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THE

SPARTAN HISTORY

PODCAST

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Latest Episode

EPISODE 29 CASTES OF SPARTA

This time around I take a look at the various castes and sub-castes within Spartan society.  What we see in popular culture is but the tip of the iceberg, those mighty red cloaked warriors bestriding battlefields like giants from myth. 

Banned from any art other than that of war, the Spartiate ruler class was supported in their endeavours by a silent multitude of people, divided into several different classes and all denied the full rights of equal political enfranchisement.

The Helot's, or slave class, were a massive chunk of the population within Sparta's empire of whom we here scant about. Stories of their poor treatment and the horror of their particular servitude circulate but as we'll see do not necessarily tell the full story.

The Perioikoi, or dwellers around, also form an extremely important element of society. They were the Spartans blacksmiths, artisans but when the drums of war sounded lined up as Hoplites as well.

We'll take a look at the dynamics between the different strata and finish with a look at some of the other, less well known sub-castes.

Hope you all enjoy and take good care.

About

The Spartans tend to evoke images of bloody battles fought on almost mythical fields, of warriors pushing back against an oriental despotism that was irreconcilable to the Greek way of life . Accomplished with spear, shield and led by the 'Bad Boy' king Leonidas, these are only a few  tantalising details to a tale that begins almost a 1000 years before the legend of Thermopylae and the 300 Spartans. The gaps in between are the focus of this podcast and I intend to flesh them out in their entirety.

Understanding the Spartans and their role in the greater scope of ancient Greek history requires rewinding the clock back to the bronze age with the siege, fall and extirpation of Troy and the Trojans as a people. Names like Hector, Helen, Achilles and Agamemnon will come up often as we scour Homer's epics for the earliest mentions  of the Spartan story.  So lets turn first to Troy and begin a chronological look at the ancient people of Sparta, in an exciting odyssey into the Past. 

 
Hegamon (Leader)

Narrator and Creator - Steve Whitehead

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