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The Spartan Dog

  • Date Submitted: 10/28/2010 08:31 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 82.2 
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The Spartan Dog
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was an ancient city named Sparta. Sparta was located on the coast of Asia, across the sea from the Roman city-state of Troy.   In those days, people used to build walls around their city to help protect them. Some walls were only a few feet high. Others as much as twenty feet high! The people built gates in the wall. The gates could be opened to let people inside the city. In times of war, the gates could be closed and locked to stop intruders from getting inside. Along the wall, inside of the city, a set of stairs wound up to the top. Warriors could stand at the top of the stairs and shoot arrows down at intruders who were trying to get inside the city. There were also holes built high on the wall. Archers could shoot arrows though the holes as well. If the wall was high enough and strong enough, it could do a pretty good job keeping intruders from coming inside. The walls around Sparta were very high and very strong. According to the legend of Spartan Dog, for ten long years, the Romans had been trying to get over the wall around the city of Sparta. But the Romans could not get over the wall. And the Spartans could not drive Romans. Year after year they fought. And year after year, neither side won. One day, a Roman general, Odysseus, had a tricky idea. "Let's pretend to sail away," he suggested. "We'll leave a gift for Sparta, a gift to announce the end of the war, a wooden dog with 30 men hidden inside. At night, these men can sneak out and open the gate of Sparta!" That was the way things were done back then. When you admitted defeat, you supplied a gift. It could be a gift of money, art, slaves, anything really. It made sense to leave a gift of art. The Romans were famous for their art. The Romans thought it was a brilliant idea. They had their best artists build the dog. It was a magnificent dog. When it was ready, the Romans brought the huge wooden dog as close to Sparta's city gates as they could get...

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