Warrior's pick: the Spartans
Sparta was one of the most efficient and strongest of the Leading Greek city states in its time. The Spartans were highly organized and their land based army was almost untouchable, both in its battle skills and it’s mastery of warfare tactics and fighting.
The battle of Thermopylae made the 300 Sparta warriors and their sacrifice changed the course of history and democracy for the world. There was a lot more significance to this battle than what most people know. The stand they took united Greece and led to the Greek concept of democracy being introduced to the world.
All boys when born are Sparta was checked to make sure they could be molded into great warriors. If there was anything physically wrong with them, they would be left to die. At a young age the soon to be Spartan warrior would be taken from their home, this was usually at around six or seven years old. They were then taken from their families and trained to be warriors. The training got progressively harder and more violent as they got older, many of the warriors died in the training. The young Spartan’s would then be trained with battle as their primary purpose in life, trained to be ready for any war or fight. Additionally they were taught to read and write, but regardless it would have been a tough upbringing, encouraged to steal, but not to be caught, the young Spartans would be provided with basic food and clothing needed to survive but nothing more.
When the young Spartans reached twelve, their training would be increased dramatically with more discipline and training introduced. Extra work and tasks were often delegated to the young Spartans of this age. Later when they had matured at age twenty, they were considered by the state to be full warriors and deemed ready to join the Spartan army. Sparta.
Once the Spartan warrior joined the army they would become almost brothers with the group of men who they trained with. They were recognized as one of the Spartan’s, called ‘Hoplites’ and now they were forbidden to work in any monetary fashion. When the Spartan reached thirty years old, they would be given a plot of land and this would be farmed for the Spartan warrior by one of the state slaves. The produce grown from the land would allow the Spartan to eat and survive for the rest of his life.
Every summer they would go off and fight other Greek city armies. The Greeks were just city states that would fight mainly against each other. Sparta was always successful because all their men were trained to be warriors for their whole life. The only reason the Sparta men existed were to become warriors for Sparta. King Leonidas was one of the great Sparta warriors; he became one of the two kings of Sparta. Leonidas was near 50 years old at the time of the battle.
The legacy of the Sparta warriors
The significance of the battle of Thermopylae was that it brought the Greeks together to become one nation. It took another 150 years, but they defeated the Persians and spread the Greek democracy to the rest of the world. If the Greeks had not defeated the Persians, it could have been the end of democracy.