Ancient History Sparta

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Acropolis
The most impressive building located in the hills; formed part of the sanctuary of Athena Chalkiokos (Lady of the Bronze House)
Agiads
One of the two royals families at Sparta (monarchical feature of the Spartan political system)
Agoge
'a raising/ upbringing' Spartan education
Amyklaion
A shrine/ throne dedicated to Apollo and Hyakinthos
Athena Chalkioikos
Remains of the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos that stood on the acropolis at Sparta were discovered in the course of excavation of the area in 1926-27. The temple was built according to Pausanias, by the Spartan sculptor and architect, Gitiades
Bibasis
Exercise performed by Spartan women
Demos
The people
Delphic Oracle
The Shrine at Delphi where the ancient Greeks consulted a priestess for advice or a prophecy from the gods
Democracy
Rule by the people
Dorians
A sub-group of Greeks
Dowries
Property or money brought by a bride to her husband upon their marriage
Ekklesia
Assembly of all male Spartan citizens over thirty years of age (democratic element of the Spartan political system)
Ephorate/ephors
The group of five men, elected by the Assembly to supervise the kings; elected each year (limited democratic feature of the Spartan political system)
Erastai
'lovers', older male patrons of adolescent young men; generally nineteen or twenty years of age
Eugenics
The science of improving offspring; Spartan women were entrusted to conceive genetically superior Spartan children
Eunomia
'Good order', the Spartan name for their way of life (constitution)
Enomatia
Four files of men; equal to a platoon; part of the Spartan army
Eurotas
River that provided Sparta's water supply
Eurypontids
One of the two Spartan royal families
Gerontes
Elders, older men
Gerousia
Council of twenty-eight men, over the age of sixty and the two kinds (oligarchic element of the Spartan political system)
The Great Rhetra
Constitution on how Sparta was to be governed; oral instructions on how Sparta was to be organised; Plutarch notes that the law giver Lycurgus received the laws from the Delphic Oracle; modern historians believe that it evolved naturally.
Gymnopaedia
A religious festival that included athletic competitions and musical events held in July
Hegemon
The 'leader' of a group of peoples, as Sparta was to various Greek poleis
Helots
The inhabitants of the fertile Messenian plain who were enslaved by the Spartans; enslaves peoples who were tied to the land they worked
Herakleidai
The descendants of Herakles, the Spartans
Homoioi
The 'equals', full make citizens of Sparta; also known as Spartiates
Hopla
Arms, weapons
Hoplite
Heavy armed foot soldier
Hyakinthia
Religious festival held in early summer in Amyckae and lasted for three days
Hypomeiones
Inferiors
Karneia
Religious festival held in August and was a festival of food in order to celebrate the return of the sons of Heracles
Kleros (plural Kleroi)
Farmland allotted to each Spartan citizen. This land was worked by helots, leaving the Spartiates free to devote their time to public and military affairs
Kome
Village, settlement
Krypteia
Spartan youths who formed a 'secret police' to harass and terrorise helots
Lochos
Two pentekostyses; battalion in the Spartan army
Laconia/ Lakedaimonia
Names given to the countryside around Sparta. Spartans were also known as Laconais or Lakedaimonias
Libation
The pouring of wine or oil onto the ground as an offering to a god or hero
Menelaion
A shrine of Helen and Menelaus which overlooked Mount Taygetus and the Eurotas Valley
Messenia
The fertile territory over the mountains to the west of Sparta
Mora
A regiment in the army; there were six morai in use from the 5th century BC
Mothax
A non-Spartan companion who participated in the Spartan education
Neodamodeis
'New citizen men', liberated helots
Oba
Possibly an area, locality
Oligarchy
Rule by a few
Paidonomos
Supervisor of the education of Sparta children
Partheniai
Children of un-married mothers a group without recognition as Spartans
Peloponnese
The southern peninsula of Greece which is joined to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth
Pentekostys
Four platoons or enomatiai; company of men; part of the Spartan
Perioikoi
'Dwellers round about.' Neighbouring Dorian communities allied to Sparta but of lesser status then Spartan citizens. Self-governing except for Spartan army when requested
Phalanx
Formation of infantry involving soldiers standing in rows with overlapping shields and using spears as weapons
Phoinikis
Spartan red cape
Polis
City- state
Polygamy
The practice or condition of having more than one spouse at one time
Pythia
Priestess of Apollo
Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia
Situated close to the Eurotas River and was the site of the festival held in Artemis Orthia's honour
Spartiates
Full Spartan citizens
Syssition
Spartan mess; communal dining of the evening meal for Spartan men to reinforce community and masculinity; dining club
Tresas
Coward
Tribon
Plain cloak worn daily by Spartans
Tyranny
An illegitimate monarchy
Alcman
7th century poet who wrote choral odes for festivals. Gives idea of Sparta before Great Rhetra, and focuses on nature
Tyrataeus
7th century poet who wrote war poetry and discusses the role of the hoplite and Spartan
Herodutus
Wrote in 400BCE. Critical of spartan government and constitution. Detailed spartan battles in his Histories
Thucydides
Wrote in 460-400BCE. Admired Sparta's eunomia, and wrote about forgein policy. Detailed conflicts between Sparta and Athens in History of the Peloponnesian War
Xenothon
Athenian who lived in Sparta and admired their military, laws and social structure. Gave detail of Lycurgan reforms in Constitution of the Lacedaemonians
Aristotle
Greek philosopher who was critical of Sparta's constitution
Pausanias
Wrote in 200 BCE after 'fall' of Sparta. Wrote a 'travel guide' to Sparta, detailing its landscape and architecture in Description of Greece
Plutarch
Wrote in 1st century AD. Works include extracts from The Great Rhetra and Tyrataeus. Details political system, and social structure and is also critical of Lycurgus