15 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Fifteen: The Agoge: The Education Of A Spartan Boy

Spartan boys were taken from their mothers at age seven and enrolled in “the Upbringing.”

They remained in this School of Hard Knocks till age eighteen, when they officially became warriors and took their place in the phalanx.

Herodotus tells us that Spartans breathed a sigh of relief and gratitude when they went off to war … it was so much easier than the training.

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7 Comments

  1. Antwan Martin on October 5, 2020 at 7:15 am

    Damn. Thank you!

  2. Andrew+Lubin on October 5, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Perhaps it’s how individuality is molded into an awesome team?

    I was raised with the idea that ‘a day without a challenge is a wasted day.’ by parents who were both WW2 USMC vets, and went out of my way to seek the most difficult challenges I could find. Anyone could run cross country; we were state champs. Marathons? Ran 12, and any fat slob might finish; my goal was sub-3 hours. But to accomplish that, I needed to train with runners better than myself; every day I ran myself sick trying to catch the fast guys, and by my senior year, was the 2nd best 880 guy in the County – but only # 6 on my own team. Did I care? Not at all; if I pushed an opposing runner back a few spots, we’d win as a team – and if chasing my talented teammates pulled me to another PR, that was a win-win.

    While this was NJ in the 1960’s and not 380 BC Sparta, it’s how being part of a team made me a better individual, or at least more stubborn than most. While I still run, what I remember of our training sessions were some miserable 10 miles runs in snow, rain, sleet,which turned into some awesome workouts – as we all suffered together, someone would invariably say ‘screw you guys; catch me’, and off we’d go. Good times that I think both yesterdays Spartans and today’s Marines would enjoy with us!

  3. Peter Defty on October 5, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks Steve. I have tracked your trajectory and I am currently living it and this is a GREAT Thing!

    • Peter Defty on October 5, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      And in this journey of the simple life of the Warrior I recognize it is the only path toward conquering the resistance within.

  4. Brian Nelson on October 6, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Steve,
    “I think it’s a moral choice. It’s a life choice.”
    No truer words said. We do hard to remind ourselves that we’re capable of doing hard. Like Andrew Lubin stated above, it is running your a$$ off in training with your buddies. We don’t know who we truly are, or what we are truly capable of becoming until we’ve bent our heads into significant difficulty.
    bsn

  5. irene on October 7, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Hello Dear Steve,

    I’m loving these episodes for the same reason I very much enjoyed your book The War of Art for it being inspiring and useful. Thank you. Irene

  6. 8 ball on October 26, 2020 at 2:39 am

    I just joined the forum so there are so many things I don’t know yet, I hope to have the help of the boards, and I really want to get to know you all on the forum

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