Who was an important Spartan person while the Peloponnesian War was going on?

Apr 2018
951
Upland, Sweden
#21
The three hundred were chosen all fathers of living sons so that no name would die out. When the war became more all encompassing they changed the rules...*shrugs* I don't understand what has you so upset.
The Spartans were encouraged to breed, hence laws protecting unmarried girls who found themselves pregnant and Spartan males marrying at a young age. If you want fame and glory, you know what you needed to do.
Not to be a big ****, but from what I've understood the whole example of an eventual Spartan legal change in marriage and inheritance law is irrelevant to the context of the Peloponessian War. Aristoteles was debating "oligathropy" in his own time, i.e. the 4th century. As far as I am aware, the Spartans did not change the rules for who was or was not a spartiate during the 5th century. Also, not to keep being a ****, but from what i've gathered the Spartans married relatively late.

The whole question of "oligathropy" is very interesting though, and in a way Athens could be said to suffer from the same (although I don't know of any ancient author who drew that connection... Maybe because it wasn't as severe, or for reasons of tact who knows) : somewhere between 1/3rd and half the athenian military age male population dissappeared over the course of the 5th century, and they never recovered to the levels of 50-60 000 they'd had under Pericles. My stomach tells me the 4th century Athenians felt being half as many made things more comfortable if anything, and it might have increased political stability - but it probably hurt their ambitions (not that they cared as much as they would have in 431).
 
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Nov 2011
1,002
The Bluff
#22
The three hundred were chosen all fathers of living sons so that no name would die out. When the war became more all encompassing they changed the rules...*shrugs* I don't understand what has you so upset.
I am not "upset", it's just that you are given to blanket statements as if they are fact when they are not. You claimed that Brasidas "wouldn't have been allowed to leave the Pelopennesia unless he had heirs (Spartan rule...why the 300 were all fathers of living sons)". When I pointed out this is not correct you then claimed that as it "became apparent that some men just weren't going to have sons, they changed the rule to allow women to be heirs". Now, it appears, that when the Spartans realised "the war became all encompassing they changed the rules". None of this is correct and as NordicDemosthenes has pointed out, the alterations in inheritance law having nothing to do with the Persian Wars.

Starting with the last, are you really asserting that the Spartans had no idea of the nature of the war being fought at the time of Thermopylai? That they only "changed the rules" after losing 300 homoioi at Thermopylai? This was a mission to buy time for the fragile coalition to assemble in force (see Herodotus, 7.206.2). Herodotus (7.206.1) reports that at the time these were sent, they were observing the karneia and would march out in full force once done. Presumably this "full force" would be comprised only of those with sons? I rather think not.

Exactly what source evidence do you rely on for this "rule" that homoioi could not campaign outside of the Peloponnese unless they had sons? Herodotus (7.205.2) only states that Leonidas arrived at Thermopylai with "the appointed three hundred he had selected, all of whom had sons". Now, this 300 corresponds to the "kings guard", the hippeis (who accompany Themistokles later at 8.124.2-3). That Leonidas selects this 300 means he has selected the best 300 who'd living sons. So, rather than taking the best Spartan hoplites (the hippeis), Leonidas takes the best 300 who have sons. This is not for any "rule"; it is simply that these are not coming back.

Are you able to supply the source(s) for the rule you are claiming (that homoioi were not allowed to campaign outside of the Peloponnese unless they had sons)? Similarly, can you supply same for their changing of it because, after Thermopylai, the Spartans somehow realised the limited war they thought they were fighting had become all-encompassing?
 
Sep 2014
869
Texas
#23
I am not "upset", it's just that you are given to blanket statements as if they are fact when they are not. You claimed that Brasidas "wouldn't have been allowed to leave the Pelopennesia unless he had heirs (Spartan rule...why the 300 were all fathers of living sons)". When I pointed out this is not correct you then claimed that as it "became apparent that some men just weren't going to have sons, they changed the rule to allow women to be heirs". Now, it appears, that when the Spartans realised "the war became all encompassing they changed the rules". None of this is correct and as NordicDemosthenes has pointed out, the alterations in inheritance law having nothing to do with the Persian Wars.

Starting with the last, are you really asserting that the Spartans had no idea of the nature of the war being fought at the time of Thermopylai? That they only "changed the rules" after losing 300 homoioi at Thermopylai? This was a mission to buy time for the fragile coalition to assemble in force (see Herodotus, 7.206.2). Herodotus (7.206.1) reports that at the time these were sent, they were observing the karneia and would march out in full force once done. Presumably this "full force" would be comprised only of those with sons? I rather think not.

Exactly what source evidence do you rely on for this "rule" that homoioi could not campaign outside of the Peloponnese unless they had sons? Herodotus (7.205.2) only states that Leonidas arrived at Thermopylai with "the appointed three hundred he had selected, all of whom had sons". Now, this 300 corresponds to the "kings guard", the hippeis (who accompany Themistokles later at 8.124.2-3). That Leonidas selects this 300 means he has selected the best 300 who'd living sons. So, rather than taking the best Spartan hoplites (the hippeis), Leonidas takes the best 300 who have sons. This is not for any "rule"; it is simply that these are not coming back.

Are you able to supply the source(s) for the rule you are claiming (that homoioi were not allowed to campaign outside of the Peloponnese unless they had sons)? Similarly, can you supply same for their changing of it because, after Thermopylai, the Spartans somehow realised the limited war they thought they were fighting had become all-encompassing?
When we first hear from Brasidas he is in the Peloponessia. He's a captain who rescues Methone. Then he's an ephor at Pylos. And then he leaves Sparta and never returns. So OK you win, the people who claimed decent from him during the time of Augustus were lying. Brasidas had no heirs. Now tell me why is it so important to you that Brasidas have no heirs?
 
Sep 2014
869
Texas
#24
Not to be a big ****, but from what I've understood the whole example of an eventual Spartan legal change in marriage and inheritance law is irrelevant to the context of the Peloponessian War. Aristoteles was debating "oligathropy" in his own time, i.e. the 4th century. As far as I am aware, the Spartans did not change the rules for who was or was not a spartiate during the 5th century. Also, not to keep being a ****, but from what i've gathered the Spartans married relatively late.

The whole question of "oligathropy" is very interesting though, and in a way Athens could be said to suffer from the same (although I don't know of any ancient author who drew that connection... Maybe because it wasn't as severe, or for reasons of tact who knows) : somewhere between 1/3rd and half the athenian military age male population dissappeared over the course of the 5th century, and they never recovered to the levels of 50-60 000 they'd had under Pericles. My stomach tells me the 4th century Athenians felt being half as many made things more comfortable if anything, and it might have increased political stability - but it probably hurt their ambitions (not that they cared as much as they would have in 431).
The root of Sparta's problems began with that war.
 
Apr 2018
951
Upland, Sweden
#25
The root of Sparta's problems began with that war.
That I absolutely agree with, and they probably had manpower shortages in its final years. I'm not sure they actually acted on those problems in depth at that point though, the only case I know of the Spartans liberalizing the definition of "spartiate" is from the 4th century. Although yeah, they did occasionally lift up a couple of "worthy" perioikoi to even out the Spartiate ranks at semi-regular intervals, but from what I've understood this seems to have been the result of adhoc decisions and not reflecting fundamental constitutional/ legal change.

As for the manpower shortages, it's interesting to discuss how severe they were... I am not sure they were more severe than those of the Athenians. The Spartans could depend on their allies to a degree, while the Athenians were more alone in policing and maintaining their Empire...
 
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Nov 2011
1,002
The Bluff
#26
When we first hear from Brasidas he is in the Peloponessia. He's a captain who rescues Methone. Then he's an ephor at Pylos.
Brasidas is evidently an homoioi of some standing. He first commands a garrison at Methone but when next he enters the fray, it is as a σύμβουλος or "advisor" to the commander of the Peloponnesian fleet in the Corinthian Gulf. At Pylos, far from being an ephor, he is found as the daring trierach who orders his trireme run aground, being badly wounded and losing his shield in the process (which became a votive offering in Athens).

So OK you win, the people who claimed decent from him during the time of Augustus were lying. Brasidas had no heirs. Now tell me why is it so important to you that Brasidas have no heirs?
I've not ever said that Brasidas had no descendants and would be happy if you might point out where I did. Brasidas' descendants are of little import to me but they clearly are to you. You've claimed that Brasidas (and other homoioi) would not have been allowed out of the Peloponnese if he'd no sons. You've also claimed (among other things) that once the Spartans realised "the war became all encompassing they changed the rules". Given the above, just which war do you mean: the Persian War; the Peloponnesian War; the Corinthian War; the war against Athens (and Persia) or the war against Thebes? On any sober reasoning, it cannot be Peloponnesian War as Sparta well knew this was the Greek version of the Great War at its outset. If it be the Persian War (and one can hardly credit Sparta with such a myopic view of the conflict at its beginning), then all this is irrelevant.

More importantly, what is the evidence for this supposed Spartan law? What is the evidence for the change in this supposed law? What was the rationale for such a law given that homoioi could - and did - die just as easily within the Peloponnese as outside of it?
 
Nov 2011
1,002
The Bluff
#27
I'm not sure they actually acted on those problems in depth at that point though, the only case I know of the Spartans liberalizing the definition of "spartiate" is from the 4th century. Although yeah, they did occasionally lift up a couple of "worthy" perioikoi to even out the Spartiate ranks at semi-regular intervals, but from what I've understood this seems to have been the result of adhoc decisions and not reflecting fundamental constitutional/ legal change.
Spartan levels of citizenship and enfranchisement are murky waters. We have attested homoioi, mothakes and hypomeiones (and that's before we get to sailors!). These are all classes of Spartan citizenship and given the evidence of the Kinadon conspiracy, the hypomeines were the "second tier". While the nature of the homoioi is, for the great part, undisputed, the other two classes are opaque and attract several theories. Then we come to the neodamodeis. Unlike the mothakes and hypomeiones, these are clearly helots offered emancipation for military service (as in the "Brasideans"), which emancipation provides some basic form of citizenship. In all of that, I can't call to mind perioikoi being raised in status outside of Kleomenes III making the "best of them" homoioi in his "new Sparta" in 220s.

Given all of that, service in the army adds yet another layer. The neodomadeis were unarguably brigaded apart as one could hardly see homoioi brigaded in units alongside helots, emancipated or not. I do not believe, on the same basis, that perioikoi served in the homoioi regiments, biggoted homoioi pride being what it was. More likely, I think, is that the lesser ranked (for whatever reason - bastards, failure to pay syssitia fees, et al) mothakes and hypomeiones made up the pure Spartan units.
 
Apr 2018
951
Upland, Sweden
#28
Spartan levels of citizenship and enfranchisement are murky waters. We have attested homoioi, mothakes and hypomeiones (and that's before we get to sailors!). These are all classes of Spartan citizenship and given the evidence of the Kinadon conspiracy, the hypomeines were the "second tier". While the nature of the homoioi is, for the great part, undisputed, the other two classes are opaque and attract several theories. Then we come to the neodamodeis. Unlike the mothakes and hypomeiones, these are clearly helots offered emancipation for military service (as in the "Brasideans"), which emancipation provides some basic form of citizenship. In all of that, I can't call to mind perioikoi being raised in status outside of Kleomenes III making the "best of them" homoioi in his "new Sparta" in 220s.

Given all of that, service in the army adds yet another layer. The neodomadeis were unarguably brigaded apart as one could hardly see homoioi brigaded in units alongside helots, emancipated or not. I do not believe, on the same basis, that perioikoi served in the homoioi regiments, biggoted homoioi pride being what it was. More likely, I think, is that the lesser ranked (for whatever reason - bastards, failure to pay syssitia fees, et al) mothakes and hypomeiones made up the pure Spartan units.
Interesting argument!

Having done a bit of cursory research, I can't tell you where I read/ heard/ saw the idea that perioikoi were "promoted" (really, would you like to be Spartiate?) before Kleomenes "New Sparta" (I was completely off with that chronology by the way, tired etc. - I really knew that was 3rd and not 4th century... No coffee...).

That said, I'm still mot entirely convinced by your case - let's say I'm hanging on to my side, but maybe my arms are hurting a bit. :)

I still think it makes sense that some perioikoi were in fact promoted, but perhaps not during the 5th century. Why? Well, what do we really know about all this? A lot of our sources are from disparate times, and so when you say "that there is no attested case" in the sources of a perioikos being lifted to the ranks of the homoioi... Well... What does that prove? How many Spartan sources do we have anyway? How many from the 4th (or even 3rd) century? A certain chunk of almost any ancient historical argument is going to be based on educated deductions, and I'm a proponent of the "higher naïvite".

This is what we know (unless you are one of those revisionists trying to claim the traditional image of Sparta is all Athenian propaganda etc.): we know of Aristotle talking about manpower shortages in the 3rd century. We know that Spartans married comparatively late, were plausibly turned a bit sexually special by their training, and that they faced all sorts of restrictions in private life. Do they have large families or small families? What is the primary reason for the manpower shortages, is it inheritance problems due to female property ownership/ splitting of estates or is it simply the fact that so many Spartiates died over the course of the 5th century that once you combine that fact with their restrictive and hereditary citizenship laws you literally cannot replace the population (and also, because the people who actually did survive will no doubt have plenty of incentives to create larger shares of resources than before from the same pie).

So, if the reason for the manpower shortages are the first than you are more likely to be right. If the reason is the second I am not sure there would have been a pool of hypomeiones etc. to draw on, and I am more likely to be right. I am inclined to believe that the reasons (and following consequences) of the manpower shortages are more for the second line of thought, connected with vast numbers of casualties during the Peloponessian War. We have a similar situation in Athens after all, and there we also have a case of the citizenry granting themselves all sorts of increased priviliges once 1/3rd /half of them were dead (what happened to the theoric fund? What happened to payment for juries, or interestingly for the assembly, which wasn't implemented until 406 - I think seems to be the current consensus, feeling ballsy with the exact dates here).

I think this scenario is more likely, and would also explain why the Spartans had so much trouble fixing their manpower shortages - I mean it's not like it's a theoretically insoluble problem, as the case of Kleomenes shows. Maybe it has certain benefits to be 1 or 2000 spartiates rather than 10 000, besides the not in significant fact (which you brought up indirectly) that your reduced sexual competition to that totally kalos totally agathos trainer from agoge as well as your own personal sense of special snow-flakeness and relative arete just increased by a factor of 5-10, hmm?
 
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Sep 2014
869
Texas
#29
Brasidas is evidently an homoioi of some standing. He first commands a garrison at Methone but when next he enters the fray, it is as a σύμβουλος or "advisor" to the commander of the Peloponnesian fleet in the Corinthian Gulf. At Pylos, far from being an ephor, he is found as the daring trierach who orders his trireme run aground, being badly wounded and losing his shield in the process (which became a votive offering in Athens).



I've not ever said that Brasidas had no descendants and would be happy if you might point out where I did. Brasidas' descendants are of little import to me but they clearly are to you. You've claimed that Brasidas (and other homoioi) would not have been allowed out of the Peloponnese if he'd no sons. You've also claimed (among other things) that once the Spartans realised "the war became all encompassing they changed the rules". Given the above, just which war do you mean: the Persian War; the Peloponnesian War; the Corinthian War; the war against Athens (and Persia) or the war against Thebes? On any sober reasoning, it cannot be Peloponnesian War as Sparta well knew this was the Greek version of the Great War at its outset. If it be the Persian War (and one can hardly credit Sparta with such a myopic view of the conflict at its beginning), then all this is irrelevant.

More importantly, what is the evidence for this supposed Spartan law? What is the evidence for the change in this supposed law? What was the rationale for such a law given that homoioi could - and did - die just as easily within the Peloponnese as outside of it?
I'm 66 years old and you don't know me, so I could be a bald faced liar...that is a given. However I have been in love with Sparta since I first saw this image in a history book my father brought home. He was getting his GED in the military and he fed my love of history. 1559657702374.png It was in this history book that I learned of Sparta and it was here they said a man had to have a living heir before he could leave the lands Sparta controlled. That was 59 years ago. Does the book exist anymore? Probably not. 1559657908610.png But these people are real to me. I have read everything the ancients wrote about them. I discount 99% of what modern writers claim. And I got an A on my history paper in the 9th grade. The teacher wanted us to compare Athens to Sparta, and I chose Sparta. In my introduction I said they didn't have any great inventions or stuff like that, but they ripped their place out of the pages of history. My teacher said it sounded like the intro to a movie. I actually blame Agelaus II for Sparta's downfall carrying the war to Thebes one time too many, and then Sparta letting the other guy lead the army against Thebes. Disasters waiting to happen. Now you can take what I say or call me a liar, it matters not to me at my age, but that is where I first read that the Spartans would not send a man into battle without a living heir...and it wasn't just in reference to Thermopylae. 1559658345048.png One of my inspirations in life.
 
Jul 2016
8,950
USA
#30
I'm 66 years old and you don't know me, so I could be a bald faced liar...that is a given. However I have been in love with Sparta since I first saw this image in a history book my father brought home. He was getting his GED in the military and he fed my love of history.It was in this history book that I learned of Sparta and it was here they said a man had to have a living heir before he could leave the lands Sparta controlled. That was 59 years ago. Does the book exist anymore? Probably not. But these people are real to me. I have read everything the ancients wrote about them. I discount 99% of what modern writers claim. And I got an A on my history paper in the 9th grade. The teacher wanted us to compare Athens to Sparta, and I chose Sparta. In my introduction I said they didn't have any great inventions or stuff like that, but they ripped their place out of the pages of history. My teacher said it sounded like the intro to a movie. I actually blame Agelaus II for Sparta's downfall carrying the war to Thebes one time too many, and then Sparta letting the other guy lead the army against Thebes. Disasters waiting to happen. Now you can take what I say or call me a liar, it matters not to me at my age, but that is where I first read that the Spartans would not send a man into battle without a living heir...and it wasn't just in reference to Thermopylae. One of my inspirations in life.
So you read a book 59 years ago and we're all supposed to trust your memory of it (because you don't have the book and cannot actually quote from it). Either that, or we have to call you a liar?

How about learned individuals just keep demolishing your arguments using historical sources? That works pretty good too, and nobody needs to be called a liar. Ignorant suffices.