"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday 16 June 2014

What Culture Is That ?

Last week TVO presented a program about Ancient Greeks ,democracy and pursuit of excellence.

Criticism and competition were  apparently salient features.

There was stuff  about Spartans.  The name was referenced in  school history. All I knew was they were severe in lifestyle and ferocious in battle

Ii's probably the only thing the nuns wanted to talk about. Everything didn't have to be about sex.
But if it  wasn't , the less said ...the better.

Last week I learned something new. At seven years old Spartans went off  to  learn to be warriors.

They also, to a man, became homosexuals. It was the norm

Marriage to women was for procreation.

The bride prepared herself by shaving her head and wearing male garments .

I did not know that.

Women could have sex with anyone they wanted and children with men who were not their husbands.

In the circumstances  I suspect that wasn't much of a bargain.  Or an option. Maybe they travelled.

Spartans lived in city- states. They did not farm. They fought. Naturally enough, rural States around city/states  were invaded , conquered and inhabitants  were compelled to provide Spartans with  their daily sustenance.

Helots ( non-Spartans ) were not slaves because they could not be bought and sold

They  simply existed to serve Spartans and keep them   in the style  to which they were accustomed .

Spartans focus was  to live well at everybody else's expense.

Oh yes and they self-governed . It was civic responsibility.

They paid tribute to gods with statues, carvings and beautiful buildings. You know...cultural stuff.

 Maybe helots  were brought in from the country for those everyday functions.

Or maybe women with all that time on their hands  did all the sculpting and carving  and had sex with helots.

Or maybe consultants  came  from other cultures and cashed in on the dearth of artists in the Spartan


Anonymous said...

So who are our Spartans and Helots?

Do any of us ever meet up with Athenians?

And then what happens?

Anonymous said...

As usual, you are seeing comparisons when none have been made.

Anonymous said...


I believe the original post was of a general academic nature and the comment seems to be asking which among us fell into what category.

Your mind seems rather constipated today.