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Total War Heaven » Forums » RTW Guides and Articles Forum » Faction History:Sparta
Topic Subject:Faction History:Sparta
posted 03 November 2013 13:45 EDT (US)         
Sparta:The land of war

Sparta, capital of Laconia, is built on the eastern foothills of Mount Taygetos, in the region of the Eurotas valley. The city has an important place in Greek mythologty, providing great heroes such as Menelaus and other important characters, like Helen and Penelope, Odysseus wife.

A very famous Spartan legislator called Lycourgos reformed the Spartan regime into its classical form, with the three classes (Homoioi, Perioikoi and Helots) , the two Assemblies (the Apella and the Gerousia), as well as the five Ephors, the executive power of Sparta
Also from very early on, the Spartans, under the peculiar status of the dual monarchy, with one king originating from the Agiad and one from the Eurypontian line, tried to protect their borders and expand. Thus, they successively occupied Pellana, the Sellacia, the Aigytida (border area with Arcadia, near Megalopolis), the Farias, Geronthrae (now Falcon) and Amykles. The latter area was incorporated into Sparta as the fifth kome after long controversy. Then after two wars (the Messenian wars) they conquered and incorporated the State of Messinia. Frequent, too, were the conflicts with the Argives and Arcadians, whom Sparta neutralized as a threat.

From then on, a long period of hegemony for Sparta among the cities of the Peloponnese and very often the whole of Greece, until about the mid-4th century BC begins. Throughout the classical period, the position within the Greek world was important. At first, the contribution to the war against the Persians was crucial, particularly in the battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) and the Battle of Plataea (479 BC), where they established themselves as one of the most formidable powers in Greece. A few decades later, a lengthy dispute with Athens over the hegemony of the Greek cities will begin, which will culminate into the Peloponnesian war, the most extensive conflict of classical Greece. The war ended with the victory of Sparta after the decisive battle of Aegospotami, in 405 BC, and then with the occupation of Athens itself and the demolition of the Long Walls.

As the winner of the Peloponnesian War, Sparta was now the sole major city-state in Greece. However, its allies, fearing for their own independence quickly turned against the Lacedaemonians in the Corinthian war, which resulted in a major decrease of Spartan influence. A few years later, the Thebans using their reformed army and under the leadership of general Epameinondas inflicted two devastating defeats to the Spartans, at Leuctra and Mantineia, depriving Sparta of the vital region of Messinia and demoting it to a peripheral power.

The emergence and prevalence of the Macedonians in the latter half of the third century BC further deprived Sparta of any chances of “resurrection”, as they refused to participate in Alexander’s Asian campaign. After Alexander’s death, the Spartans tried to regain their former glory under some great reformer kings: Agis IV and Kleomenes III, but both these efforts were in vain. The twilight of Sparta was in the 190s BC under the leadership of the noble Nabis. However, his attempts to establish a new strong Spartan state were thwarted by the Romans under general Flaminius, with the ensuing war resulting in the establishment of Sparta as an informal client state of Rome, until the Peloponnese was finally incorporated into the Roman Republic in 146 BC.

The last mention of Spartans is a cohort of Spartans enrolled in the Roman army under emperor Caracalla in the 215s AD, serving as a guard unit during his Eastern campaigns.

To finish this article, I’ll provide you with the inscription on the tomb of the Spartans who fell in the battle of Thermopylae and shows the virtues and ideals these people had:
ξεν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοιςτι τδε
κείμεθα, τος κείνωνήμασι πειθόμενοι.
Oh stranger, announce the Spartans that here
we lie, obeying their commandments.

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
Terikel Grayhair
(id: Terikel706)
posted 04 November 2013 12:48 EDT (US)     1 / 1       
Very short and sweet- a bit too short.

Correcting some spelling errors and grammar tweaks are also not amiss.

You can expand a bit on the origins of Sparta and the Spartans. You pretty much glossed over about five or six hundred years of development going right to the government formation and then the Pelopponesian war.

You mention the great Spartan war machine, then nothing else about it. Those few people who might not have heard of them might be interested. You mention that the Spartans were crucial- but not why or how.

The rest was quite good.

"Oh stranger, announce tell the Spartans that here
we lie, obeying faithful to their commandments."

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