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This love or admiration of Sparta is known as Laconism or Laconophilia.At its peak around 500 BC the size of the city would have been some 20,000–35,000 citizens, plus numerous helots and perioikoi.For example, Hesychius of Alexandria's Lexicon (5th century AD) defines Agiadae as a "place in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis.The actual transition may be captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae (7th century AD), an etymological dictionary.Lacedaemon (Greek: The son of Zeus by the nymph Taygete, he married Sparta, the daughter of Eurotas, by whom he became the father of Amyclas, Eurydice, and Asine.He named the country after himself and the city after his wife.

Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water. To the north, Laconia is separated from Arcadia by hilly uplands reaching 1000 m in altitude.

Modern Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional unit of Laconia and a center for the processing of goods such as citrus and olives.

Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, and completely focused on military training and excellence.

Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.

Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the overall leader of the combined Greek forces during the Greco-Persian Wars.

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