Age Of Sparta

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Age Of Sparta

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The dual kingship may originate in the fusion of the first two villages. Following that, there was a significant recovery, and this growth in population is likely to have been more marked in Sparta, as it was situated in the most fertile part of the plain.

Between the 8th and 7th centuries BC the Spartans experienced a period of lawlessness and civil strife, later testified by both Herodotus and Thucydides.

It is during the reign of King Charillos , [13] that most ancient sources place the life of Lycurgus. Indeed, the Spartans ascribed their subsequent success to Lycurgus, who instituted his reforms at a time when Sparta was weakened by internal dissent and lacked the stability of a united and well-organized community.

Lazenby suggests, that the dual monarchy may date from this period as a result of a fusion of the four villages of Sparta which had, up until then, formed two factions of the villages of Pitana-Mesoa against the villages of Limnai-Konoura.

According to this view, the Kings, who tradition says ruled before this time, were either totally mythical or at best factional chieftains.

The Dorians seem to have set about expanding the frontiers of Spartan territory almost before they had established their own state.

The evidence suggests that Sparta, relatively inaccessible because of the topography of the plain of Sparta, was secure from early on: it was never fortified.

Sparta shared the plain with Amyklai which lay to the south and was one of the few places to survive from Mycaenean times and was likely to be its most formidable neighbor.

Hence the tradition that Sparta, under its kings Archelaos and Charillos moved north to secure the upper Eurotas valley is plausible.

It is probable that the inhabitants of Geronthrae were driven out while those of Amyklai were simply subjugated to Sparta.

Tyrtaeus tells that the war to conquer the Messenians , their neighbors on the west, led by Theopompus , lasted 19 years and was fought in the time of the fathers of our fathers.

If this phrase is to be taken literally, it would mean that the war occurred around the end of the 8th century BC or the beginning of the 7th.

However, in the opinion of Kennell, a fragment of Tyrtaeus published in gives us some confidence that it really occurred probably in the later 7th century.

Whether Sparta dominated the regions to its east at the time is less settled. According to Herodotus the Argives ' territory once included the whole of Cynuria the east coast of the Peloponnese and the island of Cythera.

During the following centuries, Sparta's reputation as a land-fighting force was unequaled. Early in the 6th century BC, the Spartan kings Leon and Agasicles made a vigorous attack on Tegea , the most powerful of the Arcadian cities.

For some time Sparta had no success against Tegea and suffered a notable defeat at the Battle of the Fetters —the name reflected Spartan intentions to force the Tegea to recognise it as hegemon.

Forrest, hesitantly attributes this change to Ephor Chilon. In BC, King Cleomenes I , launched what was intended to be a final settling of accounts with the city of Argos - an invasion, with the capture of the city itself, as the objective.

Croesus of Lydia had formed an alliance with it. Scythian envoys sought its aid to stem the invasion of Darius ; to Sparta, the Greeks of Asia Minor appealed to withstand the Persian advance and to aid the Ionian Revolt ; Plataea asked for Sparta's protection; Megara acknowledged its supremacy; and at the time of the Persian invasion under Xerxes no state questioned Sparta's right to lead the Greek forces on land or at sea.

At the end of the 6th century BC, Sparta made its first intervention north of the Isthmus when it aided in overthrowing the Athenian tyrant Hippias in BC.

King Cleomenes turned up in Attica with a small body of troops to back the more conservative Isagoras, whom Cleomenes successfully installed in power.

The Athenians, however, soon tired of the foreign king, and Cleomenes found himself expelled by the Athenians. Cleomenes then proposed an expedition of the entire Peloponnesian League, with himself and his co-King Demaratos in command and the aim of setting up Isagoras as tyrant of Athens.

The specific aims of the expedition were kept secret. The secrecy proved disastrous and as dissension broke out the real aims became clearer.

First the Corinthians departed. Then a row broke out between Cleomenes and Demaratos with Demaratos too, deciding to go home.

It also seems to have changed the nature of the Peloponnesian League. From that time, major decisions were discussed. Sparta was still in charge, but it now had to rally its allies in support of its decisions.

After hearing a plea for help from Athens who were facing the Persians at Marathon in BC, Sparta decided to honor its laws and wait until the moon was full to send an army.

As a result, Sparta's army arrived at Marathon after the battle had been won by the Athenians. In the second campaign, conducted ten years later by Xerxes , Sparta faced the same dilemma.

The Persians inconveniently chose to attack during the Olympic truce which the Spartans felt they must honor.

Other Greek states which lacked such scruples were making a major effort to assemble a fleet - how could Sparta not contribute on land when others were doing so much on sea?

However, there are indications that Sparta's religious scruples were merely a cover. From this interpretation, Sparta believed that the defense of Thermopylae was hopeless and wished to make a stand at the Isthmus, but they had to go through the motions or Athens might ally itself with Persia.

The loss of Athens's fleet would simply be too great a loss to the Greek resistance to be risked.

In BC, a small force of Spartans, Thespians, and Thebans led by King Leonidas approximately were full Spartiates, were Thespians, and were Thebans; these numbers do not reflect casualties incurred prior to the final battle , made a legendary last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against the massive Persian army, inflicting very high casualties on the Persian forces before finally being encircled.

The decisive victory of Salamis did not change Sparta's essential dilemma. Ideally, they would wish to fight at the Isthmus where they would avoid the risk of their infantry being caught in the open by the Persian cavalry.

However, in BC, the remaining Persian forces under Mardonius devastated Attica, Athenian pressure forced Sparta to lead an advance.

In the resulting Battle of Plataea the Greeks under the generalship of the Spartan Pausanias overthrew the lightly armed Persian infantry, killing Mardonius.

The superior weaponry, strategy, and bronze armour of the Greek hoplites and their phalanx again proved their worth one year later when Sparta assembled at full strength and led a Greek alliance against the Persians at the battle of Plataea.

Even though this war was won by a pan-Greek army, credit was given to Sparta, who besides being the protagonist at Thermopylae and Plataea, had been the de facto leader of the entire Greek expedition.

When this victory led to a revolt of the Ionian Greeks it was Sparta that rejected their admission to the Hellenic alliance.

Sparta proposed that they should abandon their homes in Anatolia and settle in the cities that had supported the Persians. However, his arrogant behavior forced his recall.

Pausanias had so alienated the Ionians that they refused to accept the successor, Dorcis , that Sparta sent to replace him.

Instead those newly liberated from Persia turned to Athens. In later Classical times, Sparta along with Athens , Thebes , and Persia had been the main powers fighting for supremacy against each other.

As a result of the Peloponnesian War , Sparta, a traditionally continental culture, became a naval power. At the peak of its power Sparta subdued many of the key Greek states and even managed to overpower the elite Athenian navy.

By the end of the 5th century BC, it stood out as a state which had defeated the Athenian Empire and had invaded the Persian provinces in Anatolia, a period which marks the Spartan Hegemony.

The Sparta earthquake of BC destroyed much of Sparta. Historical sources suggest that the death toll may have been as high as 20,, although modern scholars suggest that this figure is likely an exaggeration.

The earthquake sparked a revolt of the helots, the slave class of Spartan society. Events surrounding this revolt led to an increase in tension between Sparta and their rival Athens and the cancellation of a treaty between them.

After the troops of a relief expedition dispatched by conservative Athenians were sent back with cold thanks, Athenian democracy itself fell into the hands of reformers and moved toward a more populist and anti-Spartan policy.

Therefore, this earthquake is cited by historical sources as one of the key events that led up to the First Peloponnesian War.

Sparta's attention was at this time, fully occupied by troubles nearer home; such as the revolt of Tegea in about — BC , rendered all the more formidable by the participation of Argos.

In the immediate aftermath, the helots saw an opportunity to rebel. This was followed by the siege of Ithome which the rebel helots had fortified.

Sparta began to fear that the Athenian troops might make common cause with the rebels. Providing the official justification that since the initial assault on Ithome had failed, what was now required was a blockade, a task the Spartans did not need Athenian help with.

In Athens, this snub resulted in Athens breaking off its alliance with Sparta and allying with its enemy, Argos.

Paul Cartledge hazards that the revolt of helots and perioeci led the Spartans to reorganize their army and integrate the perioeci into the citizen hoplite regiments.

Certainly a system where citizens and non-citizens fought together in the same regiments was unusual for Greece.

He agrees that the integration of perioeci and citizens occurred sometime between the Persian and the Peloponnesian Wars but doesn't regard that as a significant stage.

The Spartans had been using non-citizens as hoplites well before that and the proportion did not change. He doubts that the Spartans ever subscribed to the citizen only hoplite force ideal, so beloved by writers such as Aristotle.

The Peloponnesian Wars were the protracted armed conflicts, waged on sea and land, of the last half of the 5th century BC between the Delian League controlled by Athens and the Peloponnesian League dominated by Sparta over control of the other Greek city-states.

The Delian League is often called "the Athenian Empire" by scholars. The Peloponnesian League believed it was defending itself against Athenian aggrandizement.

The war had ethnic overtones that generally but not always applied: the Delian League included populations of Athenians and Ionians while the Peloponnesian League was mainly of Dorians , except that a third power, the Boeotians , had sided tentatively with the Peloponnesian League.

They were never fully trusted by the Spartans. Ethnic animosity was fueled by the forced incorporation of small Dorian states into the Delian League, who appealed to Sparta.

Motivations, however, were complex, including local politics and considerations of wealth. In the end Sparta won, but it declined soon enough and was soon embroiled with wars with Boeotia and Persia, until being overcome finally by Macedon.

When the First Peloponnesian War broke out, Sparta was still preoccupied suppressing the helot revolt, [50] hence its involvement was somewhat desultory.

However they then returned home giving the Athenians an opportunity to defeat the Boeotians at the battle of Oenophyta and so overthrowing Boeotia.

By contrast, however, Sparta sought a thirty-year peace with Argos to ensure that they could strike Athens unencumbered. Thus Sparta was fully able to exploit the situation when Megara , Boeotia and Euboea revolted, sending an army into Attica.

The war ended with Athens deprived of its mainland possessions but keeping its vast Aegean Empire intact.

But the treaty was broken when Sparta warred with Euboea. Within six years, Sparta was proposing to its allies to go to war with Athens in support of the rebellion in Samos.

On that occasion Corinth successfully opposed Sparta and they were voted down. However, according to Thucydides the real cause of the war was Sparta's fear of the growing power of Athens.

Sparta entered with the proclaimed goal of the "liberation of the Greeks" — an aim that required a total defeat of Athens. Their method was to invade Attica in the hope of provoking Athens to give battle.

Athens, meanwhile, planned a defensive war. The Athenians would remain in their city, behind their impenetrable walls, and use their naval superiority to harass the Spartan coastline.

The war resumed in BC and lasted until BC. The arguments advanced in the assembly were that it would be a profitable possession and an enhancement of the empire.

They invested a large portion of the state resources in a military expedition, but recalled one of its commanders, Alcibiades , on a trumped-up charge of impiety some religious statues had been mutilated for which he faced the death penalty.

Escaping in his ship he deserted to Sparta. Having defaulted on the inquiry he was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death. At first Sparta hesitated to resume military operations.

The success of Sparta and the eventual capture of Athens in BC were aided partly by that advice. He induced Sparta to send Gylippus to conduct the defence of Syracuse , to fortify Decelea in northern Attica, and to adopt a vigorous policy of aiding Athenian allies to revolt.

The next year they marched north, fortified Deceleia , cut down all the olive groves, which produced Athens' major cash crop, and denied them the use of the countryside.

Athens was now totally dependent on its fleet, then materially superior to the Spartan navy. Gylippus did not arrive alone at Syracuse.

Collecting a significant force from Sicily and Spartan hoplites serving overseas he took command of the defense.

The initial Athenian force under Nicias had sailed boldly into the Great Harbor of Syracuse to set up camp at the foot of the city, which was on a headland.

Gylippus collected an international army of pro-Spartan elements from many parts of the eastern Mediterranean on the platform of liberation of Greece from the tyranny of Athens.

Ultimately the Athenian force was not large enough to conduct an effective siege. They attempted to wall in the city but were prevented by a counter-wall.

A second army under Demosthenes arrived. Finally the Athenian commanders staked everything on a single assault against a weak point on the headland, Epipolae, but were thrown back with great losses.

They were about to depart for Athens when an eclipse of the full moon moved the soothsayers to insist they remain for another nine days, just the time needed for the Syracusians to prepare a fleet to block the mouth of the harbor.

Events moved rapidly toward disaster for the Athenians. Attempting to break out of the harbor they were defeated in a naval battle.

The admiral, Eurymedon , was killed. Losing confidence in their ability to win, they abandoned the remaining ships and the wounded and attempted to march out by land.

The route was blocked at every crossing by Syracusians, who anticipated this move. The Athenian army marched under a rain of missiles.

When Nicias inadvertently marched ahead of Demosthenes the Syracusians surrounded the latter and forced a surrender, to which that of Nicias was soon added.

Both leaders were executed, despite the protests of Gylippus, who wanted to take them back to Sparta. Several thousand prisoners were penned up in the quarries without the necessities of life or the removal of the dead.

After several months the remaining Athenians were ransomed. The failure of the expedition in was a material loss the Athenians could hardly bear, but the war continued for another ten years.

Spartan shortcomings at sea were by this time manifest to them, especially under the tuteledge of Alcibiades.

The lack of funds which could have proved fatal to Spartan naval warfare, was remedied by the intervention of Persia, which supplied large subsidies.

In the agents of Tissaphernes , the Great King's governor of such parts of the coast of Asia Minor as he could control, approached Sparta with a deal.

The Great King would supply funds for the Spartan fleet if the Spartans would guarantee to the king what he considered ancestral lands; to wit, the coast of Asia Minor with the Ionian cities.

An agreement was reached. A Spartan fleet and negotiator was sent to Asia Minor. The negotiator was Alcibiades, now persona non-grata in Sparta because of his new mistress, the wife of King Agis, then away commanding the garrison at Deceleia.

After befriending Tissaphernes Alcibiades was secretly offered an honorable return to Athens if he would influence the latter on their behalf.

He was a double agent, — The Spartans received little money or expert advice. By the Great King had perceived that the agreement with the Spartans was not being implemented.

He sent his brother, Cyrus the younger , to relieve Tissaphernes of his command of Lydia. Tissaphernes was pushed aside to the governorship of Caria.

Exposed, Alcibiades departed for Athens in In his place Sparta sent an agent of similar capabilities, a friend of King Agis, Lysander , who as "a diplomat and organizer Upgrade of the Spartan fleet proceeded rapidly.

In Alcibiades returned as the commander of an Athenian squadron with the intent of destroying the new Spartan fleet, but it was too late.

He was defeated by Lysander at the Battle of Notium. The suspicious Athenian government repudiated its arrangement with Alcibiades. He went into exile a second time, to take up residence in a remote villa in the Aegean, now a man without a country.

Lysander's term as navarch then came to an end. He was replaced by Callicratidas but Cyrus now stinted his payments for the Spartan fleet.

The funds allocated by the Great King had been used up. On Callicratides' defeat and death at the Battle of Arginusae the Spartans offered peace on generous terms.

The Delian League would be left in place. Athens would still be allowed to collect tribute for its defense. The war party at Athens, however, mistrusted Sparta.

One of its leaders, Cleophon , addressed the assembly wearing his armor, drunk. He demanded the Spartans withdraw from all cites they then held as a precondition of peace.

The assembly rejected the Spartan offer. It undertook a new offensive against Spartan allies in the Aegean.

Together they formulated an appeal to Sparta that Lysander be sent out for a second term. Both Spartan political norms and the Spartan constitution should have prevented his second term, but in the wake of the new Spartan defeat a circumvention was found.

Lysander would be the secretary of a nominal navarch, Aracus , with the rank of vice-admiral. Lysander was again entrusted with all the resources needed to maintain and operate the Spartan fleet.

Cyrus supplied the funds from his own resources. The Great King now recalled Cyrus to answer for the execution of certain members of the royal family.

Cyrus appointed Lysander governor in his place, giving him the right to collect taxes. Lysander then sailed at his leisure for Athens to impose a blockade.

If he encountered a state of the Delian League on his way he gave the Athenian garrison the option of withdrawing to Athens; if they refused, their treatment was harsh.

He replaced democracies with pro-Spartan decarchies under a Spartan harmost. After the Battle of Aegospotami the Spartan navy sailed where it pleased unopposed.

A fleet of ships entered the Saronic Gulf to impose a blockade on Piraeus. Athens was cut off. In the winter of the Athenians sent a delegation to King Agis at Deceleia proposing to become a Spartan ally if only they would be allowed to keep the walls intact.

He sent them on to Sparta. The delegation was turned back on the road by the ephors. After hearing the terms they suggested the Athenians return with better ones.

The Athenians appointed Theramenes to discuss the matter with Lysander , but the latter had made himself unavailable. Theramenes found him, probably on Samos.

After a wait of three months he returned to Athens saying that Lysander had delayed him and that he was to negotiate with Sparta directly.

A board of nine delegates was appointed to go with Thermenes to Sparta. This time the delegation was allowed to pass. The disposition of Athens was then debated in the Spartan assembly, which apparently had the power of debate, of veto and of counterproposition.

Moreover, the people in assembly were the final power. Corinth and Thebes proposed that Athens be leveled and the land be turned into a pasture for sheep.

Agis, supported by Lysander, also recommended the destruction of the city. The assembly refused, stating that they would not destroy a city that had served Greece so well in the past, alluding to Athens' contribution to the defeat of the Persians.

Instead the Athenians were offered terms of unconditional surrender: the long walls must be dismantled, Athens must withdraw from all states of the Delian League and Athenian exiles must be allowed to return.

The Athenians could keep their own land. The returning delegates found the population of Athens starving to death. The surrender was accepted in assembly in April, , 27 years after the start of the war, with little opposition.

A few weeks later Lysander arrived with a Spartan garrison. They began to tear down the walls to the tune of pipes played by young female pipers.

Lysander reported to the ephors that "Athens is taken. Some modern historians have proposed a less altruistic reason for the Spartans' mercy—the need for a counterweight to Thebes [64] —though Anton Powell sees this as an excess of hindsight.

It is doubtful that the Spartans could have predicted that it would be Thebes that would someday pose a serious threat, later defeating the Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra.

Lysander's political opponents may have defended Athens not out of gratitude, but out of fear of making Lysander too powerful.

In the spring of BC, the terms of surrender required the Athenians to tear down the long walls between the city and the port of Piraeus.

When internal dissent prevented the Athenians from restoring a government Lysander dissolved the democracy and set up a government of 30 oligarchs that would come to be known as the Thirty.

These were pro-Spartan men. Originally voted into power by the Assembly with a mandate to codify the laws, they immediately requested the assistance of the Spartan garrison to arrest their enemies.

The disquiet of Sparta's allies in the Peloponnesian League can be seen in the defiance of Boeotia , Elis and Corinth in offering refuge to those who opposed the rule of the Thirty.

Lysander departed Athens to establish decarchies, governing boards of 10 men, elsewhere in the former Athenian Empire, leaving the Spartan garrison under the command of the Thirty.

Taking advantage of a general anti-Spartan backlash and a change of regime in Boeotia to an anti-Spartan government, the exiles and non-Athenian supporters who were promised citizenship launched an attack from Boeotia on Athens under Thrasybulus and in the Battle of Phyle followed by the Battle of Munichia and the Battle of Piraeus defeated the Athenian supporters of the Thirty with the Spartan garrison regaining partial control of Athens.

They set up a decarchy. Athens was on the brink of civil war. Both sides sent delegates to present their case before King Pausanias.

The Thirty were heard first. They complained that Piraeus was being occupied by a Boeotian puppet government.

Pausanias immediately appointed Lysander harmost governor , which required the assent of the ephors , and ordered him to Sparta with his brother, who had been made navarch over 40 ships.

They were to put down the rebellion and expel the foreigners. After the Ten had been fully heard, Pausanias, obtaining the assent of three out of five ephors, went himself to Athens with a force including men from all the allies except the suspect Boeotia and Corinth.

He met and superseded Lysander on the road. A battle ensued against Thrasybulus, whose forces killed two Spartan polemarchs but were driven at last into a marsh and trapped there.

Pausanias broke off. He set up the board of 15 peace commissioners that had been sent with him by the Spartan assembly and invited both sides to a conference.

The final reconciliation restored democracy to Athens. The Thirty held Eleusis, as they had previously massacred the entire population.

Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution , which were supposedly introduced by the semi-mythical legislator Lycurgus.

His laws configured the Spartan society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, focusing all social institutions on military training and physical development.

The inhabitants of Sparta were stratified as Spartiates Spartan citizens with full rights , mothakes non-Spartan free men raised as Spartans , perioikoi free residents engaged in commerce , and helots state-owned serfs, enslaved non-Spartan locals.

Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, and Spartan phalanx brigades were widely considered to be among the best in battle.

Spartan women also enjoyed considerably more rights and equality with men than elsewhere in classical antiquity. Sparta was frequently a subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in Western culture following the revival of classical learning.

The admiration of Sparta is known as Laconism or Laconophilia. Bertrand Russell wrote:. Sparta had a double effect on Greek thought: through the reality, and through the myth The reality enabled the Spartans to defeat Athens in war; the myth influenced Plato's political theory, and that of countless subsequent writers The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the Spartan city-state and its location.

First, "Sparta" refers primarily to the main cluster of settlements in the valley of the Eurotas River. Herodotus seems to use "Lacedaemon" for the Mycenaean Greek citadel at Therapne , in contrast to the lower town of Sparta.

This term could be used synonymously with Sparta, but typically it denoted the terrain in which the city was located.

The residents of Sparta were often called Lacedaemonians. The ancients sometimes used a back-formation , referring to the land of Lacedaemon as Lacedaemonian country.

Eventually, the adjective came to be used alone. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of Laconia and Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods, mostly in ethnographers and lexica of place names.

The latter defines Sparta to be Lacedaemonia Civitas , [19] but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by Lacedaemon, son of Semele, which is consistent with Eusebius' explanation.

Lakedaimona was until the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia. Sparta is located in the region of Laconia, in the south-eastern Peloponnese.

Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas River , the largest river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water. The valley of the Eurotas is a natural fortress, bounded to the west by Mt.

Taygetus 2, m and to the east by Mt. Parnon 1, m. To the north, Laconia is separated from Arcadia by hilly uplands reaching m in altitude.

These natural defenses worked to Sparta's advantage and protected it from sacking and invasion.

Though landlocked, Sparta had a vassal harbor, Gytheio , on the Laconian Gulf. As king, he named his country after himself and the city after his wife.

A shrine was erected to him in the neighborhood of Therapne. Suppose the city of Sparta to be deserted, and nothing left but the temples and the ground-plan, distant ages would be very unwilling to believe that the power of the Lacedaemonians was at all equal to their fame.

Their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid temples or other edifices; it rather resembles a group of villages, like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor show.

Until the early 20th century, the chief ancient buildings at Sparta were the theatre , of which, however, little showed above ground except portions of the retaining walls ; the so-called Tomb of Leonidas , a quadrangular building, perhaps a temple, constructed of immense blocks of stone and containing two chambers; the foundation of an ancient bridge over the Eurotas ; the ruins of a circular structure; some remains of late Roman fortifications ; several brick buildings and mosaic pavements.

The remaining archaeological wealth consisted of inscriptions, sculptures, and other objects collected in the local museum, founded by Stamatakis in and enlarged in Partial excavation of the round building was undertaken in and by the American School at Athens.

The structure has been since found to be a semicircular retaining wall of Hellenic origin that was partly restored during the Roman period.

In , the British School at Athens began a thorough exploration of Laconia , and in the following year excavations were made at Thalamae , Geronthrae , and Angelona near Monemvasia.

In , excavations began in Sparta itself. A "small circus" as described by Leake proved to be a theatre-like building constructed soon after CE around the altar and in front of the temple of Artemis Orthia.

It is believed that musical and gymnastic contests took place here, as well as the famous flogging ordeal administered to Spartan boys diamastigosis.

The temple, which can be dated to the 2nd century BCE, rests on the foundation of an older temple of the 6th century, and close beside it were found the remains of a yet earlier temple, dating from the 9th or even the 10th century.

The votive offerings in clay, amber, bronze, ivory and lead dating from the 9th to the 4th centuries BCE, which were found in great profusion within the precinct range, supply invaluable information about early Spartan art.

Though the actual temple is almost completely destroyed, the site has produced the longest extant archaic inscription in Laconia, numerous bronze nails and plates, and a considerable number of votive offerings.

The late Roman wall enclosing the acropolis, part of which probably dates from the years following the Gothic raid of CE , was also investigated.

Besides the actual buildings discovered, a number of points were situated and mapped in a general study of Spartan topography, based upon the description of Pausanias.

Built around the early 8th century BCE, the Spartans believed it had been the former residence of Menelaus.

In the British School in Athens started excavations around the Menelaion in an attempt to locate Mycenaean remains in the area.

Among other findings, they uncovered the remains of two Mycenaean mansions and found the first offerings dedicated to Helen and Menelaus.

These mansions were destroyed by earthquake and fire, and archaeologists consider them the possible palace of Menelaus himself.

Its area was approximately equal to that of the "newer" Sparta, but denudation has wreaked havoc with its buildings and nothing is left of its original structures save for ruined foundations and broken potsherds.

The prehistory of Sparta is difficult to reconstruct because the literary evidence was written far later than the events it describes and is distorted by oral tradition.

This civilization seems to have fallen into decline by the late Bronze Age , when, according to Herodotus, Macedonian tribes from the north called Dorians by those they conquered marched into the Peloponnese and, subjugating the local tribes, settled there.

The evidence suggests that Sparta, relatively inaccessible because of the topography of the Taygetan plain, was secure from early on: it was never fortified.

Nothing distinctive in the archaeology of the Eurotas River Valley identifies the Dorians or the Dorian Spartan state.

The legendary period of Spartan history is believed to fall into the Dark Age. It treats the mythic heroes such as the Heraclids and the Perseids , offering a view of the occupation of the Peloponnesus that contains both fantastic and possibly historical elements.

The subsequent proto-historic period, combining both legend and historical fragments, offers the first credible history. Between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE the Spartans experienced a period of lawlessness and civil strife, later attested by both Herodotus and Thucydides.

During the following centuries, Sparta's reputation as a land-fighting force was unequalled. The likely total of 40,—50, made Sparta one of the larger Greek city-states; [33] [34] however, according to Thucydides, the population of Athens in BCE was ,—,, making it much larger.

In BCE a small force led by King Leonidas about full Spartiates, Thespians, and Thebans, although these numbers were lessened by earlier casualties made a legendary last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against the massive Persian army, inflicting very high casualties on the Persian forces before finally being overwhelmed.

Even though this war was won by a pan-Greek army, credit was given to Sparta, who besides providing the leading forces at Thermopylae and Plataea, had been the de facto leader of the entire Greek expedition.

In later Classical times, Sparta along with Athens , Thebes , and Persia were the main powers fighting for supremacy in the northeastern Mediterranean.

In the course of the Peloponnesian War , Sparta, a traditional land power, acquired a navy which managed to overpower the previously dominant flotilla of Athens, ending the Athenian Empire.

At the peak of its power in the early 4th century BCE, Sparta had subdued many of the main Greek states and even invaded the Persian provinces in Anatolia modern day Turkey , a period known as the Spartan Hegemony.

The alliance was initially backed by Persia, which feared further Spartan expansion into Asia. The event severely damaged Sparta's naval power but did not end its aspirations of invading further into Persia, until Conon the Athenian ravaged the Spartan coastline and provoked the old Spartan fear of a helot revolt.

After a few more years of fighting, in BCE the Peace of Antalcidas was established, according to which all Greek cities of Ionia would return to Persian control, and Persia's Asian border would be free of the Spartan threat.

This was the first time that a full strength Spartan army lost a land battle. As Spartan citizenship was inherited by blood, Sparta increasingly faced a helot population that vastly outnumbered its citizens.

The alarming decline of Spartan citizens was commented on by Aristotle. Sparta never fully recovered from its losses at Leuctra in BCE and the subsequent helot revolts.

Nonetheless, it was able to continue as a regional power for over two centuries. Even during its decline, Sparta never forgot its claim to be the "defender of Hellenism" and its Laconic wit.

When Philip created the league of the Greeks on the pretext of unifying Greece against Persia, the Spartans chose not to join, since they had no interest in joining a pan-Greek expedition unless it were under Spartan leadership.

Thus, upon defeating the Persians at the Battle of the Granicus , Alexander the Great sent to Athens suits of Persian armour with the following inscription: "Alexander, son of Philip, and all the Greeks except the Spartans, give these offerings taken from the foreigners who live in Asia".

A large Macedonian army under general Antipater marched to its relief and defeated the Spartan-led force in a pitched battle.

On his knees, the Spartan king slew several enemy soldiers before being finally killed by a javelin. Spartan political independence was put to an end when it was eventually forced into the Achaean League after its defeat in the decisive Laconian War by a coalition of other Greek city-states and Rome and the resultant overthrow of its final king Nabis.

Subsequently, Sparta became a free city under Roman rule, some of the institutions of Lycurgus were restored, [49] and the city became a tourist attraction for the Roman elite who came to observe exotic Spartan customs.

In CE Roman emperor Caracalla , in his preparation for his campaign against Parthia , recruited a man Spartan cohort lokhos.

Herodian described this unit as a phalanx , implying it fought like the old Spartans as hoplites, or even as a Macedonian phalanx.

Despite this, a gravestone of a fallen legionary named Marcus Aurelius Alexys shows him lightly armed, with a pilos-like cap and a wooden club.

The unit was presumably discharged in after Caracalla was assassinated. Doric -speaking populations survive today in Tsakonia.

In the Middle Ages, the political and cultural center of Laconia shifted to the nearby settlement of Mystras , and Sparta fell further in even local importance.

Modern Sparti was re-founded in , by a decree of King Otto of Greece. Sparta was an oligarchy. The state was ruled by two hereditary kings of the Agiad and Eurypontid families , [57] both supposedly descendants of Heracles and equal in authority, so that one could not act against the power and political enactments of his colleague.

The duties of the kings were primarily religious, judicial, and military. As chief priests of the state, they maintained communication with the Delphian sanctuary, whose pronouncements exercised great authority in Spartan politics.

In the time of Herodotus c. Aristotle describes the kingship at Sparta as "a kind of unlimited and perpetual generalship" Pol.

Civil and criminal cases were decided by a group of officials known as the ephors , as well as a council of elders known as the gerousia. The gerousia consisted of 28 elders over the age of 60, elected for life and usually part of the royal households, and the two kings.

Royal prerogatives were curtailed over time. From the period of the Persian wars, the king lost the right to declare war and was accompanied in the field by two ephors.

He was supplanted by the ephors also in the control of foreign policy. Over time, the kings became mere figureheads except in their capacity as generals.

Political power was transferred to the ephors and gerousia. An assembly of citizens called the a pella [23] was responsible for electing men to the gerousia for life.

The Spartan education process known as the agoge was essential for full citizenship. However, usually the only boys eligible for the agoge were Spartiates , those who could trace their ancestry to the original inhabitants of the city.

There were two exceptions. Trophimoi or "foster sons" were foreign students invited to study. The Athenian general Xenophon , for example, sent his two sons to Sparta as trophimoi.

Also, the son of a helot could be enrolled as a syntrophos [61] if a Spartiate formally adopted him and paid his way; if he did exceptionally well in training, he might be sponsored to become a Spartiate.

These laws meant that Sparta could not readily replace citizens lost in battle or otherwise, which eventually proved near fatal as citizens became greatly outnumbered by non-citizens, and even more dangerously by helots.

The other classes were the perioikoi , free inhabitants who were non-citizens, and the helots , [63] state-owned serfs. Descendants of non-Spartan citizens were forbidden the agoge.

The Spartans were a minority of the Lakonian population. The helots were originally free Greeks from the areas of Messenia and Lakonia whom the Spartans had defeated in battle and subsequently enslaved.

In contrast to populations conquered by other Greek cities e. Instead, the helots were given a subordinate position in society more comparable to serfs in medieval Europe than chattel slaves in the rest of Greece.

Helots did not have voting or political rights. In other Greek city-states, free citizens were part-time soldiers who, when not at war, carried on other trades.

Since Spartan men were full-time soldiers, they were not available to carry out manual labour. Helot women were often used as wet nurses.

Helots also travelled with the Spartan army as non-combatant serfs. At the last stand of the Battle of Thermopylae , the Greek dead included not just the legendary three hundred Spartan soldiers but also several hundred Thespian and Theban troops and a number of helots.

Relations between the helots and their Spartan masters were sometimes strained. There was at least one helot revolt c.

Slave revolts occurred elsewhere in the Greek world, and in BCE 20, Athenian slaves ran away to join the Spartan forces occupying Attica.

As the Spartiate population declined and the helot population continued to grow, the imbalance of power caused increasing tension.

They assign to the Helots every shameful task leading to disgrace. Moreover, if any exceeded the vigour proper to a slave's condition, they made death the penalty; and they allotted a punishment to those controlling them if they failed to rebuke those who were growing fat.

Plutarch also states that Spartans treated the Helots "harshly and cruelly": they compelled them to drink pure wine which was considered dangerous — wine usually being cut with water " Each year when the Ephors took office, they ritually declared war on the helots, allowing Spartans to kill them without risk of ritual pollution.

The helots were invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their number who claimed to have most distinguished themselves against the enemy, in order that they might receive their freedom; the object being to test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their freedom would be the most high spirited and the most apt to rebel.

As many as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom.

The Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever knew how each of them perished. The Perioikoi came from similar origins as the helots but occupied a significantly different position in Spartan society.

Although they did not enjoy full citizen-rights, they were free and not subjected to the same restrictions as the helots. The exact nature of their subjection to the Spartans is not clear, but they seem to have served partly as a kind of military reserve, partly as skilled craftsmen and partly as agents of foreign trade.

Full citizen Spartiates were barred by law from trade or manufacture, which consequently rested in the hands of the Perioikoi.

Allegedly, Spartans were prohibited from possessing gold and silver coins, and according to legend Spartan currency consisted of iron bars to discourage hoarding.

Allegedly as part of the Lycurgan Reforms in the mid-8th century BCE, a massive land reform had divided property into 9, equal portions.

Each citizen received one estate, a kleros , which was expected to provide his living. From the other half, the Spartiate was expected to pay his mess syssitia fees, and the agoge fees for his children.

However, we know nothing of matters of wealth such as how land was bought, sold, and inherited, or whether daughters received dowries.

Attempts were made to remedy this by imposing legal penalties upon bachelors, [23] but this could not reverse the trend. Sparta was above all a militarist state, and emphasis on military fitness began virtually at birth.

Shortly after birth, a mother would bathe her child in wine to see whether the child was strong. If the child survived it was brought before the Gerousia by the child's father.

The Gerousia then decided whether it was to be reared or not. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule. When Spartans died, marked headstones would only be granted to soldiers who died in combat during a victorious campaign or women who died either in service of a divine office or in childbirth.

When male Spartans began military training at age seven, they would enter the agoge system. The agoge was designed to encourage discipline and physical toughness and to emphasize the importance of the Spartan state.

Boys lived in communal messes and, according to Xenophon, whose sons attended the agoge , the boys were fed "just the right amount for them never to become sluggish through being too full, while also giving them a taste of what it is not to have enough.

Special punishments were imposed if boys failed to answer questions sufficiently 'laconically' i. There is some evidence that in late-Classical and Hellenistic Sparta boys were expected to take an older male mentor, usually an unmarried young man.

However, there is no evidence of this in archaic Sparta. According to some sources, the older man was expected to function as a kind of substitute father and role model to his junior partner; however, others believe it was reasonably certain that they had sexual relations the exact nature of Spartan pederasty is not entirely clear.

Post BCE, some Spartan youth apparently became members of an irregular unit known as the Krypteia. The immediate objective of this unit was to seek out and kill vulnerable helot Laconians as part of the larger program of terrorising and intimidating the helot population.

Less information is available about the education of Spartan girls, but they seem to have gone through a fairly extensive formal educational cycle, broadly similar to that of the boys but with less emphasis on military training.

In this respect, classical Sparta was unique in ancient Greece. In no other city-state did women receive any kind of formal education.

At age 20, the Spartan citizen began his membership in one of the syssitia dining messes or clubs , composed of about fifteen members each, of which every citizen was required to be a member.

The Spartans were not eligible for election for public office until the age of Only native Spartans were considered full citizens and were obliged to undergo the training as prescribed by law, as well as participate in and contribute financially to one of the syssitia.

Sparta is thought to be the first city to practice athletic nudity, and some scholars claim that it was also the first to formalize pederasty.

The agoge , the education of the ruling class, was, they claim, founded on pederastic relationships required of each citizen, [] with the lover responsible for the boy's training.

However, other scholars question this interpretation. Xenophon explicitly denies it, [97] but not Plutarch. Spartan men remained in the active reserve until age Men were encouraged to marry at age 20 but could not live with their families until they left their active military service at age They called themselves " homoioi " equals , pointing to their common lifestyle and the discipline of the phalanx , which demanded that no soldier be superior to his comrades.

Spartans buried their battle dead on or near the battle field; corpses were not brought back on their hoplons.

Thus the shield was symbolic of the individual soldier's subordination to his unit, his integral part in its success, and his solemn responsibility to his comrades in arms — messmates and friends, often close blood relations.

According to Aristotle, the Spartan military culture was actually short-sighted and ineffective. He observed:. It is the standards of civilized men not of beasts that must be kept in mind, for it is good men not beasts who are capable of real courage.

Those like the Spartans who concentrate on the one and ignore the other in their education turn men into machines and in devoting themselves to one single aspect of city's life, end up making them inferior even in that.

He sent them on to Sparta. The Athenians could keep their own land. Preceded by. He sent his brother, Cyrus the youngerto relieve Tissaphernes of his command of Lydia. Indeed, the Spartans ascribed their subsequent success to Lycurgus, who instituted his reforms at a time when Sparta was weakened by internal dissent and click the following article the stability of a united and well-organized community. The Spartans ended their occupation. Spartans, who were outnumbered by the Helots, often treated them brutally and oppressively in an effort to prevent uprisings. There were two exceptions. Age of Sparta é um jogo de estratégia de autoria da Gameloft. Com versões para Android, Windows Phone, iOS e Windows 8 e. In diesem Guide findet ihr einige Lösungen, Tipps und Tricks, um die Herausforderungen von Age of Sparta zu meistern In der Windows Phone. Du hast ein Problem mit Age of Sparta oder kommst einfach an einer bestimmten Stelle nicht weiter? Frag doch einfach die spieletipps Community. Schritt 2 — Grinden, grinden und noch mehr grinden. Ein leidenschaftlicher Gamerscore- und Trophäensammler der vor kaum einem Spiel zurückschreckt. Alle Artikel von Marcel ansehen. Du kannst ins Kampfgeschehen nicht eingreifen. Die Grafik ist eine andere, das Spiel ist inhaltlich vollkommen identisch. Die Booster gegen Diamanten geben einen grösseren Bonus als die normalen. Der Sieg bringt als Belohnung Edelsteine. Verwüster — 10 Gamerscore Töte 25 feindliche Einheiten. Gehe nun wie folgt vor, um es zu nutzen. Okay, sucht den Fehler. Danach seid ihr trotzdem nicht auf euch allein gestellt, da es links im Menü ständig Aufgaben abzuarbeiten gilt. Gründer von insidegames und der Inhaber more info Xbox-Senioren. Anstatt Benzin braucht ihr göttliche Energie, anstatt Dollar gibt es Goldmünzen. Um einen Angriff zu starten braucht ihr genügend Energie auf eurem Konto. Akzeptieren Ablehnen Erfahren Sie mehr. Update: Unser Bündnis ist derzeit voll belegt, bewerbt euch bei mir oder macht uns ein Ally-Angebot. Alles was ihr jetzt tun müsst ist, den Gegner in einer Schlacht besiegen um https://irenewbraceletreview.co/online-casino-no-deposit-bonus/rennbahn-hoppegarten.php Kopfgeld einzustreichen. Seh dich im PvP nach niedrig Level Spielern um! Negativ - Pay to win, Wartezeiten, Energiesystem.

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Together they formulated an appeal to Sparta that Lysander be sent out for a second term. Both Spartan political norms and the Spartan constitution should have prevented his second term, but in the wake of the new Spartan defeat a circumvention was found.

Lysander would be the secretary of a nominal navarch, Aracus , with the rank of vice-admiral. Lysander was again entrusted with all the resources needed to maintain and operate the Spartan fleet.

Cyrus supplied the funds from his own resources. The Great King now recalled Cyrus to answer for the execution of certain members of the royal family.

Cyrus appointed Lysander governor in his place, giving him the right to collect taxes. Lysander then sailed at his leisure for Athens to impose a blockade.

If he encountered a state of the Delian League on his way he gave the Athenian garrison the option of withdrawing to Athens; if they refused, their treatment was harsh.

He replaced democracies with pro-Spartan decarchies under a Spartan harmost. After the Battle of Aegospotami the Spartan navy sailed where it pleased unopposed.

A fleet of ships entered the Saronic Gulf to impose a blockade on Piraeus. Athens was cut off. In the winter of the Athenians sent a delegation to King Agis at Deceleia proposing to become a Spartan ally if only they would be allowed to keep the walls intact.

He sent them on to Sparta. The delegation was turned back on the road by the ephors. After hearing the terms they suggested the Athenians return with better ones.

The Athenians appointed Theramenes to discuss the matter with Lysander , but the latter had made himself unavailable.

Theramenes found him, probably on Samos. After a wait of three months he returned to Athens saying that Lysander had delayed him and that he was to negotiate with Sparta directly.

A board of nine delegates was appointed to go with Thermenes to Sparta. This time the delegation was allowed to pass.

The disposition of Athens was then debated in the Spartan assembly, which apparently had the power of debate, of veto and of counterproposition.

Moreover, the people in assembly were the final power. Corinth and Thebes proposed that Athens be leveled and the land be turned into a pasture for sheep.

Agis, supported by Lysander, also recommended the destruction of the city. The assembly refused, stating that they would not destroy a city that had served Greece so well in the past, alluding to Athens' contribution to the defeat of the Persians.

Instead the Athenians were offered terms of unconditional surrender: the long walls must be dismantled, Athens must withdraw from all states of the Delian League and Athenian exiles must be allowed to return.

The Athenians could keep their own land. The returning delegates found the population of Athens starving to death.

The surrender was accepted in assembly in April, , 27 years after the start of the war, with little opposition.

A few weeks later Lysander arrived with a Spartan garrison. They began to tear down the walls to the tune of pipes played by young female pipers.

Lysander reported to the ephors that "Athens is taken. Some modern historians have proposed a less altruistic reason for the Spartans' mercy—the need for a counterweight to Thebes [64] —though Anton Powell sees this as an excess of hindsight.

It is doubtful that the Spartans could have predicted that it would be Thebes that would someday pose a serious threat, later defeating the Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra.

Lysander's political opponents may have defended Athens not out of gratitude, but out of fear of making Lysander too powerful.

In the spring of BC, the terms of surrender required the Athenians to tear down the long walls between the city and the port of Piraeus.

When internal dissent prevented the Athenians from restoring a government Lysander dissolved the democracy and set up a government of 30 oligarchs that would come to be known as the Thirty.

These were pro-Spartan men. Originally voted into power by the Assembly with a mandate to codify the laws, they immediately requested the assistance of the Spartan garrison to arrest their enemies.

The disquiet of Sparta's allies in the Peloponnesian League can be seen in the defiance of Boeotia , Elis and Corinth in offering refuge to those who opposed the rule of the Thirty.

Lysander departed Athens to establish decarchies, governing boards of 10 men, elsewhere in the former Athenian Empire, leaving the Spartan garrison under the command of the Thirty.

Taking advantage of a general anti-Spartan backlash and a change of regime in Boeotia to an anti-Spartan government, the exiles and non-Athenian supporters who were promised citizenship launched an attack from Boeotia on Athens under Thrasybulus and in the Battle of Phyle followed by the Battle of Munichia and the Battle of Piraeus defeated the Athenian supporters of the Thirty with the Spartan garrison regaining partial control of Athens.

They set up a decarchy. Athens was on the brink of civil war. Both sides sent delegates to present their case before King Pausanias. The Thirty were heard first.

They complained that Piraeus was being occupied by a Boeotian puppet government. Pausanias immediately appointed Lysander harmost governor , which required the assent of the ephors , and ordered him to Sparta with his brother, who had been made navarch over 40 ships.

They were to put down the rebellion and expel the foreigners. After the Ten had been fully heard, Pausanias, obtaining the assent of three out of five ephors, went himself to Athens with a force including men from all the allies except the suspect Boeotia and Corinth.

He met and superseded Lysander on the road. A battle ensued against Thrasybulus, whose forces killed two Spartan polemarchs but were driven at last into a marsh and trapped there.

Pausanias broke off. He set up the board of 15 peace commissioners that had been sent with him by the Spartan assembly and invited both sides to a conference.

The final reconciliation restored democracy to Athens. The Thirty held Eleusis, as they had previously massacred the entire population.

It was made independent of Athens as a refuge for supporters of the Thirty. A general amnesty was declared. The Spartans ended their occupation.

The former oligarchs repudiated the peace. After failure to raise assistance for their cause among the other states of Greece, they attempted a coup.

Faced with the new Athenian state at overwhelming odds they were lured into a conference, seized and executed. Eleusis reverted to Athens.

Meanwhile, Lysander, who had been recalled to Sparta after his relief by Pausanias, with the assistance of King Agis the second king charged Pausanias with being too lenient with the Athenians.

Not only was he acquitted by an overwhelming majority of the jurors except for the supporters of Agis including all five ephors, but the Spartan government repudiated all the decarchs that had been established by Lysander in former states of the Athenian Empire and ordered the former governments restored.

Sparta's close relationship with Cyrus the Younger continued when she gave covert support to his attempt to seize the Persian throne.

After Cyrus was killed at the Battle of Cunaxa , Sparta briefly attempted to be conciliatory towards Artaxerxes , the Persian king.

In late BC, however, Sparta decided to answer an appeal of several Ionian cities and sent an expedition to Anatolia. Though Persian rule meant to the cities of mainland Asia, the payment of tribute, this seems to have been considered a lesser evil than Spartan rule.

However, these inducements served mainly as encouragement to those who were already resentful of Sparta. In the event, it was Sparta who made the first aggressive move using, as a pretext, Boeotia's support for her ally Locris against Sparta's ally Phocis.

An army under Lysander and Pausanias was despatched. As Pausanias was somewhat lukewarm to the whole enterprise, Lysander went on ahead.

When Pausanias arrived rather than avenge the defeat he simply sought a truce to bury the bodies.

For this Pausanias was prosecuted, this time successfully and went into exile. At the Battle of Coronea , Agesilaus I , the new king of Sparta, had slightly the better of the Boeotians and at Corinth, the Spartans maintained their position, yet they felt it necessary to rid themselves of Persian hostility and if possible use Persian power to strengthen their own position at home: they therefore concluded with Artaxerxes II the humiliating Peace of Antalcidas in BC, by which they surrendered to the Great King of the Greek cities of the Asia Minor coast and of Cyprus , and stipulated for the autonomy of all other Greek cities.

Finally, Sparta and Persia were given the right to make war on those who did not respect the terms of the treaty.

The Boeotian League was broken up on the one hand while the Spartan dominated Peloponnesian League was excepted.

Further, Sparta did not consider that autonomy included the right of a city to choose democracy over Sparta's preferred form of government.

After several years of fighting Olynthus was defeated and the cities of the Chalkidice were enrolled into the Peloponnesian League.

The real beneficiary of this conflict was Macedon , though Paul Cartledge considers it to be indulging in hindsight, to blame Sparta for enabling the rise of Philip II.

The alliance was initially backed by Persia, whose lands in Anatolia had been invaded by Sparta and which feared further Spartan expansion into Asia.

The event severely damaged Sparta's naval power but did not end its aspirations of invading further into Persia, until Conon the Athenian ravaged the Spartan coastline and provoked the old Spartan fear of a helot revolt.

After a few more years of fighting in BC, the Peace of Antalcidas was established, according to which all Greek cities of Ionia would return to Persian control, and Persia's Asian border would be free of the Spartan threat.

The leader of the anti-Spartan faction was executed after a show trial, and a narrow clique of pro-Spartan partisans was placed in power in Thebes, and other Boeotian cities.

It was a flagrant breach of the Peace of Antalcidas. Sparta started this war with the strategic initiative, however, Sparta failed to achieve its aims.

Again the Thebans refused to renounce their Boeotian hegemony, and the Spartan's sent a force under King Cleombrotus in an attempt to enforce Theban acceptance.

When the Thebans gave battle at Leuctra , it was more out of brave despair than hope. As Spartan citizenship was inherited by blood, Sparta now increasingly faced a helot population that vastly outnumbered its citizens.

The alarming decline of Spartan citizens was commented on by Aristotle , who viewed it as a sudden event.

Most likely, this was the result of steady shifting of wealth among the citizen body, which was simply not as obvious until laws were passed allowing the citizens to give away their land plots.

Sparta never fully recovered from the losses that it suffered at Leuctra in BC and the subsequent helot revolts. Nonetheless, it was able to continue as a regional power for over two centuries.

By the winter of late BC, King Agesilaus took the field, not against Thebes, but in an attempt to preserve at least a toehold of influence for Sparta in Arkadia.

This backfired when, in response, the Arkadians sent an appeal for help to Boeotia. Boeotia responded by sending a large army, led by Epaminondas , which first marched on Sparta itself and then moved to Messenia where the helots had already rebelled.

Epaminondas made that rebellion permanent by fortifying the city of Messene. The final showdown was in BC, by which time several of Boetia's former allies, such as Mantinea and Elis , had joined Sparta.

Athens also fought with Sparta. The resulting Battle of Mantinea was won by Boetia and her allies but in the moment of victory, Epaminondas was killed.

Only Sparta itself refused because it would not accept the independence of Messenia. Sparta had neither the men nor the money to recover her lost position, and the continued existence on her borders of an independent Messenia and Arcadia kept her in constant fear for her own safety.

She did, indeed, join with Athens and Achaea in BC to prevent Philip II of Macedon passing Thermopylae and entering Phocis , but beyond this, she took no part in the struggle of Greece with the new power which had sprung up on her northern borders.

The final showdown saw Philip fighting Athens and Thebes at Chaeronea. Sparta was pinned down at home by Macedonian allies such as Messene and Argos and took no part.

Sparta alone refused to join Philip's "Corinthian League" but Philip engineered the transfer of certain border districts to the neighbouring states of Argos, Arcadia and Messenia.

A large Macedonian army under general Antipater marched to its relief and defeated the Spartan-led force in a pitched battle.

On his knees, the Spartan king slew several enemy soldiers before being finally killed by a javelin. The memory of this defeat was still fresh in Spartan minds when the general revolt against Macedonian rule known as the Lamian War broke out — hence Sparta stayed neutral.

Even during its decline, Sparta never forgot its claims on being the "defender of Hellenism" and its Laconic wit. When Philip created the league of the Greeks on the pretext of unifying Greece against Persia, the Spartans chose not to join—they had no interest in joining a pan-Greek expedition if it was not under Spartan leadership.

Thus, upon the conquest of Persia, Alexander the Great sent to Athens suits of Persian armour with the following inscription " Alexander, son of Philip, and all the Greeks except the Spartans , give these offerings taken from the foreigners who live in Asia [emphasis added] ".

Had Demetrius not decided to turn his attention to Macedonia the city would have fallen. They somewhat pulled the moral high ground from under themselves, by looting the area.

It was at this point that the Aetolians caught them and defeated them. Though Aetolia was primarily concerned with confining Achaea, because the cities concerned were hostile to Sparta, Aetolia needed to demonstrate her anti-Spartan credentials.

During the 3rd century BC, a social crisis slowly emerged: wealth had become concentrated amongst about families [] and the number of equals who had always formed the backbone of the Spartan army had fallen to less than a tenth of its strong highpoint in the 7th century BC.

His program combined debt cancellation and land reform. Opposition from King Leonidas was removed when he was deposed on somewhat dubious grounds.

However, his opponents exploited a period when Agis IV was absent from Sparta and, on his return he was subjected to a travesty of a trial.

Aratus, who led the Achaean League forces, adopted a very cautious strategy, despite having 20, to Cleomenes men. Cleomenes was faced with obstruction from the Ephors which probably reflected a general lack of enthusiasm amongst the citizens of Sparta.

The ephorate was abolished - indeed four out of five of them had been killed during Cleomenes' seizure of power. Cleomenes gave to Sphaerus , his stoic advisor, the task of restoring the old severe training and simple life.

Historian Peter Green comments that giving such a responsibility to a non-Spartan was a telling indication of the extent that Sparta had lost her Lycurgian traditions.

For others, especially among the poor, Cleomenes inspired hope. This hope was quickly dashed when Cleomenes started taking cities and it became obvious that social reform outside Sparta was the last thing on his mind.

Cleomenes' reforms had as their aim, the restoration of Spartan power. Initially Cleomenes was successful, taking cities that had until then been part of the Achaean League [] and winning the financial backing of Egypt.

With Egypt deciding to cut financial aid Cleomenes decided to risk all on one battle. The ephors were restored, whilst the kingship was suspended.

At the beginning of the Social War in BC, envoys from Achaea unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Sparta to take the field against Aetolia.

Sparta then immediately entered the war on the side of Aetolia. The sources on Nabis , who took power in BC, are so uniformly hostile that it is impossible today to judge the truth of the accusation against him - that his reforms were undertaken only to serve Nabis' interests.

Were we to trust the accounts given by Polybius and Livy , we would dismiss him little better than a bandit chieftain, holding Sparta by means of extreme cruelty and oppression and using mercenary troops to a large extent in his wars.

The historian W. Forest is willing to take these accusations at face value including that he murdered his ward, and participated in state sponsored piracy and brigandage - but not the self-interested motives ascribed to him.

He sees him as a ruthless version of Cleomenes, sincerely attempting to solve Sparta's social crisis. It was this point that Achaea switched her alliance with Macedon to support Rome.

As Achaea was Sparta's main rival, Nabis leaned towards Macedonia. It was getting increasingly difficult for Macedonia to hold Argos , so Philip V of Macedon decided to give Argos to Sparta which increased tension with the Achaean League.

During the following centuries, Sparta's reputation as a land-fighting force was unequalled. The likely total of 40,—50, made Sparta one of the larger Greek city-states; [33] [34] however, according to Thucydides, the population of Athens in BCE was ,—,, making it much larger.

In BCE a small force led by King Leonidas about full Spartiates, Thespians, and Thebans, although these numbers were lessened by earlier casualties made a legendary last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against the massive Persian army, inflicting very high casualties on the Persian forces before finally being overwhelmed.

Even though this war was won by a pan-Greek army, credit was given to Sparta, who besides providing the leading forces at Thermopylae and Plataea, had been the de facto leader of the entire Greek expedition.

In later Classical times, Sparta along with Athens , Thebes , and Persia were the main powers fighting for supremacy in the northeastern Mediterranean.

In the course of the Peloponnesian War , Sparta, a traditional land power, acquired a navy which managed to overpower the previously dominant flotilla of Athens, ending the Athenian Empire.

At the peak of its power in the early 4th century BCE, Sparta had subdued many of the main Greek states and even invaded the Persian provinces in Anatolia modern day Turkey , a period known as the Spartan Hegemony.

The alliance was initially backed by Persia, which feared further Spartan expansion into Asia. The event severely damaged Sparta's naval power but did not end its aspirations of invading further into Persia, until Conon the Athenian ravaged the Spartan coastline and provoked the old Spartan fear of a helot revolt.

After a few more years of fighting, in BCE the Peace of Antalcidas was established, according to which all Greek cities of Ionia would return to Persian control, and Persia's Asian border would be free of the Spartan threat.

This was the first time that a full strength Spartan army lost a land battle. As Spartan citizenship was inherited by blood, Sparta increasingly faced a helot population that vastly outnumbered its citizens.

The alarming decline of Spartan citizens was commented on by Aristotle. Sparta never fully recovered from its losses at Leuctra in BCE and the subsequent helot revolts.

Nonetheless, it was able to continue as a regional power for over two centuries. Even during its decline, Sparta never forgot its claim to be the "defender of Hellenism" and its Laconic wit.

When Philip created the league of the Greeks on the pretext of unifying Greece against Persia, the Spartans chose not to join, since they had no interest in joining a pan-Greek expedition unless it were under Spartan leadership.

Thus, upon defeating the Persians at the Battle of the Granicus , Alexander the Great sent to Athens suits of Persian armour with the following inscription: "Alexander, son of Philip, and all the Greeks except the Spartans, give these offerings taken from the foreigners who live in Asia".

A large Macedonian army under general Antipater marched to its relief and defeated the Spartan-led force in a pitched battle.

On his knees, the Spartan king slew several enemy soldiers before being finally killed by a javelin. Spartan political independence was put to an end when it was eventually forced into the Achaean League after its defeat in the decisive Laconian War by a coalition of other Greek city-states and Rome and the resultant overthrow of its final king Nabis.

Subsequently, Sparta became a free city under Roman rule, some of the institutions of Lycurgus were restored, [49] and the city became a tourist attraction for the Roman elite who came to observe exotic Spartan customs.

In CE Roman emperor Caracalla , in his preparation for his campaign against Parthia , recruited a man Spartan cohort lokhos.

Herodian described this unit as a phalanx , implying it fought like the old Spartans as hoplites, or even as a Macedonian phalanx.

Despite this, a gravestone of a fallen legionary named Marcus Aurelius Alexys shows him lightly armed, with a pilos-like cap and a wooden club.

The unit was presumably discharged in after Caracalla was assassinated. Doric -speaking populations survive today in Tsakonia.

In the Middle Ages, the political and cultural center of Laconia shifted to the nearby settlement of Mystras , and Sparta fell further in even local importance.

Modern Sparti was re-founded in , by a decree of King Otto of Greece. Sparta was an oligarchy. The state was ruled by two hereditary kings of the Agiad and Eurypontid families , [57] both supposedly descendants of Heracles and equal in authority, so that one could not act against the power and political enactments of his colleague.

The duties of the kings were primarily religious, judicial, and military. As chief priests of the state, they maintained communication with the Delphian sanctuary, whose pronouncements exercised great authority in Spartan politics.

In the time of Herodotus c. Aristotle describes the kingship at Sparta as "a kind of unlimited and perpetual generalship" Pol.

Civil and criminal cases were decided by a group of officials known as the ephors , as well as a council of elders known as the gerousia.

The gerousia consisted of 28 elders over the age of 60, elected for life and usually part of the royal households, and the two kings.

Royal prerogatives were curtailed over time. From the period of the Persian wars, the king lost the right to declare war and was accompanied in the field by two ephors.

He was supplanted by the ephors also in the control of foreign policy. Over time, the kings became mere figureheads except in their capacity as generals.

Political power was transferred to the ephors and gerousia. An assembly of citizens called the a pella [23] was responsible for electing men to the gerousia for life.

The Spartan education process known as the agoge was essential for full citizenship. However, usually the only boys eligible for the agoge were Spartiates , those who could trace their ancestry to the original inhabitants of the city.

There were two exceptions. Trophimoi or "foster sons" were foreign students invited to study. The Athenian general Xenophon , for example, sent his two sons to Sparta as trophimoi.

Also, the son of a helot could be enrolled as a syntrophos [61] if a Spartiate formally adopted him and paid his way; if he did exceptionally well in training, he might be sponsored to become a Spartiate.

These laws meant that Sparta could not readily replace citizens lost in battle or otherwise, which eventually proved near fatal as citizens became greatly outnumbered by non-citizens, and even more dangerously by helots.

The other classes were the perioikoi , free inhabitants who were non-citizens, and the helots , [63] state-owned serfs. Descendants of non-Spartan citizens were forbidden the agoge.

The Spartans were a minority of the Lakonian population. The helots were originally free Greeks from the areas of Messenia and Lakonia whom the Spartans had defeated in battle and subsequently enslaved.

In contrast to populations conquered by other Greek cities e. Instead, the helots were given a subordinate position in society more comparable to serfs in medieval Europe than chattel slaves in the rest of Greece.

Helots did not have voting or political rights. In other Greek city-states, free citizens were part-time soldiers who, when not at war, carried on other trades.

Since Spartan men were full-time soldiers, they were not available to carry out manual labour. Helot women were often used as wet nurses.

Helots also travelled with the Spartan army as non-combatant serfs. At the last stand of the Battle of Thermopylae , the Greek dead included not just the legendary three hundred Spartan soldiers but also several hundred Thespian and Theban troops and a number of helots.

Relations between the helots and their Spartan masters were sometimes strained. There was at least one helot revolt c. Slave revolts occurred elsewhere in the Greek world, and in BCE 20, Athenian slaves ran away to join the Spartan forces occupying Attica.

As the Spartiate population declined and the helot population continued to grow, the imbalance of power caused increasing tension. They assign to the Helots every shameful task leading to disgrace.

Moreover, if any exceeded the vigour proper to a slave's condition, they made death the penalty; and they allotted a punishment to those controlling them if they failed to rebuke those who were growing fat.

Plutarch also states that Spartans treated the Helots "harshly and cruelly": they compelled them to drink pure wine which was considered dangerous — wine usually being cut with water " Each year when the Ephors took office, they ritually declared war on the helots, allowing Spartans to kill them without risk of ritual pollution.

The helots were invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their number who claimed to have most distinguished themselves against the enemy, in order that they might receive their freedom; the object being to test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their freedom would be the most high spirited and the most apt to rebel.

As many as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom.

The Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever knew how each of them perished. The Perioikoi came from similar origins as the helots but occupied a significantly different position in Spartan society.

Although they did not enjoy full citizen-rights, they were free and not subjected to the same restrictions as the helots.

The exact nature of their subjection to the Spartans is not clear, but they seem to have served partly as a kind of military reserve, partly as skilled craftsmen and partly as agents of foreign trade.

Full citizen Spartiates were barred by law from trade or manufacture, which consequently rested in the hands of the Perioikoi. Allegedly, Spartans were prohibited from possessing gold and silver coins, and according to legend Spartan currency consisted of iron bars to discourage hoarding.

Allegedly as part of the Lycurgan Reforms in the mid-8th century BCE, a massive land reform had divided property into 9, equal portions.

Each citizen received one estate, a kleros , which was expected to provide his living. From the other half, the Spartiate was expected to pay his mess syssitia fees, and the agoge fees for his children.

However, we know nothing of matters of wealth such as how land was bought, sold, and inherited, or whether daughters received dowries.

Attempts were made to remedy this by imposing legal penalties upon bachelors, [23] but this could not reverse the trend.

Sparta was above all a militarist state, and emphasis on military fitness began virtually at birth. Shortly after birth, a mother would bathe her child in wine to see whether the child was strong.

If the child survived it was brought before the Gerousia by the child's father. The Gerousia then decided whether it was to be reared or not.

Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule. When Spartans died, marked headstones would only be granted to soldiers who died in combat during a victorious campaign or women who died either in service of a divine office or in childbirth.

When male Spartans began military training at age seven, they would enter the agoge system. The agoge was designed to encourage discipline and physical toughness and to emphasize the importance of the Spartan state.

Boys lived in communal messes and, according to Xenophon, whose sons attended the agoge , the boys were fed "just the right amount for them never to become sluggish through being too full, while also giving them a taste of what it is not to have enough.

Special punishments were imposed if boys failed to answer questions sufficiently 'laconically' i. There is some evidence that in late-Classical and Hellenistic Sparta boys were expected to take an older male mentor, usually an unmarried young man.

However, there is no evidence of this in archaic Sparta. According to some sources, the older man was expected to function as a kind of substitute father and role model to his junior partner; however, others believe it was reasonably certain that they had sexual relations the exact nature of Spartan pederasty is not entirely clear.

Post BCE, some Spartan youth apparently became members of an irregular unit known as the Krypteia.

The immediate objective of this unit was to seek out and kill vulnerable helot Laconians as part of the larger program of terrorising and intimidating the helot population.

Less information is available about the education of Spartan girls, but they seem to have gone through a fairly extensive formal educational cycle, broadly similar to that of the boys but with less emphasis on military training.

In this respect, classical Sparta was unique in ancient Greece. In no other city-state did women receive any kind of formal education.

At age 20, the Spartan citizen began his membership in one of the syssitia dining messes or clubs , composed of about fifteen members each, of which every citizen was required to be a member.

The Spartans were not eligible for election for public office until the age of Only native Spartans were considered full citizens and were obliged to undergo the training as prescribed by law, as well as participate in and contribute financially to one of the syssitia.

Sparta is thought to be the first city to practice athletic nudity, and some scholars claim that it was also the first to formalize pederasty.

The agoge , the education of the ruling class, was, they claim, founded on pederastic relationships required of each citizen, [] with the lover responsible for the boy's training.

However, other scholars question this interpretation. Xenophon explicitly denies it, [97] but not Plutarch. Spartan men remained in the active reserve until age Men were encouraged to marry at age 20 but could not live with their families until they left their active military service at age They called themselves " homoioi " equals , pointing to their common lifestyle and the discipline of the phalanx , which demanded that no soldier be superior to his comrades.

Spartans buried their battle dead on or near the battle field; corpses were not brought back on their hoplons.

Thus the shield was symbolic of the individual soldier's subordination to his unit, his integral part in its success, and his solemn responsibility to his comrades in arms — messmates and friends, often close blood relations.

According to Aristotle, the Spartan military culture was actually short-sighted and ineffective. He observed:.

It is the standards of civilized men not of beasts that must be kept in mind, for it is good men not beasts who are capable of real courage.

Male Spartan citizens were allowed only one occupation: soldier. Indoctrination into this lifestyle began early. Spartan boys started their military training at age 7, when they left home and entered the Agoge.

The boys lived communally under austere conditions. They were subjected to continual physical, competitions which could involve violence , given meager rations and expected to become skilled at stealing food, among other survival skills.

The teenage boys who demonstrated the most leadership potential were selected for participation in the Crypteia, which acted as a secret police force whose primary goal was to terrorize the general Helot population and murder those who were troublemakers.

At age 20, Spartan males became full-time soldiers, and remained on active duty until age In the phalanx, the army worked as a unit in a close, deep formation, and made coordinated mass maneuvers.

No one soldier was considered superior to another. Going into battle, a Spartan soldier, or hoplite, wore a large bronze helmet, breastplate and ankle guards, and carried a round shield made of bronze and wood, a long spear and sword.

Spartan warriors were also known for their long hair and red cloaks. Spartan women had a reputation for being independent-minded, and enjoyed more freedoms and power than their counterparts throughout ancient Greece.

While they played no role in the military, female Spartans often received a formal education, although separate from boys and not at boarding schools.

In part to attract mates, females engaged in athletic competitions, including javelin-throwing and wrestling, and also sang and danced competitively.

As adults, Spartan women were allowed to own and manage property. Additionally, they were typically unencumbered by domestic responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning and making clothing, tasks which were handled by the helots.

Marriage was important to Spartans, as the state put pressure on people to have male children who would grow up to become citizen-warriors, and replace those who died in battle.

Men who delayed marriage were publically shamed, while those who fathered multiple sons could be rewarded.

In preparation for marriage, Spartan women had their heads shaved; they kept their hair short after they wed.

Married couples typically lived apart, as men under 30 were required to continue residing in communal barracks. In order to see their wives during this time, husbands had to sneak away at night.

In B. In a further blow, late the following year, Thebangeneral Epaminondas c. The Spartans would continue to exist, although as a second-rate power in a long period of decline.

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