Brutal Facts about Sparta That’ll Probably Shock You

Just like the stars of hit movies like 300, the Spartans were known for their particularly brutal disposition. Spartan society was geared towards battle in every facet imaginable, and we’ve searched through a myriad of sources to bring you

Most Intriguing Facts About Sparta and the Spartans

1 Once Athens was conquered by the Spartans, over 1,500 Athenians were forced to eat poisoned hemlock over the following year.

2 Like Japanese soldiers in World War 2, Spartans chose suicide over surrender or else were utterly disgraced.

3 Besides soldiers, the only other Spartan citizens granted headstones after burial were women who died in childbirth.

4 Infants were taken and inspected thoroughly; if any defects were found, they were left to die.

5 Spartan King Nabis used a torture device like the iron maiden made out of a mold of his wife in order to force obedience in those unwilling to follow his orders.

6 By 12, boys were expected to be able to survive when stripped of all belongings and sent into the wild. They were encouraged to steal, yet beaten if they were caught.

7 Boys were wrenched from their families at the young age of seven to begin military training.

8 In the Battle of Thermopylae, 300 Spartans fought a large Persian army, using their nails and teeth when they lost their weapons.

9 Spartans employed a massive slavery system; their slaves were called Helots and were responsible for farming and other unskilled labor.

10 Men were required to live in a military barracks until 30, an old age considering ancient life expectancy. They were even forbidden to live with their wives until that time.

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11 Famous philosopher Socrates was executed in a similar manner to the Athenians who felt the Spartans wrath. In 399 B.C., Socrates was given a hemlock-based liquid and forced to drink. He died at an incredible 70 years of age.

The Complex Life In Sparta | The Spartans (Ancient Greece Documentary)

The Spartans chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most extreme civilisations the world has ever witnessed – a civilization that was founded on discipline, sacrifice and frugality where the onus was on the collective and the goal was to create the perfect state, and the perfect warrior.

Classical historian Bettany Hughes reveals the secrets and complexities of everyday Spartan life: homosexuality was compulsory, money was outlawed, equality was enforced, weak boys were put to death and women enjoyed a level of social and sexual freedom that was unheard of in the ancient world. It was a nation of fearsome fighters where a glorious death was treasured.