassius Dio estimated the force to be a staggering two hundred and fifty thousand;6 it is unclear whether this is factual or just propagandist inflation on the Roman behalf.

  1. Athenian Democracy vs. Spartan Military

    For the Athenians, planning ahead was crucial. They strategically planned their battles; even down to how much money each member of the Delian league should contribute to the allied effort, when they led it (Mckay, pg 81). The Spartans learned only the craft of soldiering and were pressed to fight and die bravely for their city (Perry, p47).

  2. Roman Army

    Yet, in contrast to the republican paradigms of the modern era, the Romans never truly disassociated themselves from the ancient Greek ethos of conquest with the inherently heroic element to history that the Homeric tradition left as its enduring legacy.

  1. How effectively did the design and decoration of the Parthenon suit its function?

    The Greek builders developed a method of holding the stones together without mortar; the edges of the blocks were precisely curved. Double't' clamps were used to attached the stone blocks above the pillars together and were joined in the middle of the pillar for support.

  2. The First English Civil War

    Royalist troop on the ground, including the King's guards, joined in the mad ride to Kineton. This regiment, Essex's life-guard, and some troops that had rallied from the effect of Rupert's charge (amongst them, Captain Oliver Cromwell's), were the only cavalry still present.

  1. Gallipoli and Kokoda - comparing two battles fought by the Australian Army.

    As you can see, the hills were extensive and it was very hard to fight back when they were establishing themselves on the edge of mountains. In Kokoda it was a constant notion of trudging up a hill and then walking down the other side only to be faced with yet another hill.

  2. The Changing Nature of Warfare - Napoleon

    They learned to march on a battlefield in columns at 75 steps per minute and then wheel into lines without pausing. The better trained an army was, the more complex tactics the generals could use on the battlefield. The fact that an engineering and military academy opened shows that training was also slightly improving for officers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work