Sparta Topics: Learn More Than From a Movie
Spartans certainly were not the people you’d like to mess with. Their laws and lifestyle turned them into one of the most powerful ancient Greek city-states. But would it be right to idealize a society which had seven slaves for one free citizen and would throw weak babies from a cliff?
We don’t think so. Spartans were fearsome and strong warriors, but there was an obvious lack of compassion and justice in their city. In the list of Sparta topics below, you’ll find questions about the educational, political, and economic systems of this polis. We’ll also take a look at Spartan laws, culture, and history.
At the end of the article, you can find useful information about Sparta that will help you to provide an A-level essay.
Analytical Sparta Essay Topics
- What were the main reasons for the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta?
- Did the Spartan Constitution help to build a strong society?
- If you were an ancient Greek, where would you prefer to live: in Athens or Sparta?
- Which of two ancient cities – Sparta or Athens – has had a greater influence on the modern world? Why?
- Equipment and training of a Spartan hoplite.
- For what did the Spartans fight in the Battle of Thermopylae?
- The effects of the Peloponnesian War on the history of Sparta.
- Analyze the structure of the Spartan governmental system.
- Was the regime in ancient Sparta humane? Is it dangerous to idealize it today?
- Efficient and inefficient Spartan military tactics.
- Opportunities and freedoms of Spartan women.
- How did the Spartans run their economy?
- Strengths and weaknesses of the Spartan educational system.
- What historical sources give us information about ancient Sparta?
- Was the civilization of Athens more advanced than the civilization of Sparta?
- Analyze the basic principles of Xenophon’s Constitution of Sparta.
Sparta Topics for Definition Essays
- Define the term “dual kingship.” How did this system work in ancient Sparta?
- Define the concept “city-state.” Explain this concept using the example of Sparta.
- Define the term “helot.” How did slaves in Sparta differ from other slaves in ancient Greece?
- Define the term “selective breeding.” How did this doctrine work in Sparta?
- Define the term “agoge.” What were the principles of education in Sparta?
Compare and Contrast Sparta Essay Topics
- Compare and contrast social structures in ancient Sparta and Athens.
- Compare and contrast the Spartan Constitution and the Constitution of the Athenians.
- Compare and contrast family life and the role of women in ancient Sparta and Athens.
- Compare and contrast how artists portray Spartan ethos in the comic book “300” and its movie adaptation.
- Compare and contrast the main values of the Spartans and Athenians.
- Compare and contrast the First, the Second, and the Third Messenian Wars.
- Compare and contrast the Battle of Salamis and the Battle of Thermopylae: armies, reasons, and results.
Have you picked one of our Sparta topics for your writing? Great. Now, read the information below – it’ll help you to get a better understanding of the Spartan society and history.
Dictionary of Terms for Your Sparta Essay
- Polis – a city-state in ancient Greece. Every ancient Greek polis was independent from other poleis. The most powerful ancient Greek poleis were: Athens, Sparta, Argos, Corinth, Eretria, Syracuse, and others.
- Helot – a Spartan name for a slave. Their number was regulated by regular mass murders approved by the government.
- Hoplite – a foot soldier usually armed with a shield and spear.
- Selective breeding – a Spartan eugenics doctrine according to which weak babies and female babies from a Spartan and a helot were put to death.
- Agoge – a rigorous training system for boys developed by Spartans that was aimed at improving their military training, social skills, and cognitive skills.
- Perioikoi – free people who lived in Spartan lands but were not Spartans.
- Aspis (also known as hoplon) – a heavy shield used by foot warriors in ancient Greece.
- Doru – a long spear which was the chief weapon of hoplites.
- Xiphos – a single-hand shortsword that was a secondary weapon for ancient Greek hoplites.
- Gerousia – a senate of the Spartan state which consisted of 28 gerontocrats. Its members were elected from the oldest Spartan champions by the assembly.
- Apella – a governmental assembly in Sparta that accepted and rejected laws.
- Ephors – five supervisors who had superior legislative power in Sparta.
Interesting Facts About Spartans
- Sparta was the only ancient Greek polis where girls were allowed to receive a full-scale education. They also trained in athletics and exercised.
- Helots significantly outnumbered free citizens: there were seven slaves per one Spartan.
- The first female Olympic champion was Spartan.
- Spartans used iron spits as a currency for internal business affairs.
- Spartan women were not allowed to wear jewelry and makeup.
- During the military training, Spartan boys were encouraged to fight with each other and steal food. If boys were caught, they were punished, not for stealing, but for getting caught.
- Spartan warriors wore red clothes to hide their bloody wounds during battles.
- Sparta had two kings whose power and authority were equal.
- Helen of Troy was, in fact, Spartan.
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