Spartan education system (the agoge)

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posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 04:11 AM
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Firstly welcome. Now this is about the Spartan education system known as the agoge. I do plan to make more of these threads however it's crucial that I get feedback so I can try to fix things such as spelling and incorrect grammar etc.
I will try to place links at the bottom. One other thing I must say is that this IS a draft I may improve upon them and edit them later to fix errors, last but not least if you guys want more I may add new sections such as their military and political system now lets move on.

In order to become one of the most deadliest and effective army's known to civilization the Spartans developed a rigorous training system known as the agoge. Why did they decide to put this in place? During 669 BCE, Sparta suffered a defeat at the hands of the Argives, this humiliated the Spartans so badly that they reformed their entire system. These reforms were introduced by the legendary lawgiver known as Lykourgos, however that's an entirely different story.

The Agoge was designed to create fierce warriors. At birth Spartan boys were inspected by government officials. If these boys were deemed weak or deformed they would be thrown off Mt taygetus.
Look here: www.mlahanas.de...

Until the age of seven the Spartan boy would be raised at home by their mother, after that they would begin their lifelong service to the state. The boys would be sent to live in the (agleia) also known as the barracks.
In Sparta education was a state responsibility and a government official known as the "paidonomos" was in charge of the agoge. The children were primarily taught military skills and hardly were they ever taught reading and writing.
The Spartan youths were not allowed to participate in dancing, music or athletic competitions until the age of ten.

From ages 12 to 18 Spartan males continued to live in the barracks and undergo military training. They normally played endurance games and were encouraged to steal food as they were given minimum rations, however if they were caught stealing they would be whipped. At the age of 18 the Spartan boys entered their stage of training as "eirenes". They were allowed to fight but not on the front lines with other Spartans. As an eirene the Spartan acted as more of a leader and role model to the younger boys. He even held the responsibility of the whip and could dispense punishments as he saw fit. During this stage the Spartan male would apply for membership at the mess.
When the male turned 24 he would become a front line soldier and at the age of thirty he would be granted full citizenship. However if he did not progress through each stage he would be ineligible for citizenship and be considered an inferior by societies standards.

Last but not least special mention must be given to the krypteia also known as the secret police. At one stage during the Spartan males training specially chosen bands of Spartan boys would be sent into the countryside to deal with the helots. The helots were basically slaves. Anyway the boy's would be sent to put down any helot who showed signs of leadership or athletic talent.

That's basically it for education if I forgot something let me know.
As for sources I used a notebook which held most of the info here, as well as a text book named Antiquity two past matters.

Links to more info:
www.csupomona.edu...
ancienthistory.about.com...
elysiumgates.com...
Just copy and paste them into your browser. sorry.




posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 04:32 AM
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You neglected to mention the compulsory requirement of enforced homosexuality.

It's one of the reasons, besides the training, they were some of the best warriors. If your love life IS the Army, well there's never call or reason to leave it.

It's also one of the primary reasons for the decline of the Spartan culture since marriage and children were more a duty to the state that progressively got overlooked until there was barely a thousand Spartans that could be put to field.

Contemporary to the Spartans, were the Sacred Band of Thebes, another fearsome group composed of paired male lovers.

We see this all through ancient history where Homosexuality among soldiers is often employed, encouraged, and even as in the case of the Spartans, and the Sacred Band of Thebes enforced and institutionalized.

It's really quite interesting.
Why were the most feared and fearsome warriors so often homosexual?



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


You are reading all the wrong books - sources... but I guess it's not entirely your fault considering the organized diminishing of specific historical eras and places.



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 05:13 AM
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I may be mistaken but "the right of passage" which was glamorized (maybe not the right word) to make the Spartan a real B.A. The conventional wisdom is that Spartan boys (age??) were required to kill a Helot (Spartan Slave) with out getting caught to enter adulthood. I suspect this is just an ancient rumor spread by the more literate Athenians. Maybe some sort of ancient propaganda which after a few generations, everyone started to believe. Just a hunch unless it was a way of getting ride of the old or incapable of working Helot?

It is my understanding martial competition was a regular part of their training which included hand to hand combat (one on one fighting bare handed) that progressed to implements of war.

Once our young Spartan reached age eighteen, he was given only a knife and sent into the wilderness to survive by his strength and wits; or so the story goes . Those who survived until age twenty were finally welcomed into the ranks of the Spartan military where they served until age thirty if they survived.

Sparta did not win all the battles as indicated by their defeat at the battle Battle of Leuctra: Boeotian-Theban Army kicked the Spartan butt ..


In spite of inferior numbers and the doubtful loyalty of his Boeotian allies, Epaminondas and his Theban warriors would offer battle on the plain before the town of Leuctra, located near the larger town of Thespiae

The Spartans had 10,000–11,000 troops, with a contingent of about 800 peltasts and 1000 cavalry
The Boeotian force is thought to have comprised approximately 6,000-7,000 soldiers. There were perhaps 1500 cavalry which makes the victory even more amazing in that the Boeotian forces had never fought together before.

burnpit.legion.org/2012/07/battle-leuctra...defeats-spartans
Some modern historians claim Sparta's loss at Leuctra directly contributed to the eventual takeover of Greece by Philip of Macedon in 338... Alexander's daddy



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 05:18 AM
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reply to post by EllasArchaiaDynamis
 


Wrong books? You mean REVISIONIST Histories that white wash the realities of ancient cultures?

I suggest anyone interested enjoy the following documentary that discusses some of my points, and more:


Further:
There's something to be said about the marriage tradition between a Male Spartan and a Spartan Women where during congugal relations the Woman shaved her head, bound her breasts, all emulating the appearance of a young boy going through the Agoge, and the entire coupling was made in complete darkness.

Even so, Spartan men were reluctant in these DUTIES, and were often in need of goading and even shaming to perform them as they'd rather spend their time in the all Male "dining" clubs.

Spartan Marriage


Plutarch reports the peculiar customs associated with the Spartan wedding night:

The custom was to capture women for marriage(...) The so-called 'bridesmaid' took charge of the captured girl. She first shaved her head to the scalp, then dressed her in a man's cloak and sandals, and laid her down alone on a mattress in the dark. The bridegroom – who was not drunk and thus not impotent, but was sober as always – first had dinner in the messes, then would slip in, undo her belt, lift her and carry her to the bed.


Dressed like a man?
Shaved Head?

Anyone, of course, is more than welcome to subscribe to a whitewashed revisionist history if it makes them feel better.




posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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www.perseus.tufts.edu...:text:2008.01.0201:section=7


Affectionate regard for boys of good character was permissible, but embracing them was held to be disgraceful, on the ground that the affection was for the body and not for the mind. Any man against whom complaint was made of any disgraceful embracing was deprived of all civic rights for life.


and you should know what that meant for any Spartan



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by EllasArchaiaDynamis
 



... and you misunderstand the regard between 'embracing', and boy sex/pederasty.

Any emotional attachment was frowned upon. Symbolic physical affection through acts of hugging one another was included as a no-no.

Boysex and Mansex on the otherhand, that was part of being manly.
It takes a man to be able to take a man.

They had what was called "chaste" relations.

Among the Greeks, a few cities prohibited it, and in others, such as Sparta, only the chaste form of pederasty was permitted, according to Xenophon[

pederasty

Athenians even coined a vernacular in referring to sex with boys as "Doing it the Spartan way".

Certainly this tends to dampen modern male homophobic romanticized fantasies about Spartan society, but, they were Ancient Greeks.

Certainly there's academic debate anyone can dig up on the subject, but, per academia, there's always academic debate.
Most debate, however, stems from over rationalizing first hand eyewitness accounts written by scholars and historians who visited Sparta and wrote about it.

As said before, you, and anyone else who really want to feel strongly about it, are more than welcome to deny such occurred and was an institutionalized fixture of Spartan society if you desire.

That whole dressing your wife up like a boy and shaving her head like a boy, well ...



edit on 11/26/2013 by AliceBleachWhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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yes, sparta was able to create a military system that was legendary even in its own age. but, sparta
as a cultured nation was pretty weak, as so much was focused on the "warrior caste" and anything that would
produce a warrior. everything else was second.

there is lots of history of sparta and athens here:
en.wikipedia.org...

www.gutenberg.org...


while, sparta did come of with some very impressive warriors, the other greeks eventually were able to produce better warriors also; but while, keeping there populations growth. while the spartans where not because the where very weak culturally.

-GhostInShell



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


The Spartan males were predominantly homosexual however they were still required to marry by the state.
So in order to produce offspring they would shave the females head bald make them wear males clothing and put them in a dark room with little to no light. There is more about this stuff and I will make an attempt to add it later.



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 05:54 PM
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I suggest you read a few books about Sparta instead of spreading more lies on the internet. Sparta greatly frowned upon homosexuality. It was outlawed and in no way ever a part of spartan culture. The Thebans had no problem with homosexuality and was part of the reason the spartan's viewed them as inferior. All of the misconceptions about spartan homosexuality are derived from the Thebans.

AliceBleachWhite

You neglected to mention the compulsory requirement of enforced homosexuality.

It's one of the reasons, besides the training, they were some of the best warriors. If your love life IS the Army, well there's never call or reason to leave it.

It's also one of the primary reasons for the decline of the Spartan culture since marriage and children were more a duty to the state that progressively got overlooked until there was barely a thousand Spartans that could be put to field.

Contemporary to the Spartans, were the Sacred Band of Thebes, another fearsome group composed of paired male lovers.

We see this all through ancient history where Homosexuality among soldiers is often employed, encouraged, and even as in the case of the Spartans, and the Sacred Band of Thebes enforced and institutionalized.

It's really quite interesting.
Why were the most feared and fearsome warriors so often homosexual?




posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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Th younger men took an older proven spartan warrior as their teacher so they could teach them how to be a better soldier. There is no easier way to learn to fight than from a skilled veteran. This was over the years translated into a homosexual view by those who wanted to hurt the image of the greatest warriors known to man. While they did have incest, in order to keep the crown in the family and to keep the blood pure. Sparta never had a culture that supported homosexuality. The spartans chose to become the best at war, and passed it down from generation to generation. It is said that the Spartan's descended from hercules himself.

AliceBleachWhite
reply to post by EllasArchaiaDynamis
 



... and you misunderstand the regard between 'embracing', and boy sex/pederasty.

Any emotional attachment was frowned upon. Symbolic physical affection through acts of hugging one another was included as a no-no.

Boysex and Mansex on the otherhand, that was part of being manly.
It takes a man to be able to take a man.

They had what was called "chaste" relations.

Among the Greeks, a few cities prohibited it, and in others, such as Sparta, only the chaste form of pederasty was permitted, according to Xenophon[

pederasty

Athenians even coined a vernacular in referring to sex with boys as "Doing it the Spartan way".

Certainly this tends to dampen modern male homophobic romanticized fantasies about Spartan society, but, they were Ancient Greeks.

Certainly there's academic debate anyone can dig up on the subject, but, per academia, there's always academic debate.
Most debate, however, stems from over rationalizing first hand eyewitness accounts written by scholars and historians who visited Sparta and wrote about it.

As said before, you, and anyone else who really want to feel strongly about it, are more than welcome to deny such occurred and was an institutionalized fixture of Spartan society if you desire.

That whole dressing your wife up like a boy and shaving her head like a boy, well ...



edit on 11/26/2013 by AliceBleachWhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by IronVelvet
 


This is not what I believe to be correct. Spartans embraced the power of romantic relationships, to their demise. There is ample evidence of it.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 03:19 AM
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AliceBleachWhite
It's really quite interesting.
Why were the most feared and fearsome warriors so often homosexual?



Pent up sexual rage. All these women and they can't have them. That kind of rage would make me want to kill things too.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 04:14 AM
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OccamsRazor04

AliceBleachWhite
It's really quite interesting.
Why were the most feared and fearsome warriors so often homosexual?



Pent up sexual rage. All these women and they can't have them. That kind of rage would make me want to kill things too.


I don't think thats even close to an adequate answer. Do you really think that a man whos not "getting any" from a woman is just gonna get so frustrated that they say " Oh screw it, time to go gay.". Now, that almost makes homosexuality sound like a choice, and I thought we were supposed to believe that its NOT a choice. When one thinks of war, and I mean absolutely un-diluted WAR, one thinks of AGGRESSION, DESTRUCTION, FORCE, POWER, DEATH, SUPERIORITY.

If you subscribe to the YinYang philosophy, Aggression is attributed to the "male", while Passiveness is attributed to the "female", but they are neither entirely made up of those attributes. They both contain a little of the others attribute in them.Its a natural balance and wholeness. Even if you don't subscribe to it, if you just look at it empirically, you can also see as much. Boys are generally rough and tumble and girls are generally sweet and kind, but a boy can still show great kindness and a girl can still show great ferocity. Balance.

With all this in mind, it doesnt surprise me that history shows that some of the fiercest warriors that humankind has seen have been, quite literally, raging homosexuals and boy fondlers. They are pretty much undiluted YANG, and their only sexual impulse is toward other YANGS, and when you have humans that contain such an internal natural imbalance, you get another affront to nature: WAR.

Look at the current state of entertainment, politics, military and religious institutions. They run rampant with homosexuality. They're all "boys clubs" and they WANT it that way. It's the only way, in their minds, it SHOULD be. Exclusively patriarchal institutions that worship at the altar of the phallus. Through these avenues of power and influence, they project an atmosphere of aggression, subjugation and tyranny. All byproducts of undiluted Yang; all destructive to the perfect balance of nature, because what is the most egotistical and delusional concept that mankind has thought? That it can CONTROL nature; that it can TAKE ITS PLACE.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by SerratedSoul
 


First, you clearly are unable to determine joke from not joke.

Second, unless you think Spartans developed the homo gene that made near 100% of them homosexual then it was not genetic, it was environment+choice.

Third, I do not subscribe to the YingYang nor is it relevant.



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 04:22 AM
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AliceBleachWhite

You neglected to mention the compulsory requirement of enforced homosexuality.

It's one of the reasons, besides the training, they were some of the best warriors. If your love life IS the Army, well there's never call or reason to leave it.

It's also one of the primary reasons for the decline of the Spartan culture since marriage and children were more a duty to the state that progressively got overlooked until there was barely a thousand Spartans that could be put to field.

Contemporary to the Spartans, were the Sacred Band of Thebes, another fearsome group composed of paired male lovers.

We see this all through ancient history where Homosexuality among soldiers is often employed, encouraged, and even as in the case of the Spartans, and the Sacred Band of Thebes enforced and institutionalized.

It's really quite interesting.
Why were the most feared and fearsome warriors so often homosexual?



Good day Sir or Madame.

Spartan homosexuality is entirely a myth started . Of the ancients who wrote about the agogee, only Xenophon had first hand knowledge (he sponsored his sons through it), and Xenophon stated flat out that Lykugus the law giver had forbidden homosexuality as an abomination comparable to incest. That is not to say that it didn't happen, only that the idea of it being rampant or somehow condoned is false.

Plutarch also confirms this. Although he was not contemporary, he undoubtedly had access to sources los to us.

From my recollection, the myth of Spartan homosexuality comes to us from Plato, who might have been doing a bit of what is called in modern psychology "projecting." In any event, as an Athenian who did not have a connection to the training like Xenophon, he had no first hand knowledge, and in modern parlance, was talking out of his ass.

The one caveat here is that whereas I have read Xenophon and Plutarch first hand, I am relying on second hand sources and memory to attribute the myth to Plato. I could be wrong with that.

Peace.



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 07:22 AM
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reply to post by cachibatches
 


So a man who is unwilling to admit he gave his sons over to be diddled by the Spartan army has a story, huh?



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 07:25 AM
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they were dumb back then. they didn't know sheat. I would hate to lvie back in those adays



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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So let me see if I got this right,,according to the OP and other posters Spartans were a bunch of disturbed homosexuals ripped from their families in childhood and then isolated in a criminal environment which their education in there involved killing innocent people plus deceiving,stealing, cheating and lying with no real reading or writing or real life skills obtained in the program.And to top it all up they were forced to make baby Spartans in a dark room while doped to temporary like a woman cross dresser enough to bang her once so the next generation of proud people could repeat the glorious cycle again and again!?...No disrespect to the modern Spartans but wtf?,,just wondering.



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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I must say I'm kinda baffled were the notion of compulsory homosexuality in Sparta comes from.

Firstly when you talk about homosexuality in Ancient Greece you are talking about pederasty, sexual exploation of minors. Which I would think the LGBT movement would hesitate to label a true expression of homosexuality. Homosexuality between adults was considered a disgrace.
Secondly even if the Spartan used their children sexually the term you would be looking for would be bisexual rather then homosexual since I never seen anyone deny their requirement to marry and procreate.
Thirdly people doesn't become homosexual because they are compelled to perform homosexual acts. no more then corrective rape turns lesbians straight. Yet apparently the Spartan training system had a feature that could condition straight men into bona fide gays. Which is kinda amazing consider all the research and medications thats been developed to turn gays straight with very poor results.

Anyway the easiest way to resolve this is to turn to the ancients sources shall we?

It's noted that the Spartan practised a erastes system like elsewhere in Greece and that it was rare for one of them to lack this bond. Those sources we have explicitly state the bond is pedagogical and a sexual relation was a crime.

"Affectionate regard for boys of good character was permissible, but embracing them was held to be disgraceful, on the ground that the affection was for the body and not for the mind. Any man against whom complaint was made of any disgraceful embracing was deprived of all civic rights for life."

Plutarch, Customs of the Spartans, 7

"Spartan love knows nothing shameful: whether a young man should dare to suffer outrage or a lover to give it, it would benefit neither to dishonor Sparta by doing so. For they would either have to leave their fatherland or better yet life itself."

Aelian, Varied History 3.12

and of course Xenophon the only primary source on the subject :

"I think I ought to say something also about intimacy with boys, since this matter also has a bearing on education. In other Greek states, for instance among the Boeotians, man and boy live together, like married people; elsewhere, among the Eleians, for example, consent is won by means of favours. Some, on the other hand, entirely forbid suitors to talk with boys. The customs instituted by Lycurgus were opposed to all of these. If someone, being himself an honest man, admired a boy's soul and tried to make of him an ideal friend without reproach and to associate with him, he approved, and believed in the excellence of this kind of training. But if it was clear that the attraction lay in the boy's outward beauty, he banned the connexion as an abomination; and thus he caused lovers to abstain from boys no less than parents abstain from sexual intercourse with their children and brothers and sisters with each other. "

Xen. Const. Lac. 2.12-3


Then we have Aristotle's that explains the spartans lack of control over their women is due to their exceptional hetrosexuality:

"The consequence is that in such a state wealth is too highly valued, especially if the citizen fall under the dominion of their wives, after the manner of most warlike races, except the Celts and a few others who openly approve of male loves. The old mythologer would seem to have been right in uniting Ares and Aphrodite, for all warlike races are prone to the love either of men or of women. This was exemplified among the Spartans in the days of their greatness; many things were managed by their women. "

Aristotle, Politics, book 2 part IX



People in this thread have held the shrinking spartan population as an evidence of widespread gayness. Even though most historians agree it was mainly due to economic reasons.
Yet we plenty of examples how Spartan social control harshly enforced sexuality for procreation. From childhood boys and girls swam,exercised and danced naked together in public. Motherhood was a spartan womens greatest glory and were widely known for their beauty and sexual openess. Wives could also be shared with the husbands permission to concieve children. Bachelors were publicy humilated and excluded from festivals, younger men with living sons didn't rise for older men without, an incredible humiliation in Sparta. A Spartan with three sons got excused from military service, four sons from taxes as well.
Despite this the numbers of Spartiates kept declining and to the point that it led to the nations demise. And this is the nation that would institute “compulsory homosexuality” at the same time? Like why?

I believe modern psychology claims that sexual abuse in childhood is traumatic, but perhaps we are to hard on the pedophiles since apparently it creates character and strong bonds of friendship when done right.

It might also be noted that while plenty of artifacts depicting homosexual acts has been found from Ancient Greece, none of them have been found in Sparta to date.


I would really love to know where this Bettany Hughes gets this compulsory homosexuality thing from. Like all who claim it to be the case they never bother to list any sources yet seems utterly assured it's true.





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