When they were born, the stronger babies were given special attention and the smaller and unhealthy babies were separated from the rest and left behind. By doing this, the Spartans hoped to make sure that only those who were fit would fight the best. At the age of seven, boys were taken from their parents and put into small groups. The strongest boys were made captains and they ate black soups and other rotten food. Yuck!
Unlike the boys of Athens, they spent little time learning music and literature. Instead, they were trained to be the best and strongest soldiers. Scary huh?
The Spartan army
The soldiers would line up side by side and put their shields together and attack the enemy. The Spartans spent most of their lives training for wars. They never broke the group and could defeat bigger armies. They wore red uniforms and carried a shield, a spear and a short sword.
Unlike Athens, Sparta did not have a great culture in art, learning, philosophy or beautiful buildings.
Instead, Spartan men protected their city with great walls made of bricks and were the best soldiers in ancient Greece. All Spartan men trained to become warriors from the day they were born. Spartans did not study art or literature; they studied war and loved to fight!
Spartan society was divided into different social classes:
Spartan - At the top of Spartan society was the Spartan citizen, who was a soldier. There were relatively few Spartan citizens.
Perioikoi - The Perioikoi were free people who lived in Spartan lands, but were not Spartan citizens. They could travel to other cities, could own land and were allowed to trade.
Helot - The Helots were the largest part of the population. They were slaves to the Spartans. They farmed on their own land, but had to give half of their crops to the Spartans as payments.