By any standards Sparta was a remarkable society. Its early history is little known, but by the start of the Classical Period Sparta was one of many city-states vying with each other for power and hegemony. During the 5th century BCE Sparta became the dominant such power, and did so largely because its society was entirely focused on military preparedness. All of its male citizens (spartiates) were professional, full-time soldiers, reared from birth with that sole purpose in mind. These were the hoplites, and with such a uniquely rigorous and single-minded attitude it is no wonder that they were universally accepted as the finest soldiers in the Hellenic World. Their primary role was to ensure the continuance of the social order at home, where they were vastly outnumbered by the perioikoi (free non-citizens) and particularly the helots, who were serfs (basically enslaved conquered peoples). This set is dated for the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, which saw many wars between the various Greek city states as well as two major incursions by the mighty Persian Empire to the East. During this period Sparta rose to be the dominant power in Greece, then declined, and was ultimately conquered by Macedonia along with the rest of the Greek states.
- 41 figuren in 12 poses