The first test of a Spartan citizen came at birth.
Male babies were taken by their fathers to be examined by the tribal elders to see if they were worthy of being reared. If the child was deemed weak or sickly, he was doomed to the Apothetae, a chasm-like place at the foot of a mountain. Obviously, this was a matter the Spartans took seriously. And though women weren’t part of the official evaluation, they supposedly bathed newborns in unmixed wine to test their constitutions. The practice was supposed to give healthy ones a stronger constitution while throwing sickly ones into a convulsion.
Tune in next week for more about the Spartans!