10 Facts About Ancient Spartans You Probably Didn’t Know

The Spartans might have had one of the mightiest military in the world once but at the same time, their culture was equally harsh and austere. It wasn’t easy being a Spartan. These 10 facts about Ancient Spartans tell you why.

#1. Spartan babies were actually inspected at birth

When a Spartan baby boy was born, he was inspected by the so called council of elders from the tribe to check for healthy symptoms or any sign of deformities. There were instances when some babies were abandoned on hillsides. This either led to death of the baby by starvation or adoption by some kind soul.

#2. They were trained since they were five

They were trained since they were five

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From the age of 5 to 11, the Spartan boy was required to reside in communal barracks and learn pyrriche- which was a dance form involving techniques of weapon carrying and maneuvering. Upon reaching their 10th year, they were required to present their athletic skills.

#3. Early survival instincts

Early survival instincts

Image Source: wikimedia.org

As a boy entered his 12th year, he was supposed to a youth now and his training was changed accordingly from mere military honing to survival skills too. This included discarding footwear to toughen their legs, giving up any kind of warm clothing and consuming a very minimal amount of diet.

#4. Taking in male lovers

It has often been quoted by historians that many adult males were homosexual but the Spartan practice was a little different. They followed pederasty but it went beyond conventional physical boundaries. These adult males were also supposed to ac as the guardians of younger trainees. In short, they were expected to act as their mentors.

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