|“||For ages, the statue of Ares, son of Zeus, stood guard on the highest plateau above the great city of Sparta, keeping a watchful eye on the lands of Laconia.||”|
In ancient Greece, Laconia was the principal region of the Spartan state. Throughout classical antiquity, the Spartan sphere of influence expanded to Messenia, whose inhabitants (the helots) were permanently enslaved. Significant archaeological recovery exists at the Vaphio tomb site in Laconia. Advanced Bronze Age art is found here, and evidence of cultural associations with the co-temperaneous Minoan culture on Crete. Laconia was at war with the Kingdom of Macedonia and saw several battles; at the end of the Mycenean period population of Laconia declined sharply. From the early-2nd century BC until 395 it became a part of the Roman Empire.
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God of War: Ghost of Sparta
After escaping the jails of Sparta, Kratos found himself at these mountaintops, only to be greeted by unfriendly foes. After vanquishing them all, Kratos made his way up the mountaintops, entering the temple of Ares soon after. Inside, he discovered a statue of Ares and an enormous mirror. Upon inspection of his own reflection, a ghost-like image of Kratos suddenly leaped from the mirror and started beating on Kratos. After throwing the ghost in several directions, Kratos destroyed the ghost - and the mirror - by throwing the former into the latter. He then recovered the Skull of Keres from the mirror's remains. After leaving the temple and obtaining his old weapons from a faithful Spartan, Kratos left Laconia's mountaintops and reentered the mounts of Aroania.