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SYSSITIA 100.00%
The common meals taken in public among the Dorians in Sparta and Crete, and confined to men and youths only. In Sparta, all the Spartiatoe, or citizens over twenty years of age, were obliged to attend these meals, which were there called pheiditia. No one was allowed to absent himself except for some satisfactory reason. The table was provided for by fixed monthly contributions of barley, wine, cheese, figs, and money to buy meat; the State only paid for the maintenance of the two kings, each of whom received a double portion. The places where the syssitia were held were called tents, and the guests were divided into messes of about fifteen members, vacancies in which were filled up by ballot, unanimous consent being indispensable for election. The messmates were called tent-companions, as they actually were in time of war. The table-companions of the two kings, who had a common table, were those who formed their escorts in the field. Accordingly, the generals of divisions in the army had the control of the syssitia. The principal dish was the well-known black broth (meat cooked in blood, seasoned with vinegar and salt), of which each person received only a certain amount, together with barley bread and wine, as much as they liked. This was followed by a course of cheese, olives, and figs. Besides this, the table-companions were allowed (and indeed were sometimes required as a penalty for small offences) to give a second course, consisting of wheaten bread, or venison caught by themselves in the chase; no one was allowed to obtain this by purchase. In Crete the people always sat clown while eating, and in Sparta this was originally the custom; but after a short time they were in the habit of reclining on wooden benches. In Crete there was a public fund for the syssitia. This absorbed one-half of the State revenue, and every citizen contributed to it a tithe of the produce of his land, as well as an annual sum of money for each slave. This fund not only bore the expense of the meals of the men and boys above a certain age, but also paid a sum sufficient to defray the expenses incurred by the women, children, and slaves in dining at home. These companies, which dined in common, were here called hetoerioe. The boys, who sat near their fathers on the ground, only received meat to the extent of one-half the portion of an adult. The youths dined together and had to wait upon their elders; they had also to be content with an amount of wine which was measured out to them from a large bowl of mixed wine, whilst the older men could replenish their cups as they pleased. Here, as in Sparta, there were penalties for intemperance. After the repast some time was spent in conversation on politics and other subjects, principally for the instruction of the youths.
 
SPARTIATE 36.80%

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In Sparta the ruling class of those who had the full rights of citizens, as distinguished from the subject Perioeci and Helots (q.v.). They were the descendants of the Dorians, who had formerly conquered the land under the leadership of Aristodemus. As to the manner in which they were divided, see PHYLE. Their number is said never to have exceeded 10,000, and, as they were utterly opposed to the admission of foreign elements, it was constantly decreasing. At the time of the Persian wars it still amounted to 8,000, about 320 B.C. to little more than 1,000. They were called homoioi (men sharing equal rights), with reference to the equality established amongst them by the legislation of Lycurgus, (1) in their education (q.v.), which was exclusively directed towards fitting them for service in war; (2) in their way of living, especially in the meals which they had in common (see SYSSITIA); (3) in their property; (4) and in their political rights. To every family of Spartiatoe an equal portion of land was assigned by Lycurgus, with a number of helots who had settled upon it, who had to cultivate the property and deliver the produce to its possessor. The Spartiatoe themselves were not allowed to engage in a handicraft, or in trade, or in agriculture; their whole life had to be devoted to the service of the State, and therefore they had their abode in Sparta itself. The allotted land and the helots were accounted State property, and the possessors had no kind of right to dispose of them. Families which were dying out were preserved by adopting sons of families related to them, and similarly heiresses were married to men without inheritance of their own. If a family consisted of several male members, then the eldest was considered as head of the family, and had to support his brothers. The original equality of property came to, an end, partly through the extinction of many families and the transference of their lot of ground, partly by the silent abrogation of the old law, which did not allow the Spartiatoe to possess silver or gold, but chiefly after the law of Epitadeus, by which the free disposal of land was allowed , if not by sale, at least by gift during lifetime and by will. But the principle of aristocratic equality long continued inform; and only those who did not fulfil the conditions attached to the equality of rights, or who did not obey the injunctions of Lycurgus as to the education of the young, and as to the life of adult citizens, or who did not contribute to the common meals, suffered a diminution of their political rights. This involved exclusion from the government and administration of the State, as well as from the right of electing or being elected to office; but the punishment affected the individual only, and did not descend to his children, nor did it touch his position in personal law.
 
WARFARE 16.82%

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Greek. The distinctively warlike people among the Greeks were the Spartans, whose whole life from early youth to advanced age was spent in the continual practice of martial exercises. Even the meals shared in common by all Spartans who had attained the full rights of citizens, were arranged with reference to military service. (See SYSSITIA.) Owing to constant practice in military exercises of every possible kind, the Spartan army possessed a dexterity in the handling of weapons, and a tactical education, which, combined with their lofty sentiment of military honour, for a long period ensured their supremacy over the other Greek races. The duty of service, which began with the twentieth year, and admitted of no exceptions, did not terminate until capacity for service came to an end; but with his sixtieth year the soldier became exempt from foreign service. Originally the heavy-armed infantry, or hoplites, consisted solely of Spartans; but even at the time of the Persian Wars, side by side with the Spartans, whose troops in their larger divisions were termed lochoi, the periaeci also served as soldiers, but in separate divisions. The helots who accompanied the army served as personal attendants to the hoplites (see HYPASPISTAe), and as light-armed troops in battle. A picked corps of the hoplites, specially employed as a royal body-guard, were those known as hippeis (horsemen) composed of 300 Spartans under thirty years of age, who were selected by the three hippagretae, and commanded by them. A peculiar corps of lighter infantry was formed from the Sciritae (the inhabitants of the district of Scirits), who were specially employed on the out-post service of the camp; they were used as scouts on the march, and in battle had their position assigned them on the left wing. The Spartans also kept up a fleet, in which the helots were employed as marines and oarsmen; in cases of great emergency they were transformed into heavy-armed soldiers and served in the army, after which they received their freedom. (See NEODAMODEIS.) From the end of the 5th century B.C. the Lacedaemonian army was divided into six moroe, each commanded by a polemarch. Owing to their steadily decreasing numbers the Spartans only formed the nucleus of the battalions, which were brought up to their full complement by the addition of periaeci. The officers, however, were exclusively Spartans, and the place of honour was always reserved for that body. In military expeditions the troops often consisted of periaeci, neodamodeis, allies, and mercenaries, while the Spartans acted only as officers (see XENAGOS) and members of the royal staff. On the cavalry, which only played a subordinate part among the Spartans, see HIPPEIS. The ephors had the command of the veterans in time of war. In the earlier times the kings divided the supreme authority; but after 512 B.C. one alone commanded, unless the circumstances of the case required more than one general. The fleet was commanded by nauarchoi. Among the Athenians the citizens of the first three classes were alone eligible as hoplites, and they were chosen, according to Solon's law, from the pentacosiomedimni, hippeis, and zeugitae; the fourth class, the thetes, were freed from service, and were only exceptionally employed at sea, but sometimes as light-armed troops on land. They were very rarely heavily armed, and were always remunerated at the expense of the State. The age of military service extended from the eighteenth to the sixtieth year; there were thus forty-two classes of age, and every man was mustered in a certain list (katalogos) under the name of the archon eponnymus under whom he had first attained the age of service.[1] The first two of these classes were only employed (as peripoloi) to patrol the frontiers. Foreign service began in the twentieth year. From these classes, which were on each occasion called out by a special vote of the people, only so many as were absolutely necessary were taken out of each of the ten phylae or tribes. The members of the Council and probably all other officials, were exempt from service. The men who were levied were enrolled, according to their phylae, in ten battalions, taxeis (see TAXIARCHUS), which are sometimes called phylae, while their subdivisions are called lochoi. On the occasion of a levy the troops were sometimes equipped by the aid of the aliens resident in Attica (see METOECI), and also, in the days of the earlier Attic confederation, by means of the contingents contributed by the allies. It was the hoplites who were benefited by this equipment. From the time of Pericles, and during the Peloponnesian War, the cavalry received pay and maintenance money, usually amounting in all to 4 obols (5 1/3 d.) a day. The State also allowed pay and maintenance for the horseman's personal attendant. On the Athenian cavalry, which was more important than the Lacedaemonian, see HIPPES. As to the fleet, on which Athens mainly relied in time of war, the Council (see BOULE) had to see that a certain number of vessels of war were built annually. The supervision of the ships in the docks (neoria) was exercised by a special board, the ten epimeletae of the neoria. It was their duty to consign the vessels, with the equipments allowed by the State, to the trierarchs (see LEITOURGIA), wealthy citizens who undertook to complete the equipment of the vessels, to provide sailors and oarsmen, and to take the command over them; while the marines, the epibatai, were under their own commanders. The strategoi (q.v.) held the chief command over the fleet as well as over the land forces. In most of the other Greek states the hoplites, consisting of wealthy citizens, formed the main strength of the army, and generally helped to turn the scale in engagements in which the light-armed troops and the cavalry played a subordinate part. They fought in the phalanx (q.v.), in closely serried lines eight deep. The pick of the troops were stationed on the right wing as the post of honour, to advance to meet the foe amid the singing of the poean. When at a distance of about 200 yards, at the signal of a trumpet, they raised the battlecry (alala) and charged either at a run or at quick march. It was only the Spartans who slowly advanced at an even pace and to the sound of flutes. Requesting permission to bury the dead was the formal admission of defeat. The enduring token of victory was a trophy composed of the armour captured from the defeated side. It was usual to join battle on ground which was suitable for the phalanx. The Peloponnesian War was the means of introducing many innovations, including the formation of a regular force of light infantry, called peltastae (q.v.). Still more decisive in the transformation of the general system of Greek warfare was the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand, the first important mercenary army among the Greeks which tried to make the phalanx of hoplites suit the ground better, and to utilize at the same time the light infantry, or peltasts, and the gymnetes (spearmen, bowmen, and slingers). Iphicrates, the first distinguished general of mercenary troops, introduced a lighter equipment by substituting a small pelta, for the heavy shield, adopting a longer sword and spear, lighter shoes, and a linen corslet. In the course of the 4th century B.C. the army composed of civilians gave way more and more to the mercenary army, which, by its intimate knowledge of the use of its weapons gained an immense advantage in actual war. (See MERCENARIES.) An important novelty was oblique battle-order, the discovery of Epaminondas. In this the great mass and strength of the hoplites was drawn up in considerable depth on one of the two wings, without any expansion of the front. The hoplites could thus make a vigorous attack on the centre of the enemy's wing, whilst the true centre and other wing of the assailants was held in reserve, with a view to advancing later to crush the enemy.
 
MEALS 13.88%
 
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