Analyze how Sparta laid the foundation for modern military values.

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hello! Below I analyze how Sparta laid the foundation for modern military values:

1) The Spartan development of military discipline became the basis for the cohesiveness and solidarity of the modern armed forces.

2) Today we share the principle of self-sacrifice as the basis for military resolve, courage, honor and duty (consider, for example, the 300 Spartans who made a desperate last stand against the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae).

3) They implemented battle-focused physical training and developed special forces for the purposes of fighting a much larger enemy. (Example: All Spartan boys were trained in military combat from the age of seven. After thirteen years of extreme physical training, the boys took their places in the Spartan Army as adult warriors. The Spartans had their own special force, the Krypteia, which consisted of eighteen-year-old males who exhibited exceptional military and physical skills. The Krypteia mirrors our own special forces today.)

4) They focused on sports and martial training with an emphasis on mobility, stamina and speed as the basis for military supremacy. Many of our modern military academies place great emphasis on prowess in sports.

5) The Spartans emphasized andragathia (manly virtue): unwavering obedience, frugality, self-control, and independence. These traits are still taught in modern military academies for the purposes of forging a strong force capable of meeting any enemy which threatens the safety of a nation.

6) The Spartans encouraged a strong sense of camaraderie and loyalty among their warriors, important attributes still practiced in our modern military.

7) The Spartan requirement to be terse or laconic is the forerunner of our modern military speech: sparse to the point of rudeness. Spartans believed that unnecessary speech needed to be curtailed and that emotions should be brought under control. For the purpose of conditioning for suffering in battle, the Spartans held a brutal, annual whipping ritual designed to toughen up their young warriors. Today, the terse military language used by our military is designed to imbue courage and discipline in the face of extreme danger.

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