Pros and Cons of the Spartans
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1st- A positive aspect of the Spartan Code was the idea to train their young beginning at a young age, by giving power to the state to control the youth. This allowed many of the children to have an equal opportunity in the situation given although they did not have many options. They could all be taught the same concepts, and this would create more unity among the people which was very important, although the method by which they took action upon this was somewhat controversial.
2nd- A very beneficial act to society was the idea of teaching lessons by experience and hands on activities. An example is an action of showing their soldiers that drinking was something that should be compelled, by showing what it can do to a person. Although demonstrating this to the soldiers caused a few of Helot’s humiliations it was generally beneficial to the society as a whole because it allowed people to learn actions not by force but by correspondence.
3rd- The strong regard for human appearance was also very impressive on behalf of the Spartans. They would support women being athletic in many areas, to keep fit and strong, which would allow them to “bear strong children.” The high regard for human hygiene vindicated the idea of a respected elderly class.
The Spartans unlike many cultures considered the elderly a very wise group of people, and this was supported by the way that they would force their men to join the army, and work out, and have their women stay fit for exercises.
4th- One of the ways that law was maintained was by teaching a lesson by the wrongdoings of another’s actions. An example would be the public nude march that violators of would have to go through on occasion. It taught both the people who did wrong their lesson along with preventing others from making the same mistakes, which showed that their punishment for crimes was very efficient.
5th- A benefit of having a system where the military would take control of the lives of men would be the guarantee of food and lodging for the “citizens” of the country. This is something which would benefit the people again in the sense of good hygiene and would also create a strong healthy people for the purposes that the government had intended.
1st- A con of the Spartan civilization was the higher regard of strength and bravery over life in general. The people in Sparta considered it better to die in battle than to come back cowardly. Although the Spartans did consider their health dearly, they only considered it important so that people could fight better. They never really asked the question of how important is strength and bravery when you’re not there to experience them?
2nd- One of the most terrible things that the people of Sparta did was commit infanticide of the weakly children. This was not bad in the big picture of creating a strong perfect race, but it was bad because many times the Spartans created a double standard. In their code, they stated “there is little difference” among their children, but the same people also murdered their infants.
The statement of equality was only limited to a small population of “regular children,” and showed to be very unfair to the rest of the population. This same method of injustice was used as the poorer classes of the Spartan culture had no rights as individuals in political issues. The general message can be stated, “practice what you preach.”
3rd- The value of women as individuals was looked down upon as the statement “mental education was not wasted upon the Spartan girl” was said. This clearly states that education was more valuable than women’s, and it should not be wasted. The rights of women at the time could be adjusted because many were limited to their simple lives because they were not given an opportunity to explore their opportunities. That is why the women would stay home all day and have fun while the men worked because they were given simple lives, to begin with by the state.
4th- The Spartans were brought up to believe that they were supreme and that the world “could not teach them anything.” This was a sort of brain washing that took place and limited the thoughts that the people could think, and the influences they could have towards breaking free of their compact militaristic lives.
The government must have feared that foreign influence would be a threat to their military because any type of change in the people’s minds might cause rebellion. This was a disadvantage cause it basically set limits to the amount of influence that someone could be acted upon or act upon (others)
5th- The people in the Spartan culture in general were never taught to love and hold onto one thing. This could be shown through many typical actions that took place, such as men having two lovers at a time (male and female), having two homes (barracks and home with wife), and the insignificance of life. The hearts of the people weren’t taught to love and accept new ideas and concepts, since they saw their surroundings constantly changing which would have been very difficult for the Spartans to have loving personalities.
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