Translated from EVROPA SOBERANA
Happy those remote times when a people said:
“I want to be the master of other people!”
Sparta was the first massive reaction against the inevitable decline brought about by the comfort of civilization, and as such, there is much to learn from it in this age of biological degradation and a moral induced by a techno-industrial society. The Spartans really broke away from all vices produced by civilization, and so placed themselves at the top of the pyramid of power in their region. All current elite military traditions are somewhat heirs of what took place in Sparta, and this signals the survival of the Spartan mission.
In this book we have gathered data from various sources, giving priority to the classics. The historian and priest of the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, Plutarch (46-125 CE), in his work Ancient Customs of the Spartans and Life of Lycurgus gives us valuable information about Spartan life and Spartan laws, and much of what we know about Sparta we owe to him. Xenophon (430-334 BCE), historian and philosopher who sent his children to be educated in Sparta, is another good source of information, in its Constitution of the Lacedaemonians. Plato (427-347 BCE), in his famous Republic shows us the concept of how a higher state should be ruled, listing many measures that seem directly taken from Sparta, because it was his inspiration.
Today our indoctrinating academics vaguely teach that Sparta was a militaristic and brutal state completely turned to power, whose system of education and training was very hard. We are introduced to the Spartans roughly as efficient soldiers, crude and mindless, which “were only interested in war.” This is a deliberately distorted reflection of what they really were, and it is mainly because we have been taught by some decadent Athenians, spiced with the bad faith of those who currently manage the information, who seek to distort history to serve economic and other types of interests.
The Spartans left an indelible spiritual mark. The simple fact that even today the adjective “Spartan” designates qualities of hardness, severity, roughness, strength, stoicism and discipline, and that there are words that describe the attraction toward Sparta (laconophilia, philodorism), gives us an idea of the enormous role played by Sparta. It was much more than just a State: it was an archetype, the maximum exponent of the warrior doctrine. After the perfect façade brave men and athletic women hid the most religious, disciplined and ascetic of all people of Greece, who cultivated wisdom in a discrete and laconic way, far from the hustle and urban vulgarity which even then had appeared.
It is impossible to finish this introduction without reference to the movie 300, even though most of the text was written well before the film came out in 2007. As you will be reading, you will see that the lifestyle of the historical Spartans had nothing to do with the characters that this film presents, which tries to make the Spartans more digestible to us, introducing them in a more Americanized, sympathetic way to modern minds, which is not too bad because otherwise the message may not have passed through. On a higher level, Sparta provides the perfect excuse to approach important issues.