A Spartan Dilemma

What was life like in Sparta? We will read the following passage as a class to get an idea…

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The day had dawned with wonderful anticipation for Commander Alexandros, a leader of one thousand of his land’s best soldiers.  His young son of seven was to enter the Youth Military Academy, and his wife was expecting another child very soon, perhaps this very day.

Alexandros beamed with pride as his son was met by Academy officials at the gate.  Even though his son would never leave the Academy until the age of 20, the commander knew that to be a tough, disciplined soldier (perhaps an officer someday), academy life was required.  It was the only life Alexandros himself had known.  Academy had developed his skills as a leader of men in a land of bravery.  Everyone who was truly worthy aspired to become such a brave, loyal warrior.  Real men weren’t interested in the arts, or words of other men; real men ruled other men.

However, his send-off for his son was interrupted by a messenger’s panting announcement that his wife’s time had come.  Upon Commander Alexandros’ return home, the midwife passed him with eyes gazing downward.  A wailing in the next room alerted him to sharp emotional, not physical, pain.  His wife was sobbing uncontrollably.  He entered to find an apparently healthy baby boy comfortably cradled next to his mother.

Unfortunately, all was not as it seemed.  His wife removed the blanket to reveal the infant’s clubfoot.  The right foot was positioned slightly askew, pointing outwardly somewhat perpendicular to his leg.  This boy would never be able to march among the legions of soldiers.  Commander Alexandros now fully realized the source of his wife’s sadness.

Upon notification of the birth of his son, the council elders would visit and inspect the child for physical fitness.  This one would never pass inspection, and it would be killed.  Inferior physical specimens could not contribute to the society, so they had to be done away with.

Commander Alexandros quietly walked out of the room.  His joyous day soured.  Like any good soldier, he followed orders well.

In your table group, discuss the following questions and then post your individual responses to your blog. Make sure your responses are in complete sentences and refer to the question asked.

  1. Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
  2. Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
  3. From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives?
  4. What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives?  Would you want to live in such a place?

8 thoughts on “A Spartan Dilemma

  1. 1. Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
    2. Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
    3. From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives?
    4. What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives? Would you want to live in such a place?

    1. Commander Alexandros is very devoted and obedient to his land. Also, as a commander and an obedient soldier, he is well accomplished and honorable.

    2. Though he has some good traits, Alexandros is too obedient, almost inhumane. I know that he is just following the law, but he did nothing to change his son’s fate.

    3. From this passage I can infer that his land is heavily based on military and warfare. He stated that real men would only aspire to rule other men. Also, this place has extremely strict and harsh laws. No place exists nowadays, so I would say that this story took place in the past.

    4. My overall impression of this city is that it is a “bad” place. I would not want to live here and I agree that not anyone else would want to either.

  2. Fluffy Blue Unicorns
    Per. 4

    1. Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. He is good at following orders, he does not try to trick the council of elders, he seems like a good and strong soldier, and he takes pride in his family (except for the insufficient child)
    2. Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. He might have too much pride, he might be useless if he has no orders to follow, and he seems a tiny bit heartless.
    3. From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives? That it is a very harsh land and that it is focused in warfare. I can tell because his son is already heading to barracks and he is only seven. Also just because that one kid had a clubfoot they had to kill him.
    4. What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives? Would you want to live in such a place? I would not want to because it seems very harsh and the only thing you could be is a soldier.

  3. For the name: Period 4 Spartan Dilemma
    .Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.) A: Brave, obedient, prideful, trustworthy, loyal, strong, realistic.
    2.Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)A: cruel, stubborn, coward, cold.
    3.From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives? A:It’s a very hard land to live in. All they care about is war. No humanity and feelings. When I read it, I was like, who invented the laws of these country?
    4.What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives? Would you want to live in such a place? A: Sparta gives me a feeling of cruelty and unfairness. I wouldn’t want to live in a place like that because I think everyone should be given a chance to live, no matter who or how they are. Life is not all about war, dude!

  4. 1. Some of the commander Alexzandros good traits are his loyalty and his optimism.
    2. Some of the negative traits are his over loyalty, his pride and cowardly in the face of superiors.
    3. Commander Alexzandros lives in a war state were dedication to his army is more important than his family.
    4. I believe that Sparta may have a couple correct ideas about their civilization but all that dedication isn’t good. Back then I probably would have liked to live there but now a days I would prefer to live any were else.

  5. GOLDEN APPLES (group)

    1.Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)

    Some of the positive characteristics I see in Commander Alexandros is that he is prideful, courageous, Confident, Loyal, Brave.

    2.Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)

    Some of his negative characteristics is that he is easily influenced by society, doesn’t stick up for what he thinks.

    3.From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives?

    The land where Commander Alexandros is from seems to focus more on warfare, is very strict on letting infants live, at age seven children were sent to army camp and not let out until they were 20, “real men” were not interested in the arts but ruling other men.
    4.What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives? Would you want to live in such a place?

    My overall impression about the land where he lives is that it is strict. I would NOT want to live there because if I were a boy (which I am not) then I would have to go to an army school at age seven which seems a bit too harsh…

  6. LARS Period 3

    Questions about Sparta and Commander Alexandros

    1. Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
    • He is very disciplined
    • He wishes the best for his family, although perhaps in the wrong way
    • He follows orders
    • He is a successful commander
    Some positive characteristics I can detect in Commander Alexandros are that he is very disciplined, he wishes the best for his family, although perhaps in the wrong way, he follows orders, and he is a successful leader.
    2. Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
    • He is too dedicated to warfare
    • He is disappointed that his son has a clubbed foot and cannot become a soldier, not that his son is going to die
    • He only wants his son to become a soldier
    • He doesn’t care that his son is going to leave him for so long
    Some negative characteristics I can detect in Commander Alexandros are that he is too dedicated to warfare, he is disappointed that his son has a clubbed foot and cannot become a soldier, not that his son is going to die, he only wants his son to become an officer, and he doesn’t care much that his son is leaving him for so long.
    3. From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives?
    The land in which Commander Alexandros lives is very disciplined and very dedicated to warfare, although it is perhaps a bit cruel to just kill a cripple when it is a baby.
    4. What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives? Would you want to live in such a place?
    My overall impression about Sparta is that it is very strict in the training for war and would be ruthless in its killing of other city-states. No, I would not want to live in a place dedicated to warfare; I would find no pleasure there.

  7. Elisa Xu
    Period 3; Deknerds

    Spartan Questions:

    1. Commander Alexandros has many positive qualities. He is very obedient when it comes to law enforcing. He is also brave in battle, and proud for his oldest son to be entering academy. He is very respectful for the law as well.

    2. But Commander Alexandros also has some not so good qualities. He didn’t try to save his newborn son from the clutches of death when he realized that he was handicapped with a deformed foot. Also, he is a little cold-hearted to just stamp out any chance of of life for his son when his son was never even given a chance to experience life.

    3. The land that Commander Alexandros lives in, Sparta, is a city-state completely dedicated to military discipline. The passage also shows that Spartans show no mercy when it comes to the law. They believe in earning their rights.

    4. I believe that Spartans are very brave and wonderful warriors. They would be formidable opponents, and I really admire the way they persevere until the very end. But they way they treat the infants that are crippled really shocks me. Taking an innocent’s life just because they have a disadvantage in a different style of living is very harsh, and I thoroughly feel sympathy for those poor babies.

  8. Period 4-Blue Fluffy Unicorns

    1.Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
    2.Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
    3.From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives?
    4.What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives? Would you want to live in such a place?

    1. Commander Alexandros was a loyal soldier and listened to his commands. He is also brave and is proud for his oldest son entering the academy

    2. Commander Alexandros can be cruel and has a cold heart.

    3.The land Commander Alexandros lives in which is Sparta is very disciplined.

    4. No, I would not live in this land because people can be heartless towards things that are not connected to war.

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