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May 07, 2004

Spartans

Just saw the first episode of Spartans tonight, a three part series that will trace the rise and apogee of the militaristic city-state. In some ways, Sparta might be envisaged as the original proposition nation, built around abstract values that the whole society worked toward, and was defined by. Spartans were anti-materialistic, socially and sexually egalitarian, and yet they terrorized and bestialized the majority helot population so they could extract their labor to free themselves for battle to such an extreme extent that the term helot is synonymous with serf.

Oh, and the presenter is kind of cute, she seems to be a Michael Wood with breasts in a red dress.

Update: OK, so this was blogged last year, that is, Bettany's virtues.

Posted by razib at 01:24 AM