Ancient Spartan Training and Warfare

By: Michael
Ancient Spartan Training and Warfare
“This is Sparta!!!” You have probably heard that quote many times, which is not far off from what they would have shouted before battle. The life of a Spartan youth was intense and rigorous because from birth they were trained in the art of combat. They were taught and developed strategies that were completely different than any other army. They were the most intelligent military because they planned each attack well instead of just a blind rush. The Spartans were the greatest soldiers of their time. (Spartan Warfare, 1)
Spartans have been recognized as the most efficient soldiers of their time. They trained from birth as the world’s best and most
A Spartan Sword
fierce warriors. As children, they were raised using techniques that made them into fearless soldiers and taught them never to give up. When they were born, they were washed in wine and inspected for any weakness or deformations. Any deformations would resort in the discarding of the baby in Kaiada, a chiasm in Mount Taygetos. They completely removed everything around the child that would make him learn fear, nervousness, disgust, or to cry. As soon as the child was seven, he would be taken from his mother and given to the state. For twelve years, he will participate in Agoge, a military type education. This training lifestyle made them into soldiers that never tired or gave up when fighting for their pride and state. (Training of Youth, 1)

They became one of the most recognized and respected soldiers of all time because of their training and strategies.The Agoge continued untill they were 17, making sure they made training a part of life as much as breathing. They were drilled in gymnastics, running, jumping, throwing of spear and discus, and also taught to endure pain and hardship, hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue and lack of sleep. They would work without shoes and would make their own beds out of straws and wool they cut themselves without knives. Only cold baths at the freezing lakes of Eruotas were allowed. Their meals were a broth of meager portion. They were encouraged to steal food, although being caught would result in severe punishment. Their childhoods were intense and rigorous, turning them into precise soldiers of Sparta. (Training of Youth, 1)
Spartans always fought as one, to the death, bound by oath. Unfortunately there were many along history that wanted to seize the power of Sparta or destroy it. They were outsiders, lawmen, or even citizens of Sparta or its neighboring city states. At times there would be some inner fighting but they were quickly brought down by the mighty army of Sparta. Only one Coo was attempted and worked, killing off one of Sparta’s greatest kings, leading to social unrest for years. In all, Sparta was a tightly woven net, all brothers and sisters that would die for each other. (History of Acient Sparta, 3-5)
Ancient Spartans were famous for their fighting tactics and strategies. They could outmaneuver an enemy force ten times its size, or protect a spot against a force that outnumbered them radically. They were the first to develop the Phalanx, a tactic used to protect each man and minimize casualties by focusing the enemy’s forces, so only a certain amount could fight at a time. Spartan commanders also implemented that before a battle, they should acquire some sort of military “intelligence”, something unheard of by the rest of the world. These strategies help them win battle after battle, while all other armies that did not adapt the way they did were slaughtered. The Phalanx, along with other strategies developed for the art of war, really did make them stand out and survive for a long time. (Spartan Warfare, 1)
Spartan strategies were revolutionary; they altered how combat was fought forever. So why did no other nation catch on to this? There is barely any mention of other armies using Spartan war strategies, with only small rumors of the Athenians using the Phalanx system. Some say that it was arrogance, that their armies contained greater
The Spartan Phalanx was often refured to as an impenetrable wall.
numbers, so strategies were not needed. In some cases this was true, that hundreds of thousands of poorly trained soldiers could overrun only a thousand perfect super soldiers. But overall, Spartan strategies won out, and had other armies used them, history would have been much different. (Spartan Warfare, 1)

The Spartan army was one of the most feared and efficient armys of their time. They developed the Phalanx, which protected them and made the enemy have to fight harder to breach them. Their children were baptized in the sacred art of combat. Their battles were legendary and their soldiers even more. Sparta will and always be remembered as a city state that produced the smartest and deadliest soldiers of their time. (History of Acient Sparta, 1)

Works Cited
  1. Oakwood Mgt. "Spartan Warfare." Spartan Warfare. Oakwood Mgt., 1996-2009. Web. 3 Nov. 2009. <>.
  2. Papakyriakou-Anagnostou., Ellen. "History of Acient Sparta." History of Acient Sparta. Ellen Papakyriakou-Anagnostou, 15 Oct. 2009. Web. 3 Nov. 2009. <>.
  3. Papakyriakou-Anagnostou, Ellen. "Spartan Training of Youth." Spartan Training of Youth. Ellen Papakyriakou-Anagnostou, 8 July 2006. Web. 3 Nov. 2009.