Sparta was a city-state on the banks of the Eurotas River and lasted from about 900 to 192 B.C. Around 650 B.C., Sparta was considered the dominant military-land power in Greece.
Sparta was different from the rest of Greece because it focused almost exclusively on military training and excellence. Sparta was also an oligarchy, meaning it was ruled by two kings. Both kings inherited their thrones and were said to be descendants of Heracles, also known as Hercules. Not all who lived in Sparta were considered citizens. To be a citizen, one had to undertake the Spartan education process known as agoge. To be eligible for the agoge, one would have had to be able to trace their ancestry back to the original inhabitants of the city.
At its peak, Sparta was one of the largest of Greece's city-states and was the home of about 40,000 to 50,000 people. Another thing that made Sparta different from Greece's other city-states is that its women had more rights and enjoyed more equality than the women of the other Grecian city-states. Modern-day Sparta is the capital of Laconia, one of the 13 regions of Greece. The love of Sparta and Spartan culture is called Laconism or Laconophilia.