Spartan Warrior wearing bronze armour and a red cape.
The Spartan army stood at the centre of the Spartan state, whose male and female citizens were trained in the discipline and honor of the warrior society. Subject to military drill from early manhood, the Spartans were one of the most feared military forces in the Greek world. At the height of Sparta’s power – between the 6th and 4th centuries BC – it was commonly accepted that “one Spartan was worth several men of any other state.” According to Thucydides, the famous moment of Spartan surrender on the island of Sphacteria, off Pylos, was highly unexpected. He said that “it was the common perception at the time that Spartans would never lay down their weapons for any reason, be it hunger, or danger.”