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International Journal of Social Science and Human Behavior Study

The Decline of Sparta and a Lesson for Today



In 479 BCE, under the leadership of Sparta, the united Greek army defeated the massive invading armed force of the powerful Persian empire. Yet, in the course of two centuries, the once mighty state of Sparta experienced a dramatic downfall of its power due to a sharp population decline. By 245 BCE, full-citizens of Sparta numbered less than seven hundred. The aim of this study is to examine how the shortage of manpower could have been averted by instituting radical social changes promoting social advancement. The extent of the demographic collapse of Sparta is indirectly assessed by examining data from various historical sources about the size of the Spartan army in the course of time. Using mathematical modelling, a curve approximating the time series of the number of Spartiate soldiers is fitted. This model allows us to design a social reform program which, if implemented, would maintain the military power of Sparta. The policy suggested would initiate upward social mobility and integration, providing selectively full-citizen status with annual emancipations. The program would defuse tensions and avoid revolts at minimum opposition. Had Spartan leaders adopted the proposed reform, turning point historical events of the fourth century BCE, such as the Theban military successes, the rise of the Macedonian empire and the campaigns of Alexander the Great, may have taken a completely different course. In addition, the impact of the implementation of social mobility in Sparta on the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and in the subsequent formation of political theory would be tremendous. Today's nations face similar challenges, suffering from severe population ageing and shrinkage of their economically active manpower. The study provides support to migration replacement policies, which could be applied to maintain competency and competitiveness of the labor force and secure social stability and economic growth in the long-run.

No fo Author(s) : 1
Page(s) : 1-10
Electronic ISSN : 2374 - 1627
Volume 6 : Issue 2
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