We are Spartans

We are Spartans

Signy Mastel, Editor-In-Chief

We’ve all heard of the Spartans- they are our school’s namesake. But surprisingly
few people really know how the Spartans lived. Spartans were some of the toughest people in the ancient world, and their strength was feared by the surrounding city states (with good reason).

Spartan citizens were all required to be a part of the military and their captured slaves did all the labor. Because of this, Spartans were outnumbered by slaves 40 to 1, which made the Spartans kind of paranoid. So, it was illegal for a
Spartan to show any weakness, the logic being that the slaves would see weakness and revolt. Due to this ban, there was actually a law that stated that Spartan women had to go off into the woods to give birth… alone.
After all, women would scream and bleed while giving birth, therefore showing weakness, which wasn’t allowed. The woman then had to inspect the baby for any faults, and if it looked like the baby was weak or deformed, the mother had to, by law, put the baby down and smash its head with a rock. If the woman did this and then came back to Sparta, without a baby, they held a huge celebration in her honor for making the decision that was best for Sparta. If she came back with a deformed baby, both the woman and the baby would be stoned to death.

So, if you were fortunate enough to pass inspection as a baby, you lived with your parents until you turned five. When you were five, you were sent to the barracks with all the other five-year-olds for military training. If you were a boy, you would train until you were 18, and then you would officially be a part of the military. If you were a girl, you
trained until you were 12, and then your training would shift from purely physical to mental as well. You would be taught to count to ten, and do a few other essential things. That was the extent of their education.

However, there were several ways in which Sparta was very progressive. Women were fed the same amount and type of food as men. They were also allowed to move about the city, own and manage their own property, wear light, non-restricting clothing, etc. Marriage was also outlawed for women until their later teens or early twenties, to
help avoid the dangers associated with teen birth. Because of the later childbirth, better nutrition, and better fitness, women lived longer in ancient Sparta than in almost any other ancient city-state.

So yes, ancient Sparta is a little different from modern-day North High, but overall our namesake is pretty cool.