Sparta (Spártā) was a city-state in ancient Greece.
It was situated on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese.
It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.
Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious, though at great cost. Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC. It then underwent a long period of decline, especially in the Middle Ages, when many Spartans moved to live in Mystras.
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.