The Spartan Empire was a short lived one, yet the longest of the the pre-ejaculator Greek major hedgemonies of the time. Contrary to what many people may think, Sparta was not such a sad millitary dictatorship as historians have taught us.
The city of Sparta itself had a theatre, and the Spartan culture was based around athletics and sporting events as well as millitary training and superiority.
Most historians are very unsure if early Mycenean Sparta even existed. It was probably a vassal of Mycenae called Lakedaemon or perhaps part of the Mycenean Empire. Homer mentions in both Iliad and Oddysey that the brother of the King of Mycenae, Agamemnon, ruled Sparta. his name was Menelaos. However we do know that the Dorians from northern Greece and Illyria began a major invasion circa 1100 BC. The Mycenean kingdoms of legend and poem were destroyed and orverrun, and much of civilization was erased, including what was known of the Mycenean kingdom of Lakedaemon. The Dorians also enslaved the conquered peoples the lands.
Soon after the Dorians began major founding settlements in Lakonia (Main Spartan province) and the Pelleponesse, they began colonizing the Aegean islands of Melos and Gortyn from Lakonia.
The city of Sparta was truly founded as a polis (Greek city state) around the year 850 BC (Give or take 50 years). The four towns that made up the area united into one, and it was called Sparta, or Lakedaemon. The small state of Sparta grew until the first Messenian War in 736 BC. In this war, Sparta conquered the state of Messenia. The people of Messenia recieved the same treatment as the conquered people of Lakonia; enslavement of a kind. They were made into helots, which was a slave with privelages. One must remember that in Ancient Greece slaves did not have it so terrible. They lived the lives of poor Greek citizens, so they made up much of the local population. Many slaves were well liked and honored, yet the Messenians hated their Spartan masters, and they would not live under Spartan rule without more blood to spill.
The competing city state of Argos itself was hostile to Sparta. It eventually led to war with Sparta, and the Argive arrmy was one to be reckoned with. The Spartans ravaged the land of Argolis (Province of Argos) with the help of the town of Asine. In revenge, the Argives bitterly sacked and totalls destroyed Asine and it's people. This only made the flames of hate between Sparta and Argos worse.
The during this time many competing Greek states were founding colonies in Italiy and Sicily, mainly Corinth though. Sparta did not refrain from founding their own. In the year 706 BC, the Spartans founded Tarentum, or, Taras. Sparta itself became well known for it's advances in musical arts, but a majro change was approaching.
The helots and subdued Messenians were not happy under Spartan rule. Around 650 BC, the Messenians, lead by Aristomenes, revolted against Spartan rule. The oracle predicted that Messenia would eventually be defeated, and she was. The Spartans had a terrible time putting down the rebellion, yet it indeed took them over 20 years of war to finally re-subdue Messenia and its people.
The Spartans learned from this, and indded under their king Lykurgos decided they had to change their lifestyles and the lifestyle of the entire state to be able to control the rebellious helots and Messenians. Sparta experienced a complete millitary reform. From being an average Greek polis, Sparta eventually became a powerful millitary force to be reckoned with. Young boys were bred to be tough as well as Spartan women. In the winter, Spartan boys were only allowed to wear one layer of clothing. Spartan women wrestled and took part in sports. The culture of Sparta changed from normal Archaic Greek to millitary and athletic. Elders judged wether Spartan babies were strong or weak enough to live. If they were judged too weak, they were hurled into a gorge or left to die in a hillside. Life was made tough for the Spartan citizens (Spartiates) so they could forever control the Messenians. Even alcohol was banned to the Spartans, but the helots were allowed to drink.