Was the Spartan Agoge education system still in use at the time of the Roman invasion of Greece?

Jul 2014
682
Messinia
By the time the Romans invaded Greece, were the children of Spartan citizens still have to go through the agoge? and did they still have a culture that was as focused on martial virtue as, say, the time of the Peloponnesian wars?

Addendum: Was the governmental structure of the Spartan state still based around two kings, an assembly and Gerousia at this point?
 
Oct 2015
894
Virginia
The history of Sparta in the third and second centuries BC is pretty complex. It included three radical reforming kings (Agis IV, Cleomenes III and Nabis) who cancelled debts, redistributed land, and enfranchised helots and perioci; assasinations, coups, "show trials" and revolutions. There was also defeat by Macedon, siege by Pyrrhus, treacherous assault by the Aetolians and, finally, conquest by Achaea.

Though Roman armies entered Greece at least five times between 211 - 146BC, the only direct conflict between Romans and Sparta came in 195 when Flamininus assaulted the town and forced Nabis to "free" Argos and return it to the Achaean League.

The agoge was in serious decline in the mid-third century BC (there were only ~700 full Spartiates). Cleomenes attempted to restore the tradition, and the Acheans ended it in 188. The dual kingship, ephorate, gerousea etc also were abolished and restored several times during this political turmoil.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,550
Republika Srpska
Actually, some of the old Spartan traditions were restored in the early Roman period and Romans would come to Sparta to observe the old customs in practice. Yes, those customs included the agoge. During the Roman age, Sparta became something of a tourist attraction. For example, Cicero observed the Spartan training and wrote about it.
 
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Oct 2015
894
Virginia
True. After the Achaean league was crushed by the Romans in 146 BC Sparta was detached from it and became a free city under the supervision of the Roman governor of Macedonia and later (~30BC) the governior of Achaea (the region of Laconia had already been detached from Sparta and formed into "the league of the free Laconians" ~195 BC). As "Maki" says its famous traditions and training regimen (in a less intense version than the old days) made it a tourist attraction.

Sparta's independent foreign policy ended when king Nabis was killed by the treacherous Aetolians, and it was absorbed by the Achaean League (its traditional enemy) in 192 BC.

Oddly in the period between ~234 BC to the battle of Sellasia (222) and again under king Nabis (207-192 BC) Sparta was apparently seen by the ruling classes of the other Greek cities and Leagues as a sort of "Red Menace" like Soviet Russia or Red China in the 1920's-1960's; an advocate of social revolution and a threat to property and civilization, while the the poor, debtor classes looked to them as the great hope who would cancel debts and redistribute property in their own cities.
 
Jul 2014
682
Messinia
Actually, some of the old Spartan traditions were restored in the early Roman period and Romans would come to Sparta to observe the old customs in practice. Yes, those customs included the agoge. During the Roman age, Sparta became something of a tourist attraction. For example, Cicero observed the Spartan training and wrote about it.
What exactly did he write?
 
Sep 2017
754
United States
Actually, some of the old Spartan traditions were restored in the early Roman period and Romans would come to Sparta to observe the old customs in practice. Yes, those customs included the agoge. During the Roman age, Sparta became something of a tourist attraction. For example, Cicero observed the Spartan training and wrote about it.
Did the people who went through these customs become anything? For example, auxiliaries?

EDIT: Not meaning that through this process they were inducted as auxiliaries, but did the men put through these customs pursue military careers because of it?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,550
Republika Srpska
What exactly did he write?
"The Spartan boys under these laws are so scourged at the altar as to occasion copious internal bleeding, and sometimes, as I heard when I was at Sparta, are whipped to death; yet not one of them ever cried out, or groaned. What then? Are boys capable of this, and shall not men be? Still farther, does custom have such force, and shall not reason be of equal avail?"
Tusculan Disputations

Did the people who went through these customs become anything? For example, auxiliaries?
Lucius Verus and Caracalla both recruited Spartan auxiliaries.
 
Nov 2011
1,051
The Bluff
Oddly in the period between ~234 BC to the battle of Sellasia (222) and again under king Nabis (207-192 BC) Sparta was apparently seen by the ruling classes of the other Greek cities and Leagues as a sort of "Red Menace" like Soviet Russia or Red China in the 1920's-1960's; an advocate of social revolution and a threat to property and civilization, while the the poor, debtor classes looked to them as the great hope who would cancel debts and redistribute property in their own cities.
There was something of an expectation that Kleomenes would repeat what he'd done in Sparta and bring about that chimerical lotto prize of Hellenistic Greece: the redistribution of land and cancellation of debts. What those outside of Sparta failed to understand was that Kleomenes was no enlightened social reformer. What he'd done in Sparta was to one purpose: to supply himself with a remade army made up of newly enfranchised citizenry beholden to him. Prior to Sellasia he added to this with the sale of manumission to 2,000 helots to enlarge that army. By the time of Sellasia, the scales had dropped from Peloponnesian eyes and the realisation that he was not about fostering any social revolution throughout the Peloponnese had sunk in. The Spartan imperialist faced Macedonia and the Achaian League with those he could hire and those he'd manufactured via his "revolution". He lost and Sparta came under the purview of Macedonia until Nabis' abortive regime. Aratos, of the Acahian League, was left to reconcile his role in reversing a lifetime's work and subverting Achaia to Macedonian interests.