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A view of the polis

Sparta is a town in Lakonia, Greece that was once a prominent polis during the classical period. At its peak, it was a warrior society where all males were trained from childhood to serve throughout their lives in a purely militaristic capacity. This specialization produced some of the greatest warriors of their time, and the martial might of Sparta's soldiers held a legendary prestige across Greece.



In most traditions, Sparta was formed by the surrounding villages of Pitana, Mesoa, Limnai and Kynosoura,[1] which were settlements established by Dorian Greeks who migrated to Lakonia during the Greek Dark Ages.

Classical period

In 480 BCE, Sparta was led by King Leonidas who fell at the Battle of Thermopylae during the Second Persian invasion of Greece. The Greeks were nonetheless victorious in the war, and in the aftermath, Athens emerged as the hegemonic power as leader of the Delian League. During this period, Sparta and Athens became archenemies, and to counter the Delian League, the former established an alliance of its own known as the Peloponnesian League. Open conflict erupted in 431 BCE with the Peloponnesian War.[1] During this period of time, Sparta was jointly ruled by Archidamos of the Eurypontid dynasty and Pausanias of the Agiad dynasty.[1]

As the grandchild of Leonidas, the legendary misthios Kassandra was born and raised in Sparta. Blamed for a tragedy that struck their family when she were a child, she was sentenced to death but survived to fight in the Peloponnesian War as an exile.[1]




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