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From ABC-CLIO's History Hub website

This collection of resources explores the culture and customs of the ancient Greek society of Sparta. A critical thinking module is included to help students compare the militaristic values of Sparta to those of its famous rival, Athens. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Geography impacts a civilization's ability to communicate and unify
  • Centralization allows for culture to flourish and disseminate
  • Oral history and tradition perpetuate cultural norms and religion
  • Societal celebrations and norms can glorify and support warfare
  • Political structure influences the economic stratification of a society
  • Democratic systems value the rights and opinions of citizens
  • Internal rivalry leads to competitive rather than collaborative systems
  • Art and architecture depict society's values and histories
  • Philosophy, or the love of wisdom, contributes to the betterment of society through academic research, reasoning, and discovery
  • Strong leadership leads to success of political and military campaigns
  • Cultural diffusion can lead to romanticism of past civilizations and culture

Key Questions

  • How did the Spartan state manage the lives of its citizens? How did the state ensure its military strength?
  • In what ways were the lives of Spartans less free than those of Athenians? In what ways were they more free? Why were art and culture less developed at Sparta than they were at Athens?
  • How did the lives of the Helots differ from those of Spartan citizens? Why were the Helots so important to the functioning of Spartan society?
  • Why do you think Sparta was able to become a powerful rival of Athens?


  1. Overview: Sparta
  2. Outlines: Outline
  3. Transcripts: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-Spartan Government and Citizenship
  6. Lesson: 2-Spartan Society and Economy
  7. Lesson: 3-Spartan Daily Life and Culture
  8. Lesson: Closing
  9. Glossary Terms: gerousia
  10. Glossary Terms: perioikoi
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Greece: men harness chariot for race
  12. Photos & Illustrations: Spartan culture: warrior statue
  13. Reference Articles: Ephors
  14. Reference Articles: Helots
  15. Reference Articles: Sparta
  16. Letters & Narratives: Plutarch: training regime of Spartan boys, Life of Lycurgus (ca. 75 CE)


Select Citation Style: 
MLA Citation
"Sparta." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2020, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.
Chicago Citation
"Sparta." In History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2020. Accessed February 18, 2020.
APA Citation
Sparta. (2020). In History Hub. Retrieved from
Entry ID: 2158354