Sparta is most well known for its Spartans, its warriors. That’s why maybe you’ve heard of sports teams named the Spartans. They were fierce warriors, famous for fighting with all they had. Every Spartan wanted to be a war hero. No Spartan was a coward. Spartans didn’t win all their battles, but they fought to the end. They fought to the death. The Spartans didn’t retreat.
Athens was a city at the same time of Sparta. They were rivals. Sparta didn’t have a democracy like Athens. They had two kings so that one could rule at home while the other was away at war.
Spartans spent their lives fighting or training to fight. They weren’t farmers like other people groups. They were warriors. That’s how they lived. They got their food from their farms that were run by slaves.
We learned about Athens being a place of education. At age seven in Sparta boys did get an education, not in reading and writing, though. A Spartan boy started training to be a warrior. He lived at school like he was already in the army. He was disciplined to have self-control and taught to live in harsh conditions.
The boys kept living in the army camps as they got older, even after they married. Their wives ran the farm, giving the orders to the slaves. That gave Spartan women more freedom than women enjoyed in Athens, where they were mostly at home or accompanied to leave the house.