The Warrior City-State, by Richard J. Samuelson
There are few names able to evoke such contrasting feelings as that of Sparta. In the modern man’s mind Sparta is quite often considered the rival and for many aspects the antagonist of Athens, the cradle of western civilization.
This point of view is certainly true on one end but we can’t limit ourselves to this superficial and too rush of an interpretation.
Without a doubt Sparta has been a symbol of military prowess since its beginning but, as we shall see, it mostly has been a sophisticated and ambitious experiment in social engineering, at the same level as the ones we are used to study in the pages of recent history.
Centuries before Pol Pot’s Cambodia or the Soviet Union, Sparta had been, as a matter of fact, a living testimony of the same ambitious ideas which are the ground of any social utopia worthy of that name.
With only one difference: Sparta lived for war and did not care about anything else.