Updated on February 19, 2007, 11:22 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
The Spartans: a culture of Ancient Greece that was well known for being a militaristic state and self-proclaimed "natural protector of Greece". For a culture that defined and focused all their energy on being a military state, the identity created is one of uniqueness and unusual circumstance. From birth a child was weighed on its strength, and if not strong enough left out to die. Those picked to live were hardened to the militaristic way of life that was being a Spartan warrior. The woman, for the times in Ancient Greece, had an unusual amount of freedom and duties that other Greek city-states didn't allow. Yet the woman's duty was to the state and the warrior men who protected it. A Spartan man's life belonged to the state and his way of life was that of service and protection in favor of the state. In war the Spartan race, culture, and identity was born.
The Spartans are a rare occasion where war is what preserved race, culture, and identity. For more than the thousands of years democracy has been instituted by humans, there has been war. And in these wars, more often than not, destruction was brought to a race, a culture, and the identity of the people. War is not a grand event. However, there can be instances of honor and respect for those sacrificing their lives to protect what's most important. This barely accounts for the destruction and loss of life. In the United States Civil War, William Tecumseh Sherman said, "There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell." Prisoners of war fight to survive, too often forgetting who they once were. In war, the greatest casualty of all is that of race, culture, and identity.
In war historically significant artifacts are destroyed. During the bombing of Berlin in World War II the rare fossils of a dinosaur were being kept in a museum; a museum that got bombed and destroyed. Not only were these artifacts lost, but so were countless ot...