Elizabeth Rawson (essay date 1969)
SOURCE: Rawson, Elizabeth. Introduction to The Spartan Tradition in European Thought, pp. 1-11. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1969.
[In the following essay, Rawson describes the political and social system of classical Sparta after surveying modern impressions of the ancient Greek city-state.]
Ancient Sparta: a militaristic and totalitarian state, holding down an enslaved population, the helots, by terror and violence, educating its young by a system incorporating all the worst features of the traditional English public school, and deliberately turning its back on the intellectual and artistic life of the rest of Greece. Such, at least, is the picture, if...
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