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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Spartan Wine and American Ventolin

Sparta in the fifth century B.C. was a conservative, aristocratic, authoritarian, military state.  For us the word Spartan has assumed the connotation of 'hardy, undaunted, frugal, laconic, severe.' and thus indeed was the Spartan's life. 

Education in Sparta had only one purpose, to toughen boys and girls so as to make them hardy soldiers and strong mothers of soldiers.  When a child was born it was inspected, and if it was perceived to have any weaknesses it was tossed into a pit and left to die.

Infants were not swaddled as in other parts of Greece; children were trained to eat any kind of food and like it, to stay in the dark without being afraid, and to stop crying.  Children stayed with the mother  until they were seven, and then they became members of the state to be trained as soldiers.

They continued to live with their mother until they were twelve (all men had to live in barracks until they were 30), when they joined youth organizations where they were educated and prepared for battle.  The entire purpose of the civilization was of the state and for the state.  Every purpose was for the collective as a whole.

Another interesting thing the Spartan's did is instead of bathing newborns in water to cleans them, they bathed them in wine.  They believed weakling kids wouldn't be able to tolerate this, and weaknesses would be found, and these kids would be tossed into the pit to die.

They also believed the strong, healthy kids would become stronger if bathed in wine.  It is this type of philosophy why doctors in 2014 still order breathing treatments to all their patients with dyspnea.

The belief is that if they are weak their weakness with become evident and they will eventually die.  Likewise, the belief is if they are otherwise healthy they will eventually become better and be discharged to home.  So Wine to Sparta is akin to Ventolin to America. 


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