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.
The idea that ancient armies would set a pig on fire sounds like the fantasy found in computer games, but the claim it is not as ridiculous as it may first appear.
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.