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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Total War History » Fall of Sparta
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Topic Subject:Fall of Sparta
Alpha211
Ashigaru
posted 02-27-12 11:42 AM EDT (US)         
Hi, i know quite a bit about the spartans and their military but one thing intrigues me
I know the official story features Sparta falling around the late 300 AD by the visigoths & a slavic migration featured but does anyone know any more
Was Sparta still operating at the time of their fall like they did in the BC years?
was there a battle involved?
Did they fight with a spartan army or did they neglect the past & become no more than a poorly equipped citizen militia?
I would really appreciate more details on this subject (links too)
Thanks alot,
AuthorReplies:
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 02-27-12 12:49 PM EDT (US)     1 / 19       
Sparta 'fell' after Leuctra. When Epimanondas beat them, it began the rise of Thebes and Sparta faded in both power, glory, and elitism.

Later, Philip II of Macedon (and his boy Alexander the Great) trounced the Thebans and the rest of the Greeks. They survived for a time as a part of the Successor kingdom, but were never again the power they were after the peloponnesian war. Basically, their cultural ways of limiting the Spartiate to only pure-breds and the like reduced their military power to almost nothing. They basically excluded themselves right out of existence.

They fell hard,, and then were conquered.

By the time the Romans came along, Spartans were just like any other Greek.

I am sure Kor or someone like him very steeped in this period will be along shortly with the specifics, or correct where my generalities err.

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Vasta
Ashigaru
posted 02-28-12 01:15 AM EDT (US)     2 / 19       
Pretty much spot on. The eugenics aspect might be a bit over-emphasized, though certainly had a lot to do with it. Sparta wasn't really designed to maintain hegemony over Greece and Athens bounced back very quickly after the Peloponnesian War. When the Thebans defeated Sparta, and then helped the helots revolt, Sparta was finished - much of Spartan power relied upon their myth, and once that had been diminished, obscurity took over.

Notably, Alexander didn't even ask the Spartans to come along with him to Persia, and the monument for Granicus said something along the lines of "won by Alexander and the Greek allies, except Sparta."

During the Imperial Roman period, Sparta did enjoy a bit of a resurgence as a tourist trap, complete with a real life agoge to watch for Roman governors and dignitaries.
Alpha211
Ashigaru
posted 02-28-12 11:58 AM EDT (US)     3 / 19       
Thanks a lot for that

You two have really helped.
Its nice to know the specifics of how Sparta declined after the Peloponnesian war.
Would you know if it was correct that after the romans occupied the Spartan area (would Laconia be correct) that the army recruited a small contingent of Spartans for their legendary myths? (I hear they were quite disappointed)
Just one more thing, didn't a small Spartan militia force clash with the Visigoths outside Sparta before they plundered and destroyed the city?
(Thanks for the additonal help)
ShieldWall
Ashigaru
posted 02-28-12 12:27 PM EDT (US)     4 / 19       
I did hear that at the time of Thermopylae and Plataea there were as many as 10,000 Spartiates, but by the time of Leuctra there were just 1,000 and quite a lot less after it of course. As Terikel said, the exclusive nature of their recruitment was the cause of their eventual defeat. They didn't have enough men to afford any losses.

In the Roman era, Augustus visited Sparta to pay homage to what he saw as the warrior code that they had inspired in Rome. And yes they then sat out their days in I guess a degree of humiliation, existing for the entertainment of Roman tourists. I can only imagine that they were a very pale imitation of what they had been in the 5th Century BC.
Alpha211
Ashigaru
posted 03-04-12 02:25 AM EDT (US)     5 / 19       
Thanks for that Shieldwall,

Appeciated,
Good to know what happened to the Spartans in the Roman era
Ecthelion
Ashigaru
(id: p90pro)
posted 03-10-12 07:12 AM EDT (US)     6 / 19       
Alright, got to chime in here, but going to do it kind of half-assed.

Something something, Thebes. Something lighter, more mobile troops/mercenaries smack around the last vestige of Spartan military capability and pride. Something.

Something something, Lysander. (Obligatory mention of the only notable Spartan admiral)

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
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Alpha211
Ashigaru
posted 03-13-12 03:28 PM EDT (US)     7 / 19       
Thanks Ecthelion

Even if "half - assed" Its a good piece of information
Thebes military being responsible has been a great help
Ecthelion
Ashigaru
(id: p90pro)
posted 03-14-12 10:53 PM EDT (US)     8 / 19       
I wasn't trying to be a dick and hope you didn't get that impression, but real discussions about Sparta are hard for me to take part in nowadays (I'll give you credit for wanting to have one) since 300 came out. Most threads concerning Sparta seemed to have a "the movie depicted them as fair and righteous and therefore they really were" feel to their contents. Also a good deal of people posted repetative threads about Thermopylae and how awesome Spartans were.

About seven years ago I would have talked your ear off about Sparta from the time preceding the First Persian War to it's fall as a military power and a little beyond. But it's a topic I don't have much enthusiasm for anymore.

Perhaps that's one reason why I have such an aversion to pop culture.

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Tied with Meteora (****er) for Best Sig Award.
Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 03-15-12 01:01 AM EDT (US)     9 / 19       
Same here. There's a local school who are the Spartans for their mascot. I always loving to point out Thebes beat them (Thebes was also founded by a Phoenician, just an fyi ) but no one understands what I'm getting at. But I must clarify, I live in the US. History is for nerds and Europeans, or a good story to put you to sleep (according to friends)

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
ShieldWall
Ashigaru
posted 03-15-12 05:51 AM EDT (US)     10 / 19       
300 does seem to have influenced people somewhat. I found the film entertaining, even though it was, well, well it's gay porn isn't it? Gloriously over the top.

Anyway since then there have certainly been a lot of people talking about Spartans, specifically 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, forgetting that they had nearly a thousand helots with them, and a few thousand more allies from around the Peleponnese. So not so much the 300 as the 3000. And then there's those from elsewhere in Greece which about doubles the total. Suddenly the presence of 300 Spartans seems to look like quite a minor part of the Battle. Also most people forget that the Thebans and Thespians stopped with them after the others withdrew and also fought to the death. The Spartans were superb soldiers, but other people were there too.
Zardozhotep
Ashigaru
(id: Kahotep)
posted 03-15-12 12:54 PM EDT (US)     11 / 19       
Most threads concerning Sparta seemed to have a "the movie depicted them as fair and righteous and therefore they really were" feel to their contents.
Ironic because the very militarism the Spartans were ever famous for came about because they needed to keep their helots in line IIRC. They would have been among the last people in the world to give a hoot about freedom.

Everything is better with dinosaurs.
Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 03-15-12 03:09 PM EDT (US)     12 / 19       
Also most people forget that the Thebans and Thespians stopped with them
Weren't they forced to by the Spartans to sit and stay? For the reason that those two people were medizing with the Persians?

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
Cancer of the Head
Ashigaru
(id: say1988)
posted 03-15-12 04:55 PM EDT (US)     13 / 19       
There are some arguments that the Thebans were there as hostages from the start, but I am pretty sure the Thespians were there voluntarily until the end.

The one I like more, though is the people that argue that the battles saved the entire world from being dominated by evil Persian tyrants forever.

Of course the fact is that the battle didn't actually matter. Athens was, much of Greece was occupied and Greek Army and Naval victories had nothing to do with anything from the battle.
Vasta
Ashigaru
posted 03-15-12 05:30 PM EDT (US)     14 / 19       
Ironic because the very militarism the Spartans were ever famous for came about because they needed to keep their helots in line IIRC. They would have been among the last people in the world to give a hoot about freedom.
Of course the Spartans believed in freedom.*

*Excluding women, slaves, foreigners, half-foreigners, the not-extremely wealthy.
There are some arguments that the Thebans were there as hostages from the start, but I am pretty sure the Thespians were there voluntarily until the end.

The one I like more, though is the people that argue that the battles saved the entire world from being dominated by evil Persian tyrants forever.
Does anyone claim the Thebans weren't there as hostages? Whether or not they actually Medized, everybody else certainly thought they did. My later Herodotus is not the best, but didn't they also fight on the Persian side at Salamis and Plataea?

I think I detect sarcasm in the "evil Persian tyrants" line, but I'm sure we've all noted that being in the Persian Empire was actually not bad at all for most people. Now, if you were an aristocrat who got on the bad side of the King, sure, you might have to march an army through the bisected body of your eldest son...
Ecthelion
Ashigaru
(id: p90pro)
posted 03-15-12 08:25 PM EDT (US)     15 / 19       
They would have been among the last people in the world to give a hoot about freedom.
They hooted quite a bit in the movie, IIRC. Which seems a little out of balance with the much vaunted Spartan composure.

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Tied with Meteora (****er) for Best Sig Award.
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 03-16-12 02:28 AM EDT (US)     16 / 19       
I am pretty sure the Thespians were there voluntarily until the end.
I am pretty sure they were just acting...

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Cancer of the Head
Ashigaru
(id: say1988)
posted 03-16-12 07:50 PM EDT (US)     17 / 19       
I think I detect sarcasm in the "evil Persian tyrants" line, but I'm sure we've all noted that being in the Persian Empire was actually not bad at all for most people.
Not really. It was almost painful hearing people who watched the movie seriously arguing that if not for the Spartans at Thermopylae, the entire would be ruled by brutal dictators today.
Ecthelion
Ashigaru
(id: p90pro)
posted 03-16-12 08:43 PM EDT (US)     18 / 19       
Who said that?
It doesn't matter: If somebody can say something that stupid there is little hope of being able to convince them otherwise.

Besides everybody knows that it was Themistocles that prevented the world being ruled by evil tyrants. Duh.

Hmmm.

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Tied with Meteora (****er) for Best Sig Award.
Alex_the_Bold
Ashigaru
posted 04-12-12 06:18 AM EDT (US)     19 / 19       
To add something on the original topic, there were also some attempts to restore the spartan power during the Hellenistic period. The most notable ones are those of Agis IV and Kleomenes III who tried to reform the spartan regime by allowing outsiders, especially the perioikoi and even some freed helots, to participate in the spartan Agoge and have rights. Unfortunately Agis was assassinated by some nobles and his co-ruler in 241BC and Kleomenes was defeated by the Macedonian king Antigonos Doson in 222 BC in the battle of Sellasia and was exiled to Egypt.

Finally, an usurper called Nabis took the power by force in 207 BC and continued the reforms of his predecessors. He was defeated by the Romans under Flaminius and the Achaean League under Philopoemen in 192 BC and was assassinated by the Aetolians. After his death Sparta lost its independance and became a member of the Achean League, never to play a major role in politics and war again.

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.

[This message has been edited by Alex_the_bold (edited 04-12-2012 @ 06:20 AM).]

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