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    What Made Sparta a Military Power?

    Number of Pages: 5


    Summary of the research paper:

    In five pages this paper examines the reasons why Sparta was the preeminent military power of its time, including devotion and civic duty to the polis, social structure, military culture, emphasis on equality, and shared moral values. The primary text considered is Plutarch’s The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, with Herodotus’ The Histories serving as a secondary text. There are no additional sources listed in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: TG15_TGsparta.rtf

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    650 BC, Sparta became more than just another city-state (also referred to in some historical texts a polis or commonwealth); it earned the well-deserved reputation as the preeminent military power  of the era. Athens was known for its culture and philosophers, but Sparta was both respected and feared for its military and soldiers. Because no remnants of this  civilization exist in the contemporary world, what little that is known about Sparta is based upon the works of acclaimed classical historians like Herodotus (485-425 BC), whose text The Histories  is still regarded as the most accurate depiction of ancient Greece. But like many historians who followed him, Herodotus concentrated primarily upon Athens. Plutarch (46-120), however, was fascinated  by Sparta, and it was obviously the central focus of his seminal work entitled On Sparta. The always-insightful Plutarch recognized that a civilization was only as great as the  leaders and visionaries who shaped it. He paid tribute to those Athenian and Spartan leaders in his biographical collection, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (also known  as Parallel Lives). According to Plutarch, there was one man who molded Sparta into a military power par excellence: King Lycurgus (700-630 BC). Lycurgus was responsible for encouraging  Spartan civic duty to the commonwealth; developing a social structure designed to support military superiority; establishing a culture based upon military discipline and training; emphasizing equality among all classes, genders  to forge a collective identity; and shared moral values that portrayed military prowess as an honorable undertaking. Sparta was Laconias capital and with mountains on three sides, it was the  perfect site for a military power to take root and grow. Three elements composed the government of Sparta - the Gerousia, the Ephorate, and the Assembly - but the 

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