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Sparta is a town in Lakonia, Greece that was once a prominent polis during the classical period. At its peak, it was a warrior society where all males were trained from childhood to serve throughout their lives in a purely militaristic capacity. This specialization produced some of the greatest warriors of their time, and the martial might of Sparta's soldiers held a legendary prestige across Greece.


In 480 BCE, Sparta was led by King Leonidas who fell at the Battle of Thermopylae during the Second Persian invasion of Greece. The Greeks were nonetheless victorious in the war, and in the aftermath, Athens emerged as the hegemonic power as leader of the Delian League. During this period, Sparta and Athens became archenemies, and to counter the Delian League, the former established an alliance of its own known as the Peloponnesian League. Open conflict erupted in 431 BCE with the Peloponnesian War.[1] During this period of time, Sparta was jointly ruled by Archidamos of the Eurypontid dynasty and Pausanias of the Agiad dynasty.[2]

As the grandchild of Leonidas, the legendary misthios, Kassandra, was born and raised in Sparta. Blamed for a tragedy that struck their family when she were a child, she was sentenced to death but survived to fight in the Peloponnesian War as an exile.[3]