Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece. The caution must be taken with any sources which appear to perpetuate the “ mirage” of the perfect society force us then to value the archaeological temple and cult remains. It is believed that there were three virgin goddesses in ancient Greek mythology and Hestia was one of them – the other two being Athena and Artemis. Later the Romans If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content. Poseidon is also called ‘house-god’ and ‘Family Poseidon’. The kings were believed to be descendants of Heracles therefore had divine ancestry. From the age of 20 to 30 men were members of the active military and could not live with their families until the age of 30.
From the ages of 30 to 60 men were considered part of the active military reserve. But most importantly, the race gave young men a taste of the military way of life ahead of them and helped prepare them for manhood.
Sparta was ruled by two kings who came from the Agiad and Eurypontid families, it was believed by the Spartans that these families had descended from Heracles. See disclaimer. Two kings, hereditary to the Agiad and Eurypontid clans.
Sparta was renowned for its military preeminence in the region. Caster and Pollux, the semi divine Dioscuri, were also local heroes. The festival took place over three days in the (summer) month of July.
It commemorated the battle of Thyrea fought against Argos c.550 B.C.
Athenaeus, writing in the 2nd century A.D., has given an account of this festival which basically revolves around mourning for Hyakinthos and praise of Apollo: This was ‘The Festival of the Unarmed Boys’.
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Male citizens would begin their military training and education called agoge by the Spartans at the age of seven. This site was the location of a huge statue of Apollo, the tomb of Hyakinthos and an open area for festival dances. Although much has been written about the violent aspect of the festival, it has been interpreted as a ‘rite of passage’; on the way to manhood, an initiation that indicated membership or belonging to the community.
The young man ahead of the rest was dressed in woollen fillets (ribbons around the head), which was similar to an account of human sacrifice by the Thessalians as described by Herodotos and is possibly derived from an earlier celebration of Karneios. Certain gods, however received greater devotion in ancient Sparta. The included Goddesses like Carmenta who was the Goddess of childbirth and prophecy. The festival was held in the Spartan agora (market place). The Spartans combined her with Orthia, an earlier Spartan goddess. The historian Hooker has interpreted the festival as a festival for the dead on one hand, combined with a thanksgiving for life on the other. Spartan dedication to her cult is evident from the 100,000 small dedications found around her shrine. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The Spartans combined her with Orthia, an earlier Spartan goddess. If the beatings were not hard enough, the statue was said to become too heavy to bear. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. There are different traditions in Greek mythology regarding their divine status, Aided in battle; associated with horsemanship; associated with athletic contests (. ( Log Out / They were also ritually scourged to purify them. Sun god; order and harmony; brother of Artemis, Associated particularly with Amyklai and the Hyakinthia festival.  In addition to the kings, there was a high council of 28 elders who came from the royal houses that helped to decide important matters of the city. Overall, the Karneia had a communal aspect, emphasising heroic exploits. Learn about Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Aphrodite and other Greek deities! There were also many different local Goddesses and festivals who were mainly worshipped in the home and on the land. This was the reason behind the late arrival of the Spartans at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. Ritual dances were also held as part of these agricultural rites.
By the fourth century BC it controlled more territory than any other Greek city state due to its disciplined, militaristic society. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers. Demetrios of Skepis described the Karneia and the games as a reflection of the military training system, which has been echoed by many modern scholars in an attempt to understand this festival. Sheldon holds a Bachelor of Arts in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Leicester and a Master of Arts in ancient history and historiography from the University of Bristol. The Menelaion, their cult center was situated a couple of miles south of the city on the site of an ancient Mycenaean palace. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Gods and Goddesses research task Artemis Orthia Goddess of fertility and childbirth; huntress; sister of Apollo. Sparta was unique for its militaristic society in ancient Greece, but also for the fact that women enjoyed far more rights in Sparta than anywhere else in Greece and truly much of the ancient world. These men were usually over the age of 60 and were elected to the council for life.
Nor were they confined to their father's house and prevented from exercising or getting fresh air as in Athens, but exercised and even competed in sports. Offerings were placed at the dead youth’s tomb. Spartan dedication to her cult is evident from the 100,000 small dedications found around her shrine. Meet the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece here at National Geographic Kids. Her work can be found on several websites including Travel Thru History and Italianvisits.com. The higher status of females in Spartan society started at birth; unlike Athens, Spartan girls were fed the same food as their brothers.
Poseidon and Apollo relentlessly pursued her since they both wanted to marry Masked, they were charged with stealing cheese from the goddess’s altar. Link will appear as Ancient Sparta: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net - Greek Gods & Goddesses, October 21, 2019, © Greek Gods and Goddesses 2010 - 2020 | About | Contact | Privacy, Ancient Sparta: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net. She was also associated with the military might of Sparta and a goat was sacrificed to her before armies went into battle. Spartan women, as mentioned, enjoyed freedoms not known to many of their ancient era counterparts, they learned to read, write and do math. Young girls sacrificed to Artemis Orthia during the springtime, bringing clothing or ploughshares as an offering. Aphrodite was the goddess of love, sex, and beauty. The Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia was one of the most important in Sparta. In addition, some citizens carried models of rafts, which also symbolised the coming of the Dorians. (Or is that surprising?) University of Chicago: The Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia at Sparta. Like all the Greeks, the Spartans worshiped the Olympian pantheon. After many years of fighting, both against other Greek city-states and foreign enemies the population and power of Sparta eventually began to decline, but it remained a powerful force in the region and retained its independence until around 195 B.C. Other rituals shared this aim. One young man, who first prayed to the city-gods, ran while other unmarried men, who were called the staphulodromoi (grape-cluster runners), chased him. Athena occupied a special position in Spartan society as guardian of the city. This was a festival named after Hyakinthos, a youth who was lover of the god Apollo and died when Apollo accidentally hit him with a discus. (In early Sparta, the Karneia was a musical festival which included both men and women and a dance of armed men.) Also worshipped at Delphi where his oracle was consulted by all Greeks: gave approval, through the Great Rhetra, of the Spartan constitution. Lasting for nine days, its focal point was the Staphylodromoi, a race run by the boys of the city. Artemis Orthia’s rites centered on rites of passage Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. After praying to Apollo, one of the boys was chased by the others. In ancient Sparta, citizenship was inherited by blood.
If he was caught, Sparta was blessed with luck. Here, sacrifices were made to the god and his dead lover, Hyacinthia. Another aspect of this festival was the foot-race, which resembled a chase of prey, rather than your standard race. Our sources stem largely from non Spartan writers such as Xenophon, Plutarch as well as Pausanius. Unsurprisingly for a love goddess, she was said to have emerged from the foam generated when the severed testicles of her father, Uranus, were thrown into the sea by his son, the Titan Cronus.
They were not the only demi gods or mortals worshiped by the Spartans. The Karneia, a harvest festival celebrated for nine days during the month of August (late summer), was an extremely important festival for the Spartans. It was at her sanctuary that young Spartan boys underwent harsh ritual initiations. If they caught the frontrunner, it was a good omen for the state and, if not, the future was bleak. The goddess was a hybrid of the Olympian Artemis and Orthia, a local deity. In his grief, Apollo ordained an annual festival. Their worship emphasized the attributes most relevant to the city’s ideals.
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