It is often repeated that the Spartans practiced an institutionalised form of eugenics, part of which included the disposing of “imperfect” babies . Modern archaeology, and historical studies, have brought this story under serious scrutiny.
It is often said that the Spartans returned their war dead back to Sparta on their shields, due in no small part to a famous quote in Plutarch.
Molōn Labe has become a go-to phrase to denounce political authorities removing the perceived rights of citizens, and its origins in Spartan history is used to solidify its meaning as a righteous stand against oppression.
The Battle of Thermopylae was where, in 480 BC, a force of just 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas fought valiantly against the Persians. Or is there something the popular accounts are not telling us?