there was a documentary on History channel a few days ago and it was about Ancient Greece which as you may already know it was mainly Athens and Sparta, the two strong armies that were hateful enemies. Don't you remember Leonidas, who by the age of 18 was fully educated and trained in order to be able to overcome any battle as well as give orders to his soldiers?
The competition among the two cities/states of Greece waas fierce. It was somehow different though when the Persian army of Xerxis with more than 300,000 soldiers planned to attack Athens due to some past vendeta that arose among the kings.
The Athenians although brave and confident so far, at that point realized that they couldn't possibly resist since the Persians outnumbered them tremendously. therefore, they asked for help from their neighbors and enemies.They relied on Leonidas for help, the greatest warrior in Greece at that point in History. He thought things over and saw that the enemies of his enemies were his friends and later chose his best soldiers but only those who had raised sons so in case they were killed their sons would be left behind.
the Greeks won the war and the powerful Persians were defeated. Sparta remained the most powerful city after that for a long time. See, their main difference was that the Athenians were more intellectualy aware and dreamt of the great city of Athens with nice buildings. their artistic nature came into conflict with that of the Spartans who cut themselves from any form of literature and good manners. All they cared about was becoming good soldiers.
Everytime a new son was born, Leonidas would take it to the Taygetos, a tall, rocky mountain and make a bright decision whether the male infant was good or bad. It was only between good and bad kid, the latter was thrown into the sea. The good kids were trained all day, every day! the training they had to go through was mazochistic and touches insanity in our today's world. They used to beat their fuckin' brains out of each other and Leonidas was standing there forcing them and showing them moves and smart tactics necessary in wartime.Their mothers were also watching but women were amazingly tough and they kept well in mind that their son was going to be treated harshly but that was the point. They didn't seem to care much! They could even beat the hell out of a man in case of rape or theft.
The newly-made soldiers were given different weapons during training and they literally broke each other's face. And all that, at the age of 8!
in conclusion i would like to make a comment. Ideas, ethics, way of life, people, minds, cultures, everything, every single aspect of humanity is changing dramatically at least every hundred years.
Nowadays almost everyone opposes war except politicians who have other things in mind. You can compare George W. Bush and Leonidas of Sparta! They are aliens to each other, the only similarity.they wanted young kids to go to war and fight and return to their homeland with the victory. However, we are moving through the 21st century which differs much from sometime B.C. No more wars because the only revolution we have in today's world is education. This is how one is distinguished as good and/or bad. This is also a war but of a somehow different and less painful training!