By Dion P.
My research project is about spartans military. I've seen movies about it but I never went into detail about this subject.
Becoming a spartan
The selection of Spartan warriors started before their birth. The Spartans encouraged athletic completion and the victors where held in high esteem. They married the strongest boys with the strongest girls and the fastest boys with the fastest girls in order to bread the best warriors. Infamously, the Spartan elders would inspect new born infants and any found to be imperfect, judged to be puny or deformed, were thrown from a cliff. The cliff was a chasm on Mount Taygetos known euphemistically as “The Deposits".
A hoplite typically had a bronze, muscled breastplate, a helmet with cheek plates, as well as greaves and other shin armor. They carried a bowl-shaped wool and bronze shield called an aspis or hoplon, and when worn a dispus. It was very heavy and protected the warrior from chin to knee. In Spartan military culture, throwing away a soldiers hoplon during a retreat like other routed hoplites was not acceptable. "Come home with this shield or upon it" was a there motto. Meanings, if you can’t come home victorious, then come home dead. Most Greek hoplites had family symbols on their shield, as the expensive equipment was often inherited from ones parents. In contrast, the Spartans (starting in 420 BC) had the same uniform instead of customized armor and the Greek letter lambda on their shield, referring to their homeland Lacedaemonia. They also wore a scarlet cape to represent them as Spartans, though the cape was never worn in combat.