With twenty male helots to every one male Spartan life in Sparta changed radically. Spartan leaders decide Sparta's survival depends on having the very best army in Greece. To have the best army Spartan leaders decide they need every Spartan man serving in the army. Sparta suddenly becomes an army with a polis instead of a polis with an army. THE SPARTAN ARMY is Sparta.
The idea that the Spartan Army is Sparta results in five great changes:
- Life for Spartan babies changes
- Life for young boys changes
- Life for Spartan men changes
- Life for Spartan women changes
- Sparta's form of government changes
The Spartans change the was they look at babies.
Babies are Sparta's future. Each baby boy is a future soldier in the army. Each baby girl is a future mother of boys who will become Spartan soldiers. If a baby cannot grow up to be a strong soldier or a strong mother, it is wasting valuable food a healthy baby can be eating. Inspectors for the Spartan government examine every baby when it is born. If they decide the baby is healthy, it's mother can keep it. If they decide the baby is weak, deformed, or mentally deficient, the baby is set out on a hill side to die.
Spartans change how they raise boys
Young boys who pass inspection live with their mothers until they are seven. Then they are taken away from their homes. The boys move to a large military building were they live together. They are trained hard. They get limited food to eat. They are expected to develop very strong bodies.
At 12 the boys go into full military training. It is BRUTAL. The boys race. The boys have sword and spear fights. The boys wrestle. The winner gets five seconds of praise. The loser of each of these contests gets severely beaten. The boys also play games. One game had each boy tied to an alter. Then the boy was lashed with a whip. The boy who got the most lashes without making a sound is the winner. Stories tell on many Spartan boys who died while being whipped before they made a sound. The boys receive little if any food. Each boy must learn to steal food if he wishes to eat. Get caught stealing, and you are often beaten unconscious. You get one flimsy piece of cloths. You sleep outside under the stars with nothing at all year around. You do this until you are eighteen.
When you turn eighteen, you spend two years in the Spartan secret police, the krypteia. The secret police spy on the helots. The secret police terrorize the helots by attacking and beating then at random some times. The secret police torture helots suspected of planing revolts.
Spartans change what Spartan men do with their lives
At twenty, the boys are starting to be men. They become full members of the Spartan army. They will see many battles in their lives or else they will be dead. As a young man you can marry. You cannot live with your wife. All Spartan men live in military barracks. They eat together. They sleep together. They exercise together. They do battle drills together. They must ALWAYS be one single military unit. At 60 years of age, you are moved to the army reserves. You must still exercise and train. You are kept at Sparta to help defend the polis while the Army is out fighting.
The Spartans change women's role in society
Girls and women are put through tough physical training. They exercise together daily. The exercise is to keep them healthy and able to have strong, healthy babies. Spartan women live at home alone. They have control of Spartan homes and children. Boys are taken away at five. Girls remain in their mother's home until grown.
Spartan leaders change the Spartan system of government
All of Spartan society is geared to making the Spartan Army the greatest!
Spartan leaders changed the system of government. It became an oligarchy.
Only a few Spartans of the most important families could hod government offices. Although official in some offices are elected, it is not democracy. Only members of the most important families can seek election. Once elected to an office, some officials served for life.
Sparta has two kings. They perform religious rituals. They also have the important job of leading the Spartan Armies. One King leads the army into battle. The other King stays in Sparta. He commands the home army. Its job is to protect Sparta from sneak attack or an uprising of the helots.
Decisions are made by the Spartan government officials. They do not ask the opinion of the Spartan citizens -- the Spartan soldier. beyond yes or no. Because government officials also serve in the army commanding parts of the it, Sparta has a military government.