The Spartan public upbringing. The Classical agoge, supervised by the paidonomos (‘boy‐herdsman’), embraced males aged 7–29. Only the immediate heirs to the kingships were exempt. There were three stages, the paidĕs, paidiskoi, and hēbōntĕs, probably representing ages 7–17, 18–19, and 20–29. The paides were trained in austerity, obedience, and mock battles by older youths within companies, subdivided into herds of age‐mates with their own internal leadership. At age 12 they entered an institutionalized pederastic relationship with a young adult (see homosexuality). The paidiskoi were army reservists and (probably a select group) participants in the krypteia. The hebontes joined the syssitia and army, could marry, but remained in barrack life, competing for places among the 300 hippeis, the kings' bodyguard. Separating boys from their families, the agoge inculcated conformity and the priority of collective interests, but also promoted the emergence of future élites. Girls, also, were educated in the interests of the state, to be the mothers of future warriors; so the emphasis fell on physical training and athletics, but music and dancing were not neglected.
Subjects: Classical Studies.