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Why Is Sparta Reliable?

Decent Essays
The people of Sparta didn’t keep a written record of their history, events or customs, instead, it was orally shared. However, Non-Spartans, usually Athenians, did write about what they knew about Sparta and some of the events the Spartans were involved in. Much speculation has occurred as to the reliability of these accounts, not just because of the writers own predisposition, but also because of the secretive tendencies of the Spartans and their own form of propaganda that created a reputation known as the “Spartan Mirage”. Due to inconsistencies in the archaeological evidence and written sources, it is theorised that the Spartans formed a reputation for themselves that may or may not be completely accurate.

Most sources, like Tyrtaeus, Xenophon and Plutarch, agree consistently that Sparta was a military and warlike Greek city-state and was run by two Kings which were from the two royal family branches, the Eurypontid and the Agiad. Basically, all of the consistencies between sources relate to the Spartan Constitution and stories
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Some of these include whether the King cast one (Thucydides) or two (Herodotus) votes, how much land was allotted where and by whom during the land redistribution, etc. However, taking into account who the sources were, also creates inconsistencies. Almost all the sources were Athenians, who don’t really like the Spartans and were probably written for an Athenian audience. This would colour how they write about Sparta and what they write about, especially considering some of the sources wrote for the entertainment of their chosen audience rather than to just inform. While others, like Aristotle, wrote of all the flaws and problems within the Spartan Constitution. Consequently, all of this leads to the believability of the written evidence about Sparta, to be questionable as to its
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