Have you heard that the Spartan’s killed new born babies that they thought were weak? Maybe you saw it in the movie 300? This is a myth, modern archaeological evidence and scholarship has disproved this. Archaeological excavations of the chasm at Keadas, where the killings supposedly occurred, found no child remains. Scholars believe this legend was made up by Plutarch hundreds of years later. Infanticide did occur in ancient Greece but it was rare and many disabled individuals were cared for after birth, not killed. In fact, one of the most famous Spartan kings Agesilaus II, was born disabled and he was not killed. After he unexpectedly came into power in 400 BC he won many victories in Anatolia and the Corinthian Wars. Agesilaus’ reign ended in 359 BE and he is believed to have been born in 442; making Agesilaus one of the oldest and longest-serving kings in Spartan history. He was also one of the most powerful kings in Spartan history, and his reign is the best documented.

Artist: Libbe Sambiria Bjerknæs

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