History of Sparta


History of Sparta

The history of Sparta begins with when the Peloponnesus the invasions of Dorian Greek tribes coming from Macedonia and Epirus for submitting or displacing the older Achaean Greek inhabitants.

What is today known as ancient Sparta refers to culture and state that were formed in Sparta by Dorian Greeks, some eighty years after the Trojan War. To subdue all cities in the region of Laconia and turn it into its kingdom did not take too long for Sparta.

In the 7th century B.C. Messian was also incorporated. In the 5th B.C. Athens and Spartans were reluctant allies against the Perians, but it was over after the foreign trade. They soon became rivals.

The Peloponnesian War was the greatest series of conflicts between the two states which resulted in dismantling of the Athenian Empire. The attempts of Athens to take over the Spartan role of “guardian of Hellenism” and to control the Greek power was ended in failure. Sparta briefly became a great naval power with the defeat of Athens. The first ever defeat of a Spartan hoplite army at full strength occurred at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, after which Sparta's position as the dominant Greek city-state swiftly disappeared with the loss of large numbers of Spartates and the resources of Messenia.

By the time of the rise of Alexander the Great in 336 BC, Sparta was a shadow of its former self, clinging to an isolated independence. During the Punic Wars Sparta was an ally of the Roman Republic. Spartan political independence was put to an end when it was eventually forced into the Achaean League.

Spartans continued their way of life and city became a tourist attraction for the Roman elite who came to observe the unusual Spartan customs during the Roman conquest of Greece. Supposedly at the battle of Adrianople (378 A.D.) the disaster that befell the Roman Imperial Army and a Spartan phalanx met the defeated a force of raiding Visigoths in battle. However, there is no evidence of this occurring. 

Modern Sparta owes its existence to an 1834 decree of King Otto of Greece.

History of Sparta