They had to rely on not only their physical strength, but also their intelligence and wits; these would have been equally important characteristics for the creation of the perfect citizen-soldier. This produced an inability to cope with change, a vital flaw that led to major defeats such as Elektra in BC and ultimately the downfall of Spartan society;Brutal punishments, games and rituals often resulted in serious injury and death. They were also expected to marry soon, but contact with wives was restricted to secret meetings. Between the ages twenty-three and thirty, men were full-time soldiers and so focused their lives almost entirely on reaching the ideal. As Sparta was a religious as well as military polis, the youths were taught basic literacy, singing, and dancing in order to observe their religion Neils, et al. The strict age based rites of passage in Sparta directly reflects the militaristic nature of the City-State, as the system was designed to train the boys in strength, agility, and loyalty, which are essential characteristics of a soldier. The agoge consisted of several sections and the boys were separated into age groups, starting from the age of seven when the boys were taken away from their families, to the age of thirty.

Women The rites of passage discussed so far have been mostly male-orientated. This encouraged theft, which was a display of speed, skill, and stealth. It affected the life of every Spartan, either at birth or at any other. When they become adolescents, they took part in the Krypteia, a tradition that lasted one night where the trainees. As Sparta was also a religious society, many of the rites of passage centred on religion and the gods; the Artemis Ortheia was conducted on the altar and consisted of the Spartan youths attempting to steal as much cheese as possible from the altar.

This practice was known as exposure and although it was used in other areas, it was most frequently used in Sparta Chrimes, On the other hand, the Apatouria did not have the separation element like the krypteia, nor did the rite have a military predisposition. Due to this age expanse, and this section focusing on Spartan youths, the agoge from the age of seven to eighteen will be discussed in this section.


The Role Of The Spartan Education System, The Agoge

Cartilage tells us that some messes were more elite and restricted than others, with the most exclusive being the royal cystitis, which housed the two kings. Despite the State involvement in this marriage system, the women of Sparta did have some involvement in the matter, they were active agents in regards to their marital future Rose, Classical Greek Shield Patterns.

This rite was conducted in the theatre, as well as having occurred during the summer and so they would play these games in a strong heat, thus the sphaireis spadtan being tested in their endurance through the ball playing.

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As with male pederasty, there has been some debate as to whether this relation was a sexual one or not, however for the purpose of treating it as a rite of passage, it will not be regarded as a sexual relationship.

Male Maturation Rites and the Peloponnesian Wars.

spartan agoge essay

The man being chased would have said prayers sparyan the city, and if the runners caught him then this was a good omen for the city and Sparta would prosper; if they failed to catch him then it would have meant the opposite Ferrari, Boys also had to make their own beds from thae “tips of reeds dpartan along the river Eurotus, broken off by hand without. A nice little site at Channel 4 in Great Britain.

This is due to the value placed on males in Spartan culture as citizen-soldiers, as illustrated in the above sections.

spartan agoge essay

This festival was a rite of passage for Athenian girls to mark their transition from girlhood to adulthood and their availability for marriage Ferrari, Whilst there were several rites of passage for Spartan females, there was not a rigid structure for training young girls as there was with the boys and the agoge.

The agoge created in this state, Kennel argues, was nothing more that “a sort of tableau vivant of Spartan culture in the midst of a society little different from those of its neighbors.

The Role of the Spartan Education System, the Agoge Essay Example | Graduateway

It was, in essence, eugenics. These tests were designed essxy tests of strength and endurance, which may have included wrestling, javelin, and bibasis, where the girls would jump and kick themselves in their buttocks with their heels repeatedly Neils, et al. This rite was a race in which a man would have been covered in wool, rather than be naked as was typical for Greek athletes, and the runners would chase and attempt to catch the man Burkert, Women in Classical Antiquity.


Moreover, the State provided incentives for these supposedly perfect biological matches Pomeroy,further highlighting the emphasis on continuing the strong Spartan legacy through strong children, as also discussed in previous sections through various rites of passage. However, on the other hand, the purpose of marriage was to have children and produce more perfect citizen-soldiers Budin, It did give information on the patrimonies and the relation between the boy essy training, the surrounding community and his family.


This was a time in which city-states had either an aristocratic government a government system where a few people ruleor a monarchy a. How About Make It Original? The Choes and Anthesteria Reconsidered: At ten they were taught music, dancing and athletics.

Their tunics were replaced with a single cloak, which they received each year, and their rations limited. The only drawback is that it seems to gain most of its information from Plutarch, meaning that a wider range of sources may have made it more reliable.

Secondary Sources Atkinson, Sssay. This would have been seen as perfect example of Spartan dedication and obedience, but also shows the fear and brutality felt during the gauge.

Sparta Reconsidered: In Search of the Spartan Agoge

The review is written by Antony G. Bucknell University Press, pp. Plato stated that this rite was intended to produce bravery Plato, Laws, 1.

spartan agoge essay