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The Spartan Agoge (Άγωγή) was related to many things in the Ancient Greek, however, its closest linguistic cognitive was ‘Αγων’ (struggle – the etymological origin of our word ‘agony’), indicative of the struggle children had to endure to overcome it. Begun at seven by the παίδες (child), the boy reflected in our snapshot from “300” is representative of a seventeen-year-old about to become a παιδίσκοι (student). The elite from amongst these boys would become κρυπτειοι (Secret Police) and be required to kill a slave without being caught to prove their skill. An extremely complex system of training.

Spoiler: Spartan Kings were exempt from the Agoge.Spartan Youth