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24. The training of the Spartans lasted into the years of full maturity. No man was allowed to live as he pleased, but in their city, as in a military encampment, they always had a prescribed regimen and employment in public service, considering that they belonged entirely to their country and not to themselves, watching over the boys, if no other duty was laid upon them, and either teaching them some useful thing, or learning it themselves from their elders. [2] For one of the noble and blessed privileges which Lycurgus provided for his fellow-citizens, was abundance of leisure, since he forbade their engaging in any mechanical art whatsoever, and as for money-making, with its laborious efforts to amass wealth, there was no need of it at all, since wealth awakened no envy and brought no honour. [3] Besides, the Helots tilled their ground for them, and paid them the produce mentioned above.1 Therefore it was that one of them who was sojourning at Athens when the courts were in session, and learned that a certain Athenian had been fined for idleness and was going home in great distress of mind and attended on his way by sympathetic and sorrowing friends, begged the bystanders to show him the man who had been fined for living like a freeman. [4] So servile a thing did they regard the devotion to the mechanical arts and to money-making. And law-suits, of course, vanished from among them with their gold and silver coinage, for they knew neither greed nor want, but equality in well-being was established there, and easy living based on simple wants. Choral dances and feasts and festivals and hunting and bodily exercise and social converse occupied their whole time, when they were not on a military expedition.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), AR´GIAS GRAPHE´
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SERVUS
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 8.4
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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