Tuesday, March 16, 2010

THIS IS SPARTA ( in a british accent)

(Kaite, Emily, Suzy and Me....and yes we are in a bed of flowers)

So, I owe you all a big apology for not keeping up with this blog. I must admit I have been very busy with recovering from my trip to Meteora, recovering from my trip to the Peloponnese, getting ready for my trip to Thessaloniki, planning my spring break island hopping (Naxos and Armorgos here we come!!) planning our trip to Rome, planning our trip Crete, planning our trip to Santorini, and lets see I don't think I am missing anything......oh yes, and school work.

Sparta! When you think of Sparta do you think of the film 300? Or maybe buff men walking around, carrying shields and swords? Or my personal favorite, Gerard Butler screaming "This is Sparta" while carrying me off in his gorgeous arms whispering sweat nothings to me in a British accent! So now that you have that amazing or disturbing image in your head let me just tell you that Sparta is, well...History!

I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Peloponnese for about five days, well it was mandatory and even though we were on vacation we still had lectures everywhere we stopped. If you have a map handy pull it out! Sparta is about a 7 hours away by bus, it is in the middle of Corinth (Historically more important than Athens, though that is a whole different blog story) and Athens. I must say all the hype surrounding Sparta really forms a picture in your head of what it is like. However, as a history major I try to keep a open mind and not rush to judgments, history is all too tainted. History are complete works of fairy tails that transpire from a single point of view. I try to doubt everything, so I can make my own decision. Yet it's flippin SPARTA, how can you not have some sort of romantic view. So my roomies and I were super stoked to say the least! We might have been rein-acting 300 in our apartment days leading up to the big trip. So it was a bit disappointing that when we arrived, it was well, like any other city. No ruins to be seen, no huge statues, no buff Spartans killing each other off in the square. It was a normal town with grocery stores and restaurants, schools and pet shops. It was as if history never existed.

Ok so there always has to be traces from the past in whatever form. Sparta does have ruins on the edge of the city in a fenced off area. Like in every town there is an acropolis (acro=top, polis= city, so a city on the top of a hill). The acropolis lie in ruins, barely any stones are on the top of the hill and personally the hill is a bit pathetic. The only thing that remains is the skeleton of this once military focused city. What was once arguable the most powerful city in the world, is now in a heap of marble and limestone. What has been uncovered are plain clay pots and few weapons. It is a vast land full of olive trees hiding the once sprawling city. The roads have long disappeared. What remains of the original buildings are scarce, most of the material is scattered around the world in museums if lucky, or used as another building. Looking back I guess I should have expected the disparity of the historically important city. Historically Sparta was good for one thing: soldiers. Spartans bread killers at the age f seven the boys would be sent of to military school where they would grow up fighting killing each other as they progressed in their education. Everything was communal, food living spaces, the women. Spartans were either soldiers or women, specialties did not exist. The lack of archeological evidence is spares do to the nonexistent economy there was no trading of goods because goods didn't exists potters or sculptors were non existent therefore making pots was not a specialty so remains of pots never existed. There was no monetary system therefore with the lack of goods and money trade was impossible. Though strong in the military sense it was inevitable that the Spartan culture would ultimately collapse leaving only legends that can not be verified. What is left is the mystery that history always provides. What is left is plot of land with little ruins. To me Sparta is perhaps the greatest society in which little is known or will ever be known.

Its pretty rad to realize that I actually was in SPARTA I have been there and would go back in a heartbeat......"THIS IS SPARTA"!!!!!

PS. I love emails and mail, hearing from people back home is pretty rad. So if your super board I would LOVE emails or letters!
PSS I just learned about one of the Coolest women in history her name is Hypatia and she was amazing! I think she must have been one of the smartest women in history and I think I just realized my greatest female historical icon! I will tell you more once I have gathered way more info and read up more about her! Senior paper topic ....I think yess!