ancient city in the S Peloponnesus, Greece: a powerful military city in Laconia
See Sparta in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A city-state of ancient Greece in the southeast Peloponnesus. Settled by Dorian Greeks, it was noted for its militarism and reached the height of its power in the sixth century B.C. A protracted rivalry with Athens led to the Peloponnesian Wars (460-404) and Sparta's hegemony over all of Greece. Its ascendancy was broken by Thebans in 371.