Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quiz: Where are the Spartans today?

A challenge for you... Sparta lost it's status as the leading power of Greece in 362 B.C. when the Thebans, under Epaminondas, invaded the Peloponnese and crashed the Spartans at the Battle of Mantinea. The Thebans liberated the helots and Sparta was reduced into a second-class city-state in the Hellenic world.

Unlike all the other Hellenic Kingdoms and Democracies of mainland Greece, Sparta was not conquered by Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, and the Spartans did not march into Asia together with the other Greeks, simply, because their ancient laws prohibited them to go to war unless they were the leaders of the campaign.

Then came the Hellenistic period and the Spartans built a wall around their city for the first time in history. During the Roman period Sparta became a kind of amusement park for travellers who visited the city in search of what remained of its ancient Glory.

What happened next?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the answer at: http://www.sparta.markoulakispublications.org.uk/index.php?id=21

In this article there is a discussion of how the Hellenistic era's Spartans were presented by the philosopher Apollonius of Tyana.

Check it out...I loved it!!

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that what was left of the Doric race there at Laconia became the Mani.

The only "Doric" group truly left would be the Cretans and some villages in southern Italy that still speak Doric Greek.

2:43 AM  
Blogger vetdino said...

That's true Lindsay, if you want to find pure Dorians it's probably Crete you'll have more chances to find them. It's amazing the characteristics of Cretan people, you find blond people, with blue and green eyes, which are more rare in the ret of Greece. Also in Laconia and the peninsula of Mani you find such characteristics. In Laconia there are some isolated population who even today speak a pure doric dialect: Tsakonian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsakonian_language

The Maniots are the ones who have a common tradition and verbal history through the ages claiming ancestry to the ancient Spartans, and there are historical records and archeological proof supporting their claim as weel. Actually the structure of the Maniot society up to the last century was quiet similar to that of the ancient Spartans: the position of women in the society, the preparation for war.

According to the records of the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII Porfyrogentus the Maniots practiced the Hellenic religion, sacrificing to Zeus, Hera and the other Gods of antiquite until the 9 or 10th century!! Incredible isn't it?

"Be it known that the inhabitants of Castle Maina are not from the race of aforesaid Slavs but from the older Romaioi, who up to the present time are termed Hellenes by the local inhabitants on account of their being in olden times idolaters and worshippers of idols like the ancient Greeks, and who were baptized and became Christians in the reign if the glorious Basil. The place in which they live is waterless and inaccessible, but has olives from which they gain some consolation"


@ anonymous

thanks for the useful link my friend!!

3:56 PM  
Blogger vetdino said...

I strongly recomend this book for you if you are interested

Patrick Leigh Fermor, (1956). Mani: Tavels in the Southern Peloponnese. London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-011511-0

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where I should start correcting you.

Sparta wasn't defeated in 362 at Mantineia... She was defeated by the Thebans at Leuktra in 371, and thereafter lost any sort of power. Mantineia, in 362, was between Athens and Thebes (backing Mantineia and Tegea respectively), and it was inconclusive: nobody knew who won. The helots were liberated after Leuktra, in 371.

Technically, few of the poleis of mainland Greece were conquered by Philip. Only a few were actually defeated in battle, because after Chaironeia Philip established the League of Corinth, linking the poleis behind him.

The real reason the Spartans didn't join the Asian invasion (ie why they refused to join the League of Corinth) was because Philip's league recognised Messene, and Spartan pride prevented the Spartans from recognising its independence.

11:57 PM  

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