Sparta: Origins

Sparta: Origins A Spartan Soldier from The Greeks documentary

Sparta was unique among the Greek city-states because of the rigid program of military indoctrination it instilled in its citizens.

Legend dates the founding of the city to Mycenean times, when the legendary King Menelaus, who helped defeat Troy, supposedly ruled the city. Archaeologists put the date of its origin later, around 1000 BC, when a tribe called the Dorians migrated to the region.

Around the year 650 BC Sparta was thoroughly reorganized by Lycurgus, who came to power after the city was humiliatingly defeated by its neighbor Argos. Lycurgus turned Sparta from a city ruled by an aristocratic elite into a far broader oligarchy dedicated solely to warfare. By 500 BC it had conquered almost all of the surrounding territory and dominated the Peloponnese region of southwest Greece.

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