Ancient Greek History

What Made the Spartan Warriors so Effective

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Spartan helmet with black crest on rocks.There is a lot of lore surrounding the idea of the Spartan soldiers. At the time, there was nothing quite like them, and their military strength was so formidable that no soldiers in the ancient world could even come close to matching their military prowess. In order to assess what made Spartan warriors so effective, it has to be looked at from a variety of different perspectives which extended beyond their training. Here’s a look at why the warriors fro the nation of Sparta were so effective:

Sparta Was a Warrior Society

One of the reasons why the Spartan Warriors were so effective is because everything in the nation revolved around the act of war. Unlike other city-states in Ancient Greece, who would engage in various types of pursuit such as trade with other city-states and nations, as well as other professions, everything about the society was concerned with the act of war. This is one of the main reasons why their soldiers were so formidable and effective.

They Were Able to Outfight Larger Armies

The Spartans were especially known for being so effective at fighting, that they were able to fight well against armies that were much larger in size than them. One of the most famous instances of this was when a few hundred Spartan soldiers fought in the battle of Thermopylae. Although the Spartans eventually lost his battle, they were able to kill a large number of enemy warriors. This is something that they were particularly skilled at.

Spartan Soldiers Were Trained at a Young Age

Another key to their success as a warrior society can be found in the way that they trained their soldiers. Training began at a very young age at around the age of seven – but only young males were allowed to train as soldiers. At that age, young boys were taken from their families and sorted into various groups, known as agelai, or packs. They were then sent to a military training session much in the style as our modern-day boot camps. At twelve years of age, after they had about five years of training, they achieved another classification – they were termed, “youths”, or meirakion, which resulted in much more strenuous training.

Spartans Could Become Official Soldiers at the Age of Twenty

They were eligible to become official Spartan soldiers at the age of twenty, and they were allowed to continue their military service until they turned sixty. Once they officially became soldiers, they joined one of the messes, or groups of soldiers, which had a variety of different soldiers with different levels of experience. They were required to spend most of their time together, even in social situations, because the belief was that if you had a deep friendship outside of the fight, you would be more effective on the battlefield. They would also train continuously and make their physical skills even stronger. This training continued throughout their careers.

As you can see, the Spartan soldiers had a lot of support from their societies and also began their training at a young age. These things helped them become the legendary soldiers they were.


Wikipedia – Spartan Army

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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