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VIDEO COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. Why did the Spartans establish a strict and brutal military society?
Spartan invaders enslaved local citizens and made them work the land. This new slave class, called helots, outnumbered the Spartans by as much as seven to one. The Spartans created a military society in order to keep the helots under control.
2. Who posed the greatest external threat to Sparta early in the fifth century B.C.?
Early in the 5th century B.C.E., Persia was the greatest empire in the world. Persia's King Xerxes wanted to conquer the Greek city-states. However, Sparta and the other Greek states joined to repel the Persian invaders.
3. What happened to a Spartan citizen at age seven?
The phalanx was a new Greek method of fighting. It consisted of a massive formation of heavily armed soldiers protected by their shields. The right side of each soldier was protected by the shield of the man beside him.
5. What rites of passage did a Spartan warrior go through at ages 20 and 30?
At age 20, a Spartan soldier had the privilege of joining a mess, which was similar to a platoon. The mess was a symbol of status and was where bonds between soldiers were forged. At 30, a warrior was allowed to marry and become an equal. He then devoted himself to affairs of state and war and could choose to live with his family.
6. Why did Spartan power decline?
The Spartans isolated themselves from other Greeks and turned away from new ideas and art. They did not encourage trade or wealth, and they restricted travel. They could not reproduce their military state in the lands they conquered. By the second century B.C., their power was gone.