Choral dances and feasts and festivals and hunting and bodily exercise and social converse occupied their whole time, when they were not on a military expedition. For the iron money could not be carried into the rest of Greece, nor had it any value there, but was rather held in ridicule. For, as in later times Epaminondas is reported to have said at his own table, that such a meal did not comport with treachery, so Lycurgus was the first to see clearly that such a house does not comport with luxury and extravagance. They stole, too, all other meat they could lay their hands on, looking out and watching all opportunities, when people were asleep or more careless than usual. Everything, moreover, about him was in a sufficiently prosperous condition.
There is so much uncertainty in the accounts which historians have left us of Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Sparta, that scarcely anything is asserted by one of them which is not called into question or contradicted by the rest. Abhorring the woman's wickedness, he nevertheless did not reject her proposal, but, making show of closing with her, despatched the messenger with thanks and expressions of joy, but dissuaded her earnestly from procuring herself to miscarry, which would impair her health, if not endanger her life; he himself, he said, would see to it, that the child, as soon as born, should be taken out of the way. For he who was thus extolled for his valour and held in honour among the maidens, went away exalted by their praises; while the sting of their playful raillery was no less sharp than that of serious admonitions, especially as the kings and senators, together with the rest of the citizens, were all present at the spectacle. They used them thus early to pass a right judgment upon persons and things, and to inform themselves of the abilities or defects of their countrymen. Plutarch lists , , Timæus, and , among others as sources. There, indeed, he was not only blind, but like a picture, without either life or motion.
To this purpose there goes a story of a Lacedaemonian who, happening to be at Athens when the courts were sitting, was told of a citizen that had been fined for living an idle life, and was being escorted home in much distress of mind by his condoling friends; the Lacedaemonian was much surprised at it and desired his friend to show him the man who was condemned for living like a freeman. In another, he committed suicide by poison. He managed to outrun all of his assailants except one young man named Alcander. And again, a worthy man who admired some woman for the fine children that she bore her husband and the modesty of her behaviour as a wife, might enjoy her favours, if her husband would consent, thus planting, as it were, in a soil of bountiful fruitage, and begetting for himself noble sons, who would have the blood of noble men in their veins. Remus was killed either by his brother, or , Romulus' man, who then fled to with so much haste that his name became the Latin word for speed. He would, on the one hand, crown and consummate his own happiness by a death suitable to so honourable a life, and on the other hand, would secure to his countrymen the enjoyment of the advantages he had spent his life in obtaining for them, since they had solemnly sworn the maintenance of his institutions until his return.
For Aristotle is wrong in saying, that, after he had tried all ways to reduce the women to more modesty and sobriety, he was at last forced to leave them as they were, because that in the absence of their husbands, who spent the best part of their lives in the wars, their wives, whom they were obliged to leave absolute mistresses at home, took great liberties and assumed the superiority; and were treated with overmuch respect and called by the title of lady or queen. The twins sided with Amulius. And when at last they were drawn up in battle array and the enemy was at hand, the king sacrificed the customary she-goat, commanded all the warriors to set garlands upon their heads, and ordered the pipers to pipe the strains of the hymn to Castor; then he himself led off in a marching paean, and it was a sight equally grand and terrifying when they marched in step with the rhythm of the flute, without any gap in their line of battle, and with no confusion in their souls, but calmly and cheerfully moving with the strains of their hymn into the deadly fight. In a story from , on one occasion, the twins had lost their flock and had set out after them naked so their sweat wouldn't slow them down. Hippius the sophist says that Lycurgus himself was a great soldier and an experienced commander. Nor was it in the power of the father to dispose of the child as he thought fit; he was obliged to carry it before certain triers at a place called Lesche; these were some of the elders of the tribe to which the child belonged; their business it was carefully to view the infant, and, if they found it stout and well made, they gave order for its rearing, and allotted to it one of the nine thousand shares of land above mentioned for its maintenance, but, if they found it puny and ill-shaped, ordered it to be taken to what was called the Apothetae, a sort of chasm under Taygetus; as thinking it neither for the good of the child itself, nor for the public interest, that it should be brought up, if it did not, from the very outset, appear made to be healthy and vigorous.
Nineteenth-century statue of Lycurgus at the neoclassical in , Lycurgus ; : Λυκοῦργος, Lykoûrgos, Ancient Greek: ; fl. His listeners would forget about their feuds and become united in a common admiration of virtue. The people had the right to vote on important questions, but the senate decided when a vote would be taken. Death Legend has it that after making his reforms, Lycurgus planned to go to the oracle at Delphi to make a sacrifice to Apollo. Nor is any man so vulgar and senseless as to introduce into a simple and common house silver-footed couches, purple coverlets, gold drinking-cups, and all the extravagance which goes along with these, but one must of necessity adapt and proportion his couch to his house, his coverlets to the couch, and to this the rest of his supplies and equipment. To return to the Lacedaemonians. Shutterstock Intellectually, America and the West owe much of their patrimony to the Greeks, primarily the Athenians.
A second, and a very bold political measure of Lycurgus, is his redistribution of the land. The bas-relief was sculpted by. He details the motivations of the senate, saying there was anger toward his demeanor toward them and disregard toward their legal sovereignty in diplomacy and legal proceedings. Some of Tatius' relatives killed a group of ambassadors from when their attempt to rob them went wrong. Among the persons there the most renowned for their learning and their wisdom in state matters was one Thales, whom Lycurgus, by importunities and assurances of friendship, persuaded to go over to Lacedaemon; where, though by his outward appearance and his own profession he seemed to be no other than a lyric poet, in reality he performed the part of one of the ablest lawgivers in the world. İşte ben bunları zamanında yapmayıp da kendimi zorlandığım için, klasiklerden kaçıyordum.
By this ordinance, the magistrates despatched privately some of the ablest of the young men into the country, from time to time, armed only with their daggers, and taking a little necessary provision with them; in the daytime, they hid themselves in out-of-the-way places, and there lay close, but in the night issued out into the highways, and killed all the Helots they could light upon; sometimes they set upon them by day, as they were at work in the fields, and murdered them. The great lawgiver founded Sparta after consulting the Oracle of Delphi, and his laws established a totalitarian society that flourished for five hundred years. And so he continues to do, spending his days, and, indeed, his nights, with them, visiting his bride in fear and shame, and with circumspection, when he thought he should not be observed she, also, on her part, using her wit to help and find favourable opportunities for their meeting, when company was out of the way. This young man, therefore, was their captain when they fought and their master at home, using them for the offices of his house; sending the eldest of them to fetch wood, and the weaker and less able to gather salads and herbs, and these they must either go without or steal; which they did by creeping into the gardens, or conveying themselves cunningly and closely into the eating-houses; if they were taken in the fact, they were whipped without mercy, for thieving so ill and awkwardly. In fact, Lycurgus' laws required that all Spartans eat together at pot-lucks in public mess halls; the rich and the poor eating the same, And if anyone did not like what was on the table, they could bring their own meal provided only that they also fed everybody else. Some further refinements of the Spartan constitution came after Lycurgus. Be this as it will, Sous certainly was the most renowned of all his ancestors, under whose conduct the Spartans made slaves of the Helots, and added to their dominions, by conquest, a good part of Arcadia.
During these the men were indeed obliged to leave their wives in sole control at home, and for this reason paid them greater deference than was their due, and gave them the title of Mistress. To the end, therefore, that he might expel from the state arrogance and envy, luxury and crime, and those yet more inveterate diseases of want and superfluity, he obtained of them to renounce their properties, and to consent to a new division of the land, and that they should live all together on an equal footing; merit to be their only road to eminence, and the disgrace of evil, and credit of worthy acts, their one measure of difference between man and man. To provide a taste of Plutarch's essay, here are several quotes from the text along with my comments. Such, then, was the chastisement of this young man, and such the penalty laid upon him, namely, to become, instead of a wild and impetuous youth, a most decorous and discreet man. Of some things he heartily approved, and adopted some of their laws, that he might carry them home with him and put them in use; for some things he had only contempt. The effect of music on the emotions was used more in Sparta than anywhere else. He had the true foundation of sovereignty: a nature born to rule, and a talent for inspiring obedience.
Of the money-making that depends on troublesome going about and seeing people and doing business, they had no need at all in a state where wealth obtained no honour or respect. New-born children were washed with wine so they would be strong. Thales, therefore, after a fashion, was a forerunner in Sparta of Lycurgus and his discipline. Paedaretus, not being admitted into the list of the three hundred, returned home with a joyful face, well pleased to find that there were in Sparta three hundred better men than himself. The people could not propose any new laws; just endorse or veto what the Senate proposed. Helots the population of the territories the Spartans had captured in their wars in Laconia were attached to the land, not to individual owners; hence, all slaves were property of the state.