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New Ideas For Mediterranean Decorating

Oct 16, 2007
How the term "Spartan" came into being. The Spartans relentless pursuit of perfection and how it became their downfall.

The term "Spartan" comes from the ancient Greek city of Sparta, where everything in life was kept to its simplest and yet best. In terms of living, it means living with few items, very simply, and in terms of decorating, it means keeping things simple as well. The Spartans were known for narrow minded focus on whatever they were pursuing, be it military prowess, philosophy, art or athletics.

The concept was that the only goal worthy of a man was to pursue perfection in himself. The comforts of the material world were eschewed as wasting precious time and energy that could otherwise be better used for the main goal. Modesty and simplicity became their hallmarks and were the source of their power.

Today, we do not consider this narrow focus on excellence a wort goal. We prefer wealth and all of the trappings of luxury. WE spend our time accumulating "things" instead of building perfection in ourselves.

The Spartans extended their philosophy to their homes as well. Furnishings were mostly functional and very spare in their design. They focused their minds on their goals, and did not let unnecessary thought or things distract them. This fierce determination led to their power, and in time they dominated ancient Greece.

However, the Spartans did fall from power and their society disappeared. Just as we can learn a great deal about the rise of the Spartans because of their single mindedness, we can learn from their fall.

The Spartans lost their edge because of lack of growth of the population, and because of their failure to adjust to changing times.

They concentrated so much on perfection, especially in the military that the other important parts of life were neglected. Family life was one of these casualties, as well as recreation and culture. Even though they included the arts in their lives, the military life was of more importance, and the pursuit of athletics was really to develop the strength required for military prowess.

Because of this intractability, Sparta became more and more isolated and eventually became an extinct society. In Aristotle's time, fewer than 1000 Spartans were alive.

The lesson to be learned is that, as important as the pursuit of excellence is, and how important it is to constantly be improving ourselves, we must also recognize the significance of balance in our lives. Enrichment of the mind, socialization, art and culture are all as important as perfecting our bodies. In this way, the "whole" person improves, not just parts of him.
About the Author
Adam Peters is a freelance writer for http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com . Find more publications about mediterranean inspiration at his website.
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