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. . . But when you understood what made the Spartan men strong, it was the Spartan women, because the Spartan women at the age of nine gave up their male sons. And their male sons went into a training that was called the Agoge and they stayed in that training for the next eleven to twelve years. And when they were finally qualified — when they were finally ready to join the ranks for the Spartan army — it was not their father who gave them their cloak and shield; it was the mother who gave them their shield. And when the Spartan mother gave that young Spartan warrior his shield, she gave him this basic commandment: she said, “Spartan, here is your shield. Come back bearing this shield or being borne upon it!”

When Queen Gorgo, wife of King Leonidas, was questioned by a Persian emissary, and she somewhat spoke out of turn to this Persian emissary, he tried to rebuke her. And she looked at him and said, “Persian, beware, for it is Spartan women who raise Spartan men.”

Via Right Scoop

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