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By Peter Chrisp

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The Spartans were full-time soldiers, members of the only professional army in Greece. Sparta had two kings, from two royal families, who ruled alongside a council of 28 elders. The powers of the kings were limited by five ephors (“overseers"), who could arrest and depose them. Ephors, who were elected each year, oversaw the day-to-day running of the state. Although assemblies were held, the citizens could not speak. Instead, they accepted or rejected decisions made by the ephors, kings, and council, by shouting.

The Greeks drank sheep and goat’s milk much more than cow's milk. It was what they were used to, since many people owned goats and sheep, but few owned cows. Some doctors even claimed that cow’s milk was unhealthy. The Greeks still use goat and sheep milk to make feta cheese and yogurt. Plowing time > The farmer's work ran in cycles, with periods of hard work when plowing, sowing, and harvesting was needed. Plowing was done in fall and in spring, using oxen. The plow was a wooden wedge, tipped with iron, used to cut a furrow through the soil.

Ring Men as well as women wore rings. They were often set with precious and semiprecious stones or colored glass. The glass was sometimes engraved with a picture, which could be pushed into soft wax to sign a document. This ring shows a seated figure with a dog. Only a very skilled craftsman could carve such a tiny image. < chiton Women wore a long tunic called a chiton. This came in two different styles—the Doric chiton, developed by mainland Greeks, and the Ionic chiton, created in Ionia. A Doric chiton was made of two narrow rectangles of cloth, and was sleeveless.

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