men were highly honoured, and the supreme object of an old Spartan’s ambition was a seat on the Senate.
And what sort of character did this strange system produce? Well, it produced the three hundred warriors who died to a man round their king Leonidas at the pass of Thermopylæ. It produced the Spartan king who refused the request of his allies to destroy Athens. It produced the women who mourned after the great defeat of Mantinea because no sons or husbands of theirs had died for Sparta. It produced the only good infantry of Greece, and the only stable form of government. It produced good men like Brasidas and Gylippus. Sparta was the state that swept tyranny out of Greece, and bore the brunt of the land-fighting against the Persians. But, on the other hand, the system encouraged that stupid and bigoted conservatism which ruined Sparta, partly through refusing to learn anything new in the art of warfare, and partly through declining