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In peacetime, Sparta had little interest in the settlements, but in times of war, the settlements were expected to supply soldiers. Spartan males were trained from a young age to become soldiers and were banned from engaging in trade or crafts. For this reason, it was the perioikoi who formed the class of traders and craftsmen that exported iron ore, limestone for building, bronze figurines, and painted pottery. Lycurgus and the constitution After the final subjugation of the Messenians, a number of changes took place in Spartan society.

Some poleis were larger than this, particularly those of Sparta, Argos, Corinth, Athens, and Thebes. There were also some very small units covering a territory of no more than 15 square miles (39 km2) and having a population of only around 250. However large or small, each polis had at Memphis least one settlement that was called a city (also, confusingly, called a polis), no matter how small or unlike a city it actually was. Each polis was completely independent. In theory, all the freemen who were its citizens organized the political affairs of the polis (from which the term politics is derived) in community assemblies, but in fact, much of the real power rested with the aristocracy.

Lycurgus and the constitution After the final subjugation of the Messenians, a number of changes took place in Spartan society. These reforms have 55 ANCIENT GREECE Two Greek wrestlers prepare to fight in this relief sculpture. In ancient Sparta, sports such as wrestling were considered an important part of military training. 56 traditionally been attributed to the great lawgiver Lycurgus, although it is not clear whether any such man ever existed. It is more probable that the reformed constitution was not the work of one man, but rather the result of an evolutionary process.

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