City-state in ancient Greece Coordinates: 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). Spartan men underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, and Spartan phalanx brigades were widely considered to be among the best in battle. Sparta was frequently a subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in Western culture following the revival of classical learning. Sparta had a double effect on Greek thought: through the reality, and through the myth....
Related: book 1