In about 100 BC, the Dorians invaded Greece from the North. During the Dark Ages, the Dorians made their way south, capturing the inhabitants of the lands they passed through as helots. At the beginning of the Dark Ages, it is thought that there were many Dorian settlements in Laconia, each with their own helot population. At some time during the Dark Ages, Sparta overtook these fellow Dorian settlements and their helot populations, as well as control of the whole of Laconia. The Spartans kept the helots as a huge, strong slave race and, although they did not enslave their fellow Dorians, the other Dorians were made perioci, meaning “those who live round about”. The perioci were needed to be the craftsmen, tradesmen and manufacturers for the Spartans, who were trained as full time soldiers.
At the end of the Dark Ages, there was nothing exceptional about Sparta (except her control of the helot population) but from about the middle of the 6th Century BC, Sparta gradually turned away from the rest of Greece. They no longer welcomed visitors, cut their trade ties, stopped building ships and when the rest of Greece began using coins instead of iron spits, Sparta continued to use the spits. Sparta still had poetry and music, but instead of listening to new poems and songs, they learned only the compositions of the past, and new poets and musicians were not welcomed. Sparta still produced pottery and metal work for every-day use, but it was of poorer quality than the work of other cities. Spartans no longer participated in athletic festivals in other parts of Greece and the whole city became secretive and withdrawn, refusing to communicate with the rest of Greece.
The Spartans were raised and educated to be perfectly obedient and obey the state without question. Spartan education had no interest with literature, intellectual or academic activities and did Spartans were not taught subjects like mathematics, science or geography. Even as b…

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