Lycurgus (born Lykurgus)( The Great Spartan lawgiver)
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Biography Lycurgus (born Lykurgus)
None of the stories about the great Spartan legislator Lycurgus could not be considered completely reliable. Its origin, the state of death and there are a lot of conflicting news. But the most controversy is the question of the time of his life.
Currently, many scientists believe that information about the Spartan legislator Lycurgus so contradictory, that there is no reason to assume its historical identity. The laws, supposedly imposed Lycurgus, in fact, been installed in Sparta in part VIII, but mainly in the second half of VII in. BC. e. Although known to be unreliable biography of Lycurgus, it contains valuable material on the life and the laws of the Spartans in the era of the highest power and prosperity of their state.
Shortly before the Board of Lycurgus in Sparta began Troubles. The people were dissatisfied with their rulers, the rich oppress the poor, and often it came to the open street clashes. In one of these clashes was killed trying to separate fighting father of Lycurgus. He was king of Sparta, and, according to custom, his power passed to his eldest son Polydectes brother of Lycurgus. Since Polydectes may soon died, leaving no children, then Lycurgus became the sole heir to the throne. However, soon after the accession of Lycurgus learned that the queen, the wife of his deceased brother, is expecting a baby. Lycurgus announced that if the child is his brother will be a boy, he will give him the throne, and himself, until the child grows up, will run the state as a guardian.
The widow of his brother fell in love with Lycurgus and wanted him to become her husband. It assumes that Lycurgus would be hard to refuse the king's dignity, sought by so many people capable of this for the sake of any crime. Therefore, the queen promised to Lycurgus, that if he marries her, then she kills her child and no one outside of Lycurgus, can not lay claim to the throne of Sparta. But Lycurgus did not want power, ill-gotten. He was afraid to respond immediately rejected the proposal queen. Fearing that she might, mad with love, not kill the hated child.
Lycurgus said the queen that he will take his royal power, eliminate standing in the way of their happiness of the child. Persuade thus did not smell a rat queen to do nothing without his knowledge, Lycurgus sent to her a few loyal people in order that, immediately after birth, they took away the baby from her mother and brought it to him.
The queen gave birth to an heir. When the boy brought to Lycurgus, . he, . to the surprise of relatives of the queen, . knew about her plans, . put the baby on the throne and said: "Here is your king, . Spartans! Let's call it Charilaus, . and let him rule the country for the joy of the people! "(Charilaus - in Greek means" dear people "),
During his short reign Lycurgus had earned the love and respect for fellow citizens. People listened to him not only because he was governor of the state, but also because he was wise and fair man. However, Lycurgus were not only friends but also enemies. Particularly hated by his relatives and those close to them the Queen rejected. They tried hard to slander him and spread rumors that the king himself the guardian seeks to seize the throne.
Lycurgus began to fear that if something happens to the young king, responsible for his misfortune to be considered. Wanting to avoid slander and suspicion, Lycurgus decided to leave home and not return until until Harilaya is born heir. Then, even in the event of death Harilaya, Lycurgus would not have to inherit the throne, and no one would dream of suspecting him of killing the king. Went to travel, Lycurgus visited Crete. He carefully studied the polity of Crete in order to returning to his homeland, to offer his fellow citizens to enter in Sparta the most successful of the laws of Crete. The story of Lycurgus stay on Crete ancient writers tried to explain the great similarity in the state system of Crete and Sparta. Modern science explains the similarity to that of Sparta and Crete belonged to the type of agricultural states of Greece, who stood on the same level of economic development.
Lycurgus sailed from Crete to the coast of Asia Minor. He wanted to compare the simplicity and harshness of life Cretans with the luxury and effeminacy of Asia Minor Greeks. So the physician compares the patient with a healthy body, to see what is the disease.
In Asia, Lycurgus learned of the existence of the poems of Homer. This product really liked him, and he rewrote them in order to acquaint them with the townsfolk. In Greece at that time had already passed from mouth to mouth passages from the Iliad and Odyssey, but Lycurgus, we are told, was the first European Greeks, who met with them entirely. He believed that the poems contained in the rules of conduct and ethics will be useful to his fellow.
Meanwhile, the Spartans were sorry about the departure of Lycurgus and repeatedly invited him to return. They said that the king should be different from his, subjects not only by the title that it must have sufficient authority to rule and influence their fellow citizens.
Lycurgus thought, however, that separate small reforms can not improve the system of Sparta, and should strongly modify all orders in the State. He was not sure that calling on its citizens to give him the opportunity to undertake the necessary radical changes, and therefore, before returning to Sparta, Lycurgus decided to hear the opinion of Delphic oracle.
Pythia met a member of the Church of Lycurgus the following words:
I see you I, Lycurgus, who came to the temple of my rich,
Zeus' favorite and all the great gods on Mount Olympus.
How can I call you, I do not know: at least similar to the man
Still, I'll call you immortal rather than death.
When Lycurgus asked to advise him the best laws, Pythia replied that it is better that its laws will not have any state. This prediction is encouraged Lycurgus, and he decided to return to Sparta, where at this time the rules of his flabby nephew Charilaus and public affairs were in complete disarray.
First of all, Lycurgus opened their friends, then gradually drew to his side many more citizens. When it seemed that this was the right time and the number of its followers is large enough, it is armed with 30 friends from the most noble families occupied the town square in order to suppress possible resistance. Charilaus, thinking that a conspiracy directed against him, fled and hid in the temple of Athena. Finding quickly that he had nothing to fear, Charilaus out of his hiding place and, together with the other nobles participated in the transformation.
Most important public authority under the laws of Lycurgus was Gerousia-council of elders (in Greek - Gerontopsychiatry) of 30. Gerousia resolve disputes and could give directions, even kings. The fact that the head of Sparta were the two kings of old. They came from two constantly warring with each other genera - Agiadov and Evripontidov. Thus, while Charilaus, come from the family Evripontidov, in Sparta Archelaus rules of the genus Agiadov. Both the king hated each other: each tried to one-man, unlimited power, which in Greece called despotism. This division weakened the state system, and, taking advantage of this, the leaders of the common people - the demos - have sought to overthrow the power of the nobility and establish democracy - the power of the people.
Now, according to the law of Lycurgus, the kings maintained their old value only in war. In the campaign, they still had power over life and death of citizens. In peacetime the same time the Spartan kings were in Gerousia as members. The remaining 28 members Gerousia chosen people, for life among the elderly is not younger than 60 years.
Elections were appointed, when someone from Gerontopsychiatry died, bringing the total number of members Gerousia - 30 people, including kings, remained unchanged. This number, according to the ancients, determined by the fact that it took 30 aristocrats once with Lycurgus to the square to achieve transformation. These aristocrats were the first members of Gerousia. Composition Gerousia constantly updated, but during the entire history of Sparta council of elders remained aristocratic character. Although the law of any Spartan who has attained 60 years, could become Gerontopsychiatry, but usually in Gerousia elected elders from among the most influential families.
To kings Gerontopsychiatry and people did not quarrel among themselves for power, Lycurgus was an agreement between them - the law on the division of power, which was then called "Likurgova retro, felt that it was originally inspired by the god Apollo, the legislator. "Let him - said in the law - people will be divided into phyla, and Oba, even in Gerousia included along with the kings of 30 people, and people from time to time going to the river Eurotas of assembly. They let people offer solutions, he may accept or reject. The people let it be the supreme authority and power ".
The word "retro" - an oral agreement, the oral law - points to the ancient origin of this decision. This is also evidenced by the fact that along with the usual for any state division of citizens on a territorial basis (5 regions) and preserved the ancient tribal division (3 phyla - the tribe). It is particularly important that in order to remain characteristic of the primitive community features of the supreme power of the people, disappeared later in connection with the dominance of the aristocracy. The ancient language of the document also proves that he was prepared much earlier time, which includes the rest attributed to Lycurgus reforms.
Aristocrats were unhappy with this law, shall make final settlement of all matters to the people. After the death of Lycurgus to the retro-addition was made: "If people take the wrong decision, and the kings Gerontopsychiatry may reject it and to dissolve the national assembly". To persuade people to agree to this addition, nullifies the supreme power of the people, aristocrats, said that this order is the god Apollo, reported by the oracle at Delphi:
. Higher power in meetings of the kings pass bogoravnym
. Should - the roads because they Sparta, beautiful town!
. Gerontopsychiatry elders council to let the second place is
Should assembly of the people in the "yes" or "no" answer!
Since that time, apparently, to finally determine the order of the People in Sparta. The area where the meeting took place, was not ukraschena: not here nor portico - the gallery for protection from the sun, no statues, no buildings, walls which would have been decorated with paintings or sculptures. The Spartans were afraid, as though comfort and beauty of the places have given rise to a orators circumlocution that would lead to long collections. At the open, windswept area where there was nowhere to sit down, the assembly passed quickly. After listening to it the king or Gerontopsychiatry, people screaming approve or reject the proposal made. Nobody, except the kings and Gerontopsychiatry not allowed to express their opinions, but statements rulers usually were not long.
Such an order of public affairs, made it possible aristocrats almost uncontrollably to decide all questions of governance. However, people were unwilling to tolerate injustice, and 130 years after the reign of Lycurgus, king of Sparta was Theopompus, established the post Efor. True, some ancient writers say that this post existed and Lycurgus, but originally Efor were just priests, visionaries and do not play a role in government. Since the same Theopompus began regularly Efor choose one from each of the five areas of Laconia, and they became rulers of the State. In the absence of kings, they tried by the court and the massacre of the citizens. Their main duty was to check the activities of officials and make sure that all comply with the laws of the Spartan. In the case of violations, they can punish even the kings.
Theopompus king's wife rebuked him for what he gave Efor too much power, saying that now he will give to children less power than he got from his father. Responding to her, the king said: "Though smaller, but stronger".
Kings of Polydore and Theopompus ruled at the end of VIII in. BC. e. With them went the conquest of lying to the west of the fertile Messenia Laconia. Apparently related to severe war stress exacerbated the struggle of the people and the nobility and led to the establishment of eforata. The word "Eforie" means in Greek "observer", "warden". So called the priests, whose job it is to observe the stars. After a certain number of years Efor should check on the stars, if you please the gods of the ruling kings of Sparta. If during monitoring the night sky fell some star, it meant that one of the kings should be removed.
And indeed, control the behavior of the kings led to the fact that they were forced to act with people, to make sure that their lifestyle did not cause the people's anger. Perhaps that is why the royal power was preserved in Laconia much longer than the peoples who inhabited the neighboring area of the Peloponnese with Sparta.
The most important and daring of the transformations carried out by Lycurgus, was the redistribution of land. All the wealth in that time have accumulated in the hands of a few aristocrats and the poor have lost their land, threatened to rise up and destroy the power of the rich. Lycurgus persuaded the citizens to give up ownership of land in favor of the state, so that no one could sell or buy land. All the land was divided into equal sections, and each family received equal Spartan put. This Lycurgus would abolish poverty and wealth and to force all citizens to live in the same conditions, that no one was above the other. Each site could provide for a family of barley flour, vegetable oil and wine, which, in the opinion of Lycurgus, was enough for a man to stay healthy and do not need the essentials.
To permanently eliminate all inequality, Lycurgus repartition would not only land but also personal property.
However, he realized that the rich will never agree to it, and decided to deceive the self-interested people. For this, he persuaded them to accept laws that have made the wealth useless load, so that many themselves were happy to abandon their property.
First, he banned the use of gold and silver coins - and ordered to take only iron money. To make iron, which were prepared from the new money, completely useless, Lycurgus ordered to let him in hot vinegar. That he was deprived of metal hardness, making it fragile and quite unfit for any product.
The money was so cumbersome and cost so little that, in order to keep the house a few hundred rubles, it was necessary to build a large pantry and carry money in it in the cart.
With the new coin in Sparta ceased crimes: who dared to steal, take bribes, or to rob, just could not hide his dobychuN Then Lycurgus banned in Sparta all the useless crafts. However, even if not Lycurgus drove out craftsmen, they would disappear themselves, as their luggage did not find a market. Iron money did not go in other states: they could not buy anything, and visiting artisans only laughed when someone offered them money to pay the iron. Thus, the luxury disappeared in Sparta, and the rich man had now no advantage over the poor, because he could not use his wealth.
The redistribution of land and all subsequent reforms attributed to Lycurgus, occurred, according to other information sources and archaeological evidence, not earlier than VII in. BC. There is nothing improbable in the fact that at this time in Sparta, acted a prominent organizer of people and the legislator, but as the Spartan laws were not written down, then the name of Lycurgus did not occur in any inscription. Redistribution of land could be the result of belief of Lycurgus, but was caused by the fierce class struggle, in which to know was forced to make concessions.
The third carried out the conversion of Lycurgus, also aimed at destroying the aspirations of citizens to the accumulation of wealth was the establishment sisoyty. Sissitii (which in Sparta was also called fiditiyami) were dinners, free Spartans. But sissitiya was not just a common meal, it was a partnership of 15-20 people, called sissitami, usually served in a military unit and associated close friendship.
To ensure that all members sissitii became friends and were willing to die for each other, each newly arriving passed inspection. During lunch, a newcomer entered the tent, where they ate sissity, and office with a bowl on the head of the rounds of all present. Those to whom the servant approached, rolled the ball out of bread and threw it into the cup, standing on his head servant. No one could see if someone lowered the ball, slightly squeezing his fingers. Suppressed the ball meant that someone does not want to take a beginner, and this was enough to make his request rejected.
It was impossible to prevent at least two people in sissitii not love each other. This could split the partnership and lead to terrible consequences if sissitam have to fight shoulder to shoulder on the battlefield. Each Sissy had monthly pay into a common pot one measure of barley (for each day a yield of about 2 kg), some cheese, fruit, a few cups of wine. In addition, everyone who sacrificed to the gods, sent to the sissitiyu the best part of the kill. Hunters also brought part of their prey.
The Greeks were diluted wine with water, and the drink served to them instead of our tea, diluted wine is better than plain water, quenches thirst and does not cause intoxication.
Anyone who was late because of the sacrifice or hunting, he could have dinner at home, but the others were coming to dinner on time. Spartans were not allowed to come to sissitii hearty. Everything is strictly monitored so that no one would leave his portion uneaten. It was a sign that Sissy ate somewhere else, and this meant that he considers the overall table good enough for myself. Such a person shall be fined, but could not altogether be excluded from sissitii.
Sissitov favorite dish was the black broth. It is prepared from lentil and bovine blood. Especially fond of her old, who even refused to order it from the meat, giving its share of young.
One of the foreign kings wanted to try the broth, and especially for this bought a Spartan cook. The cook prepared the food, but the king, tried, was the spitting.
- What do you prigotovilN - he cried. - This brew is impossible!
Heavy exercise, and scarcity of food made tasty that other Greeks seemed inedible.
At sissitii often visited children. It was believed that it is useful to listen to conversations and learn from the experience of senior. In addition, the boys learned to make fun of shortcomings, not offending people. When the boys first crossed the threshold of the tent, where the Spartans were having dinner, the eldest of sissitov said: "For this door should not leave any word spoken here".
Spartan boys were taught to believe that the offense at a joke stupid and unworthy of a Spartan. There were still people who do not put jokes. It was enough for a man to say that the laughter he dislikes, and scoffer at once silenced.
Introducing mandatory joint meal, Lycurgus of Sparta, deprived of the rich used the possibility of a good meal - one of the main joys, which can provide rich. That introduction sissitii most rehabilitated rich against Lycurgus. They were evil before the rulers, that once beat him with clubs and smashed his eye.
The people, however, interceded for Lycurgus and punish the rich tradition of eating together was preserved in Sparta for many centuries.
In Act sissitiyah, Lycurgus had issued a number of laws against luxury. For example, he banned the use of sophisticated carpentry tools, and demanded that the Spartans at home were made with an ax and saw. Lycurgus knew that the house was built in such a way will not be able to penetrate the luxury. To log walls do not suit purple carpets, gold cups or on a bed of silver legs.
One of the laws of Lycurgus banned a long time to wage war with the same opponent. Lycurgus was of the opinion that we should not allow the enemies of continuous exercise the army: this may lead to what the neighbors will not give in militancy by the Spartans.
The laws of Lycurgus were not recorded. According to him everything that is important and necessary for the happiness of the state should enter into the custom and way of life of citizens in early childhood. That's why all of his concerns as a legislator were turned to the education of children.
Lycurgus thought that the care of children should begin with taking care of their mothers. Woman must be healthy fun. Only then her children will be stronger and stronger by the laws of Lycurgus girls were supposed to run, fight, throw the disc, throwing spear. Like boys, they had to attend the festivities, to participate in the dances and sing in a choir. In their songs, girls praised the strong and brave and excited young people burning desire to excel.
Women in Sparta participated in competitions in which they could show their courage and get a great name. Here's how to respond Spartan queen Gorgo a foreigner, when she reproached spartanok that the women they dispose of their husbands. "But we are giving birth to their husbands", - said the queen.
To remain unmarried was considered shameful in Sparta. By order of the authorities bachelors were naked in the winter to bypass the market square and sing the song, stating that they were punished for disobeying customs. Young people do not have a bachelors of those marks of respect due a senior. They say that when one bachelor commander entered the tent, one young man stood up to greet him. In response to the young man said: "I am not obliged to stretch out in front of you, because you do not have a son who would later stand in front of me". And this answer has been fair.
In Sparta, the father had no right to decide the fate of their child. Immediately after the birth of her son's father brought him to the appointed place, where the elders sat. Carefully examining the baby, the elders, if you found it healthy and strong, to allow the father to raise a newborn child, and set aside a piece of land. If the child is weak, he ordered thrown into the abyss, considering that he himself is better not to live and the state will be useful when, among the citizens will not be weak and sick.
Female babies are not washed with water, and wine, as there was a belief that children are affected by epilepsy or other diseases, dying of wine, whereas the healthy become only stronger. Children are not swaddled, wean from the darkness of fear and loneliness, on the whims and whining, forced to eat any food. Children grow up so healthy that Spartan nurses were famous throughout Greece.
No one was in Sparta the right to raise children on their own discretion. Purchased or hired teachers were not allowed to children. In seven years the boys were taken from their parents and, working in small teams, brought together, accustomed to the harsh discipline. At the head of each unit (which was called ageloy) stood a man, famous for discernment and courage. Children around the sample was taken from him, obeyed him and humbly endured punishment. The old people watched the game guys, and often deliberately their quarrels, provoked a fight to determine who the children braver.
Its Charter boys were taught only to the extent necessary so that they could read the order or to sign your name. Other training is to teach children to obey unconditionally and patiently endure hardship and win battles.
As the boys grew up, they were brought up in an increasingly harsh conditions: sheared shaved, forced to walk barefoot and in all weather play naked. When the children was performed for twelve years, they were given a cloak, which they had to wear all year round. Hot water they were allowed to wash a few times a year. They slept all together in bundles of reeds, which brought themselves to the shores Eurotas, wringing his hands there.
Older children pay much attention to school, observed classes. The children watched educator - pedonom ", and, moreover, they chose each agele leader - the strong and intelligent young man. Select only those youths who have more than a year. as infancy. These young men were called Iren. Twenty Irene commanded in the battles, which the boys pretended to accustom himself to the war.
Children were obliged to earn my own firewood and food. All they brought was stolen from. Some went to the gardens, others crept in sissitii, trying to show the most cunning and caution. Junior Spartans deliberately betrayed too meager food, to teach their own forces to deal with hardship and make them clever and cunning people. They had not only secretly steal food, but sometimes even to attack the guards and the power to select the required. Come across mercilessly whipped as bad, clumsy thief, and forced to starve.
Fearing punishment, the boys tried at all costs to hide their crimes. Thus, one of them, they say, stole a young fox and hid it beneath his cloak. Beast ripped his claws and teeth, the stomach, but not wishing to give themselves, the boy held out and did not cry until a pool of blood, fell dead. This is quite possible to believe, knowing that many of the boys died during the scourging at the altar of Artemis. In Sparta, over the centuries, is still the custom in the translation boys Irena exposing them publicly lashed. On the altar of the goddess Artemis, the young man had to prove their courage and disregard for the pain. Not wanting to find their weakness, some died under the whips, but do not make no cry. This practice is associated with the bloody altar of the goddess may have been the replacement of existing in ancient times human sacrifices.
After lunch, Irene, without leaving the table, spent with the boys sort of lessons: one, he ordered to sing, others asked various questions. These questions were to teach children to distinguish right from wrong and judge the behavior of people. If the boy could not explain a person he considers worthy name of the Spartan citizen, or any act deprives a person of the right to respect, then he was considered mentally retarded and Irene ordered to draw attention to its development.
Irene often punished children in the presence of the elderly so that they can judge whether his methods of education. During the punishment of senior never interfered with the orders of a child, but after the kids went with him exacted if he punished more severely than necessary, or was too soft and lenient.
Children are taught to express their ideas briefly and accurately - Lycurgus wanted to get some simple words contained in them a lot of sense. Lycurgus himself always expressed briefly and abruptly. When someone began to demand that Lycurgus introduced in the state of democracy, he said: "Enter the first democracy in their own homes".
Once Spartan Lycurgus was asked: "How do the neighboring countries have not attacked nasN" He replied: "Stay poor and can not be anything richer neighbors".
Another time he put on the strengthening of the city thus: "If the city strengthened the people rather than bricks, then it has a wall!"
General Spartans loved the short and witty answers. When people say cleverly, but inappropriately, he said: "You are talking, but not to the point".
One philosopher criticized for the fact that the title of the king's dinner, he said not a word. Defending him, the king said: "Who can talk and knows how to choose the time for that".
One man tired of questions Spartan king who is the best of the Spartans. No one was surprised when the king replied: "Those who are least like you". Many admired the impartiality of the organizers of the Olympic Games in the awarding of prizes. "What's so surprising, - said the Spartan - if people one day in four years can be fair". No wonder the modern word "laconic" (brevity of the expression of thought) comes from the name of the Spartans - Laconia.
When the king Arhidama asked how many of the troops in Sparta, he said: "Enough to get rid of cowards".
One Athenian ridiculed short Spartan sword. King Agis said: "It is, however, does not prevent our short swords get enemy".
The responses to the Spartans can make predstavlenis of those rules of conduct, which they adhered. From childhood, the Spartans were accustomed to unnecessarily do not express their opinions and say only what is necessary.
One Spartan invited to listen to the man, imitated the singing of a nightingale. "I have heard of the Nightingale" - he replied.
Another promised to give the roosters, who fought until they died on the spot. "No, - he said - you give me those who kill others".
Once Spartan epitaph to read a mass grave. After the list of names were the words: "When they tried to extinguish the flames of tyranny, they fell in battle".
- It serves them right! - Suddenly said Spartan. - Should not have to put out the flames of tyranny. Let him burn to the ground!
Same attention as to the accuracy and clarity of speech in Sparta paid for Choir. Spartan songs were brave, simple and unsophisticated, but nevertheless serious and instructive. These were songs of praise and glorifying the martyrs of Sparta, or songs, blamed shorts and calling for the exploit. For example, one of the Spartan song. The choir began the elderly and sang: "Once we were young and brave!"
. No Country for Old Men answered the chorus: "Now we are brave!" Try, if you want! "
. Children's Choir join in: "And we eventually braver than all of you will!"
. One of the most popular pastimes in ancient Greece were cock fighting, quail and
. This spectacle gave great educational value, because they believed that cocks an example of how to fight until the last possible. Birds for fighting, specially trained, and good fighting cocks were very expensive.
Music in Sparta attached great importance. In the battle the Spartans marched to the sounds of flutes. Spartan poet says: "Good music acts on the soul no less than arms'. It was believed that the Spartan king brought before the Battle of the victim muses in order to remind the soldiers of A necessary "chmost perform deeds worthy of praise in songs.
When boys become soldiers, the severity of their upbringing abated. They were allowed to follow the beauty of dresses, hair and arms. Before the battle the boys tried to adorn themselves with special care: they combed their hair and smeared them with oil, remembering the saying of Lycurgus: "beautiful hair to make beautiful, ugly even uglier".
In campaigns gymnastics youth were not so difficult, and in the rest of life was easier.
When the army stood before the battle, the king sacrificed to the gods and ordered all soldiers to wear wreaths. The sounds of flutes all began to sing songs of war. The majestic and solemn spectacle row of men marching in step to music. The ranks were closed, no one's heart did not skip a beat with fear, they went to meet danger with a song, calmly and cheerfully. The king went into battle near the warrior, winning the last Olympics.
It is said that one Spartan offered a large sum for the fact that he surrendered and gave his rival after victories at the Olympics. When he did not accept the money and after a hard fight won, he was asked: "What you use on your victory, for her sake, that you refused the opportunity to become rich chelovekomN"
. "In the battle I'm close to the king in front of the troops," - replied proudly winner
After drawing the enemy into flight, the Spartans chased him a short time and soon returned. It seemed low and unworthy of a hack and kill retreating enemies. This custom was not only generous, but also useful, since the battle, knowing that only kill those who resist are often preferred to flee and not fight.
Some historians claim that Lycurgus himself was a very warlike. But most are right, those who believe that Lycurgus was not involved in any wars - held its transformation in the years when the Spartans with no one fighting. About his love of peace shown by the fact that he owns the idea to arrange a truce once every four years at a time until the Olympics. The practice of prohibiting wars of the Olympic Games and other major religious festivals was introduced, perhaps even in the VIII. BC. e. not only because of religious considerations, but also to facilitate international trade. The case and the fact that during such holidays occur obschegrecheskih large bazaars, fairs.
According to the plan Spartan Lycurgus education does not end at the moment when he becomes an adult. Sparta was like a camp, where they established a well-defined way of life for each of the Spartans did not give any other instructions looked after children, taught them something useful, themselves learned from the elderly.
Spartans have had a lot of leisure activities, as well as engage in crafts or other useful work, they were strictly forbidden, and most of the time they spent in the gymnasium or talked to each other about good and bad deeds. Dancing, games, hunting, singing and gymnastics absorbed all the time the Spartans, when they were not busy fighting.
When a Spartan, visiting Athens, learned that there condemned man for idleness, he asked to see him convicted for the love of freedom. So deep Spartans despised any work, that reluctance to work, they called "love of freedom".
The Spartans could live carefree, because the land for them was treated Helots. These were the descendants of the Spartans enslaved the population, live on the remaining plots of land they owned before kotoromi. They were obliged to give the invaders a significant part of the crop. Helots and the land they cultivated, were evenly divided between the Spartans. Each Spartan family, received a plot owned by it enough food.
Because the helots was significantly greater than themselves Spartans, the Spartans always feared uprisings. To prevent insurrection helots, and were established so-called crypto. This provided a basis to accuse the Spartans of cruelty and injustice. The crypt was as follows. From time to time Efor sent out of town youths, armed with daggers. During the day young people hiding, and at night went on the road and kill helots. To make these kind of heinous murders of law, Eforie, assuming office, declares war helots. Sometimes they have sent large detachments of young men in the village where they lived helots to a surprise attack to destroy the strongest and most courageous of them.
On the mystery, which was surrounded by destruction of helots, speaks the names of the organized murder: "crypto" in Greek means "secret".
It is said that once the Spartans gave two thousand helots freedom. Joyful, wearing wreaths, avoided Helots temples to bring thank the gods for his sudden happiness. But at night they all disappeared, and nobody could tell how they died.
In general, Spartan helots treated very cruelly. Sometimes they deliberately helots were forced to drink diluted wine to, bringing them to the ugly drunk, show young men how terrible sin of drunkenness. Helots were not allowed to sing songs free under the threat of such a terrible punishment, that, even finding themselves once out of power of their masters, outside of Laconia, Helots did not dare to sing songs Spartan Poetry. Correct Greeks noticed that if free in Sparta the most free, then the office here is in the most slavish condition.
However, there is no reason to ascribe all of these harsh laws against helots, Lycurgus. They were introduced much later, when the number of helots greatly increased. Particularly brutal Spartans began to deal with helots after the great earthquake, when the Helots, using the scourge attacked Sparta, and almost achieved their liberation. This happened in 465 g. BC. The earthquake was so strong that Sparta was destroyed almost completely. Helots attacked the surviving Spartans, who called in the aid of the Athenians. Messenskaya beginning of the Third War, which lasted nearly ten years. The war of the helots was forced to submit to the Spartans, but some fled the country Mr settled on the northern shore the Gulf of Corinth.
When the most important of the laws of Lycurgus came into effect, he called all citizens to a public meeting. The legislator said that in order to make everyone happy, he should hold another, the most important transformation. To do this he must once again visit the Delphic oracle, and asked why Lycurgus Gerontopsychiatry and all citizens to take an oath not to change anything in the laws until he returned. All sworn, and Lycurgus went to Delphi. Here, however, an oracle proclaimed that its laws are beautiful, and that as long as the Spartans will be true to these laws, it will thrive and dominate other nations.
Send this prophecy to his homeland, Lycurgus decided to voluntarily die in order not to allow our fellow citizens ever change its laws. After all, they promised not to undertake any reforms until his return.
Lycurgus was precisely in those years (he was about 85 years), in the opinion of the ancients, you can still live, but it's good to die, especially to someone who has already fulfilled all the wishes.
Lycurgus was of the opinion that the death of a public figure should be useful to the state and that death should be a worthy end of life. So, goodbye to friends and his son, Lycurgus refused to eat and soon died of starvation. He feared that his remains will transfer to Sparta and citizens will be able to consider themselves free from this curse him. Therefore, before his death he ordered his friends to burn the corpse and throw the ashes into the sea.
Hope not deceived Lycurgus. Several centuries until Sparta maintained its laws, it remains the most powerful state in Greece. Only at the end of V. BC, when Sparta, along with gold and silver infiltrated greed and economic inequality, the laws of Lycurgus was struck a mortal blow.