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This is Sparta: Fierce warriors of the ancient world - Craig Zimmer


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In ancient Greece, violent internal conflict between border neighbors and war with foreign invaders was a way of life, and Greeks were considered premier warriors. Sparta, specifically, had an army of the most feared warriors in the ancient world. What were they doing to produce such fierce soldiers? Craig Zimmer shares some of the lessons that might have been taught at Spartan school.

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Sparta did not start out as a military state. The early Spartans were developing along the same lines as the rest of Greece. Early Sparta was one filled with art, music, and poetry. Like many civilizations before them, the early Spartans fell into a period of civil strife and lawlessness. This, along with the constant threat of an uprising of their slaves known as Helots, caused the Spartan leader Lycurgus to bring about a series of sweeping changes to the civilization. It was under Lycurgus, who some historians feel might not be real at all, but simply a myth, that Sparta adopted its militaristic ways, changing the face of Greece forever.

Interested in how Spartan training was done? Visit the The Shrine of Artemis Orthia and learn about the practices that were done there by both the Spartans and later the Romans. Spartan training turned Spartan boys into living weapons. They were at peak physical perfection and learned to survive in extreme circumstances. They learned how to best use their body on the battlefield to give them a further advantage over their enemies. This would make Sparta’s army a deadly force to fight against.

What made them even more dangerous was when you put weapons in their hands! They could effectively use every thing they carried as a means of defeating their enemy. Even the Spartan shield was a weapon that could kill. But perhaps the most effective weapon that the Spartans employed was the military tactic known as the phalanx which saw the Spartans line-up as a collective force that would see the back rows push forward to give traction to the warriors in front of them. Then the front three rows would kill by thrusting their spears forward into the enemy ranks.

Are there any remains of the Spartans that you can still visit today? Take a look at this video: Ancient Greek Ruins – Sparta and find out!

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Craig Zimmer
  • Script Editor Amy Adkins
  • Director Franz Palomares
  • Composer Peter Linder, David Obuchowski
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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