- Nov 2011
- The Bluff
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. the ancients wrote about them. I discount 99% of what modern writers claim. .
Read Plutarch's Lykurgos, Sayings of the Spartans, Customs of the Spartans or Xenophon's Lakedaimonian Constitution. There is not one reference to any such law forbidding Spartans to serve outside the Peloponnese unless they'd sons. I'd expect if such existed, it would be mentioned among that lot. What we likely have here is an assumption that this was normal due to Leonidas choosing 300 homoioi with sons to serve as his guard (as no one was coming home) rather than the regular hippeis, but nothing, that I'm aware of, supports this. Again, Spartans died as easily within the Pelop[onnese as they did outside of it.