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3.12.2007

The real Sparta

This article is a good comparison of Spartan society as depicted in "300" to our actual historic knowledge of the city-state.

While I loved the movie, I did get a chuckle out of Sparta cast in the role of defender of democracy and western values. While that was the long term effect of the Battle of Thermopylae, it was more of an accident than any intentional desire of Sparta -- it bought time for the Athenians to evacuate and for their fleet to regroup and destroy the Persians at Salamis.

Sparta practiced ruthless eugenics, had an economy devoted to the single purpose of training elite soldiers, and had a secret police that waged perpetual war on their hundreds of thousands of serfs via teenage military trainees sent out to fend for themselves and kill any serfs they came across.

LiveScience.com - Sparta, Spandex and Disturbing Distortions of '300'

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