BIZARRE Things The Ancient Spartans Did!
Date: 2019-06-13 13:15:00
Strangest stuff done by the ancient Spartans! From the pre-teen ritualistic floggings to the extreme sacrifices made in the name of their city-state
#9 Infant Inspections
Known historically as a warrior people, ancient Spartans began their road to battle-readiness at adolescence. When Spartan boys were born, local elders would examine the child for any potential physical deformities. If the baby failed the test, they would at times be abandoned on a hillside, left to perish or sometimes be adopted by foster parents from neighboring cultures. Once they pass this first qualification, children were conditioned before age five using tactics such as frugal feeding, wine baths to “adjust the body”, and discouragement from crying by way of silent treatment. By being forced at such a young age to deal with darkness and loneliness, the children were thought to have been strengthened for it. This type of child-raising was so admired by other Greek city-states that Spartan nannies were often sought after by foreign employers.
#8 Combat Elementary
After the age of 5, Spartan boys were educated in the art of endurance through a type of militaristic training regimen called agoge. These children would be sent off to a type of boarding school where they would stay in communal barracks. Here they would train with weapons and learn to carry and maneuver them with a type of dance called pyrrhic. This taught the young soldiers-in-training to stay dexterous and nimble while granting experience with military instruments. The agoge also taught the boys to read, write, and sing traditional Spartan combat anthems. Team sports were also customary at this time as a way for the youthful Spartans to learn to work together and as a unit. All these instructions were a means to prepare the boys for a final competitive exam that tested their athletic, dancing, and singing capabilities.
At age 12, these young males are no longer considered paidions, or boys, instead being promoted to the status of meirakion. In this new role, the training intensity turns up as focus shifts to improving survival skills. This was done through the sacrifice of items like shoes, warm clothing, and full diets as these harsh, restrictive conditions were thought to help generate tougher, more durable and in-shape men. Their physical attunement was especially required as being overweight was strictly taboo and even punished with some even being banned from Sparta for their portliness. Despite this, the new meager diets weren’t expected to be enough and these young men were encouraged to steal food to get by, though should they get caught, the punishments were severe. The competitiveness between the meirakion was also raised as trainers would instigate fights between them and even young Spartan women were enrolled to dole out ridicule and incite further divisiveness. This was thought to bring the best out of the trainees as they learned to channel emotion into action!