Imagine you are in the dusty, odorous training camps of Ancient Sparta. There are children everywhere, being hit and yelled at. Do they cry? No. These nine-year-old children have been hardened, toughened, and trained, starting at age seven. They have been taught to never show fear, anguish, or pain.
"Don't give me those, but let me have ones that kill in combat”(Spartan Anonymous).
It is many do not know how true this quote was in Ancient Sparta. The Spartans dedicated their lives to being the best warriors to walk the earth. They were molded from the time they were infants into masters of weaponry, stealth, and fear. They endured long, painful days of training, with very little food, water, and clothing.
“Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win” (Tyrtaeus).
But the road to courage was much harder and darker. Spartans had a very military way of life, with marching, weaponry, and barracks for the boys to sleep in. What made them feared, hated, and, most importantly, respected by the world? How did they become the fearsome killing machines of Ancient Greece? The children were abused, starved, and tortured. But they were also strengthened and prepared for war. This is why Spartan childhood training was what made the Spartans so successful in the Ancient Greek Classical Age. They used harsh, but effective training methods, used well trained and educated warriors and trainers, taught successfully developed weapons and tactics, and put to use the training they were given as children in their daily lives.
Spartans used harsh, but effective training methods. The young Spartan boys trained to be warriors. Starting when they were seven years old, Spartan boys were trained in boxing, swimming, wrestling, javelin throwing, and discus throwing. They were abused and tortured by their caretakers to teach endurance, and the boys were taught to never sho pain, so they would learn strength. The boys were even forced to whip and beat each other, so they would become merciless. They were starved so they would be forced to steal, so that they could achieve stealth and cunning. If the boys were discovered, they were punished for getting caught, rather than being punished for stealing. Boys often trained trained without clothes or shoes, and were given only one thin cloak per year. Spartans never used torches or other lighting so they could travel cheerfully and fearlessly in the dark. Young Spartan girls and boys were trained with cruelty and savagery, but they were also trained to be masters of weaponry, stealth, and strength. In order to be well taught, the Spartans needed to find the right teachers.
The Spartans used well trained and educated trainers and warriors. The trainers were young men who had completed training, but had not reached the required age to become warriors. Trainers were eighteen-year-old men who had also...