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"Xanthippos the Spartan" Topic

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634 hits since 23 Jan 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2018 9:24 p.m. PST


"Since the Archaic Åra (7th-6th cent. BC), Sparta used to employ mercenaries, specifically Cretan archers (Dorian relatives of the Spartans). Since the time of the Peloponnesian war, and mostly during the Hegemony of Sparta over Greece (after 404 BC), this city-state became a significant employer of Greek mercenaries, due to its limited number of hoplites. However, mostly the Spartans (Lacedaemonians) themselves were sending units of their army, under the leadership of experienced Spartan ‘warlords', to serve as mercenaries other states, because of the financial problems of their city which became more and more pressing. Despite the loss of its power after 368 BC, Sparta became a great supplier of mercenaries, not only of its own Spartans but of other Greeks also. Gythium (the main Spartan/Laconian seaport) and other seaports of the Tainaron Peninsula (Laconia) became during the 4th-3rd centuries BC, the largest mercenary recruitment centers in Greece. The Lacedaemonian/Spartan mercenary troops consisted mainly of "neodamodeis" (freed helots), other Greeks (mostly Peloponnesians), and secondly by ‘perioikoi' (free Laconian and Messenian subjects of Sparta). The only real Spartans in these expeditions were the leader of the expedition and a number of unit commanders or military advisors. The expeditions of the mercenaries were performed under license of the official Spartan state. The mercenary forces used to depart in ships, from the Tainaron Peninsula…."
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goragrad24 Jan 2018 3:15 p.m. PST

Interesting piece on a subject I had not run into before.

Berzerker7324 Jan 2018 5:10 p.m. PST

Very interesting article, thanks for sharing!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friends!.


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