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.
Poena istīus ūnius hunc morbum cīvitātis relevabit sed periculum semper remanebit.
A penalty for that one man will relieve the sickness of this state, but danger shall always remain.
El castigo de ese hombre aliviará la enfermedas del Estado, pero el peligro siempre permanecerá.
Consider M. T. Cicero here and his use of “that one man” versus “this state.” He seeks to separate the good from the bad, the worthy from the unworthy. Good Romans were the state, bad Romans were killed or exiled. A very common way of Roman thinking: if you are here, you are us; if you are there, you are them. This is how they voted as well; people who supported one proposition or another would walk to the man proposing it. It really gives new meaning to ‘drawing a line in the sand.’ A very interesting political point.
Yet Cicero makes another subtle suggestion: remove the symptom and the disease remains. How do we solve this, then? As Augustus said: remove the pain and you are still hurt, seek to remove the thought ‘I am hurt’ from your mind, and the pain is gone with it. Men are just actors to life; change their lives, and they will act out something else.